Jessica Fanhan

Jessican Fanhan (°Abymes Guadeloupe) is an actress. She graduated from the Insas theatre school in Brussels in 2011 and three years later made her breakthrough as the main character in Sylvie Landuyt’s production Elle(s), a mix of theatre, performance and rock in which Fanhan embodies several female types and archetypes. The press called her ‘a revelation’ and rewarded her with the ‘Prix de la Critique’ as ‘meilleur espoir féminin’ (brightest female hope). 

Jessica Fanhan is one of the KVS-Faces in 2016-2017. She is performing in the productions Malcolm X by Junior Mthombeni, Fikry El Azzouzi and Cesar Janssens.  She is also brilliant in Michael De Cock’s monologue Kamyon (t,arsenaal / KVS). 

When you were a child, what did you want to become?

Very early on, I knew that I wanted to be an actress. But as a girl, when I told people about it, everyone (except my mother) would look at me in a certain way as if I were just a poor little dreamer. To avoid looks like these, I changed my strategy and told people that I wanted to be a cook (I like eating) or a beautician (I love beauty) and after that, everyone left me alone.

What was your most unforgettable experience on stage?

There are so many unforgettable moments! If I had to choose, then I’d go for the very first time that I stood on a ‘real’ stage with a ‘real’ audience. I was eleven and the feeling was unforgettable: the chance to do something or declaim something on a stage and thus provoke a reaction from the people who are watching. What an adrenaline shot! I felt as though all my senses were in overdrive. Despite the fact that I was playing someone else, I felt entirely myself.

Who would be a hero to you now?

In general, I am in awe of people who have ‘come a long way’. People who get back up again after having fallen flat on their faces. People who haven’t had it easy. People who are laughed at, humiliated and scorned when all they’re doing is trying to achieve something, to realise their goal, in whatever field. My heroes refused to let go and are blessed with a kind of survival instinct. Do heroes have to succeed in the goals that they set for themselves? I don’t think so, and that means that my heroes are actually more like anti-heroes.

What does it mean to you to perform in Malcolm X at the KVS?

In this project, I meet people from a variety of different backgrounds and that’s what I like the most about this profession. Because I could never live without music. Because the road taken by Malcolm X took was exceptional, whether or not you admire him. Fascinating. He played a crucial role at that time in raising the awareness and self-confidence of black people in the fight against oppression. His anger and resistance meant that he brought about a revolution in a very anti-democratic way, and that gives me considerable cause for concern.