Photo : Fusée de détresse © DR
New Work
Distress Flare #1 (Fusée de détresse #1)
L'Âge de la tortue
Musical reading of private letters from migrants
Following on from her work on the collaborative European project The Encyclopaedia of Migrants, Paloma Fernández Sobrino brings together Rennes locals working to support migrants for this first musical reading around a selection of private letters and a Javanese gamelan.

After Trouvé dans l’oubli and Déroute (1 et 2), performances mixing theatre, physical theatre and song, the Rennes-based group L’âge de la tortue continues the work of Paloma Fernàndez Sobrino on The Encyclopaedia of Migrants, a collaborative European project to collect stories from France, Spain, Portugal and Gibraltar. Using the Kyai Bremånå gamelan (traditional Javanese ensemble) and five letters taken from the project (whose four hundred original letters have just been deposited with the Rennes Municipal Archives), L’âge de la tortue brings together around twenty people for an unprecedented musical reading performance. The show will mix the words of migrants with the music of an Indonesian orchestra, including xylophones, gongs and drums, for a first performance of Distress Flare #1.

In 2014, Paloma Fernández Sobrino launched the European collaborative project The Encyclopaedia of Migrants, to “write a personal history of migration between Finistère in Brittany and Gibraltar.” It has taken three years to gather 400 stories together in a book echoing the form of the famous Encyclopédie des Lumières, and a copy of it has been acquired by the City of Rennes and is held at the Champs Libres library. Paloma Fernández Sobrino is now continuing this work by creating a formal artistic encounter between these stories and the Kyai Bremånå gamelan, an orchestral ensemble of traditional Indonesian instruments that Arnaud Halet brought over from Java to Rennes in 2009.

Local Rennes residents involved in this project will take musical initiation courses by Arno Tukiman, who plays a number of instruments and specialises in the Javanese gamelan, and attend rehearsals with readings of letters taken from The Encyclopaedia of Migrants. Distress Flare #1 serves as a metaphor in public space to challenge us collectively about the loss of certain human values in our ultra-modern societies, and especially the fate of migrants. This participatory, multi-disciplinary, poetic and resolutely political show has been rightly chosen to feature at this year’s Les Tombées de la Nuit.


L’âge de la tortue was founded in 2001 and is based in the Blosne district of Rennes, where it runs multi-disciplinary visual and performing arts projects that examine our relationship with political and social representations. L’âge de la tortue develops projects at a micro-local level, in connection with other areas in Europe (such as The Encyclopaedia of Migrants from 2014 to 2017), and has worked with associate artist, director and creator of multi-disciplinary projects, Paloma Fernández Sobrino, since 2007. In 2009, she wrote, directed and performed the play Déroute, and then Déroute (2) with opera singer Justine Curatolo, followed by Trouvé dans l’oubli with Benoit Hâtet, Nathalie Élain and flamenco singer Pere Martínez (2015). After the Correspondances Citoyennes (2007-2011) project, she developed and directed the European collaborative project, Correspondances Citoyennes en Europe (France, Spain, Romania), in collaboration with Nicolas Combes. She leads and provides artistic direction for The Encyclopaedia of Migrants (a European project with France, Spain, Portugal and Gibraltar), for which Distress Flare #1 is a first performance.


Paloma Fernández Sobrino : director and creator of multi-disciplinary projects
Arno Tukiman : gamelan musical director

Sunday 08 July 2018
15:30 > 16:30
Parc du Thabor, cour de l’école Jean Zay, Rennes

Métro : Sainte-Anne / Bus : C1-C3-C5-9-12 / Arrêt de Bus : Thabor - Sainte-Anne / Vélo : Saint-Georges - Place Hoche

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The association is supported by the City of Rennes, the Brittany Region, the Ille-et-Vilaine Department & the ministry of culture.

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