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Milo Rau’s The Moscow Trials


In mild of Alexei Navalny’s demise, be a part of us for a night with the Swiss theatre artist and director Milo Rau to debate his newest documentary undertaking, The Moscow Trials. Milo Rau is regarded by many as essentially the most important politically engaged theatre director working at present, following within the footsteps of Bertolt Brecht and Erwin Piscator. 


Concerning the Documentary Challenge

The Moscow Trials
Congress, Efficiency, Exhibition, Film and E book

When punk activists Pussy Riot have been sentenced to 2 years in a penal camp this summer time for his or her unannounced look in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, it sparked protest rallies throughout the globe. However this was simply the tip of what have been ten years of present trials towards artists and dissidents, trials which Putin’s system used to hinder any type of democratic change in any way.

The undertaking The Moscow Trials makes an attempt to inject impetus into inflexible Russian circumstances by means of the type of political theatre. In Moscow’s Sakharov Heart, a court docket is being arrange through which a three-day trial present will present the stage for the exponents of Russia’s cultural warfare. The photographs of the kangaroo court docket set as much as strive Pussy Riot might be seen in all media retailers this summer time. All around the world, assist actions have been based. The singer Madonna referred to as for the discharge of the activists and Nobel prize-winner Elfriede Jelinek condemned the trial in a pamphlet posted on the Web because the “finish of all democracy in Russia”. A five-minute look on the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow was sufficient to condemn three of the activists of Pussy Riot to 2 years’ imprisonment. On what grounds? Offending the emotions of believers, blasphemy, and agitation towards the Russian nation. An absurd judgement which was met with horror within the West. However what seems to be a sudden epiphany of an authoritarian theocracy has a protracted prior historical past. It begins with the nomination of Putin as Prime Minister in 1999. The previous KGB agent secured his management by closing ranks with nationalist and very orthodox circles. The chaotic, however liberal situations which have been current beneath Gorbachev and Yeltsin quietly started to vanish. These artists particularly who didn’t need to fall into line with the brand new politics of regime loyalty and Russian orthodoxy shortly got here to the eye of a system through which the legislation, the key service, and the media all work collectively intently. With the destruction of the exhibition Warning! Faith in 2003 and the trial of the curators that adopted, the purpose of no return was reached. With the authorisation of the state, the Moscow patriarch referred to as for the “expulsion of demons” and the “salvation of Russia.” After a present trial, the exhibition’s curators barely managed to flee being sentenced to laborious labor, with one of many major defendants taking his personal life. Because of this, dissident artists and activists have been repeatedly pressured to go both overseas or underground, very similar to the current activists of Pussy Riot. “This trial was the demise of vital artwork, it has destroyed the milieu through which we have been in a position to dwell,” stated cultural thinker Michail Ryklin in an interview in a while.

Within the type of political theatre, The Moscow Trials retraces the steps of this story of a state and church-driven marketing campaign towards inconvenient artists. A court docket is being constructed within the Sakharov Heart in Moscow, which beforehand performed host to the destroyed exhibition Warning! Faith in 2003. In a re-enacted present trial with crucial exponents of the Russian cultural warfare, “artwork” faces up towards “faith;” “dissident” Russia towards “true” Russia. There aren’t any actors on stage; as an alternative there are the protagonists of actual, political life: skilled attorneys, a constitutional choose, witnesses, and consultants of all political shades. Within the model of a courtroom drama with an open finish, cross-examinations, summations and disputes on the sidelines of the trial will deliver a few disturbing and conflicting picture of at present’s Russia: are Putin’s cultural insurance policies violating freedom of opinion and human rights? Or is it certainly artwork which is violating the emotions of believers? Who’s the offender, who’s the defender? A randomly chosen lay court docket, made up of six Moscow residents, will attain a verdict after three days. For or towards the artists; for or towards Putin.

A documentary movie, a program, a video set up and a closing exhibition will doc the undertaking and illuminate the socio-political background and results of efficiency artwork.

Idea and Inventive Path: Milo Rau
Curation and Manufacturing: Jens Dietrich
Co-Curation: Sophie-Thérèse Krempl
Stage: Anton Lukas
Sound: Jens Baudisch
Press Launch: Yven Augustin
DOP: Markus Tomsche
Specialist Counceling: Sandra Frimmel
Manufacturing Supervisor and Dramaturgy: Milena Kipfmüller
Assistant Director: Yanina Kochtova
Casting Moscow: Anastasia Patlay
Company Design: Nina Wolters
Net Design: Jonas Weissbrodt

In cooperation with: Deutsches Nationaltheater and Staatskapelle Weimar, Institute for the Performing Arts and Movie / Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, Konzert Theater Bern, Gessnerallee Zürich, Stiftung Gedenkstätten Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora, Memorial Russland, Sacharow-Zentrum Moskau, Wiener Festwochen, Kunstenfestivaldesarts Brüssel, Goethe-Institut Moskau, Fruitmarket Kultur und Medien GmbH.

Funded by: Kulturstiftung des Bundes, Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien.




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