In October 23, 2002, forty two Chechen Terrorists attacked the Dubrovka theatre in Moscow and took 850 people hostage during the performance of the Russian Musical Nordost. The terrorists commando included 22 women, the so-called “black widows”, i.e. women whose husbands had been killed during the Chechen war. The siege lasted 57 hours. To put an end to it, the Russian army gassed the theatre. 132 hostages died as a result of the gas. Most of the male terrorists escaped, while the black widows were left behind and died in the theatre. To this day the full nature of the gas that was utilized remains undisclosed. This paper wishes to examine this event in the light of several international sources, including a documentary and two theatre productions. The goal of this presentation is to show how power, it being the legitimate Russian government or the terrorist cell, acts in spite of the common perception of human rights and regardless of the people. In particular, when it comes to women. The paper will include clips from interviews, from one of the latest productions of Nordost, a play by the German playwright Torsten Bucksteiner and from the Catalan group La Fura Dels Baus’ production of Boris Godunov. The paper will be accompanied by a power point presentation.
Kiara Pipino, Grand Valley State University, USA