“The Knife” Chmielarz / Radio Uziemienie – performance

A classic of Jewish prose by Sholem Aleichem, The Knife realized as a live performative play.


Cornered at home and in the cheder, a Jewish boy steals the pocketknife of his dreams. It becomes a key to his adulthood, and for the first time in the boy’s life, he comes to pay the price for having conquered the idea of independence. He enters the dark space between ‘I want’ and ‘I can’, filled with broken whispers and sudden shrieks, a swish preceding a sob, a throaty laugh, and a broken breath. Polish and Yiddish; no longer childhood, not yet adulthood.

Radio Uziemienie (“Ground Radio”) creates listening shows brought together by Agnieszka Cieszanowska, Anna (Jurdzi) Jurgielewicz, and Witek Dąbrowski. The shows are a space for collective listening through text, voice, movement, and sound. Natalia Chmielarz, coordinator and curator of cultural and artistic projects, performs with the team during The Knife.

Open Call

The project was selected by an international jury as part of this years Open Call supported by the Jewish Dutch Humanitarian Fund.

Financed by

The 8th edition of FestivALT is made possible thanks to the support of the Matanel Foundation and the Dutch Jewish Humanitarian Fund and it is organized as part of the "MultiMemo: Multidirectional Memory: Remembering for Social Justice" project, thanks to the support of the European Union under the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values (CERV) program.