FRAU MIT AUTOMAT is a deeply autobiographical drama, which is divided into several parts and represents different identities of a woman: a Wife; a Mother; a Mistress; a Victim; a Fury.
The text is based on the experience of the authors` generation, growing up in 1990’s after the split of the USSR, also on the reflection “what is it to be a woman”, are combined with other literary and ideological sources – O. Wilde’s tragedy Salome; a monograph Dear Children of Belarusian sociologist and researcher Anna Shadrina; Sergey Smirnov’s book Brest Fortress; poem of Marina Naprushkina, a Belarusian artist, or citations from Joan Ringelheim’s paper Women and the Holocaust: A Reconsideration of Research.
The solidarity among women, the need to protect and care for others, provide a new context for women’s stories, fates, and survival instinct under the current Belarusian oppressive regime. In epilog testimonies of women from 1940’s are confronted with almost identical testimonies of today’s women from the Okrestina Detention Centre and other Belarusian prisons. There lies a strong political and critical aspect of the performance – not only in the context of the Belarusian hard struggle for democracy, but also in the context of the
global #MeToo movement. The text offers an insight into the author’s intimate
and private sphere (memories of men who dominated her in various forms in her private life; a terrible memory of violence in her teenage years, controversial motherhood experience under social pressure) and connects the experience of women in the past and now. The play is an artistic contribution to the discourse on gender equality and raises questions that are not necessarily limited to the context of Belarus.
Each scene represents different types of theatrical poetics and genres: opera, stand up, puppet theatre, physical action, documentary theatre. The performance is accompanied by live music composed and performed by one of the best Belarusian composers Olga Podgaiskaya.