Radio Play
Stereo | 55′ | 2015
France Culture (French national public cultural radio station)

© Agathe Simon

Produced as part of France Culture’s Atelier de la Création (French national public cultural radio station), the radio play Ayahuasca recounts the experience of a shamanic ceremony in the Amazon. It is part of the Shamanic Cycle. The Shamanic Cycle is a multimedia cycle which has been unfolding since 2015. It includes videos, sound pieces and performances. It is based on the same stake, the exploration of the unknown, and the same protocol, the recourse to shamanic journeys. Agathe Simon created this cycle in the light of encounters with shamans from different traditions: Mongolian, Pygmy, Korean, Quechua and Lakota.

In November 2008, Guillaume Sauvage, the author of Contresens (1995) and Memento (2004), has been living in Peru for a few months. He receives the visit of Gabriela Conti, famous novelist and Franco-Argentine explorer, rewarded by the Premio Literario Buenos Aires and the Grand Prix of contemporary literature. After a few days in the sacred valley, the two writers go down to the Amazonian forest to live an Ayahuasca ceremony. Ayahuasca is a shamanic drink. It releases DMT (dimethyltryptamine) which is naturally present in the human body only at birth and death. It causes intense hallucinations and a near-death experience.

The radio piece Ayahuasca plays with the boundaries between the identifiable and the unidentifiable, between sound and visual, between time and space. As a tribute to Gabriela Conti, who died in 2010, it features sounds recorded by the novelist during her travels in the Amazon, Antarctica, Central Africa, India and Papua New Guinea. It also celebrates the literary work of Guillaume Sauvage and Pierre Guyotat. It is also part of The Conti Project.

Original Idea: Guillaume Sauvage
Text, production, directing: Agathe Simon
Production: Angélique Tibau
Sound engineer: Claude Niort

With the voice of David Nathanson , Anna d’Annunzio, Elias Abou Jamil, Pierre Guyotat, Charlie d’Annunzio, Robert Nathanson, Christopher Spencer-Lowe

Listen online to the radio play
Ayahuasca (in French language)