Ukraine. About a thousand inhabitants have returned to the contaminated territories of the Exclusion Zone within a 30 km radius of Chernobyl. They are called samosiols: those who have returned.
Pétro and Nadia never left.
When journalist and writer Cathy Blisson met them in 2009, Pétro and Nadia (both in their eighties) were the only two inhabitants of a ghost village just 4km long. Following the nuclear disaster that exploded on the night of 26-27 April 1986, Zvizdal was declared unfit for human habitation. A dramatic event that affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians, Russians and Belarusians. Status: officially designated for evacuation.
25 years after ‘Chernobyl’, Pétro and Nadia still live there, alone, surrounded by a forest that is slowly growing old with them. In the company of a guard dog, a skinny cow, a llama and a few chickens, they spend their days invoking Stalin and all the saints, waiting for the village to repopulate sooner or later.
A long-term project (from 2011 to 2015), Zvizdal unfolds through the passing of the seasons in a world where danger, invisible, is everywhere. A reflection on isolation, the question of survival, solitude and waiting for death.
Multimedia performance – in Italian
In collaboration with and c/o
Olinda/TeatroLaCucina, Ex O.P. Paolo Pini – via Ippocrate, 45
Concept: Bart Baele, Yves Degryse, Cathy Blisson With Nadia Pylypivna Lubenoce and Pétro Opanassovitch-Lubenoc Scenes Manu Siebens, Ina Peeters, Berlin Interviews Yves Degryse, Cathy Blisson Camera and editing Bart Baele, Geert De Vleesschauwer Sound recording Toon Meuris, Bas de Caluwé, Manu Siebens, Karel Verstreken Translation Olga Mitronina Music composition Peter Van Laerhoven Co-production Het Zuidelijk Toneel (Tilbourg); PACT Zollverein (Essen); Dublin Theatre Festival; Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels); BIT Teatergarasjen (Bergen); Künstlerhaus Mousonturm (Francfort-sur-le-Main); Theaterfestival Boulevard (Den Bosch); Brighton Festival; Onassis Cultural Centre [Athène, GR]; Le CENTQUATRE-PARIS Co-production Le CENTQUATRE-PARIS; Festival d’Automne à Paris In collaboration with deSingel (Anvers) With the support of Gouvernement Flamand.
The show premiered on 12 May 2016 at Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels)
Founders of BERLIN in 2003, directors Bart Baele and Yves Degryse decided not to choose a particular genre, but to venture into the realm of documentary and let the places of their forays guide their inspiration. This philosophy gave rise to two project cycles: Holocene (the current geological era) where the starting point is always a city or other place on the planet, and Horror Vacui (fear of the void) in which true and touching stories are delicately unravelled around a table. The Holocene cycle includes Jerusalem, Iqaluit, Bonanza, Moscow and Zvizdal. The first three episodes of Horror Vacui are Tagfish, Land’s end and Perhaps all the dragons. BERLIN are still working on both cycles. Holocene will end in the city of Berlin (hence the group’s name) with the creation of a docu-fiction project involving the inhabitants of the cities featured in the previous episodes. The company has worked in 27 different countries in recent years, within various circuits: from theatres to exhibition spaces, from festivals to special locations.