Young Russian Refugees Share Their Stories in SPACEBRIDGE at La MaMa

Being presented on December 9.

By: Dec. 06, 2023
Young Russian Refugees Share Their Stories in SPACEBRIDGE at La MaMa
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Eleven teenage Russian refugees in NYC – most of whom are living in sheltered circumstances throughout the city –  will be joined by 8 American-born youngsters at a special work-in -progress performance presentation entitled SpaceBridge on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 4 pm at La MaMa’s new Community Space, located at the theater’s 74 E. 4 St. location in the East Village, it has been announced by Mia Yoo, La MaMa’s Artistic Director.


The SpaceBridge presentation– created by and under the leadership of La MaMa resident artist Irina Kruzhilina, and designed to build bridges across cultures – is the culmination of a two-month workshop program that has brought together these Russian teens and their American counterparts in the shared creative environment. It offered Russian youth, living in displacement with no certainty of the future, a chance to navigate their experiences as refugees and share them with their American peers.

Over the course of nine workshops, they collectively envisioned an alternative future where their intercultural friendships were embraced and supported. They designed an ideal school and town to promote a sense of belonging and created imaginative tools to address feelings of alienation between Russia and the United States. Among the visual projects, the 20 youngsters created their own handmade models of what the United Nations might – and should – look like, were they able to express their own needs as U.N. constituents. 

At the December 9 event, the youngsters – all aged 10-14 – will share their vision for the future and urge the audience to make this vision a reality.

Ms. Kruzhilina notes that what the future may hold, along with the inherent desire for freedom – and the literal and figurative cost of freedom – are among recurring themes in the dialogue and creativity that has resulted from the SpaceBridge program. 

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