The festival is divided into two halves: ‘Documenting Ukraine: Theatre’ (14–15 May 2015) features two live performances at GRAD: Gallery for Russian Arts and Design, before ‘Documenting Ukraine: Cinema (16–17 May 2015) sees a full program of contemporary Ukrainian documentary films at Frontline Club.
‘Documenting Ukraine: Theatre’ opens at GRAD with the multimedia solo performance Anyone Can Be Saint Nikolai, a play offering insight into the experiences of those most affected by the war in eastern Ukraine. Created and performed by German director Georg Genoux, the performance incorporates documentary video footage and audio interviews to tell the story of the author’s time as a volunteer in the eastern Ukrainian city Nikolaevka.
Also at GRAD is a performance by Ukraine’s leading playwright of the New Drama movement Natalia Vorozhbit, who presents her latest work, an autobiographical play entitled Can I or Can’t I. In this work, Vorozhbit explores the recent political turmoil in Ukraine, reflecting upon what she knew about herself before the protests started – and what she continues to learn as the conflict goes on. As in her celebrated work Maidan: Voices of the Uprising which showed at Royal Court Theatre in 2014, Can I or Can’t I applies Vorozhbit’s insightful and affecting style to a personal investigation of her own experience of life and war in Ukraine.
The performances at GRAD will be followed by a discussion with the artists and a panel of specialists on Ukrainian art and culture.