Theatre against bribery – art performance on corruption staged in Kyiv with support from EUACI

On 3rd April “Temporary Inconveniences” played at Stage 6 of the Dovzhenko Centre in Kyiv. The performance was organized by the Tochka Zoru NGO with the support of the EU Anti-Corruption Initiative in Ukraine. Audiences in Poltava already had a chance to see the show.

“Temporary Inconveniences” offers an atypical view on corruption in Ukrainian society. The authors of the performance deliberately stayed away from moralization in their communication with the viewer, offering instead dialogue and open discussion on a common problem.

Вистава "Тимчасові незручності"

When creating “Temporary Inconveniences” director Pavlo Yurov referred to the experience of European social and political theatre but used his own feelings on the issue, choosing methods that would best resonate with the audience. The result is interactive theatre where the actors’ performance in real time is broadcast on a screen and accompanied by video installations and electronic music. The actors are in a constant state of reincarnation, sometimes playing characters and other times telling stories from their own lives.

Вистава "Тимчасові незручності"

Pavlo Yurov says that for several years he has used his work to raise acute social issues in Ukraine. An integral part of his performances is the communication with the audience at the end.

 “There are discussions after each performance,” says the director. “We show real, not abstract, situations that strike a chord with people. We give our viewers a chance to share their views on the problem and provide an outlet for thoughts that we often keep to ourselves. This helps to better understand the origins and perceptions of corruption in our society.”

Viewers welcome this approach. “It was very unusual to not only watch but literally take part of the performance. It’s like a news story that you suddenly become part of and are forced to internalize the characters’ experiences. This approach makes you think and helps you look at corruption from a different angle,” said a member of the audience at the Kyiv premiere.

Вистава "Тимчасові незручності"

“Our goal is to reflect on the collective experience of corruption to make the audience think about where corruption comes from in Ukrainian society, why we allow it, and how we can counteract it,” says Anastasia Herneha, the director of Tochka Zoru.

The idea of audience participation stems from the content. What is shown on stage reflects real stories, not fiction. The performance is based on two high-profile corruption cases from several years ago – one about former Poltava Mayor Oleksandr Mamai, who tried to influence the decision of Judge Larysa Holnyk, and the other about the scandalous Judge Bubrovnyk, who used fake evidence to take a Kyiv apartment away from its rightful owner.

Вистава "Тимчасові незручності"

Anastasia Herneha says they created the performance in 2017, when these cases were getting lots of media attention. It was first shown as part of the Goethe Institute’s project “Art Against Corruption”, but under a different name – “Internal Convictions”. Since then the cases have progressed and the authors reworked the plot and added the actors’ personal stories. The updated performance goes beyond the issue of corruption on the state level and addresses everyday corruption and its perception by ordinary Ukrainians.

The authors don’t know the dates of the next shows but say they’re already working on a new performance about Crimea. We’ll share the information once it’s available.

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