Stefa Govaart


Begin focuses on the history of the Medieval beguine communities in Northern France - lay religious women who gathered and emerged in urban centers throughout the Low Countries starting in the 12th century. As none of the beguinages of France have been preserved or recognized as national or international heritage, this project uses performance and publications as strategies for building the past into the present. The performance will focus on an important beguine book written by Marguerite Porete entitled Le Miroir des âmes simples anéanties et qui seulement demeurent en vouloir et désir d'amour. Her theological treatise, written in the vernacular, proposed the possibility of immediate contact with god by going through seven different stages of love with the ultimate goal of achieving an annihilation of the soul. The book was first condemned in Cambrai, then ordered to be burned in Valenciennes, and finally, Marguerite herself was burned at the stake in Paris. 

The residency at Eclipse in Cambrai was attended by Chloe Chignell, Bryana Fritz, Stefa Govaart and, Louise Phelipon.