Fear in Ukraine at the Thalia Theatre in Hamburg (Lessing Tage) and Vierte Welt in Berlin

Georg Genoux showed in Hamburg and Berlin a version of his interactive Filminstallation Fear in Ukraine, in which  he added his own voice to the film, that features the words, experiences the words and thoughts of people, who have survived the war  in the east Ukraine.

Project author: Georg Genoux
Film: Benjamin Brettschneider
Consultant (psychotherapist): Elena Margo
​Consultant (Ukraina): Natalia Vorozhbyt

8th of February 2015 at the  the festival "Lessing Tage" at the Thalia Theater in Hamburg,

13th and 14th of March 2015 at "Vierte Welt" in Berlin.

Georg Genoux: Anyone can become St. Nicholas
"The idea of the project has appeared approximately a year ago when citizens in Kiev came to the streets to protect their civic rights and dignity. When events in Ukraine has started, we in the group Democracy.doc had a conversation about telling in theatrical language  about what's going on. One thing is to share an information in social media,  quite another is to communicate with the locals. Also, I felt a strong sence of guilt. There were my close people at the Maidan. They risked their lives and I had been filling very good that time. I was the a head of a good theater in Sofia. Hovewer, I saw recordings from the Maidan. It was scary.

It hadn’t been an opportunity for me to come earlier then November. There were no budget for the project, I prepare everything by myself and the team is working as volunteers. When I finally arrived to Kiev, the war in Ukraine has been lasting for six months. I was invited to Mykolayivka by Natasha Vorozhbit (author of the play "Diary of Maidan", also a volunteer from "New Donbass"). I have known her for more than ten years from the time of joint work in Moscow Teatr.doc. I hadn't expected anything. When I arrived there, I understood — we need to create a performance. For several reasons. The first one is compassion. I met people with such a pain and injures there. We need to express any kind of support.  The second is that I admire the work of volunteers,  everything they do in this city. When working with children from the school, they created a miracle. After the terrible hostilities, in just a week of work they have created an atmosphere of trust, love and respect for each other. Children traumatized by war, were left with the impression of a good human relationship built on mutual support. Volunteers asked me to play St. Nicholas. Surprisingly, I could not present gifts to children. They wanted something more from me - hope, faith in the fact that the war is over and will never happen again. If someone told me a month ago that I will play St.Nicolas in such an old fashioned costume, I probably would not believe it. Hovewer, something terrible has happened. Something wonderful. It is terrible that one out of four children who were coming to me, wanted peace in Ukraine. Mykolayivka needs a miracle. I have read many letters to "St. Nicholas" where it was written: "I wish peace for Ukraine, and a little dog for me." Signed "Julia (a nickname), the first class." City Mykolaivka needs a miracle. All volunteers were St. Nicolases during this week trip.

The idea is to create a performance based on conducted interviews. I went there a few more times, spent almost a month in this city. I want the Germans, Poles, people from Sofia who will also see my performance  to come to Mykolayivka. It is good to send money,  but is better to come. Mostly, in the local administrations  there work people from the corrupt regime of Yanukovych. Another thing is when people come with ideas, skills and physical facilities.  People there are dying  because doctors are not able to do a surgery. People were left without homes after the hostilities. Our neighbors needed absolutely everything.

My show is about that anyone can go there and to become a St. Nicholas. During the performance I want to wear a suit of St. Nicholas. I want to show that there is much more that you can get than at a vacation in mountains or near a sea. I found friends there. Although I usually cautious about this word.

My project will be accompanied by installation - Benjamin Brettscheider made a video about the city. I picked up a lot of staff from the streets.  There will be recordings of real people speeches. Hovewer, if a person is against the use of his or her speech - I will not do it, I do not want to betray their trust. The remaining items and things that I brought back from Nikolayevka will transform according to the context of real events in Ukraine, to our video, to documentary recordings of speeches those who witnessed the events, into the  objects through which you can experience what is happening in this city  and in Ukraine.

The project is developing into several performances. The second is a  play with the pupils from the school in Nikolaevka, which I prepare with Natatsha Vorozhbit (a part of the play will be included into interactive video installation). I and Natasha there are more like secretaries of the play – children create everything by themselves. In Kiev, the performance will probably shown in Autumn. It's about the love for their city . Natasha and I both realized that children need to express love for their city somehow. This is a kind of healing process. People on Maidan understood what is aggression, fear of death. But there were injured people from the terrible hostilities, whether they are guilty or innocent. They need support and attention. People on the Maidan have realized what an aggression and the fear of death mean. But  people there  are injured because of terrible hostilities and it doesn’t matter whether they are guilty or innocent. They need support and attention. When I was in Nikolaevka for the last time, people on the street came up to me, shook hands with me, passed greetings  to volunteers - they are very loved and appreciated for what they did. But there were guys — Donetsk Peopeles Republic supporters who would attack us when we went there with a camera. It is suprisingly in a historical context, but we were saved because we were Germans. If we were from Western Ukraine, the situation could have ended differently. The projects  aim is to establish a  contact between people from Western and Eastern Ukraine and at the contact between Western Europe and Eastern Ukraine. Between Germany and Ukraine. If Europe was a city, then Poland would be the next street from Germany and Ukraine within one street ...."

29th of January 2015  at the DAKH Theater Kiew.

8th of February 2015 at the  the festival "Lessing Tage" at the Thalia Theatre in Hamburg.

13th and 14th of March 2015 at "Vierte Welt" in Berlin.

28th and 29th of April 2015 at the Diana Drama Festival Helsinki.

14th of May 2015 at GRAD Gallery in London.

28th of May 2015 at the festival/laboratory NEDRAma in Sofia.

18th of June 2015 at the forum Doncult in Lviv.

06th of August 2015 at the festival Dirty Drama in Riga.

Also in 2015 at the festival SOPOT NON FICTION in Poland.

Fotos: Benjamin Brettschneider

Heart-breaking Georg Genoux Movie – Anyone Can Be Saint Nikolai.
19th of May 2015. Ukrainien Events in London. By Agne Dovydaityte.

Documentary theatre: Voices of the Donbass in Lodon.
18th of May 2015. BBC Russia.


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