Nebenan. Unabhängige Kunst aus der Ukraine 28.06. – 02.07.2023

With the thematic focus “Next door/Поруч” HELLERAU shows solidarity with the many Ukrainian artists threatened by war and destruction and offers a public platform for presentation, exchange and networking as well as for open work processes. In the spring of 2022, HELLERAU presented independent contemporary artist:ing from Belarus after the downed revolution of 2020 under the title “Nebenan/Побач”. The new edition of “Next door/Поруч” is dedicated to the resistant power of Ukrainian contemporary art, especially in the performing arts. Since February 24, 2022, with the invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops, Russia’s war of aggression with violence and cruelty against the civilian population has continued. Several million Ukrainians have fled to neighboring European countries, and many have since returned home or are once again on the run. Ukrainian artists are engaged in voluntary service, act as medics or as soldiers in the war of defense, develop cultural offerings for Ukrainian soldiers, create donation platforms and continue their artistic work – as far as possible – on site or “in exile”. Remarkable are the many cooperations on a local and international level between artists, initiatives and institutions. New collaborative working relationships and networks are emerging worldwide, for example in the form of residency programs, community projects, or newly founded artist collectives. “Next Door/Поруч. Independent Art from Ukraine” invites from 28.06.-02.07.2023 to performances, lectures, workshops, talks and readings by and with Ukrainian artists:inside and intellectuals. On the one hand, the contributions make visible how the war and the tense situation (existing since the annexation of Crimea in 2014) influence the biographies of the invited artists and affect their artistic practice in terms of content and form. Artists reflect on the experience in a very personal, intimate way and move between anger, sadness, fear and the desire for peace and (inner) freedom. At the same time, the program shows the multi-layered identity of Ukraine, its traditions and history, which did not begin after the end of the Soviet Union. In the Festspielhaus as well as in the Kulturgarten HELLERAU presents artistic works and offers the opportunity for encounters, exchange and discussion.

Roza Sarkisian – Queerbaret

Together with the performers Oxana Cherkashyna and Alexandra Malatskovskaya and the curator Agata Siwiak, the queer feminist theater maker Roza Sarkisian develops the idea and practice of a queer cabaret. Together they search for theatrical forms that correspond to the world of work-in-progress. The Queerbaret collective celebrates artistic weirdness, alternative possibilities for the existence of art, and performative efficiency.

Hooligan Art Community – Bunker Cabaret

Hooligan Art Community is an independent theater group founded in 2019 in Kiev. In August 2022, the artists came together in London to work together for the first time since the Russian invasion. The performance “Bunker Cabaret”, which takes its starting point in the air raid shelters of Kiev, reveals the individual war experiences of the artists:inside in an alternately ironic, raw, funny and harrowing way.

Elwira Niewiera, Piotr Rosołowski – Das Hamlet-Syndrom

Five young people from Ukraine talk about their lives after the 2014 Maidan Revolution. Theater director Roza Sarkisian stages a Hamlet adaptation with them, in which they mirror themselves in Shakespeare’s tragic figure and encounter traumas anew on stage. The filmmakers Elwira Niewiera and Piotr Rosolowski use the theater rehearsals and interviews to draw a cinematic portrait of a young generation of Ukrainians who want to change their country – no matter how difficult the circumstances.

театр драматургів – Theatre of Playwrights

On March 12, 2022, the театр драматургів – Theatre of Playwrights, a new theater of playwrights, led by a collective of 20 Ukrainian playwrights, was to open in Kiev. But the war of aggression of the Russian army destroyed this long and carefully prepared premiere. In a cooperation of Schaubühne Lindenfels Leipzig with HELLERAU and the театр драматургів – Theatre of Playwrights, a research project is being developed that will extend over several months and be presented in the form of lecture-performances and readings.


Under the title “DACH”, Fonds Darstellende Künste 2022 has initiated and implemented a residency program for Ukrainian artists in Germany in cooperation with the three networks operating nationwide – the Alliance of International Production Houses, the federal network flausen+ and the Network of Independent Theaters. In view of the war on the European continent, the partners are sending a signal of solidarity and transnational work in the independent performing arts. Connected to HELLERAU and other production houses, Ukrainian artists have worked on their projects within residencies. Some of the artists are now giving insights into their artistic research and work processes in Open Studios and invite to an exchange.

Funded as part of the Alliance of International Production Houses by theFederal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media and by the Federal Agency for Civic Education.