Free Theatre adds colour to gray Minsk (Video)
18:00, — society
Minsk saw the art project Colour Gait Over the Gray.
We completed the fifth year of operation of the theatre laboratory Fortinbras at the Belarus Free Theatre. There are none of those, among the current students, who started then, five years ago. "Turnover" in Fortinbras is high enough and just a few have managed to withstand rigorous training conditions.
An urban art project under a slogan "Colour Gait Over the Gray" became the main exam on theatrical marketing and management this year.
- This is a large scale compositional project that includes seven mini-projects - happenings, flash mobs, photo action, performance. These projects are designed to address both artistic and social problems. Unfortunately, we live in a city that does not provide much incentive for life, but it is our personal goal - to change what does not suit us. If we change a hairstyle, then why not to change a street where we go to work every day? - Victoria Biran says, one of the laboratory students.
The urban art project started on Sunday with two actions - "Verbalization" and "Kids in a Cage."
During the "Verbalization" posters with words "I want, that in Belarus..." and markers were placed at several bus stops in Minsk. Every passer-by were invited to share their opinions on that matter.
- Many people have a desire to get everything around different, but just a few dare to say it out loud, and even more so, to change something. "Verbalization" has been designed to overcome the fear of public statements, and help us to quickly implement our ideas into life, - Alesya said, an organizer of the event.
"Kids in a Cage" – a photoproject of a young mother Nastya, which calls attention to the problems of mothers with children in the urban space:
- Life of a mom in Minsk narrows to a square sandbox: it is difficult to move around with a stroller in the city, there are no rooms for feeding and diapers changing, and there are no children rooms in public places. There is no place for a child in the city. Pregnant women and young mothers are viewed by the society almost as defective ones.
The next day, on December 23, there were two art events. One of them, "Canvases" called for "grabing of your own space."
- Minsk has too many faceless gray walls, shabby concrete fences and empty spaces. I had a desire to fix it and contribute to it by helping coloured spots to appeare, thus making our gray landscape slightly variegated. In several places in Minsk I put large pictures and with my personal example I decided to call artists for their creativity in the urban space, - Andrew says, the event organizer.
During the happening "Self Exposure" everyone who wished were granted paints and brushes.
- Together with passers we made a symbolic act of images presentation of human life history, recalling the importance of a conquest of your own space in the city. We doomed our picture to be blured and smeared under the snow and rain, and thus showed a diffused role of a person in our society, - Olga says, the project author.
On December 24, on Christmas Eve, final actions of the laboratory marathon took place.
- More than half of all the streets of Minsk have been named either in honor of murderers or those who do not have anything to do with Minsk or Belarus. People who live here often do not have the slightest idea, after whom those streets were named. I decided to fill that gap, and briefly describe to residents of some streets of Minsk whose names they were bearing.
Kirill Konstantinov, the action "Who This Man Is" organiser, decided to introduce Minsk dwellers with "urban heroes" using cardboard busts with biographycal texts about people streets were named after.
Sergei Kvachenok was inspired to realisation of an action "Square Metre" by another problem :
- I am outraged by the situation with housing in Belarus. On one hand, it is expensive, and you can afford to buy only 0.6 sq. m. for an average salary in the country, on the other hand: housing loans today – are from 38% to 45%. For me, as a person who does not own property, it's impossible to buy an apartment on such conditions and even a family with two working adults can not afford to rent an apartment in the capital today. Therefore, the only option for me – is to live in a cardboard box, after all the cardboard is much cheaper than concrete.
Sergey has decided to build for himself and others in need of housing, a cardboard quarter and convey a symbolic key as a gift from him to leadership of the Minsk City Executive Committee.
Victoria Biran decided to congratulate passengers of Minsk "100th" bus with winter holidays presenting Christmas songs and sweets, and invited them to sign post cards to political prisoners who can not celebrate the holidays with their family members:
- While some of us spend the holidays with the family, some others are deprived of this opportunity because of their political beliefs. My project "100th, Celebrating!" - this is like a sad holiday, but with faith for a better – Victoria concludes.
During the delivery of their projects and their implementation in the urban environment, the students of the creative laboratory Fortinbras had to solve all the problems related to the organization on their own: from wording of ideas and selection of materials to creation of a design of flyers and direct participation in actions.
Belarus Free Theatre Director Natalia Kaliada, who conducts a course of marketing and management at the studio Fortinbras, has commented on the students' work.
- Today, while doing actual topical theater, it's not enough to be an actor or a director - you have to posses the entire spectrum of theatrical skills to be highly mobile, to have an opportunity to control the entire creative product: from conception to implementation. Today audience want to see on the stage not only a man who knows how to play a personality but also the one who would be a person himself – talented, skillful, with a distinct civil position, and who does not afraid of taboo zones in the art.
Such urban project is not the first in the history of the theatre laboratory Fortinbras. Previous one took place in 2010, and then a cascade of actions went through the centre of Minsk. An idea of one of them belonged to Victoria Kolchina, who became realy concerned by the problem of refusal of blind musicians to get auditions at the Conservatory, and organized a delivery of a piano to the steps of the main music school of the country. Then blind musicians performed on the steps of the Conservatory, thereby declaring their right to equality in the creativity. The finale of that story appeared akin Christmas tale.
- In September of this year on the First Russian TV channel, in the program "The Voice" a blind girl from Belarus, Patricia Kurganova, brought to tears a juror Alexander Gradsky. She was the same girl, whom three years ago they refused to allow an audition in the Belarusian Conservatory, and who then sang on its steps in our project "Wake the City Up!" Patricia did not give up, and today we were proud that we could give her an opportunity to act then, and to believe in herself, - Natalia Kaliada said.
Belarus Free Theatre Artistic Director Nicolai Khalezin added :
- Two months ago the authorities, using threats and blackmail, squeezed us out of the space where we performed for almost six years. If we have been denied space for the performances, we would win more other spaces in the city. The authorities after nine years of the theatre existence had to understand that we would always find our way to the spectators.
Two recent live broadcasting of Belarus Free Theatre performances - "King Lear" and "Trash Cuisine" - gathered more than 45,000 spectators; and the audience of the crediting project of the students "Colour Gait Over the Gray" were counted by tens of thousands of people. I believe, the growth of the audience, in relation to runs in the room with 60 seats, is obvious.