My Mykolaevka

Authors of the project: Natalya Vorozhbyt and Georg Genoux

Film: Liza Smith and Kristina Lisogub

 

With participation of pupils of the School Nr 3 in Mykolaevka (Donetsk Region, Ukraine)

 

Premiere 23th of April at the School Nr 3 in Mykolaevka and on 19th and 20th of June 2015 at the forum Doncult in Lviv.

 

The project performed at the Gogolfest in Kiew in 2015, toured to Slavjansk and Severdoneodonetsk and Konstanz (Germany). The last performance of the project was on 26th of March 2016 at the festival for documentary kino Docudays UA in Kiev.

 

The team of the project created a kinoversion of the performance. The premiere of this film was on 30th of March 2016 at the Maxim Gorki Theatre in Berlin. Afterwards this film toured to festivals to Vienna, London, Kiev, New York and Minsk.

The authors and the pupils also created a documentary film based of this performance: School #3. This film "School #3" got the Grand Prix Award by the programm "Generation 14+" of the 69th Berlin Filmfestspiele (Berlinale).

 

Mykolaevkas School 3 in Donetsk was partially bombed during the military operations of summer 2014. Initially city officials intended to close the school but, thanks to the work of Ukrainian volunteers from the charity organization New Donbas the school was rebuilt and given a new life. Author Natalya Vorozhbyt and director Georg Genoux joined the New Donbas volunteers on one of their expeditions to Nikolaevka.

During our time there they felt how much suffering remained within this reconstructed school, a place full of deconstructed souls and unspoken pain. So they decided to stay in touch with the children there. Together they came up with the idea to create a performance with them about their lives and their city. They returned to Mykolaevka to spend time with the students and begin the rehearsal process.

 

Their work has since grown into a full production featuring original autobiographical texts written by children in the 8th, 9th, and 10th grades which they perform themselves onstage. They each address how their lives have been affected by the war.

 

These are children who hid in basements while bombs exploded around them, students who had to bury friends and loved ones, people who were ready to give up. This performance testifies to these students remarkable resilience and depicts only a small portion of their incredible strength. The stories they tell need to be shared with others in order to justify the students own experience of trust and belief these are people who truly want to be heard.

Leading article "My Nikolaevka" by Daniel Schulz about this project in the german newspaper taz (Die Tageszeitung).

 

 

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