Burden of proof
New Sincerity and the performance of post-Soviet national identities
in Witness onstage
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Chapter 5 analyzes the 2012 play Uzbek, an autobiographical solo-show about the author’s experience as an Uzbek migrant at the age of 19. Untangling the themes of the play, this chapter illustrates how, by artfully playing the space between sincerity and irony, Uzbek draws out the paradoxical nature of official documents in contemporary Russian culture and thereby addresses the precise complexities of the form in which it is performed. In this way, the chapter demonstrates how Russian documentary theatre artists ask their audiences to consider the contradictory status of documents as material testimonies that represent the untrustworthy aspects of official discourse in post-Soviet culture and, simultaneously, as influential arbiters of individual experience.

Witness onstage

Documentary theatre in twenty-first-century Russia


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