Flash Interview with Ausra Kaziliunaite

Photo by Laima Stasiulionyte Courtesy of the Artist

Ineterview by Skirmante Ramoskaite

Q: On stage, what message do you intend to send to the audience with your poems and your personal way of reading?

AUSRA KAZILIUNAITE: Usually while reading on stage I try to help the audience hear my texts the same as I hear them while writing. Therefore, while performing my poetry I may scream, whisper, murmur or speak in computer voice. However, the ability to improvise is also very important to me, because while reading the texts written in the past I seek my performance to reflect the state of mind or emotions that I feel in a particular moment and at a particular place together with the audience that gathered in that space. It is the communication with the audience and a meeting with the other me who somewhere in the past wrote the texts that I am reading. So when I read my texts the past, the present, two or more versions of me and the audience meet. It might sound pretentious, but with my texts and the way I read them I try to expand the limitations of reality and of ourselves. In my fourth collection of poetry this is the major theme and its title — esu aptrupėjusios sienos (I am crumbled walls, 2016) — reflects the idea.

Q: How does your travelling experiences and the Soviet legacy intertwine in your works?

AK: Since writing the first poetry book Pirmoji lietuviška knyga (The First Lithuanian Book, 2007) I have been drawn to absurd, contrasts, fictions, and alternative realities. The first known book printed in Lithuania, Katekizmas (Catechism) by Martynas Mazvydas, was published in 1547 and is better known as The First Lithuanian Book. Therefore by giving the same title to my own book I sought to make a crack in the coherent wall of reality and chronology, to open up the possibility of the alternative reality. The attention to contrasts, absurd, and alternative realities first of all occurs because of the differences that I notice between the post-Soviet Lithuania and the Western European countries going through the late capitalism.

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