is a unique socio-political performance that actualizes and popularizes a collective knowledge of how different communities in Ukraine experience living during the war that started on 24 February due to the full-scale invasion of Russia on Ukrainian territory. The aim of the play is to make the abroad society aware of the context of everyday life of the Ukrainian communities during the war and to have an impact on decision-making processes.
The performance is the first attempt to document and preserve the memory of the historical event taking place in Ukraine today, based on the testimonies of Ukrainian and Roma women who, as a result of the war in Ukraine, were faced with a difficult choice: to stay in their home or to look for another home. Someone has lost their walls, someone is building new ones, and someone is still at a crossroads.
Performers are the donors of the stories and non-professional actors: Anastasiia Tambovzeva, Lilia Titarenko, Kateryna Bodian, Marianna Maksimova, Slava Koshova, Tamara Nauk.
Theatre play director: Vainilovych Nataliia, the CEO of the “Inclusive Theatre Association ART-PLAYBACK”
19.00 – 20.00: Documentary Theater Play
20.00 – 20.30: Reception with drinks and finger food
20.30 – 21.30: Moderated discussion
Language: Ukrainian with a synchronized translation into English
In order to attend a public event, you have to register (Link)
Creation of the play
PHASE I: reconsidering "never again"
Heidelberg (Germany), July 18-22, 2022
The military circumstances that appeared in Ukraine due to the full scale Russian Federation invasion starting from 24 February significantly influenced the youth civil movement. Its Roma part was not an exception. Young Roma who had to leave Ukraine or move within the country faced a huge traumatic experience, separating from their families, losing a stable life and starting a new life from scratch in new conditions. Being separated from the usual circle of peers, friends and people with the same goals and views, Roma youth from Ukraine find themselves in a difficult situation and need support in communication and community building. As the youth is the most mobile part of the community, it was the youth who had to take leadership and responsibility for their families in the crisis – older and younger generations (their evacuation, provision and survival in the new environment), which in turn changed their position in families and caused new challenges and stresses.
Considering this, it was especially important for us to gather (pro)Roma activists to live together and talk about the traumatic experience acquired in recent months, to find support and a path to healing through joint efforts.
PHASE II: theater workshop
Drohobych (Ukraine), September 27 – October 1, 2022
The meeting in Heidelberg was full of empathy and filled with stories that were important to share and not just listen to and pass through.
The documentary play is one of the first attempts to document and preserve the memory of historical events taking place today in Ukraine and to transmit knowledge through the modern medium of a documentary theater. It accumulates knowledge of how today’s generations experience trauma, what difficulties they faced and how they overcome them. A collection of testimonies of different women, where representatives of different ethnicities and origins come together to share their own experiences of the traumatic impact of war on their lives, became the basis for the narrative part of the play. The documentary theater approach also helps to show the complexity and diversity of Ukrainian society, an integral part of which is the Roma community.
PHASE III: public performance in Berlin
Berlin (Germany), December 4-8, 2022
We want to use the opportunity provided by the constant support of European civil society and states, in particular, within the framework of discussions during the Roma Civil Society Forum, to overcome anti-Roma sentiments and alienation of Roma in Ukraine, as well as to present Roma as active citizens who defend the sovereignty of the Ukrainian state side by side with other Ukrainians. While thousands of Roma are fighting in the Ukrainian army, others are organizing humanitarian support and defending the interests of the diverse Ukrainian society in the European political arena.
The public discussion of various dimensions of experiences acquired by (pro)Roma activists in the conditions of war should become an important reminder of the existing need for support and joint planning of future steps to restore post-war Ukraine.