Svetlana Petriychuk


“The SOSO Daughters” Independent Theatre Project, Moscow
Presented in the frame of Russian Case 2021
Director: Zhenya Berkovich
Women only worked on this performance about women recruited online by radical Islamists: Svetlana Petriychuk (playwright), Zhenya Berkovich (director), Ksenia Sorokina (set designer), Olga Shaidullina (composer) and nine excellent actresses forming the independent theatre project “The SOSO Daughters”. The characters abandon their friends, relatives, university, work places and travel to the battlefields to meet their beloveds who promised them paradise. These citizens of the former Soviet Union (from Russia to Kazakhstan) initially have to become semi-slaves in militant groups and later return to their homeland as prisoners. The FINIST is based on actual prison sentences and protocols of interrogations of hapless wives of terrorists. The idea of this documentary performance is simple: paradoxically, girls are pushed into the embrace of paramilitary domestic tyranny by patriarchal mores prevailing in their homeland. They flee from the first circle of their patriarchal hell to find themselves immediately in the ninth. Declared as a documentary and feminist project, the FINIST tends to turn into a folk tale and sometimes even into a philosophical parable. The colorful rugs, kokoshniks and sundresses, folk tunes and in general the entire entourage of the performance is a counterpoint to its rigid documentary texture. Behind the flight of the heroines to the far-off kingdom of the East, there is not only a woman's longing for true love, but also the eternal desire for perfection, for a beautiful Finist, who will whisk one away from hateful reality and to a fairy tale island where there is no war and no abuse.

Marina Davydova