Marta Górnicka about working on „MOTHERS. A SONG FOR WARTIME”


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An extract from the interview conducted by Moïra Dalant with Marta Górnicka for the Avignon Festival.


Your new project provides a space to talk for women who became victims of the war.

— For the last few months I have been conducting workshops in Warsaw with a group of 21 women who were affected by the nightmare of the war in Ukraine and the oppression of political persecution in Belarus, and with those who gave them shelter in Warsaw. At the same time, I am also cooperating with Ukrainian ethnomusicologists in search of what the war cannot touch – the tradition of a living voice and Ukrainian singing. The paradox of this war is that thanks to it we are going so deeply into the culture of Ukraine.


photo: Esra Rothoff


For me, the CHORUS is a tool to look at the defense mechanisms that war triggers in us, but also a tool to recover memory, together with voice and language. But not the voice of women as victims of war, but on the contrary – as its protagonists.


Our cast consists of women aged 9 to 71. They come from Kyiv, Sum, Irpen, and Kherson. They are survivors. They are refugees. They are the witnesses of violence and bombings. Today, these women want to name the unnameable with the power of their voices. One of the creators, Natalia, brought to Warsaw the only thing that she wanted to save from the war: the bandura, a traditional Ukrainian instrument. For me, this instrument is a symbol of the power of the voice and the power of women.


It's about finding what's still alive in the rubble. In a meeting, in a choir. (...).



photo: Justyna Orłowska, Michał Rumas; rehearsals, Powszechny Theatre in Warsaw.



An extract of the speech given in Avignon on the 20th of July 2023:

— The war in Ukraine is still happening. This war has been going on for more than a year now. A war you don't know much about. A war that may sometimes disappear from our sight. A war that's too close to ignore, and maybe that's why we don't want to think about it. Then we easily go from cruel images to cat and dog memes on FB and Instagram. That's why this show is being made.







Teatr Powszechny
im. Zygmunta Hübnera
ul. Jana Zamoyskiego 20
03-801 Warszawa
tickets 22 818 25 16
22 818 48 19