Inside Frozen Geographies

Edgaras Klivis
2021 Nordic Theatre Journal  
After the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula by the Russian Federation in 2014, the attitude of Baltic theatre producers and artists towards cultural and institutional partnerships with Russian theatres and their involvement in the mutual artistic exchanges, tours, common projects, and networking changed; not only due to these exchanges becoming a controversial issue in the public eye, but also due to the polarization they caused in the artistic community itself. Some artists, like Latvian
more » ... s, like Latvian stage director Alvis Hermanis, have decisively terminated all their previous creative partnerships, arrangements and tours, calling also other theatre artists "to take sides". Others, like Russian stage and film director Kirill Serebrennikov who, for years, had been involved with Baltic theatres, would regard taking sides as a disastrous yielding of culture to the logic of war – theatre should be kept as the last link between societies gradually separated by reciprocal propaganda insanity. Building upon these conflicts describing the changes in intercultural theatrical cooperation between Russian and Baltic theatres, the article focuses on the analysis of three productions: Dreams of Rainis by Kirill Serebrennikov at the Latvian National Theatre (2015), Alexander Pushkin's play Boris Godunov directed by Eimuntas Nekrošius at the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre (2015) and Brodsky/Baryshnikov staged by Alvis Hermanis at the New Riga Theatre in 2016. All of the performances refused to stay inside the frameworks marked for them by the regimes of propaganda wars, public diplomacy, or dispositif of security, but focused instead on the possibilities of intellectual disobedience.
doi:10.7146/nts.v32i2.124357 fatcat:7gumsjcwt5fb5ml5hps3fx65qi