Haroun Tazieff, the poet of fire

Screening and performance as season closing

Xcèntric closes its season of regular screenings with two special sessions (a screening and a performance) dedicated to volcanologist and filmmaker Haroun Tazieff (1914-1998), dubbed by Jean Cocteau “the poet of fire”.

Haroun Tazieff. On Erta Ale. Saturday 6 May, 19:00

The first session is dedicated to the volcano Erta Ale, popularly known as the “smoking mountain”, one of the huge volcanoes that populate the desert region of the Afar Depression in Ethiopia. Tazieff was the first to climb Erta Ale in 1968, with volcanologist Giorgio Marinelli. In his successive scientific expeditions Tazieff shot two fascinating films, practically unknown until now. Afar, la dérive des continents is an educational film about plate tectonics, the theory about the form of the outer surface of the planet. In Erta Ale, made two years previously, we see teams of geologists working around the volcano of the same name, along with general shots of the lava, accompanied only by psychedelic music with no kind of commentary.

Afar, la dérive des continents, Haroun Tazieff, 1975, 16 mm, original version with Spanish subtitles, 54’; Erta Ale, Haroun Tazieff, 1973, 16 mm, 22’

16 mm screening.

* After the screening, commentary by Domingo Gimeno, professor of Petrology and Geochemistry at the UB.


Haroun Tazieff. On Etna. Sunday 7 May, 19:00

Seven years ago, Frédéric Lavachery, one of Haroun Tazieff’s children, literally salvaged from the CNRS rubbish hundreds of boxes containing 16-mm films shot by his father and his team of different volcanoes around the world in the latter half of the 20th century. This finding led to the creation of Atelier d’Archives Haroun Tazieff with the aim of studying, restoring, archiving and disseminating these salvaged film documents, mainly working copies, editing tests and discards. To do so, the Atelier collaborates regularly with artisan film laboratories that hold work sessions to study in depth and recover these materials. Each residency focuses on footage related to a particular volcano, and the result is shown at a special screening open to the public.

On this occasion, Atelier members Elsa Rossler and Loïc Verdillon present a performative multiscreen projection based on material about the volcano Etna, with images filmed there by Tazieff and his team between the 1950s and 1970s, which was presented at the Cinematek in Brussels during the last L’Âge d’or festival. After the session, the public will have the opportunity to see the working process of the Atelier at first hand.

Sur L’Etna, a performance by Atelier d’Archives Haroun Tazieff (Elsa Rossler and Loïc Verdillon), 2023, 16 mm, 60’

6 and 7 May 2023


The Auditorium
Admission fee

€ 4 / € 3 Concessions
5-session pass: € 15 / € 12 Concessions
Friends of the CCCB: free of charge

Tickets on sale at the CCCB ticket offices ( / 933064100) and online.
Passes are only available from the ticket desk.


Screening 6 May

Performance 7 May