A student from Taraclia fights violence through art

Interview by Natalia Porubin

Diana Karapencova, a 17-year-old student from Taraclia, has her own strategy of fighting violence.

For almost six months, she has been involved in a theatre performance project started by UNDP and Coliseum Arts Center to sensitize people on gender-based violence issue. The show is called “Я умереть надежде не дам” (I Won’t Let Hope Die) and captures real stories of five women. It has already been staged in Gagauzia region, Taraclia and Chisinau.

Diana how did you get to act in this show? How effective is tackling violence through art?

I am going to school, and in parallel for two years I am actress at the Municipal Theater “Смешен петък” from Taraclia. I’ve acted in five plays of this theater. I accepted with great pleasure the invitation of the initiators of this project, Luminita Tacu and Mihai Fusu. For me, it’s an extraordinary experience to act on the same stage with professional actors. I am glad to have a chance to say to people that violence is never a solution. The only thing it achieves is to humiliate and crush people’s dreams and hopes.

What role did you play in this performance?

I played a teen whose father was an alcoholic and beat her and her mother savagely. The whole family lived in a dormitory room, and the girl’s mother feared that divorce would make her homeless. The girl suffered her first beating when she was two. Her father beat her so badly that she didn’t speak at all for a month after that and remained with speech impairments. Her greatest dream was to gather enough money to get out of the country and find a life without violence for her mother and sister. It’s a sad, tough story. It’s heavy because everything on the stage is based on true events. This means that there are many people out there, including children, who suffer from abuse from those who should give them protection, support and safety.

In December last year, you performed the show at the theatre you work for in Taraclia. Did you see your classmates among the audience? What impressions did you have?

Yes, many of my classmates, and teachers too, came to watch the play. They said that what they saw on the stage was sad, and yet the discussion about such things was necessary. We also talk about violence prevention at school, at personal development classes and as part of other disciplines. I think people should talk much more about this phenomenon, so we can find life-saving solutions together.

The theatre play “I won’t let hope die” was put on stage with the support of the “Addressing violence against women in the Republic of Moldova: exploring and learning from local solutions” UNDP project, funded by the Republic of Korea.

UNDP will support the opening of the first Center to support survivors of gender-based violence from the region of Gagauzia. A crowdfunding campaign was launched to supplement the budget for the renovation and endowment of the centre. Donations are being collected via the platform www.sprijina.md.