History on trial
Performing memory in twenty-first-century Russia
in Witness onstage
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Chapter 2 considers the consequences of Russia’s complex memory culture as depicted in the two productions Gruz molchaniia (Legacy of Silence, 2010) and Vtoroi akt. Vnuk (Second Act. Grandchildren, 2012). Produced by Moscow’s Sakharov Center, these two plays were the first documentary productions to draw audiences into explicit dialogue about the Gulag and Stalinism. By placing the growing scholarly discourse on Russian cultural memory into dialogue with notions of embodied memory as they have developed in performance studies, this chapter illustrates how, through the presentation of historical narratives, Russia’s documentary theatre artists offer audiences renewed access to the past via their performance in the present.

Witness onstage

Documentary theatre in twenty-first-century Russia

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