On May 31, 2017 the Women’s Voices documentary play was staged in the Les Kurbas Centre for Theatre Arts in Kyiv. The play is a narrative of Ukrainian women who faced forced displacement.
Before the play, Marta Kolomiyets, the Chairman of the Board of the Ukrainian Women's Fund, thanked the Embassy of France in Ukraine and the United States Institute of Peace for supporting this social art project.
The play is based on true stories of women who were forced to leave their homes in Donetsk and Luhansk regions and the Crimea and had to start lives all over again in Vinnytsia and Kharkiv regions. The stories were collected by volunteers working in these regions to support IDPs.
The play’s production was directed by Oleksandr Kryzhanivsky, the Art Director of the Pechersk-based New Theater of Drama, who also staged the international documentary SEVEN in 2015. As suggested by artist Volodymyr Karashevsky, the Women’s Voices was set in the post office that was hit by a shell with letters of women’s stories scattered everywhere.
The format of the documentary involves stage reading not playing and the readers were people who truly care about their displaced fellow countrywomen and those facing forced displacement.
The readers of the play were Anastasiya Deyeva (Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine on European Integration), Kateryna Levina-Trostyanska (actress from Luhansk region), Ulyana Lib (actress from Donetsk region), Sevgil Musayeva (Chief Editor of the Ukrayinska Pravda (Ukrainian Truth) online newspaper), George Tuka (Deputy Minister of Temporary Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons) and Olha Chubareva (Lady Opera, National Artist of Ukraine).
Despite busy schedules, all actors immediately agreed to participate in the project and attended all rehearsals, although they would often drag on until late at night.
Olesya Bondar, the Ukrainian Women's Fund Director, expressed the hope that such a format would draw attention to the problems facing internally displaced persons. Although their problems may seem not as relevant today as three years ago when entire families started moving from the territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, most of them still remain unresolved. These include housing, employment and attitudes of host communities to IDPs – the integration remains a relevant issue.
A television version of the play will be filmed and made available to a wider audience.
The documentary play premiered at the Les Kurbas Centre for Theatre Arts in Kyiv.
For additional information, please contact the Ukrainian Women's Fund at +38 044 507 0610, +38067 290 5501.