On Saturday, 26 May about 30 protesters from an extreme right movement disrupted the performance of the play “Our violence and your violence” by Croatian stage director Oliver Frljic at the theatre festival “Divadelni Svet” in Brno. Protesters climbed onto the stage and formed a human shield to prevent the audience from watching the play while some booed and threw pieces of paper at the actors from the Mladinsko Theatre Ljubljana. The protesters were eventually thrown out of the theatre by riot police.
Czech Cardinal Dominik Duka has condemned the festival in a letter on behalf of other bishops, from featuring the play. The theatre festival has resisted demands the play be withdrawn from the programme. Based on “The Aesthetics of Resistance” by Peter Weis, “Our Violence and your Violence” is Frljic’s comment on Fascism and Islamophobia.
Update: On 29 of May the Mladinsko Theatre has sent a letter of protest to the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Ljubljana. The theatre declares “that the Brno police, the instrument of Czech authorities, did not come to prevent the violence and protect freedom of speech and artistic expression, but were rather waiting for the violence to happen before they reacted.”
Sources: N1, MDR Kultur, Radio Prague, Mladinsko Theatre
Russian FSB investigated a case of embezzlement of 645,000 Euro for the construction of Malyi Teatr’s new venue. The internationally renowned theatre has been led by artistic director Lev Dodin for more than 35 years now and belongs to the leading theatre institutions in Russia. The case creates an atmosphere of intimidation, even though the investigations are officially directed at contractors commissioned for the new building.
Sources: Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Interfax, Moscow Times
A district court in Moscow has extended Russian theater director Kirill Serebrennikov’s house arrest by three months. His house arrest was due to expire on Friday, Jan. 19.
Also, investigators doubled the damages against Serebrennikov’s studio from 68 million rubles to 133 million rubles.
Sources: Moscow Times, Dozhd TV news
The festival announces, that all three Polish performances which were canceled before due to cuts of governmental funds, will remain in the program. The success came after launching a fundraising campaign and with the support of the local and international artists community. “Without you” wrote Tomasz Kireńczuk, the Programme Manager, “there would be no 9th ITF Dialog-Wroclaw, which this year’s slogan ‘Onwards! But where to?’ takes on a whole new, significant meaning today.”
Source: Dialog Festival
Protesters had been occupying the theater since Friday night. They intended to develop a “People’s Stage” over the next three months, as well as an “anti-gentrification center” and a “parliament of the homeless”, running by a collective two-year interim council. After days of negotiations and an ultimatum, allowing the occupiers the use of only the Green Salon and the outside Volksbühnen-Pavillon, Chris Dercon, the recently appointed director of the Volksbühne, filed yesterday a complaint against the occupiers. During the eviction, most activists left voluntarily, while five had to be carried away by police. In 2014, Chris Dercon was part of the jury that awarded Teatro Valle – the occupied theater in Rome – the European Cultural Foundation’s Princess Margriet Award.
Read the full report on hyperallergic.com
Two weeks before the opening, the festival is confronted with the situation, that the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage decided to withdraw its funds. The decision was made due to the festival’s decision to invite the very controversial “Klątwa” (The Curse) from Powszechny Theatre Warszaw, directed by Oliver Frljic. The organisers decided now to to cancel 3 Polish spectacles of the main programme: “The Enemy of the People” by Jan Klata from the Helena Modrzejewska National Stary Theatre in Krakow, “Hymn to Love” by Marta Górnicka, which is a co-production of the Polski Theatre in Poznań and the Chorus of Women Foundation, and “One Gesture” by Wojtek Ziemilski from the Nowy Theatre in Warsaw. Tomasz Kireńczuk, the Programme Manager of the 9th Dialog-Wrocław ITF stated: “We maintain the position that an attempt at eliminating artists and phenomena which – due to political and ideological reasons – are disliked by the authorities should be met with unequivocal protest.”
Source: Dialog Festival