Slovenes Upraised by Slovenes
Production: SNT Drama Ljubljana and Maska Ljubljana
Co-production with Plesni teater Ljubljana
24 April 2008
In the contemporary globalized world, the question of a nation state and the pertaining national identity is seen by some people as a mere peculiarity of history, which is on the verge of disappearing. Others proclaim that the nation state will become extinct but that national identities will be preserved. Again, some others predict that the world will consist of monocultural states, where national identities would imperceptibly succumb to consumerist, economic and religious affinities of individuals. The notion of the nation has changed fundamentally; the sense of belongingness is no longer a result of common corporeal rituals and collective passivity, where individual perception is subject to a unified group of people sharing the same space. On the contrary, it is formed by heterogeneous practices of belonging, which are not confined within the territory of an individual community. Namely, communities are formed unintentionally, as a multitude of different, also contradictory identities, positionings and connections. The fact that we are members of a certain community is manifest in our perception of community as a ‘joint’ undertaking, a process, achievement or enterprise. However, collective accomplishments of a nation no longer present a way to understand ourselves as a nation. We live in a world where having an identity does not mean a mere recognition of what we already know of ourselves – of that which is already included in its construction. Community as a multitude of different, antagonistic identities implies precisely the opposite: it is not ourselves that we find in the community; what is revealed in the ways of our being together is the double, the shadow of a community. Ultimately, this has wide ramifications for the unyielding protocols of performing the nation, the national and (above all pedagogic and cultural) production and identification of its members.
The performance Slovenes Upraised by Slovenes is a research into the protocols of performing the community. It deals with performing the corporeal and affective ways of being a member. It is precisely in this field that we can discern a profound antagonism between performing the community and the life of its individual members. We could say that the very stage of performing the community is the locus of a merciless ideological struggle between the uniform definition of a nation and the new understanding of the national as a critical multitude of communities of those who have nothing in common, yet are still fundamentally bound to one another.
Maša Kagao Knez
Week of Slovenian Drama in Kranj
Maribor Theatre Festival