The Polish director and singer Marta Górnicka presents a choral piece with 24 refugee women from Mariupol, Kiev and Bucha, a healing ritual inspired by the ones dedicated to women in the seventh century BC.

“Our performance is about women and war. About defense mechanisms and responsibility. About our reaction to a war in Europe. About the rituals of wartime violence against women and civilians which are unchanging.”

In this project, hope and love transcend human cruelty. Onstage: 25 Ukrainian, Polish and Belarusian mothers and their children. The voices convey Ukrainian children’s voices full of life, traditional songs, magic spells and striking political statements. They are the refugees from Mariupol, Kyiv and Bucha. Some of them fled the war; others, persecution. They all have a place in the Heart of Mothers, which follows an operatic form that dates back to ritual women’s choruses from the seventh century BC. A chorus is an embodiment of collective, transgenerational wisdom, and it offers us the opportunity to imagine the unimaginable, like a world without war. Similar to the pre-Christian choruses whose main purpose was to care for citizens, individual experiences coexist alongside the collective imagination in these encounters, workshops and laboratories. The goal is to heal through community with a polyphony of voices and critical discourses.

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