The project participants are people who have not have experience in public speaking as actors, but they have a desire to reach the public and tell a story. At the appointed hour in each of the cities, participating in the project – St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Copenhagen – the storytellers will go out into public urban spaces (cafes, libraries, shops, museums, galleries) and begin their story simultaneously. Each of the viewers can hear only one story “alive” – and at the same time, realize that this is only one of several (and in fact, one of hundreds of thousands) stories that they have heard. Unheard stories are an essential part of the process. 

The fact that the stories will be told in the urban space is an important signal about the urban space, which belongs to the townspeople, people, and “subjects” of society. When meeting in public spaces, people can follow not only the functional purpose of the place (to take books –  in the library, to eat – in cafes), but also to talk. After each of the performances a discussion and dialogue caused by a story will take place in each of the places.

The theme of the story is “How I Survived.” The topic is both broad and concrete, stories can be both tragic and comic. The topic is very personal, about overcoming, about experience, about what happened to this particular person and what he can share about it. It is no doubt, each person has a story on survival. It may be a story of literal salvation from death, or it may be a story of overcoming a psychologically difficult situation, adapting to new conditions and other cases of how the impossible became possible. It is important for each of us from time to time to listen to stories how «life conquers death in an unknown way to science” (Daniel Harms). It is only necessary to create conditions for this story to be told and heard.

Curators help prepare a person who first came out into the world in order to publicly tell his story in a non-theater space to feel confident. They do not intrude on the content of the story, but help a person find the right words, arrange the story so that the main thing is in the foreground. Their main function is to be an interlocutor.

On the eve of the event, you will receive an invitation indicating the address – we will use the random number generator to determine which platform to offer you.

We will record all the stories on video, and later you will be able to see other stories in the recording.

GOROD.RAZGOVORY is an international project implemented with the support of the Danish Institute of Culture, the Danish Arts Foundation, the Danish Ministry of Culture and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Petersburg + Copenhagen + Yekaterinburg

Alma Mater Foundation (St. Petersburg)
C: NTACT Theater (Copenhagen)
Presidential Center of Boris Yeltsin (Yekaterinburg)
Danish Institute of Culture in St. Petersburg
Embassy of the Kingdom of Denmark in Moscow
Danish Arts Support Foundation
Danish Ministry of Culture

Director about the project

Boris Pavlovich, artistic director of the “Razgovory” project (Alma Mater Foundation):

This project met several creative impulses.
We would not have decided to do this work if it weren’t for our Danish colleagues from the C: NTACT theater (Copenhagen), which has existed for many years as a documentary theater in which there are no professional actors at all – only the characters themselves enter the stage to tell about their experience. They make performances with teenagers, migrants, prisoners, representatives of various religious faiths and social groups. The philosophy of the theater is described simply – “to give the voice”, to give a voice to those who are usually not visible and not heard.

The “Kvatira” project, which was launched several years ago by Alma Mater Foundation, also studied the communicative possibilities of the theater, but, so to speak, “under the microscope”. The format of meetings in the safe space of an old apartment filled with many “living” things with its own history and atmosphere blurred the barrier between actors and spectators and allowed everyone to find themselves and a common language with a stranger who was nearby. Our professional participants – actors, directors, playwrights, organizing specialists, psychologists – helped actors with mental features, students of “Anton is right here” center in this process. And from the “followers” ​​ they became real masters of the situation – in the full sense of the word they found their voice, became interlocutors. 
Now we want to expand our experience (including the experience of support, co-authorship) to new participants. If “Kvartira” was a common meeting place, now the meeting place is public space. This is still not a theatrical space, and the theater arises due to the fact that the narrator turns his life experience into drama, he himself becomes the character and performer of this performance. Of course, this idea has its tribal ties – first of all, of course, with the “theater for himself” of Nikolai Evreinov. There In St. Petersburg have already been precedents for a theater unfolding in urban space with townspeople in the lead role – this is, first of all, the independent project “Untouchable” of Nochlezhka Foundation, directed by Mikhail Patlasov, dedicated to homeless people, and “Teatr. Na vynos ”, the performances of which spontaneously appeared in different parts of the city as a personal meeting of director Alexei Ershov with an interesting person – a taxi driver, street chess player, a boy who has no one to play football with and other city heroes.

As a topic, we took an acute situation – “How I survived.” If we talk with people in the midst of the bustle of a big city, then it should be a serious topic. Despite the harsh name, these are success stories, victories. But in our case, these are not Hollywood fairy tales and not the stories of “great” people who teach their fans down, but the stories about the situation in each person’s life when he needs to accomplish a small (or big) feat. These stories are not about circumstances, but about actions.