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From reproduction to narration

Word artist and theater scientist Esther Severi, assisted by Marleen Vertongen, Lucas Vandervost, and Jos Borré, conducts research into the interaction between fact and fiction in a story. Fact and fiction cannot exist without each other - in fiction a reference to reality serves to make the story recognizable and accessible, or to set up alienation. Conversely, factual stories, such as news reports and documentaries, are made up of narrative strategies that frame and stage the content, making them less truthful. The rendering of a story, in whatever context, inevitably has a subjective character.

This project involves research into the convergence of documentary and fiction in the artistic representation of a true story. The practical research of this project consists of writing a literary text. The starting point is the return journey of a Flemish convict who was employed in Germany during the Second World War. Based on archive and literature research, this historical story will be reconstructed by collecting concrete information about the return journey. In order to theoretically frame the research, we zoom in on specific examples from literature, film and visual arts, in which the boundary between documentary and fiction remains vague, and in which this ambiguous relationship between the two is a structural element of the work.