Olesia Golovach

«A Single Mother in Cases of Violence»

Olesia Golovach


Self-description, work & education:
Olesia Golovach studied at the Academy of Arts and Architecture in Kiev (specialization: Cinema & Scenography; 2007-2016). She works as a stage and costume designer for state and independent theatres. Examples are such:
1) opera «Embroidered. King of Ukraine» (Kharkiv National Opera and Ballet Theatre, 2021);
2) tragi-farce «Erendira Does Not Want to Die» (Kyiv Academic Drama and Comedy Theater on the left bank of the Dnieper, 2021);
3) baroque opera «Acis and Galatea» (National Academy of Music. P. Tchaikovsky, Kyiv, 2019);
4) tragi-farce «Eneidi XXI» (Academic Ukrainian Theater named after.Vasilka, Odessa, 2019);
5) tragi-farce «Caligula» (National Academic Theatre, Ivano-Frankivsk, 2019);
6) tragi-farce «Richard III», Academic Theater „Golden Gate“, Kyiv, 2018.

In 2022, Golovach had to flee to Germany with her child due to the war caused by Russian aggression. In the meantime, she works in Hanover as a costume and set designer for both state theatre and the independent scene. Examples of her works here:
1) «Show of Hope – warum sich Zuversicht lohnt» (State Theatre Hannover, 2022);
2) «Gorkiy‘s Mother» (State Theatre Stuttgart, 2022);
3) «Longing»  (Schauspielhaus Magdeburg, 2022).

Introduction to the project:
Ukrainian set designer Olesia Golovach’s residency project «A Single Mother in Cases of Violence» is based on her own experiences as a mother on the run from war, where she will work with Lena Lyagushenkovas on the play «Gorkyi’s Mother». Major question is yet to find its answer: what does a mother have to experience in order for her almost self-sacrificing love for her child to turn into hatred towards the whole human kind?

Description of the project:
Olesia’s research topic is the problem of the single mother in difficult economical and psychological situations. Referring to Lena Lyagushenkovas play «Gorkyi’s Mother» and following the literary image of a single Ukrainian mother in the Post-Soviet ruins, she would like to examine the image of a contemporary example of the same character, who finds herself in a forced emigration.
Olesia aims to explore how almost sacrificial love for a child can turn into hatred for the people around her (despite the efforts of neighbours to help such mother). As a result, this painful unconditional love for an adult son and rejection of other human values makes the mother’s (and later the adult child’s) life hell, because her value orientations are broken and her entire existence is reduced to some selfish exploitation of others (in the play, even murder for her own benefit).
The topic is very close to Olesia’s heart, as she herself is currently living in exile with a 2-year-old son and seeing crowds of mothers like her, who have to live alone in a foreign society under difficult psychological and material conditions because of the war with Russia.
Olesia sees the German art scene as an open and fascinating world, aesthetics of which also inspire her very much in the long term perspective. Especially the so-called «independent scene» with its experimental forms that allows her to bridge the gap between her reality and that of many other mothers who had to flee from Ukraine to Germany through art. She reckons, many mothers feel as if they were «Gorkyi’s Mother» themselves.

Contact information:

1) video-information about the opera, where Olesia performed https://www.facebook.com/operavyshyvaniy/videos/1015475889293739/
2) performance in which Olesia took part https://youtu.be/UWyF7lT7WEU