Nauru is a small island-state in the Pacific. Once it was called ‘Pleasant Island’ by British whalers. The history of this island can be read as a parable of our modern age. After the discovery of a vast reserve of phosphate in its soil, the island became one of the world’s richest countries. Each plot of land, each garden, each corner of the island was dug up and mined – until nothing remained and all its natural resources had been depleted.

In their second show, Silke Huysmans and Hannes Dereere travel to this place which, groaning under a longing for growth, has been completely stripped of its resources and dug up until literally nothing remained. The island is now one of the world’s poorest countries and so, in order to be able to survive, it now receives refugees from Australia in exchange for a substantial compensation. What future remains after such ecological and economic ruin?

After Mining Stories (ZKB Patronage Price 2018), the two theatre-makers travel to the island of Nauru, which recently celebrated 50 years of independence. With Pleasant Island they continue their research into the consequences of extreme mining via documentary material and field recordings obtained through interviews and conversations.


Silke Huysmans and Hannes Dereere took their first steps at Kunstenwerkplaats Pianofabriek (Brussels) and Bâtard Festival. In their acclaimed “Mining Stories” (2016) they explored the impact of a recent mining disaster in the south of Brazil. In the future, they will create their works under the wings of CAMPO, with the support of Pianofabriek , KAAP Bruges, Kunstenfestivaldesarts and Beursschouwburg Brussels.


60 minutes / in English


Interesting documentary theatre, about a part of the world that seemed almost forgotten.

De Volkskrant ****,

FR - sur Pleasant Island

Nienke Scholts,

background on Pleasant Island

Nienke Scholts,