Mathilde Benignus

Documentary theatre / Feminist and Queer / Collaboration / Storyteller (mine and others) 33 years old

Mathilde Benignus was born in Strasbourg, in a region on the border of France and Germany. She holds a bachelor’s degree in visual arts and a double master’s degree in theatre and documentary film and is working on the development of multidisciplinary art practices.

Her artistic projects question the place of women and relationships with others, suburban spaces and territories that have been isolated. Many of her projects involve older people and invite us to reflect on aging from a collective yet intimate point of view.

Amongst all of the questions that resonate with you about aging and growing old, which one seems the most essential for you that you would like to share ?

How can women live better at an old age? By this, I mean: how can we consider the desires and needs of an aging population of mostly women, in terms of housing, cultural activities, independence and financial support? How can we reshape their role in our society?

From your own experiences, tell us about a significant moment or event in your personal or professional life that shaped your perspective around aging.

I had the opportunity to work with a multidisciplinary acrobat two years ago, in the Parisian suburbs. After we posted a little ad in the local newspaper (guess who reads the local paper? Bingo: elderly people), we went out to meet old ladies to perform a special “lift” in their homes. How these women were open-minded and showed ease with refinement, how they trusted the acrobat and his project proved that they had courage to spare… and great humour!

During our meetings last October, you imagined taking some first steps, the first actions. Can you remind us what they were? Can you tell us what happened when you put them into action?

If, in the coming months, you were given the time, energy and resources to set up a (new?) project based on our common questions, what would it be?

According to your experiences and your expertise, where is the vitality, the curiosity, the strength to act on the realities of aging?