8 August 2020, Saturday, 20:48
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It's All a Showcase

32
It's All a Showcase
Iryna Khalip

They finally met.

Wagner PMC soldiers, militants from a jeep with Ukrainian numbers, who broke through the border, thugs trained in Poland, and Frau A., a dead rat, reunited after years of separation and wanderings in the dark on wet forest paths. They grabbed what was at hand - metal bars and bottles with Molotov cocktails - and started dancing on occasion. A happy ending, a kiss on the diaphragm, square dance and curtains fall. The way to the happy ending was so long!

Once upon a time, fifteen years ago, there was a rat. It was an ordinary rat from a pet's corner. The juniors took care of it, called Larisa, as in the children's book, and it lived a decent rat life. However, after its death, all sorts of troubles began: Lariska found itself in the KGB case. Its former chairman Stsyapan Sukhorenko, who saw not only rats but also little green men at night, announced in the spring of 2006, right before the presidential elections, that its purpose was to kill all the citizens of Minsk. Lariska's intellect was higher than that of Stsyapan's. On TV, he told that destructive elements had already developed a plan: to throw a dead rat into the city water supply system to poison the whole city, and thus destabilize the situation.

Lariska felt lonely for almost five years. But in December 2010 it got toys: steel rods, bottles with Molotov cocktails, TNT blocks, grenade launchers - and a garage in Malinovka to keep this all stuff in. All this was a poor consolation, the dead rat still missed real-life communication. From time to time, some exhausted fighters appeared, who were trained in camps in Poland, and then redeployed in Belarus. However, they did not stay for long. They flew like ghosts and disappeared. But then real luck began.

In 2017, the rat found a really cool company - Ukrainian militants with a jeep full of explosives and weapons, who broke through the state border. In addition to the rat, there was Frau A. Life became more colorful. And now it's feasting: 33 Russian militants from the sanatorium joined this wild life-affirming orgy. However, it was announced that as many as 200 militants had broken into Belarus, and why only 33 of them were taken. It's weird. However, the rest of them probably took radon baths, Belarusian health resorts are so famous for. One decided not to bother, for them not to write negative feedback on tourist websites.

Speaking seriously, there is a profession in the theatre - props man. The property master makes sure that the stage has all the necessary items for the play. And the props man produces fakes. The jurisdiction of the props man is cardboard weapons, plastic apples, glass jewellery. Painted water in a bottle instead of cognac, fake machine guns, armour. The value of fakes that it's cheap and easy to produce. The work of the props man is to create an illusion, imitation. An experienced viewer is well aware of this. Newcomers can believe that Shakespeare's characters kill each other with real, not cardboard swords.

But you and I have been to our theatre for the third decade now. We've seen premieres, dramas, and specials. And we never believed in imitation, because Lukashenka's props men are talentless and negligent. If a professional props man refuses to reproduce details that are invisible to the viewer, our props men are unable to reproduce even visible details. And here we get a motley company like a dead rat and Frau A. as female characters, and Ukrainian and Russian militants playing other roles. Speaking frankly, it's weird to observe colleagues pretending that all this is real and crying: "They're coming - this plywood armor and cardboard swords. They're going to kill us!" If we believe this is serious, we will die of fear. But it's not serious. It's a carelessly knocked up pieces. It's an imitation. That's a lie. It's nothing.

I don't claim that the militants at the sanitarium are made of papier-mache. They may be quite real on other stages and in other plays. But they are fake in our play.

Except for the condoms owned by the militants and shown on the state television were real. I even know why Frau A. promised to drop by. Don't tell me that Frau A is an old lady. Rubber women don't have age.

Iryna Khalip, especially for Charter97.org