Melancholy of Resistance. Performance Art in the State Socialist Countries of Europe

Project leader: Mag. Dr. Adam Czirak, BA
Co-Project leader: Sima Ehrentraut, B.A. M.A.
Mounira Zennia, MA

Term: 01.01.2023 - 31.12.2026
Funding body: FWF

The project examines current trends in dramaturgy that have been developing in the fields of theatre, contemporary dance and performance art in recent years. We will analyse productions from Western, Central and Eastern Europe in which language is used as a political instrument that enables vocal participation, representation and the critical examination of processes of social exclusion. Rather than probing the sensual, rhythmic and poetic dimensions of speech, which has become the primary analytical approach to post-dramatic productions from the second half of the 20th century, today’s theatrical productions foreground a different aspect of speech acts, compelling us to ask a new set of questions: Who is it that speaks on the stage? On behalf of whom do they speak? Whose voice do we hear? And who bears responsibility for what is said? With special attention to decolonial, multilingual, autobiographical and documentary productions, we aim to develop an analytical vocabulary suited to describing dramaturgical strategies of representation, vocal participation and intervention, to discerning standpoints and discursive positions. The research results will be made publicly available in the form of publications (both in German and in English), lecture series and a succession of workshops.