what are you doing?

what are you doing?

an audio series about russian couples separated by war


  • ksyusha shachneva

    is an artist, theatre director and creator of productions for the independent theatre venue moñ and other institutions in kazan.

  • nastia b.

    theatre historian, director and playwright, co-creator of productions for the new stage of the alexandrinskiy theatre, the access point festival and other projects.


artists ksyusha shachneva and nastia b. conceived this work in an attempt to reflect on their own experiences: their husbands left the country last year.

i can't say that the seven months of the year that my husband and I have been forced to live apart have been easy for us. but it always seemed: well, this suffering is not real suffering. we are both safe (almost), we are not bombed, we are both healthy and ready to support each other, even at a distance. but it also seems that this forced separation of families and couples is something that many people just keep quiet about. and when we keep quiet, it doesn't seem to exist. it was important for us to document, remember and share this (so-so) experience with others. including to make it visible
is man equal or not equal to home? is country equal or not equal to home? what is home? my husband was man-home for me. so was country-home, to be honest. he left - i stayed, and i still cannot decide what to do next. our dates are in zoom, we celebrate our dates in zoom, we were close to divorce several times, many times we were silent on the phone for hours. there is a painful and distorted life happening on this invisible call line, and it is not clear where the real is. you begin to forget what a live voice sounds like - it is always distorted by the phone. i understand that leaving is a privilege that happened to be available to my husband. i understand that things are much scarier now. but i hate to forget that it is actually not ok when families collapse because of an unwillingness to kill and die, and the vast majority of fellow citizens call it betrayal

The first episode of the series brings together people's memories of the first weeks of the war, the first thoughts of leaving, hasty weddings and the trials of distance.

listen  podcast on apple podcasts, яндекс.музыке, spotify, youtube and other platforms

the sound designer is maxim, the music in the audio series is lomaniy russkiy.

the voices and words in the first series: nikita, zoya, masha, varvara, anton, ksyusha, nettle, masha, antonina, oleg, nastya, kamila, maxim, li, anton.

some heroines and heroes swear.