TV works

Annie Declerck

Thanks to her father, Richard Declerck, governor of the Province of Antwerp, Annie Declerck (b. 1934) was introduced to the theatre at a young age. From 1952 to 1997, she worked at the public broadcasting networks, NIR/BRT/BRTN (Nationaal Belgisch Instituut voor de Radio-Omroep/Belgische Radio en Televisie/Belgische Radio- en Televisieomroep Nederlandstalige Uitzendingen, National Belgian Institute for Radio Broadcasting/Belgian Radio and Television/Belgian Radio and Television Network for Dutch-Language Broadcasts), initially as an assistant, later as producer and programme writer. In 1958, in the surroundings of Expo 58 (the World Exposition in Brussels), she produced an average of three live television interviews each day for a period of six months, from a small studio in Heizel (a district in north-western Brussels). In 1959, she conceived Toneelmagazine, the first Flemish television programme exclusively devoted to theatre and other performing arts. In the following years, Declerck produced such programmes as Zoeklicht (Searchlight), Binnen en buiten (Inside and Outside), Horen en zien (Hear and See), Dag aan dag (Day to Day), Kunst-Zaken (Art Affairs), Het gerucht (The Rumour), Persona, Verwant (Kindred Spirit) and Ziggurat, some of which focused on current art affairs and others offering a more in-depth portrait of the artists. Examples of the latter were episodes in the series Persona, dedicated to Marguerite Duras, Jerzy Grotowski, Tadeusz Kantor, Giorgio Strehler and the Living Theatre. Declerck received the Bert Leysen award for her programme on Susan Sontag.

From 1987 to 1990, Annie Declerck was one of the producers of the arts programme Verwant (see description), in which artists were given free rein to portray their own work and the work of a ‘kindred spirit’ (another artist or otherwise) in a personal way. All of the arts are represented in her work, but Declerck always had special interest in the theatre. For four decades she followed on the heels of theatrical developments both in and beyond Dutch-speaking countries. The archive that she consequently built up, with recordings of (fragments of) performances and discussions with programme makers, is unparalleled in the world. Annie Declerck was also a jury member for the Theatre Festival. She is currently a member of the national Beoordelingscommissie Theater (Theatre Assessment Committee). [Elke Van Campenhout]