Director Chokri Ben Chikha

Chokri Ben Chikha (born 1969) is an actor, choreographer, author, and theater maker. He combines his artistic leadership at the international theater company Action Zoo Humain with his roles as a lecturer and artistic researcher at KASK in Ghent, where he earned his doctorate in the arts in 2013.

In 2003, along with his brother Zouzou Ben Chikha, he co-founded Union Suspecte, which gained international attention with Chokri’s family trilogy: De Leeuw van Vlaanderen (2003), O.L.V. van Vlaanderen (2005), and Broeders van Liefde (2007).

He established Action Zoo Humain in 2009, a theater company that emphasizes diverse voices and explores how theater can directly impact reality without losing its poetic potential and self-critique. His Staat van Theater presentation at the 2018 Theaterfestival in the Netherlands controversially portrayed this.

Chokri explores the tension between ethics, identity, and neoliberalism, seeing them as the primary challenges of the 21st century. This manifested in the Truth Trilogy: Join The Revolution (2015), Amnestie (2018), and De Waarheidscommissie (2013-2018), which played in old courthouses and the Belgian Senate.

For his work, Chokri received several awards including the Prize for Democracy, 2nd prize in Ghent (2004), Louis Paul Boon Prize in Ghent (2005), Artist Award at the Afrika Film Festival in Leuven (2014), and the Walter De Buck Prize in Ghent (2022).

In the Netherlands, Chokri collaborated with director Theu Boermans on Lysistrata (2004) and co-directed Onderworpen with Johan Simons in 2017. Recent premieres in Belgium and the Netherlands include Testament van een Journalist (2021), about the end of journalism, and Flemish Primitives (2022), concerning the feasibility of success. Both theater productions will tour the Netherlands and Belgium again in the 2023-2024 season.

Currently, Chokri is working on De Waarheidscommissie Nederland, premiering on October 4, 2023, in Rotterdam, and Perzen, a co-production with NTGent, planned for June 2024.