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Live Magazine: the world in live transmission

It’s a show, a living magazine and a first-hand journalistic and artistic witness all in one. Live Magazine returns to Bozar for a children's edition and an adult edition during the month of October. Meet the creator and editor-in-chief of the Belgian version, Ariane Papeians.

How would you define the Live Magazine?

It’s a show that puts on stage authors, photographers, journalists, writers, in short people who document the world, and who come to tell true stories. Illustrated with photos, video, dance, sound and other media, these stories follow one another and create a kind of living newspaper on stage.

How do you develop the editorial line?

Just like I would in a newspaper: I try to strike a balance between the different types of contributors, to feature an equal number of men and women, established authors and new talents, with different profiles: journalists, photographers, film-makers, and sometimes even scientists and historians. I’m also looking for diversity in the tone of the stories and the depth of the subjects. In general, I approach the contributors rather than the other way round. And I draw up my contents for our four annual editions as I go along: two for adults and one for children, in French, and one in English around a particular theme.

Do they find it easy to speak on stage?

No, it’s a delicate exercise. None of them have chosen to take to the stage or to be in the foreground; they’re all people who work behind the scenes. They are storytellers, not performers. So in general, they initially refuse my invitation, but by showing them how others have overcome the risk of revealing themselves on stage, many of them end up agreeing. But actually it’s this freshness, this authenticity that makes the stories powerful. The audience can sense the honesty and the fragility in their presentations.

Is the preparation of the children's edition different?

For the last four years, we’ve been working with Bayard and Milan Belgique, who have helped us to adapt our content for a younger audience. Different ingredients go into the line-up. As well as true stories, we always have an imaginary hero, a circus, jokes, just like in a children’s magazine. The speakers also involve the children in their stories, a scientist will conduct an experiment on stage with a child, or a photographer will include a child in his story.

By selecting them from the audience?

No, everything in our performances is scripted in advance. It’s the same with the children. In October, two children will tell the story of their research into the work of a photographer, and everything is rehearsed, nothing is left to chance.

Can you give us a foretaste of the contents of the adult edition?

We never reveal the contents in advance to keep an element of surprise. It’s just like when you buy a magazine: you only discover the contents when you open it. What I can tell you is that, out of the ten stories we have chosen, some will be based on current affairs (we’ll speak about Afghanistan, for example), while others will focus on in-depth investigations into background issues. But I’ve already said too much. I can also tell you that the participants in this next edition will come from Belgium, but also from Brazil, England, France and Portugal, joining up to chronicle the world with passion. Our line-up includes a variety of content, and has been designed to amaze, to excite, to move you, but also to make the audience smile. And I can’t help but reveal that it will also feature the star dancer of the Rio Opera.

How do you compare with traditional media?

What we often hear is that the Live Magazine gives a new lease of life to journalism, which doesn’t have this direct contact with the audience. The format helps people to speak more freely, and we can develop issues that sometimes can only be expressed on stage. At a time when misinformation and fake news are rife, we present in-depth investigations, led by journalists who have been focusing for years on a subject they know inside-out. And it’s exciting to think that it works and that it’s actually good for journalism.

 

Keep the dates!

10 October, Live Magazine for children

26 October, Live Magazine: autumn edition