Interview with Jerzy Bielski
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Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Jerzy Bielski, I’m a music theatre maker, composer, actor and vocalist. I often get involved in interdisciplinary projects, collaborating with choreographers, stage directors, filmmakers, sonic artists and painters. In 2015 my full scale music theatre piece not only FUTURISTS has won the main prize at Amsterdam Fringe Festival. I have graduated from masters in Composition at the Conservatorium of Amsterdam.

What is your opinion on the social relevance of theatre?
Obviously some performances are more socially oriented than the others, but I’m probably a bit more interested in the first category, especially considering the, in my opinion, pivotal times in history we happen to be living in, with huge social and mental change, major international crisis unseen for many years in Europe and general weakening of a state and democracy, affecting most of the people in the western world. For all of these reasons it’s quite hard for me to distance myself from the surrounding world, that’s why I chose to relate to it and respond to what I see every day around through my performances, rather than seeking an escape into psychological, individual focused or more abstract theatre.

If you hadn’t become an artist, what would have been your profession?
Motorcycle mechanic, film cameraman, Polish literature teacher.

During your performance, the audience takes part in the show. How important is the role of the audience to you?
I want to bring the performance much closer to the audience than in the regular theatre setting, so that everyone can experience the piece stronger, immerse him or herself deeper in it and eventually be touched more by it in the end. One of the ways of doing it is, in my opinion, drawing the audience gradually into the show while asking them to participate in it at the same time, so that, once again, they could much better feel what’s going on around them and so that, hopefully, the piece will stay with them a bit longer after it’s finished. That’s why, coming back to the question, the role of the audience is to me crucial in this piece, as it also defines the whole scene setting of the company board meeting.

With your performance you show the influence the banks and other big corporations have on our daily life. How do the banks and big corporations affect our society in your opinion?
It’s not a secret that we no longer live in a world in which countries are ruled solely by their governments or are independent from one another. The power that multinational corporations and banks have over our daily lives is a fact. Voters are maybe under the impression that by choosing a political party they can largely influence the world surrounding them, but actually the corporations and the banks dictate how our reality looks like in a free market capitalism. In my piece I wanted to, in a way, expose the often not talked about mechanisms through which this is done (manipulation of information, lobbying, etc.), how this affects our lives (constant stimulation for bigger and bigger consumption, focus on new technology, and this way turning everyone’s attention from all the other things or seeing the larger picture of the reality they live in) and eventually the never ending drive for more money and power, hidden behind all these actions in the end.