(August 30th, 2017)
The Political Engagement Committee was founded in the aftermath of last November’s election with the objective of defending and strengthening the Union through both legislative and direct action. These challenging times require that we stay diligent and alert so that we not only protect and advance the employment concerns of our Members, but also creative interests.
In that spirit, we want to share our concerns about the circumstances surrounding the recent arrest of Russian Director Kirill S. Serebrennikov. As leader of the Gogol Center in Moscow, Serebrennikov has established himself as a director whose work illuminates some of the most challenging issues of our times through innovative and progressive classic and new pieces. Regarding his arrest on charges of misappropriation of funds, a recent New York Times article reported this detention as “renewing fears of a crackdown on artists in the country.” The European Film Academy wrote on its website, “There is every reason to believe that Kirill Serebrennikov’s arrest is politically motivated and we respectfully call upon the Russian authorities to have the detained released immediately and unconditionally, and to guarantee his free movement and artistic expression.”
SDC will continue to monitor the situation and encourages Members to stay abreast of developments in Moscow. We have been encouraged to use social media to raise wider awareness and demonstrate support for Serebrennikov.
Here is an article from The New York Times about these events:
Here is an op-ed about these events from a writer with decades of experience as a champion and critic of Russian theatre:
Here is a link to the FB page that has been created to express solidarity:
Here is a link to a petition created by the Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz theatre in Berlin for the release of Serebrennikov (please scroll down for the English version):
We will stay in touch about further direct actions regarding this. As the representatives of stage directors and choreographers in the U.S., SDC will fight to protect freedom of expression in all its forms and for the role of the artist within our communities, nationally and internationally.
Chair, Political Engagement Committee