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Theatre and cultural struggle

Maska - Performing Arts Journal, nos. 193–194 (Autum 2018)


Editorial: We Are All Greta or Fighting to Overcome Leviathan

 

Art has always been a battle field of various political forces, which cut down funding only to make the cultural space behave more and more “Hobbesian”, i.e. “Homo homini lupus” or “A man is a wolf to another man.” In his work Leviathan from 1651, which has been raising controversy in scientific circles ever since, English philosopher Thomas Hobbes systematically presented his idea of the social contract and the state of nature, while regarding society as divided in conflict, calling for the rule of an absolute sovereign. Nowadays, unenlightened absolutist brutes feed everywhere: there is less and less of them and their power is ever greater – all the while structural cynicism seeps into every pore of public and private life. In this fascistoid state, social networks are also getting a pronounced disperse function: on the one hand, they are becoming the social cloaca of hate speech, on the other they provide different ways of connecting and offering content, as well as enable action and dissemination. If a few years have already passed since the Arab Spring, we had to wait for quite some time before the world saw the emergence of a 16-year-old Swedish girl, an autist with a diagnosed obsessive-compulsive disorder and selective mutism. But also an activist and – artist.

On Friday, 15 March 2019, the “We’re all Greta” movement launched a school strike for climate all over the world, which clearly showed that the fight for the environment is a fight for our common future. 64 countries, more than 600 locations. As Jure Trampuš and Staš Zgonik write in Mladina, [1] the 16-year-old Swede Greta Thunberg, at the end of August 2018, a time when Sweden was watching their election battle while the country was suffering from heat and forest fires, took to the Swedish Parliament where she planted her sign saying Skolstrejk för klimatet (School strike for climate). Instead of going to school that and every following Friday, she began her strike and stood in front of the Parliament. After a few weeks, Swedish MPs began talking to her. She never gave up and continued her Friday strike. Her fight and perseverance made her world-famous. Yet she sees the world in a different way, she told a New Yorker journalist; she sees it from a different perspective, due to her autism spectrum disorder often in black-and-white. That is why she cannot understand political ignorance at the fact that climate changes endanger humanity. Greta went into battle alone. Today, she is alone no more. We must all become Greta.

At the same time, the Maska issue before you has been in the making for over a year and I am happy to finally see it published – even though its limited space made it impossible to include everything I had wanted. I hope that the new editors will be able to include some of their content and I publicly apologize to any author I was unable to add. Despite everything, I wished for this issue to remain current and broad – something that is difficult to achieve in magazines and publications dealing with contemporary performing arts as the concept of “broadness” is relative. Let’s therefore define broadness as an international backing for “fights” happening in various fronts and fields; fights for the possibility of everything particular, partial, marginal or overheard, fights for achieving continuity and developing the field in times of severe cuts happening after 2008. Enough has been written on the conditions for production, on general chaos and on the insolvability of things in this field – this time I was therefore interested mainly in the how “the state of things” intervenes concretely: in individual “products” of the stage as well as in festivals and their policies. The title of this issue is taken from the remarkable article by Bojana Kunst giving context to this entire issue and placing the fight into the concrete example of “Volksbühne”. It is followed by Mojca Puncer’s lucid contemplation on The First Altruistic Performance by Mare Bulc that positions everything in the context of public space. Lilijana Stepančič contributes a comparative historical overview of Mount Triglav as a national symbol and its “journey” through using this symbolic place in art practices. The reflection written by Magdalena Germek regarding the poetic reading of Bara Kolenc’s Metamorphoses 4°: Black Holes offers an insight into all of the directions that a viewer’s/thinker’s mind can take and what “aftertaste” a certain performance can leave. Following are: an activist critique of the Teatertreffren festival by Blaž Gselman, a critical definition of Kunstenfestivala by Alja Lobnik, an insight into last year’s Europe Theatre Prize by Ana Perne, and an in-depth reflection by Samo Oleami on the occasion of the 2017 Spider Festival through “the eyes” of The House, a performance by Matej Kejžar. It is perhaps also worth mentioning the potential of other performances that I believe could be analysed in the future. Such is 6, a performance directed by Žiga Divjak, which actually opens the space of discursive fight for the visibility of wider social anomalies and acute wounds. In this sense, let the fight become and stay a fight for different perspectives, original reflections, openness, community, fairness, overcoming Leviathan. We are all Greta.

Andreja Kopač


[1] Trampuš Jure, Zgonik Staš: »Vsi smo Greta«, Mladina no. 10, 8 March 2019. Available at: https://www.mladina.si/189959/vsi-smo-greta/. (17 March 2019)

MASKA št. 193-194
FALL 2018

Content

THEATER AND CULTURAL STRUGGLE 

Dr. Bojana Kunst: 
VOLKSBÜHNE AFFAIR: THEATER AND THE CULTURAL STRUGGLE  

Dr. Mojca Puncer: 
ON THE FIRST ALTRUISTIC PERFORMANCE BY MARE BULC, ALTERNATIVE (IM)POSSIBILITY(-IES) AND A NOTE TO THE SOCIAL CHOREOGRAPHY OF LJUBLJANA 

Lilijana Stepančič: 
THE TRIGLAV TROJAN HORSE OF THE OHO GROUP AS AN ANTI-MEMORIAL TO A MIGHTY NATIONAL SYMBOL AND ITS ANTI-RECONSTRUCTION 

Magdalena Germek: 
ARE BLACK HOLES ACTUALLY BLACK? 

Blaž Gselman: 
THEATERTREFFEN 2018: THE SELF-SUFFICIENCY OF THE LIBERAL VIEW 

Alja Lobnik: 
KUNSTENFESTIVALDESARTS 2018: A MARKET AND/OR A HETEROTOPIA – THE WIDESPREAD LOGIC OF FESTIVAL ACTIVITY AND CERTAIN THEMATIC EMPHASES 

Ana Perne: 
WHAT DOES THE NAME THE EUROPE PRIZE THEATRICAL REALITIES STAND FOR?

Samo Oleami: 
FOLLOWING THE SPIDER’S TRAIL: THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE HOUSE AND HIKING EQUIPMENT

MASKA Performing Arts Journal
Since 1920
vol. XXXIII, nos. 193–194 (Autumn 2018)

ISSN 1318-0509 

Published by: Maska, Institute for Publishing, Production and Education | Metelkova 6, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia | Phone: +386 1 4313122 | Fax: +386 1 4313122 | E-mail: info@maska.si | www.maska.si | For the publisher: Janez Janša

Editor-in-chief: Andreja Kopač | Editorial Board: dr. Gregor Moder, dr. Mirt Komel, dr. Bara Kolenc, Janez Janša, dr. Nenad Jelesijević, dr. Andreja Kopač, Nika Leskovšek, Rok Vevar

Design and Layout: Špela Razpotnik  | Translations: Sonja Benčina,  Špela Bibič Slovene Language Editors: Tatjana Capuder | English Language Editor: Sonja Benčina, Špela Bibič | Print: Cicero | Copies: 400

Cena Price of double issue (international): 10 € |  Price of triple issue (international): 12 € |  Price of quadruple issue (international): 15 € | Annual international subscription for six (6) nos.: Individual rate for Europe 67 €, Individual rate, Rest of World 77 (distributed by Maska Ljubljana). International institutional rate: print and online subscription 195 € / 136 £ / 226 $, online only 136 € / 105 £ / 175 $ (distributed by Intellect Ltd. and Turpin Distribution, UK) | Package and postage included. | Business secretary: Polona Calderera | Subscription and distribution for individuals from Europe and Rest of World: polona.calderera@maska.si | Account number: 02010-00165250861 | Maska is available in both print and electronic formats through Turpin Distribution, Pegasus Drive, Stratton Business Park, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, SG18 8TQ, UK; T: +1 860 350 0031 (North America), +44 (0) 1767 604 951, F: +44 (0)1767 601640 (Institutional EU and Rest of World orders, except Slovenia and North America); E: custserv@turpin-distribution.com, W: www.turpin-distribution.com

Although we have tried our best to track down copyright holders of photos and other visual materials, we have not always succeeded. The authors are kindly asked to contact the editorial board.

Maska was founded in 1920 by the Ljubljana sub-committee of the Association of Theatre Players of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (Udruženje gledaliških igralcev Kraljevine SHS). In 1985, the Association of Cultural Organisations of Slovenia (Zveza kulturnih organizacij Slovenije) revived this publication under the title of Maske. In 1991, its original name was restored and its co-founder – Institutum Studiorum Humanitatis – reinstated.

Chief and/or executive editors thus far: Rade Pregarc (1920–21), Peter Božič & Tone Peršak (1985–90), Maja Breznik (1991–93), Irena Štaudohar (1993–98), Janez Janša (1998–2006), Katja Praznik (2007–2009) & Maja Murnik (2011).

According to Article 25, Item 7 of the Value Added Tax Act, newspapers are taxed at the rate of 9.5%. 

The journal is supported by the Slovenian Book Agency.

Co-financed by TANZFONDS ERBE – An initiative by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.