Моя маленькая Антарктида (My Little Antarctica)Photo: © Julie Cherki
Моя маленькая Антарктида (My Little Antarctica), Photo: © Julie Cherki 
Моя маленькая Антарктида (My Little Antarctica)Photo: © Julie Cherki
Моя маленькая Антарктида (My Little Antarctica), Photo: © Julie Cherki 
Моя маленькая Антарктида (My Little Antarctica)Photo: © Julie Cherki
Моя маленькая Антарктида (My Little Antarctica), Photo: © Julie Cherki 
Моя маленькая Антарктида (My Little Antarctica)Photo: © Julie Cherki
Моя маленькая Антарктида (My Little Antarctica), Photo: © Julie Cherki 
Моя маленькая Антарктида (My Little Antarctica)Photo: © Julie Cherki
Моя маленькая Антарктида (My Little Antarctica), Photo: © Julie Cherki 
Моя маленькая Антарктида (My Little Antarctica)Photo: © Julie Cherki
Моя маленькая Антарктида (My Little Antarctica), Photo: © Julie Cherki 
Моя маленькая Антарктида (My Little Antarctica)Photo: © KnAM Theater
Моя маленькая Антарктида (My Little Antarctica), Photo: © KnAM Theater 
Моя маленькая Антарктида (My Little Antarctica)Photo: © KnAM Theater
Моя маленькая Антарктида (My Little Antarctica), Photo: © KnAM Theater 
Моя маленькая Антарктида (My Little Antarctica)Photo: © KnAM Theater
Моя маленькая Антарктида (My Little Antarctica), Photo: © KnAM Theater 
 

Моя маленькая Антарктида (My Little Antarctica)

by Tatiana Frolova/KnAM Theater
Director: Tatiana Frolova

Studio

Guest Performance FIND 2024
Komsomolsk-on-Amur/Lyon

04/25/2024, 17.30–19.10
In Russian with German and English surtitles

Komsomolsk-on-Amur is surrounded by the taiga in the Far Eastern Federal District: the Russian part of East Asia near the Japanese archipelago. Here, winters last up to six months and temperatures can drop as low as minus 40 degrees Celsius. Tatiana Frolova and her KnAM Theater collective are returning on stage to this »little Antarctica« forgotten by the world after being forced in real life to flee into exile in France: following Russia’s attack on Ukraine, they were at risk as critics of the regime and opponents of the war.

Official historiography claims that Komsomolsk was built in the 1930s by a group of volunteers from the Komsomol communist youth organisation, with the foundation of a metropolis in the most inaccessible region of the Soviet empire a victory of socialism and civilisation over the forces of nature. The truth, however, is very different. In fact, the city was created as part of the gulag prison camp network. Today’s residents can therefore primarily claim two types of ancestors: prisoners and camp guards; the victims and perpetrators of Stalinism. But to this day, they remain silent about it. Based partly on conversations with people from Komsomolsk who are interrogating their own history as well as being inspired by Andersen’s »The Snow Queen«, the production goes to the centre of the eternal ice of the title which is as much an actual reality of life as it is a metaphor: ice that »freezes over human hearts«, leading to social coldness and the preservation of old grudges. The play was initially developed in the collective’s studio theatre in Komsomolsk before Covid-19 and the war and, in that form, was intended for the FIND 2020 which was then cancelled due to the pandemic. The group has since reworked the piece into the present day. Their hometown’s origins in the Stalinist terror and to this day unbroken cycle of violence which is, to a certain extent, embedded in the city’s DNA, takes on an eerie new dimension against the backdrop of Putin’s war of aggression—paradoxically even from the perspective of a place thousands of miles away from the play’s setting.

The KnAM Theatre was founded by Tatiana Frolova in Komsomolsk-on-Amur during perestroika in 1985 as the first Russian independent theatre group outside of any institutions. It began with performances of classical theatre texts before turning to documentary theatre. In her works, which are always created collectively, she combines video, film, photography, sound and theatre and links individual and collective history.

WITH: Dmitrii Bocharov, Tatiana Frolova, Vladimir Dmitriev, German Iakovenko, Ludmila Smirnova, Irina Chernousova
DOCUMENTARY MATERIAL TEXT AND IMAGE, INTERVIEWS, TESTIMINIES, AUTOBIOGRAPHIES COLLECTES BY THE ARTITS OF KnAM THEATRE
TRANSLATION AND SURTITLING: Bleuenn Isambard
SOUND: Vladimir Smirnov
VIDEO: Tatiana Frolova, Dmitrii Bocharov, Vladimir Smirnov
TECHNICAL MANAGER: Sylvain Ricci

Duration: ca. 100 minutes

FIND is supported by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe, Berlin
The reception is kindly supported by Institut français Germany

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