“Ten years ago I would never have thought that I would be living in London, finishing my degree, working for Burberry and planning my future as a British Citizen”, says Linda Ukhigova, former student at the College.
I leapt at the chance to interview Linda as I prepare to play her in the forthcoming production of The Orchard. Linda explained how writing down her experience of the war in Chechnya not only inspired her A Level art work but also helped to make sense of her world.
“My journey from the orchard in Chechnya started by crossing a border on foot under the threat of violence. By the time I arrived in Derby to start a new life with my family, the sound of gun fire, Russian planes and bombs seemed a lifetime ‘away.’
“I joined Landau Forte College as a post-16 student in 2008. During my Art sessions, I was encouraged to reach into my past for inspiration. Writing the commentary for my art project unlocked some very painful memories, however I welcomed the opportunity to make sense of it all.” The rest, they say, is theatre.
“The Orchard captures the courage, spirit and resilience of all children trapped in war.” Linda is proud to be Chechen and looks forward to a future where peace and safety prevail. Currently studying Accounting and Management at the University of Westminster, Linda hopes one day to return to her homeland. She has visited rehearsals, shared her story with the actors and brought a unique insight into the real drama of a child caught in an adult war.
The Orchard will be staged from April 16 to 18. Tickets can be purchased from our Box Office or online via See Tickets. Click here for more information.
Molly Coffey, Year 12