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The Body of a woman as a battlefield

Based on a play by Matei Visnyek

See the last version online at:

This multimedia performance installation invites the audience to participate as actors in the live reading of the play, while simultaneously being observed by an online audience. Attendees become active participants by engaging in the reading, immersing themselves in the narrative and themes of the play.

Meanwhile, the online audience watches the live performance remotely, witnessing the collective engagement of the participants. This unique setup blurs the boundaries between traditional theater and digital mediums, creating a dynamic and inclusive environment where the audience plays a central role in shaping the artistic experience in real-time.

The memory of the war in Bosnia seems to be fading from our collective consciousness, relegated to a dark chapter in history. Yet, as time passes, we find ourselves increasingly prone to forgetfulness. While other conflicts emerge, adding new macabre pages to contemporary history, one unsettling constant remains: the persistence of nationalistic fervor.

Civil society and the modern world face an unprecedented threat from the resurgence of populist and violent nationalism. It was this sobering reality that inspired my play—to write as a means of grappling with understanding. I sought to comprehend how this insidious mechanism can transform ordinary individuals into brutes, turning otherwise civilized people into savages. How is it possible, in the heart of Europe at the close of the 20th century, that we must once again confront the brutal folly of war, with all its harbingers of a potential global conflict?

Is the resurgence of nationalist fervor in the Balkans the price we pay for the demise of communism? If so, then the utopian dream that claimed the lives of millions still lingers, poisoning our existence even after its supposed demise. Generations untouched by the grip of state communism remain vulnerable, perhaps even more so, as the absence of a comprehensive plan to quell its remnants leaves them exposed to its lingering effects.

What is even more distressing is the spread of nationalism into countries with robust democratic traditions, and even those that have experienced prolonged periods of prosperity. It appears that no one is immune when the beasts of identity politics begin to roar. Perhaps the true tragedy of our world today lies in the abandonment of idealism, as people forsake their aspirations for unity in favor of clinging to narrow notions of identity.

The play seeks to explore these themes, to shed light on the complexities of human nature and societal dynamics in the face of such formidable challenges. Through introspection and dialogue, it aims to provoke thought and foster understanding in a world increasingly fraught with division and discord.

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