Arterarij Zagreb (Croatia)
Festival Synenergy, Novi Sad/ Serbia, 21th of November 2019, 19:00 (duration 50′)
AUTHOR: Romano NIKOLIĆ
DRAMATURG: Mila PAVLIĆEVIĆ
SCENE AN COSTUME DESIGN: Zdravka IVANDIJA KIRIGIN
MUSIC AND MUSICAL SELECTION: Damir ŠIMUNOVIĆ
STAGE MOVEMENT: Zrinka LUKČEC KIKO
VIDEO: Selma SELMAN
Siniša SENAD MUSIĆ
ABOUT THE PLAY
The project of Romano Nikolić, a young actor, a performer, is also his first project of this kind. The authoring teamthat Romano gathered in this band met for the first time.We made an open call and waited for the artists to contactus. For a while, no one responded.
And then by chance Sindirela Bobarić * and Siniša Senad Musić appeared. And so,thanks to some lucky circumstances, the work processbegan. In the beginning we talked a lot,we did interviews with each other. The performers questioned the authors and the authors questioned the performers. The starting point for the conversation wasthe issue of identity. We played identity games. In thesegames we were interested in the elements that make Sindi and Siniša who they are.
In what situations are we exposed to mockery, discrimination, violence just becauseof our identity. In which situations are we exposed to theviews of others because we are different, because we arewomen, men, queers, lesbians, Romani, Serbs, Croats.During the process, we fixed the boundaries of identity,and it was becoming grotesque – identity as a pamphlet, indictment, curse, recitation or a mask. At the same time, paradoxically, it was dissolving in front of our eyes, becomingirrelevant, fluid, volatile, manifolded, everyone’s.
This playwas created as a living tissue of stories from the lives of twotheater enthusiasts who boldly accepted the challenge – toexpose their and our identities to the theater’s audience. Inthe structure of the play, the performers travel between theprivate and the performing – reciting and repeating theirown as if they were no longer their own. At the same time,the stories they choose at first glance might seem to be irrelevant and ordinary situations in life, but these situationsare actually full of fearful violence.
Throughout this process,the performers want to amaze the viewer, who, along withthem, is in a gap between different realities. This is not a bigshow. This is a play consisting of many smallfragments, trying to shift the viewer’s perception to these fragmentary realities – seeminglyirrelevant and small situations from the livesof two individuals who are, at the same time,different and not so different from you. The play follows theautobiographies of the protagonists that take us towardsa vision of a dystopian future.
The question that this playprimarily wants to ask is one about the common future ofus as a community and the consequences of our actions inthe community.
Mila Pavićević, dramaturg*Sindirela Bobanić played in the original casting
Croatian Drama Artists Award for Outstanding Contribution to Theater Arts 2017
Frequent transformations of the space constantly changethe position of the audience, and so does its relation tothe performance, that is, awareness of what is shown and/ or narrated at a certain point in the scene, which forcesus to truly look at the situation from as many angles aspossible, not allowing us to be swayed in just one andsimple observation position.
(Hana Sirovica, Kulturpunkt)
Through irony pogledajme plays with our misconceptions and our fears when it comes to understandingidentity and its boundary, who is who, how we look atothers and what seems acceptable to them and whatdoesn’t.
(Bojan Munjin, News)
In the Arterarij, the viewer does not get a paper ticket,or heating, but an opportunity to make a change in thesociety in which both the good and the bad comes fromthe individual. pogledajme offers us an opportunity tolook at ourselves and others from new perspectives,questioning the limits of our own and collective fearsand misconceptions.
(Ana Baturina, Ziher.hr)
THE AUTHOR ABOUT THE PROJECT
We did not embark on this project by filling out a formaccording to a message that was clear to us from the beginning. On the contrary, we have decided to really investigate this, to find out not only the problems, but also theirsources and consequences. And we dealt with the sourcesand the consequences, starting with real, individual stories.I remember Tomaž Pandur saying that only truth can survive in the theater. So we did not want to create the truth,but to present it. It was a risk, but the willingness to do sowas sincere.
So I accepted the task of directing this projectbecause it seemed irresponsible to expose someone elseto this risk. That was my responsibility.I can safely say that we did not look for the topic, it imposed itself. I was interested in what it means to be Romani, what it means to be human, what it means to get toknow someone and how to treat them. We are surrounded by different people, and by different I mean theirpersonalities, life stories and characters. Their decisions,agreements and giving ups.
I wanted to know the answer to the question why people have so much animosity towards members of a particular minority group. Theanswer is very simple. Peoplelabel other people rather superficially, without allowingthemselves to meet others ona personal level. What I hopethe Pogledajme project hasshown is that there is a needto look at people more deeply than at only one, especiallysome innate, characteristic. It’sa project about two peoplewho want to be accepted andfree.
About two people whoare not quite because they areRomani. It is a project abouteveryone who’s freedom is restricted because of the closedmindedness of the society.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Romano Nikolic is one of the most successful Croatianactors of the younger generation. He is the winner oftwo Croatian Theater Awards and an indispensable faceof the Dubrovnik Summer Games which, as a boy, encouraged him to start acting. In his native Dubrovnik, heplayed in the adaptations of Držić and Shakespeare, andthis summer Charon in Vojnović’s Geranium. In additionto acting, he is the founder and director of Arterarij.
ABOUT THE ARTERARIJ
Association for Action in Culture Arterarij is an NGO primarily concerned with the inclusion of minority andstigmatized groups in artistic productions.
The goal ofArterarij is to open up the artistic space, democratizeproduction and break boundaries. Arterarij is challenging the status quo by working on changesin its sector. It was founded in 2015.