Es ist die neunzehnte Brücke zwischen Vergangenheit und Gegenwart auf beiden Seiten der Theiß: die Erforschung der Lebensgeschichten in den Dörfern der Maramuresch (Transkarpatien und Rumänien), die 1945 durch die Grenze geteilt wurden, und die Produktion eines Theaterstücks basierend auf diesen Geschichten.
Wir freuen uns – mit den Projektpartner*innen vom Theater BIS (Sibiu/ Hermannstadt) und Shaun Williams (Zlagna/ Schlatt, Bukarest) – über den Beginn des Projekts “Bridge 19 – Die 19. Brücke”, das von unseren ukrainischen Freund*innen vom Verein MOLOTOK initiiert wurde!
The Tisza River is the line of the state border between Ukraine and Romania. Downstream, on the right bank – Transcarpathian region, on the left – Romania. Two of them continue to call this territory – Maramures.
By the end of The World War II, there were 18 bridges on the Tisza in Maramures, connecting the villages of Transcarpathia and Romania. All of them were destroyed by retreating Wehrmacht soldiers. Between the two world wars on both banks of the river the villages were Transcarpathian, but in 1945 the Soviet-Romanian border was laid along the Tisza. So part of each village was divided in half.
Currently, more than half of Romanian Ukrainians are in the Maramures region. They mainly live in villages located across the Tisza opposite the settlements of the Rakhiv district of Transcarpathia. In almost every house you will find those who have relatives in the villages on the two banks of the Tisza – in Ukraine and Romania, which is why sometimes they still celebrate holidays together across the Tisza.
In Soviet times, relatives and acquaintances traveled far from Transcarpathia through customs crossings in the Chernivtsi region to get to each other. It was often possible to observe an extremely interesting spectacle: for example, a wedding is celebrated in a house near the Tisza river bank on the Romanian side, and relatives dance to incendiary Hutsul melodies on the Transcarpathian side, right on the bank of the river.
These traditions are gradually disappearing, and few people can be found who continue to maintain close ties with their relatives living on the other side of the border. At the moment this area is becoming one of the most famous routes for smuggling.
In our project we want to explore this topic and preserve these life stories through the performing arts. During the project we plan to organise a research of life before and after the border was created. Find out how it affected people’s lives. We plan to do direct interviews with people who live in these villages on both sides of the border, and through work in the archives of Ukraine and Romania. We are interested in finding common and different features in the life of “one historical family”. How much have they changed in terms of life in different countries? Is there still an invisible “Bridge 19”?