cyber elf [2022]

We all know images from Mariupol theatre, a symbol of Russian aggression, devastating example of ongoing war against Ukrainian people. Theatre as a shelter, bombed and destroyed, despite clear warning about civilians and children hiding in. Vladimir Putin and his minions declared total war against civilization, humanity and culture, dragging theatre in the middle of the conflict – literally and metaphorically.

But what can theatre do to help Ukraine?

After war started on February 24th, Magda Szpecht (b. 1990) decided to get back to her primary learned profession — journalism. Abandoning her occupation as a theatre director, she chose a righteous way as a Cyber Elf. Fighting Russian trolls, sharing checked information, fighting fake news. Switching her clock to long nights in front of the computer, floating between media channels, online newspapers, Telegram, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and other battlefields of modern conflict. She’s on the first line of cyber war and the stake is truly high: our right to the truth.

This lecture is a summary and an update of Magda’s activity as a Cyber Elf. It’s also a journal of everyday activist struggle. But most of all, it’s a chance for us to see how we can help with the conflict, that sometimes leaves us powerless. 

Written and performed by: Magda Szpecht

Dramaturgy consultations: Olga Drygas

Video: Natan Berkowicz & DZIKI

Music: Krzysztof Kaliski

Special thanks: Kristė Savickienė (SIRENOS) & Olga Drygas (Nowy Teatr)

Curated and operated by ÆFEKT: Michał Rogulski

Polish premiere: 1st September 2022 @Nowy Teatr x Generation After, Warsaw

Lithuanian premiere: 30th September 2022 @SIRENOS Festival, Vilnius

This lecture is a co-production by: SIRENOS Festival Vilnius, Nowy Teatr in Warsaw and ÆFEKT Productions.