The Russian security services raided the famous theatre

While in Warsaw, the nationalists are preparing to start on a Friday blockade of the theater he Huebner (Zygmunt Hübner), and the staff of the Old theatre in Krakow waiting for the verdict, the appointment of a new Director, a candidate is not satisfied with the actors, in Moscow, the authorities took aim at the “Gogol-center”.

This is one of the most important theatrical centers of the Russian capital. Tuesday in the theatre came the investigators, who were accompanied by employees of FSB and OMON fighters in masks. They are interrupting the rehearsal, assembled the cast and crew of the theater in one room, blocked the entrance to the building and began a search.

At the same time the search took place in apartment of artistic Director of “Gogol-center” Kirill Serebrennikov. In the afternoon, the famous film and theater Director was taken to the Prosecutor’s office, where for eight hours was questioned as a witness. Representatives of power structures have appeared in the apartments of a former employee of the Ministry of culture and the General Director of the independent theatre group “the Seventh Studio”, which was directed by Serebrennikov.

“Gogol-center” on the fly

The official reason for the action is the investigation into the alleged misappropriation of subsidies by the Ministry of culture allocated for the interdisciplinary project “Platform”, the artistic Director of which was made by the Silvers. “Platform” is an independent scene that has merged theatre, dance, music and plastic arts. Since 2011 she has worked at the Center for contemporary art “Winery” post — industrial complex, located near the Kursk railway station.

The means resorted to by the government, disproportionate to the gravity of the alleged offense. In the search warrant refers to the theft of about 1.2 million rubles. In 2014, “the Seventh Studio” involved in the project “Platform”, allegedly signed sham contracts for this amount with the contractors. It is only 1.5% of the annual grants in the amount of 66 million rubles, which was obtained when the Studio. In addition, the “Gogol-center” has nothing to do with “Platform”.

Russian theatre circles found the action of the investigating authorities of trying to intimidate artists and to prevent the development of a new theatre. On the crowd at his demonstration building star of Russian theatre and cinema Chulpan Khamatova, read out a message in support of the “Gogol-center” and Serebrennikov.

The call to treat the theatre and the Director according to the law signed by leading Russian theatre of Oleg Tabakova to Konstantin Bogomolov. An outstanding actor and artistic Director of the Theatre of Nations Yevgeny Mironov, maintaining close contacts with the Kremlin administration gave Vladimir Putin a letter on this subject during the ceremony of presenting state awards, which was held in the Kremlin.

Hitting denunciation in the theater

Why public art was so unusual solidarity? Pieces of silver, and “Gogol-the centre” began in the Russian culture of the last years, a symbol of change. When in 2002 the Director was going through a crisis in the Gogol Theater and turned it into a lively arts center, the authorities began receiving hundreds of denunciations about his activities.

© RIA Novosti, Eugene Novozenina | go to Photobacterium Kirill Serebrennikov

In the place inaccessible to ordinary mortals of the theater “stars” pieces of silver created a democratic art center, which offered viewers a new theatre, cinema, music and plastic arts. There under one roof worked previous ensemble cast, a group of students Serebrennikov and the ensemble of contemporary dance, function library and many other initiatives. The theatre has achieved great success: in 2016, he presented a production of Serebrennikov’s “Dead souls” at the festival in Avignon.

Artistic figures, which are gathered around the theater, has long been infuriated conservatives. They said that the performances are trampling on traditional Russian values, insulting religious feelings, and sounds from the stage profanity. The scandal erupted after the premiere of “Martyr” on the play by Marius von meyenburg (Marius von Mayenburg), which tells about a young Christian-fundamentalist, terrorizing students and teachers, one after another, putting into practice the theses of the Bible. The discontent of right-wing forces was the fact that the leading religion classes, the priest presented in the statement of a negative character, and on TV in the classroom demonstrates Putin’s speech.

Until then, while the Moscow Department of culture was headed by Sergei Kapkov who supported the new direction in art and reform in post-Soviet cultural institutions, at the “Gogol-center” was, as the Russians call it, “roof”. But in recent years the situation has changed: the care Kapkov, the personnel changes in local authorities and the Kremlin has deprived the theater of the defense. “Gogol-center” oriented to the Western centres of art, through the authorities, especially the Minister of culture Vladimir Medinsky — a senior member of the party “United Russia”, which is promoted by the national-religious-Patriotic ideology.

The next victim could be you

“Gogol-center” is not the first theatre, which is interested in power. Previously, in a similar way she tried to intimidate independent Театр.doc that has made a name for himself in documentary productions criticized the dictatorial policies of the government. After the stock FSB related, as discussed with violations in the economic activity of the theater, the team lost the hall in the center of Moscow.

Of the following building troupe after covert intervention by the authorities expelled its owner. Now the theatre has been working on a third address, however, its future in this place remains unclear. Will do the “Gogol-center” fate Театра.doc? While the main effect of the actions of the authorities was the consolidation of the theatrical environment, which defended the freedom of creativity. Artists, as it happens in the history of the Polish theatre in Wroclaw or the National Old theatre in Krakow, solidaritywith with Serebrennikov and “Gogol-center”, knowing that the next time to come can have them.

Poland is not Russia, as the cultural life in our country for the most part is beyond the scope of state control. However, the unfolding of the “Gogol-center” of the scene suggests that, perhaps, such a scenario awaits the Polish independent culture.