Theatre in Russia’s Bashkortostan cancels play based on novel by Guzel Yakhina after her anti-war comments

Bashkir State Academic Drama Theatre of Majit Gafuri has officially cancelled a play based on Guzel Yakhina’s novel Zuleikha Opens her Eyes, the theatre said in a statement on its website.

“Bashkir State Academic Drama Theatre of Majit Gafuri supports the special military operation which Russia was forced to launch in Ukraine. The theatre is dedicated to promoting moral values that are universal to the Russian people. Guzel Yakhina, author of Zuleikha Opens her Eyes, says, ‘The news of 24 February 2022 crushed me. My world did not just turn upside down, it was destroyed.’

“However, the world where Neo-Nazis and Fascists have been killing our brotherly people for eight years is unacceptable to us, artists. Today, our warriors, which include our colleagues, culture professionals in our region, are defending a world without Nazism,” the theatre underlined.

It is noted that the decision to cancel the play was made because “the opinion of theatre workers differs from the author’s opinion.”

On 24 February, Yakhina took to Facebook to express her opposition to the war.

“I just want to say to spare words and emotions: I am against war. I love Russia and just want my child to like living in it. Therefore, I am against the war,” she wrote.

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Earlier, the premier of the dystopian film We based on the novel by Yevgeny Zamyatin scheduled for 1 December was scrapped in Russia.

A new day is yet to be set. Journalists’ questions and inquiries about the reason behind the decision have been redirected to the film’s producers.

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