Was ist jüdische Musik?
Що таке єврейська музика?

Director & Playwright: Anastasiia Kosodii

 Werkraum
 1 hour
 In Ukrainian, German and Russian, with Ukrainian and German surtitles
 15 Euro, 6 Euro reduced
 Werkraum
 1 hour
 In Ukrainian, German and Russian, with Ukrainian and German surtitles
 15 Euro, 6 Euro reduced

A Research on Operation Wisła, during which a large part of the Ukrainian population living in Poland was forcibly resettled in 1947, unexpectedly turns into questioning the complicity of the Ukrainian great-grandfather with the German occupation in Poland. Did he as an auxiliary policeman support the militarized nationalists of the UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army), who were responsible for the murder of Polish and Jewish civilians?

Text and production follow the memory traces of the European history of violence of the 20th century with an attentive and sensitive view. Where do traces break off, where are they missing? Where do memories overlap or contradict each other? The search for remote, forgotten and suppressed (his)stories of a violent Ukrainian, Jewish, German and Polish past requires a decentralized and transnational perspective as well as a polyphonic narrative. Throughout these perspectives, sites open up in which the past and the present are brought in constellation with one another and are suddenly actualized. What does the visit to the Babyn Yar ravine mean to the narrative voice? On September 29 and 30, 1941, German murder squads and their helpers shot more than 33,000 Jewish citizens of Kyiv here. During the German occupation the atrocities continued beyond September 30: thousands of Jewish civilians, Sinti*zze and Rom*nja, Soviet prisoners of war, communists, Ukrainian nationalists, homosexuals and people with disabilities were murdered in Babyn Jar.

“What is Jewish Music?” by the multi-award-winning Ukrainian playwright Anastasiia Kosodii bears witness to the conditions of a narrative in constellation. Together with the lyrics of musician Yuriy Gurzhy and the film footage of video artist Nikolay Karabinovych; between the settings of Saporischja and Nowoslatopil, Charkiw and Kyiv, Popasna, Pervomaisk, Berdjansk and Stachanow, story lines are crossing. In the interstices of narration, questions are gathered and answers are held in abeyance. At the junctures of one memory, links to other memories are sought.

Following the premiere on Saturday, 18 December, there will be an audience talk in English with the participants of the production. This (live-streamed) conversation will explore in which way remembrance and cultures of memory are challenged and contested. How does memory work differ in Ukraine and Germany? Which traditions of memory culture are suppressed by dominant majority discourses? What contribution can cultures of remembrance make to a society’s self-image and how can we create unifying traditions of remembrance? Open questions that call for socio-political and artistic debate.

Following the second performance on Sunday, 19.12, we will try to take the title of the theatre evening literally: “What is Jewish music?”. In addition to Yuriy Gurzhy, who helped create the theatre production as a musician, Daniel Grossmann, founder and artistic director of the Jewish Chamber Orchestra Munich, will join the discussion in German. Coincidentally, he initiated a homonym project in Munich at the beginning of 2021: “What is Jewish music?

Image: Nikolay Karabinovych

A collaboration with Kyiv Theatre of Playwrights.
In cooperation with the Foundation "Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” (EVZ) and with funding from the Federal Ministry of Finance.
  • With: Svetlana Belesova, Alina Kostiukova
  • Director & Playwright: Anastasiia Kosodii
  • Music: Yuriy Gurzhy
  • Video: Nikolay Karabinovych
  • Dramaturgy: Felicitas Friedrich
  • Translation: Lydia Nagel, Beatrix Kersten
  • Surtitles: Martina Simkin
MK Projects Sisterhood
Entfernte Nachbar*innen Kyiv-München
Усі дати з одного погляду. Overview of all dates.

For the Ukrainian text click here

Sat 18.12. 19:00 – 21:00
Premiere Sisterhood Anschl. Publikumsgespräch Festival: Entfernte Nachbar*innen
Sun 19.12. 19:00 – 21:00
Sisterhood Anschl. Publikumsgespräch Festival: Entfernte Nachbar*innen
Was ist jüdische Musik?
Що таке єврейська музика?
  • Werkraum
  • 1 hour
  • In Ukrainian, German and Russian, with Ukrainian and German surtitles
  • 15 Euro, 6 Euro reduced