Ucraina pro Europa e violenta?
Siamo stati in Ucraina su invito di un Comitato Locale e di Hjalmar, chiamati in solidarietà ad allenare al Teatro dell'oppresso un centinaio di attivisti e artisti.
La situazione è critica, dopo mesi di occupazione delle piazze da parte di un movimento composito, dove molto forte è la presenza al momento di nazionalisti ed estrema destra, ma che contiene anche un'interessante esperienza di autogestione della piazza.
Difficile descrivere le emozioni di arrivare nella piazza centrale di Kiev attraverso dei passaggi tra filo spinato e barricate fatte di neve e sacchi dell'immondizia, vedere un centinaio di tende col fumo che esce dai camini, persone in abbigliamento militare armate di bastoni, caschi e maschere antigas che sorvegliano gli ingressi, bandiere di estrema destra insieme ad altre nazionali, le foto dei morti, della polizia Berkut che spara... e poi improvvisamente un pianoforte che suona una dolce melodia. Moltissimi volontari cucinano per occupanti e non, altri puliscono le strade o si occupano dell'informazione.
Dopo I 5 morti di Gennaio a Kiev la piazza (Maitan) è tuttora occupata, così come in altre città, da un accampamento stabile, dove centinaia di persone oppongono resistenza al Governo, sfidando l'inverno ucraino.
I 6 Jokers chiamati da Hjalmar hanno lavorato in 5 diverse regioni, conducendo un laboratorio di TdO di 3-4 giorni con performance finale. Nella regione dell'est, il Donetsk, l'attività è stata malvista da un gruppo locale preo-governativo che ha minacciato i partecipanti; nonostante questo Hector Aristizabal, su decisione del gruppo, ha continuato il lavoro, senza ulteriori pericoli.
A Kiev abbiamo condotto in parallelo due workshop, io e Olivier (Belgio) e domenica c'è stata la rappresentazione finale di ambedue, in un palazzo occupato dal movimento.
Un centinaio i presenti, molto coinvolti, che hanno visto immagini, scene, canzoni e poesie susseguirsi quasi sullo stesso tema: Maidan, le divisioni nel movimento, la mancanza di ascolto da parte del Governo, la speranza e la sfiducia.
Nel nostro Forum, sono intervenute varie persone, alcuni hanno preso l'occasione per fare delle dichiarazioni o appelli, un signore ha cantato “O sole mio” in nostro onore, compresa la versione ucraina.
Il gruppo con cui ho lavorato era giovane, composto da militanti del movimento di piazza e da artisti, che hanno contribuito a uno spettacolo finale, a detta di molti, toccante emotivamente.
Curiosamente mischiando inno nazionale, molta emozione e analisi dei meccanismi oppressivi, in una maniera molto distante dalla culture a cui siamo abituati in Italia.
Il gruppo dei 6 Joker si è confrontato ogni sera via Internet sul processo, mentre altri sparsi nel mondo hanno collaborato con video, suggerimenti, supporto economico.
Nei prossimi giorni Hjalmar e il comitato locale avranno diversi momenti per riflettere coi partecipanti e decidere come proseguire.
Siamo rimasti in contatto per future collaborazioni, in solidarietà.
COMMENTS AND OTHER NEWS
Dear Hjalmar and everyone else in this warm circle,
Joker Tsunami in Kiev
On February 10th 2014 (the day I turned 59), Hjalmar Jorge Joffre-Eichhorn, a German-Bolivian Theatre of the Oppresed (TO) practitioner based in Afghanistan, sent me an urgent mail from the Ukraine. He had responded to a call from colleagues in Kiev to come to their country to help organize grassroots TO sessions on the streets in support of the opposition. Through an online campaign he managed to convince a number of TO jokers (facilitators) to travel from overseas to the Ukraine, including Hector Aristizabal, Brent Blair and 4 other foreign artists. In his mail of 10 February was a link to some powerful photographs:
and a link to a special youtube channel reporting on the work of the Jokers in Kiev:
Needless to say, this was a powerful intervention in one of the most volatile, politically complex, and violent situations in the world today. Hjalmar reports that they were able to work in 5 different Ukrainian regions, including the pro-Russian East of the country. And while there were some tense moments with pro-government demonstrators and secret police accusing the jokers of being ‘foreign agents’ and local goons threatening to stop the theatre activities, Hjalmar, his Ukrainian colleagues and the foreign jokers were once again left ‘amazed by the power of TO to create true dialogue’. Before he left the Ukraine, Hector, who – together with Luc Opdebeeck - will be at our next International Community Arts Festival in Rotterdam between 26 and 30 March, wrote the following: ‘We hope that some of the people involved in the project will continue doing the urgent work of reaching out to the other side and engaging in further dialogue so they can truly imagine a different outcome to the current polarization of the power relations in Ukraine. I agree with Hjalmar that our focus as international participants must be now in finding ways to continue supporting the efforts of the local organizers that are highly motivated and committed to continuing the work’.
We’d like to create space at our upcoming event next month to spread the word, provide updates about engaged arts practices for dialogue in the Ukraine, and generate concrete support.
Eugene van Erven, artistic director ICAF
As of funds maybe someone should contact this ex-ukranian that just beacme a billioner
Between February 11 and 18, seven international Theatre of the Oppressed practitioners were invited to visit different parts of Ukraine as part of a locally-led, crowdfunded “Theatre for Dialogue” (TfD) initiative with the aim to promote grassroots dialogue among Ukrainian citizens from different walks of life about the current highly complex, at times contradictory and increasingly violent situation in the country.
Since late November 2013, hundreds of thousands of ordinary Ukrainians have consistently expressed their growing frustration with a national government unwilling to ensure that all Ukrainians, and not just a small business elite and government-apparatshiks, can live a life of dignity and freedom. The original cause for what is commonly known as the “Euromaidan” protest was the failure of president Victor Yanukovich to sign an (admittedly potentially adverse) association agreement with the European Union, which has since grown into a full-blown protest movement tired of economic mismanagement, lack of democratic accountability, endemic corruption and selective justice among others.
After the first deadly clashes between protesters and riot police on January 19 and the apparent failure of the national government and political opposition to resolve the stalemate, a group of local human rights activists, all of whom had previous Theatre of the Oppressed experience, decided that it was urgent to address the growing anger and hopelessness among ordinary Ukrainians by creating opportunities for horizontal dialogue via an artistic, creative and embodied response. The Theatre for Dialogue initiative was born.
Concretely, TfD activities were carried out in 5 cities of Ukraine, covering the main geographical regions of the country. A total of six 3-day Theatre of the Oppressed workshops followed by the same number of public Forum Theatre performances brought together hundreds of spect-actors invited to critically reflect on what is happening in the country and try out in action some of their ideas for non-violent change.
Unfortunately, in one region, home base of the Ukrainian president and his entourage, the theatre activities were met with threats, persecution and protests, though luckily everyone involved managed to conclude their participation unharmed. In the other regions, the vast majority of those who took part in the initiative, either as performers or audience, expressed their delight at being involved in a genuinely people's-led dialogue that promoted the voices and perspectives of those hitherto ignored and/or silenced.
Besides, according to a number of workshop participants, Theatre for Dialogue enabled them to find their own role in and contribution to the protest movement. In the words of one of the participants: “I do not see myself with a gun in my hand. And neither can I accept merely providing food or clothing for those protesting out on Maidan (the main square in Ukraine's capital Kyiv, where the protesters have been camping for almost 3 months). For weeks I was looking for a more creative, human way of getting involved. Theatre for Dialogue is exactly what I was searching for.”
Finally, the Theatre for Dialogue initiative set in motion a great desire to continue to use different forms of participatory, interactive theatre in the future. Both in those regions where activities took place as well as in other parts of the country, local activists have already contacted the TfD organizers with the request for further theatrical actions. In short, the buzz generated has been enormous and it now appears possible that TfD will become a major way of involving the people of Ukraine in the creation of a better, more democratic and just Ukraine for all.
For more info: https://www.facebook.com/theatrefordialogu
Video that gives me a hope
our team in Chernivtsi signing African and Jewish songs on second
Dear Brent can you remind the powerful words of the Jewish song
please) would like to post
them on fb page
+1) where is the left wing in this situation
The history of Maydan protests did not give much space for the ideology of left wing, possible it mostly connected with ideology of Maydan by itself as a playground of grouth national self-awareness and own vision of independent Ukraine.
There were several attacks on the left activitsts during November-December 2013
I know that some left-wing activists organized initiative „Duty in hospitals”
a lot of them were în Ukrainian House linked to art groups, they continued to do presentation on Maidan of their magazine „Common”
they participated în the Open University initiative on Maidan with movies, lectures but not may always opnely articulting who they are
2) what do you think about the situation after Yanukovic dismission
I prefer to keep my fingers crossed on actions of political leaders, who could not cope with Victor Yanukovich, but give them one more chance. The ordinary people by price of their lives and health won for them this chance. The ukrainian politicians from opposition will face now with economical difficulties, when developing political relationsheeps with EU, USA and Russia. As well they will face with inside country tensions – the Parlament of Crimean Autonomy began to discuss possible actions of separation. The question is who will take on himself or herself this political responsibility for all of these issues? As concerning to Victor Yanukovich, I will prefer to implement the Roma statute in Ukraine for having a chance to Mr. Victor Yanukovich visit one more time Hague with working visit above him for international judges.
Unfortunately we have another dictator coming în – Yulia and all the people for whom Rada voted în the Parliament are from Batlivshyna, they already forgot about dead people and just want the power....
Yesterday on FB the majority of people were very very negative about place of Tymoshenko în the politics at all, today several protest actions will be held near Parliament, slogan of one of them „Yulia to pension! Technical Government!”
So, the message we dont wnat change of faces but the system itself is not tru for now and young politicians are still marginilized.
3) History and compisition of OC: who are they, what do they want, how it was set up, etc.
My vision of OC: Me as a part of OC and civic society had a strong will to realize through the group work and Theatre of opressed work our points of misunderstanding in our closest circles and our society, what factors divided our society, what kind of fears were standing above it, what every of us could make personally and where was my place in this situation. For me it was very important to touch sensitive topics and discuss those not only within our group, but to have public perfomance and give voice to visitors from auditorium. To research and to feel – what could resonate to all of us toghether.
I learned about TO în October 2012 during workshop delivered by Hjalmar and there were several ther inspisred by TO Ukrainina NGO activists who afterwards were looking for various possibilitites to settle basement for TO work în Ukraine aș they way of reach out to the marginilized communities, în my work - migrants communities.
My vision for this event – with TO to discover the complexity of the Maidan phenomena through live stories, what means to be part of Maidan, various motivations people have and how all of them can be part of new furture of Ukraine and more important to unite two major categories of doers and thinkers that always go apart and though TO techniques to show how democracy can work and what means real dialogue – for your and your opinion I say yes even though they are opposite!
Dear Roberto and colleagues,
please some piece from far-right monitor Vyacheslav Likhachev who recently moved to Israel from Ukraine and whom I trust on 100% as we jointly work on hate crimes monitoring
Some have taken the prominent presence of the far-right Svoboda Party, the two attacks, and scattered sightings of swastikas spray-painted on walls as signs that danger to the Jewish community exists. However, Vyacheslav Likhachev, an expert on the far-right associated with the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, feels differently.
Speaking with the Post on Sunday, Likhachev said that even with all of the Svoboda activists on the streets, not one attack against Jews that could be tracked back to the Maidan protesters has occurred.
The two incidents of anti-Semitic violence since the begin - ning of the protests, he alleged, were most likely provocations by the government looking for a pretext to clamp down on its political opponents.
“There is no real special danger for the Jewish community due to anti-Semitism from protesters,” he said.
According to Likhachev, the authorities tried to recruit him to take part in a propaganda campaign against the protesters and he believes that, given the lack of emphasis placed on Jews and other ethnic minorities by the opposition, including such factions as Svoboda, it is more likely that the attacks were part of this alleged campaign.
“The question of ethnic minorities was not on the agenda of the protest movement,” he said.
Svoboda, which catapulted itself from its status as a fringe group into Ukraine’s fourth biggest parliamentary faction during 2012 elections, has been accused of anti-Semitism by liberal and Jewish organizations, and party leader Oleh Tyahnybok has come under heavy criticism for a 2004 speech accusing a “Muscovite-Jewish mafia” of ruling the country.
Likhachev believes that the party’s success seems to have largely stemmed from discontent over Yanukovich, and with him out of the way Svoboda may disappear as well.
Опиратися можна лише на те, що чинить опір
TSUNAMI FLYING JOKER PROJECT IN KIEV
KIEV 13-16 FEBRUARY 2014
I try to keep the lines drafted by Hector’s group, but the evaluation is only mine.
1. Evaluation of the project:
As far as I understood there were two main expectations:
- to learn method and technique
- to explore by theatre Maidan experience
---> Achieved results:
- For me the group succeeded to perform when last day was completely in the chaos with different ideas.
- Moreover we created a good performance and most people could express emotionally deep visions of Maidan
- Finally some of them learnt technique to be used elsewhere
- most people understood how much useful could be TO in this situation for the movement
---> Lessons learned:
Sometimes directing as a classical theatre director can be useful to achieve a result in common as group and not being frustrated because is difficult to reach a common idea, but this is a contradiction with TO philosophy!
---> Potential anticipated risks (before the project):
Maybe lack of participants or risk to play in open air
2. Plans for the future:
The group aims to continue to train and do theatre, some desired more trainings.
Some want methodological support (books, manuals)
- I tried to see if it is possible for Ukrainian to come in Erasmus plus program. Also I invited my group to join for free in the next training in Italy from 10 to 15 march, about Aesthetics of the Oppressed.
- I made 2 interventions to a national radio and had 3 articles published
- how is possible to find ALTERNATIVES to violence of power or Nazis?
- what relations could/should we have with the fascist part in the movement?
- how to sustain the theatre symbolic atmosphere against the militarisation of the movement?
- is the piano/theatre/art enough strong against gas-mask/helmets/sticks/Molotov?
- is an other culture possible in Ukraine?
- how to sustain the impulse we gave in 5 cities to 6 groups?
- how to make people in our countries a little more aware about the Ukraine situation and finding useful support?
- In Italy we have a lot of female Ukrainian in private assistance.. how to involve them?
1) What kind of citizen participation is happening in and through the theatre?
I think we have to create an artistic atmosphere that can tackle violence and start dialogue. For this we need to be strong, coordinate and brave.
2) How is it being absorbed or applied by the Ukrainians who invited this initiative?
I don’t know. We should ask this question however.
Proposals for TO in Ukraine:
to make several Forum about the movement ideas, the different perspective
to use Forum and Legislative to train citizens to democracy and dialogue
to use TO to involve people not pro Maidan but maybe critic or indifferent
to use TO as a tool to create a strategy for the democratic part of this movement
to use TO to train people to develop ideas, to speak with population, to focus on specific problems and solutions in order to involve more citizens in the movement
to sue TO to find how to manage the Nazi presence in the movement
to organise a meeting woth various TO groups in the country and democratic sector of the movement for collaborating
Interview on a local newspaper 25.02-2014
Intervention live on a national radio the 4-3-2014
then download the file from
PRIMA PAGINA DEL 4-3-2014 FILO DIRETTO
click on the button DOWNLOAD
my speech is from minute 1 to 4
I have downloaded also my previous intervention to the same radio the 19-2-2014, but now is not available on the website
Interview on a catholic national magazine regular and on line, 6-3-2014
I had also an interview with a journalist of Espresso, a national leftish magazine. I wait to see the article.