Ukraine in the focus of the international theater festival URBÄNG! in Germany

Ukrainian artists at war and in exile are in the focus of this year’s performing arts festival URBÄNG!. The Ukrainian Institute has become a partner of the festival and initiated four showings of theater projects in Cologne from October 5 to 8.

The festival program was developed by Ukrainian artists who were forced to flee the country. Festival URBÄNG! will try to highlight the ugly face of war, the utopia of new European security order, but also the power of solidarity. The festival raises the question of the future viability and defense capability of European democracies and creates space for discussions about pacifism and the right to self-defense.  

The URBÄNG! visitors will watch two performances created with the assistance of the Ukrainian Institute and two performances that were selected by the Ukrainian Institute for Ukrainian theater showcase at the international festival in Avignon. These four are: 

  • the documentary performance “Crimea 5 AM”, which draws the attention to political repression against the Crimean Tatars and public activists on the temporarily occupied peninsula;  
  • international music theater performance “Song for Babyn Yar” by Dash Arts, which touches on the topic of the Holocaust, which the Nazis once inflicted on the Jewish population of Kyiv; 
  • post-documentary project of WE: media theater “Chronicles of War, Hatred, and Love”, which tells about the war in Ukraine through the history of the small theater team, which from the beginning of the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation starts to document what is happening around
  • the play by the Lesi Theater “Imperium delenda est” (The Empire must fall), that became a space for individuals to express themselves and talk about the war. Not for reflection, but for expressing the madness that people in Ukraine face through no fault of their own. 

Time: GMT+2 (Köln)


Wednesday, 5.10 


Opening and conversation with Serhiy Zhadan and Navid Kermani 

with a translation into German 


Chronicles of War, Hatred and Love 

Multimedia performance (in German) 

WE: media theater (Lviv) in cooperation with post:theater berlin 


The Mannerheim Line 

Concert (in Ukrainian with German subtitles) 

Serhiy Zhadan (vocals), Oleg Kadanov (guitar, vocals) Yevhen Turchynov (guitar) 


Thursday, 6.10 


War in Ukraine – what civilizational future do we aspire to?  

Conversation with Kyiv philosopher Volodymyr Yermolenko 


Songs for Babyn Yar   

Musical theater (in German) 

Dash Arts (London) 

Director: Josephine Burton. With the participation of Maryana Sadovska (Cologne), Yuri Gurzha and Svitlana Kundish (Berlin). 

Conversation after the performance 


 Friday, 7.10. 


Crimea, 5 am 

Multimedia reading (in German)  

Based on the play by Natalia Vorozhbyt and Anastasia Kosodii 



She and War  

Conversation (in Ukrainian) with Tamara Zlobina and Maria Berlinska from Kyiv 



Nataliya Lebedeva Trio & Laura Marti 


by Laura Marti (vocals), Nataliya Lebedeva (piano), Yuriy Natsvlishvili (double bass), Dmytro Lytvynenko (drums)  


Saturday, 8.10. 


Discussion of new agreements: The beauty of the wasteland  

Performance-lecture (in English) by Kherson sociologist and theater actor Mykola Homanyuk  


Black Dog  

Theater from 16 years old 

Julia Raab und Anja Schwede (Halle)



Imperium delenda est – chants, poems, confessions and curses and even one joke


Lesi Theater (Lviv) 


Tickets and more about URBÄNG! via the link to the festival website.