For democracy to survive, citizens must speak up, Diomedes Koufteros, who is directing Stefano Massini’s “Anna Politkovskaya”, tells CNA

For democracy to survive, citizens must speak up, actor-director Diomedes Koufteros, who is directing Stefano Massini’s “Anna Politkovskaya, a Theatrical Note,” tells CNA.

Asked why he chose to stage this play, Koufteros states that the idea was born in 2019, when he read the text and understood its theatrical and literary value. He adds that when he read more about Anna Politkovskaya herself, he realised what it was all about.

Koufteros says he drew a parallel with whether there is sufficient freedom of the press and expression in Cyprus. “It’s a question I often ask journalists. I think there are limitations, but the situation is clearly better than in totalitarian regimes,” he notes.

After these thoughts and while the preliminary work was being done to stage the play, the Russian invasion of Ukraine occurred, Diomedes Koufteros explains to CNA. “Suddenly the play became completely current, that is, its anti-war character was fully highlighted. The play ended up being a modern anti-war story,” he says.

He also states that Anna Politkovskaya and every journalist who opposes totalitarian regimes needs courage, boldness and “madness” to continue writing, despite the pressures they face. All this, he adds, “became a note to myself, a reminder that we must speak with arguments, not be silent. For democracy to endure and survive, citizens must speak up.”

Asked by CNA, the actor-director says that what struck him the most about this play is the personal responsibility of everyone. “In other words, beyond the systemic problem and the game played with the creation of the communication image, how can I be a better citizen in democracy, how will I get up from the sofa and take a stand?”, he explains.

“We are in an era where, because of the social media, we think we are taking a stand by writing a comment,” Koufteros points out, adding that “we need to talk to people, engage in dialogue, disagree using arguments.”

Source: Cyprus News Agency