Europe. Dramaturgies of crisis
This year’s edition of the Festival of New Dramaturgies, in line with the formula of the “theatre of foreign affairs” adopted last year, focuses on new dramaturgies raising political topics in international perspective. The main theme of this year’s festival is devoted to Europe and theatre attempts at presenting both the crises that consume it and alternative paths of its development. The performances presented propose alternatives to current political, economic, social, ecological, cultural, or finally existential projects. Recent years have been a period of particular expansion of various crises, the symptoms of which had been observable before: the financial crisis, the debt crisis, the climate crisis, the refugee crisis, and finally the crisis of democracy and political crisis. They are all intertwined through a network of mutual, complex causative relations. None of them appeared suddenly, though for some they might have been unexpected. They were all prepared by diverse political and economic decisions taken in various periods of the 20th century and at the beginning of the 21st century. This is not the time and place to specify in detail their genesis; however, it is worth remembering that their roots run deeper in history that the most visible consequences of these processes.
Greece. Towards alternative projects
On the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas Moore’s Utopia it is becoming it more and more necessary to formulate, test and imagine alternative political projects, new solutions in the political, economic, ecological, social and cultural sphere, to create own, new utopias. Let us recall the title of a book of the distinguished writer Benjamin Kunkel, who started writing political essays: Utopia or Bust. Much points to the fact that we are actually facing such an alternative: we either devise a new future, regain it by saying “no” to postpolitical blockade of imagination, making Europe truly democratic, equal and free, or there will be none of it and a gloomy land made up of feudal structures and nationalist dictatorships will be created. Artists invited to this year’s FoND seem to understand it. Performative cartography of crisis often serves them to open a new field of possibilities for new imaginative images, relations, solutions or institutions. Listening carefully to the crisis, its rumble and murmur, examining its architecture, bringing it to the extreme and leading it to final decay stimulates imagination to start the construction of a new order based on equality, social justice, wise coexistence with nature, a different, humane economic order, on the ruins of the old world, the ruins of old Europe, the ruins of capitalism. If you find these words to be an expression of political naivety, so be it. Change is possible thanks to a combination of radicalism, naivety, faith and empathy. And neoliberalism taught us to ridicule, discredit, exclude and belittle each of these components. In our opinion, it is the task of theatre and artists to work for change in Europe, against the inertia of its bureaucratic machinery, against nationalisms, fascism, postpolitical total lack of alternatives, antidemocratic tendencies and interest of the financial sector.
In this crisis landscape, penetrated with nascent longing for utopia, continuing the idea of the “theatre of foreign affairs” initiated last year, we decided to devote bulk of this year’s edition of FoND to Greece – as a unique place, where different types of crises intersect – as well as Greek authors and creators who refer to these crises in their performances, problematizing them not only as conditions for own work and activity, but also as key phenomena for the understanding of the current international political situation. Their performances speak of crisis in the form of individual and collective stories, on the verge of documentary and fiction, using documents, testimonies or images related to “real” events, yet at the same time not afraid of specific metaphors, unobvious symbols or fictitious narratives.