Opening night

Friday 13 October – 6.30pm – Hôtel de Ville – free but booking required

Sens Interdits opens this new edition of the Festival in resonance with Contre-Sens en 2022. This reboot of the Festival, between two odd-numbered years, was born of the urgent need to express and reflect on current events marked by the war in Ukraine and daily aggressions around the world. Today, the war continues, in Ukraine and elsewhere. The aim of this evening is to explore together how hope continues to be a force in spite of everything. How stories, documentation and creativity help to overcome conflict in times of war, and lay the foundations for rebuilding a world.

This evening brings together academics, journalists and artists involved in these struggles on a daily basis, to offer their reading of the present and present their visions for the future, while providing the political and historical keys to a better understanding of the current context. This evening will also be an opportunity for the public to meet the Ukrainian artists of Imperium Delendum est, a poetic and warlike musical show, in a duplex from Lviv.


Olivier Neveux, Professor of Theatre History and Aesthetics at the ENS Lyon.


  • Understanding the war with a present-day historian
  • Bearing witness through the novel with a journalist and writer
  • Shedding light on the war with a diplomat
  • Telling the war’s story with a journalist

Illustrating war with the team from Imperium Delendum est (duplex from Ukraine)
Imperium Delendum est (The Empire Must Die) was one of the highlights of Contre-Sens 2022.

Created in the aftermath of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, this show confronts the audience with the testimonies of Ukrainian women, wounded and fighting, who scream and sing their thirst for life and their dreams. The text combines poems written on the spot after the outbreak of war with extracts from the Geneva Convention, which has been trampled underfoot by Russia.
Discovered by Sens Interdits at the Festival d’Avignon in July 2022 as part of the ‘Ukrainian Pavilion’ at La Manufacture, this show was an obvious choice for an unprecedented tour of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, winning over 1,500 people at the TNP in Villeurbanne, the Comédie de Saint-Etienne and the Comédie de Valence.