Democracy.doc was found as an interactive performance and developed into a programm of interdisciplinary projects.

The interactive performance Democracy.doc 

This Project is neither a fiction drama nor an ordinary ‘verbatim’ experiment. The creation of the «Democracy.doc» production has been a year long process. In 2005 two Russian playwrights Nina Belenitskaya and Ivan Ugarov and the german director Georg Genoux interviewed over 100 citizens of different Russian regions. Analysing the collected materials the creative team felt the necessity to carry some studies on the subconscious attitude of the Russians towards the issue in order to understand the role of politics and democracy in the contemporary Russian society. Thus, two psychotherapists – Elena Margo and Arman Bekenov – joined the creative team and in winter and spring of 2006 conducted several training sessions in «Theatre.doc». That is how the production «Democracy.doc» was born.

None of the performances will be similar to the previous one as the spectators will also be invited to join the creative team on stage. So the production based originally on the documentary materials concerning the 1991-2005 period will be permanently updated owing to the interactive participation of the audience.

It is an interactive project, there is no play or actors; and the audience itself participates in the action on the stage.

The authors, drawing on principles of the world work with large groups, offer the public to explore the topic of Democracy. And it’s not a question of understanding, it’s a question of feeling it in their everyday life. As it is a ticklish question, each time on the stage we deal with powerful conflicts clearly reflecting tension in the society. In a society where lots of hot topics are suppressed, and sometimes ignored, the theater acquires a completely new task: to reveal all the voices of the society, and especially those which are generally not heard or kept in the background.

It is a project where there are no actors, reciting memorized texts or replicating reality on stage. Right before our eyes people’s feelings create a world where there is room for everything that wants to be announced. People are spectators, directors, actors and characters at the same time.

Democracy.doc was performed in more then 20 regions in Russia and more then 50 times in Moscow. It took parts in different russian theatre festivals.

It also was presented 2012 in Siwtzerland in Basel and Chur during the “Culture Capes” exange between Russia and Switzerland 2012.

The group of Democracy.doc was invited to create a the following project “CRISIS” by the 7th Berlin Bienale of Contemporary Art in Berlin 2012 in the “Theater Hebbel am Ufer” in Berlin.

Democracy.doc was also invited to participate in the Bienale of Contemporary Art 2012 in Moscow.

Deutsche Welle about “Democracy.doc”.

Der Spiegel about “Democracy.doc”

About the project is written a book by Nikolai Gladkeh and filmed two documentary movies.

Interdisciplinary projects of Democracy.doc

Democracy.doc co­produces projects with other theatres, collectives and organizations that produce interdisciplinary, contemporary, documentary, political, social, interactive and therapeutic projects.

Democracy.doc is the pilot project of the Joseph Beuys Theatre in Moscow.

2006 - 2013 Democracy.doc developed in Moscow together with the Joseph Beuys Theatre projects at Teatr.doc, National Center of Contemporary Art (NCCA), Garage Center of Contemporary Culture, the Meyerhold Center, Andrei Sakharov Museum and Memorial Society.

2013 Democracy.doc is one of the founders of the Interdisciplinary Laboratory NEDRAma.

From 2013 Democracy.doc organized projects together with Replika Teatr in Sofia and at the University in Cambridge.

Artistic direction of the programm: Arman Bekenov, Georg Genoux and Jelena Margo.

The idea of Democracy.doc

Democracy,doc does not advance with the conventional art methods when we would like the Crisis Intervention to perform.

The documentary theatre and work on the social sculpture offer a new form that does not cater to the art world, but the people involved in an active social negotiation position.

Our work will prepare the way from the "Ghetto of the Art" in life.

Democracy.doc is inspired by Joseph Beuys's idea of social sculpture. It is an interactive space for investigating the role of the contemporary artist.

We do not want to make projects that excludes other people. Ours is an anti­elite work that is open to all, everyone is invited to participate.

We have an idea we call 'Healing Theatre'. It is a different kind of theatre research in which all participants ( both artists and audiences) take active roles in the performances that are meant to confront crisis. In these performance, everyone makes an active contribution and, in that sense, every participant becomes an artist.

They also perform one­on­one work with individuals who use theatre methods to come to terms with their own life crises. Sometimes, the results of this process are also shared with the public.

Democracy.doc also works on projects we call Memory Drama, where the issue are events from the biography of an individual person or collective crisises provoked by the history of a group, town, country etc.

According to the German artist Udo Kultermann, the artist is the shaman of contemporary society. He or she not only produces objects, but performs an act of self­sacrifice for the sake of society.

Through his or her own process of sacrifice, he or she stimulates the healing process in others.

One must accept his or her healing process. Our theatre facilitates contact with the HERE and NOW and asks participants to confront their own personal pain and fears. We work in the spirit of Joseph Beuys's words, 'You must show your wounds in order to be healed. If you do not show your wound, you cannot be healed'.

These projects also have a theoretical component. Democracy.doc is planning to publish a series of scholarly and theoretical studies that investigate the connections between contemporary theatre and everyday life. At the end of 2013, Elena Margo began offering a series of lectures about her experiences traversing the boundaries between theatre, therapy, and psychology. She has presented her work at the National Center of Contemporary Art (NCCA) in Moscow, the University of Portland (USA), the summit 'World Work in Warsaw: POLITICS AND CONSCIOUSNESS IN THE CHANGING WORLDNEW SOLUTIONS: FROM HISTORY TO THE FUTURE'and the at Goethe Institut Sofia.



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