WHAT IS EUROPE?
A War Ritual
The International Theatre Festival MESS – The MESS Scene Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Inspired by motifs from Lászlo Végel
Directed by András Urbán
Cast: Benjamin Bajramović, Amar Čustović, Dženana Džanić, Mirna Kreso, Sanin Milavić, Vedrana Seksan
Dramaturgy: Bojana Vidosavljević
Composition: Irena Popović
Stage Design: András Urbán
Costume Design: Lejla Hodžić
Assistant Director: Zulfikar Filandra
Assistant Stage Designer: Jasmina Koluh
Graphic design: Bojan Mustur
Photography: Velija Hasanbegović
Organisation and Executive Production: Ira Isović, Belma Jusufović, Aida Mujković
Public Relations: Una Bejtović, Emir Muhamedagić
Protocol and Event Manager: Dajana Gurda
Producer: Dino Mustafić
Stage Manager: Nihad Kapić
Lights: Moamer Šaković, Ognjen Martinović, Haris Kalkan
Sound: Momo Ladjević, Denis Šparavalo
Sound Assistants: Adnan Gojak, Izudin Katana
Wardrobe: Džafer Musabegović
Helping Hands: Ahmed Hožbo, Senad Zornić
Props: Medina Begović
Running time: 90 minutes
Europe is a utopia. With its name we often associate cultural, historic, and humanistic values, rule of law, appreciation and importance of quality life. The road to Europe is an imaginary road to a better tomorrow and happier future. However, that future cannot be seen on the horizon. The European reality indeed is something else, but we couldn’t care less about it. Even though our geographical and cultural identity is unmistakably European, we remain on the outside of the European political and ideological borders. Not unlike those who fail to live up to the standards or satisfy the criteria, and who don’t meet the specifications, we perceive Europe as the primary goal, desperately striving to achieve it. Despite this, we tend to see Europe with too critical an eye, and begin to be more judgmental of it than of ourselves. At the same time, we want to be an equal part of Europe, but we are not doing enough to change the circumstances at home. Our desire to join the European Union and live according to its standards thus ceases to be a joint effort and becomes a personal, fascinating quest for life in one of the EU countries. But, we would be better off if Europe just conquered us, that is, put things in order or destroyed us.
András Urbán and Bojana Vidosavljević
Scene MESS is the production department of the MESS International Theater Festival. Following numerous productions and coproductions between 1993 and 2014, MESS is now formally participating in theatrical programming, in addition to its festival activities. As a theatrical company, MESS has produced and co-produced 75 plays. It has collaborated with 59 theater houses and companies from 12 different countries.
Scene MESS is indented as a place of artistic freedom. It is a place where artists can explore new forms, question and deconstruct literary classics, write texts and host pre-premieres, make their own projects. It is perhaps, above all, a space where they can take risks, because deep inside we believe there is no progress in art without risk taking and venturing into uncharted territories. The results of which can be unpredictable and different, but never uninteresting or superficial.
Scene MESS aims at creating an environment in which artistic teams working on plays can be put together based on the individual sensibilities of their members. Scene MESS does not have a permanent ensemble. It does not have its team of authors either. Each play puts together a new team which allows for a greater fluidity, dynamics and innovativeness, and, at the same time, fosters the development of theater in BiH.
The dream of Central Europe, dreamed by Kundera, Conrad and Magris, has shattered. The illusions have, too. It turned out we falsified our own biographies, while the rest has remained the same. Fathers have given up on their past, their sons have given up on them. We’re now marking time with our own illusions long lost. Neither Socialism, dying in pains, nor the Soviet Empire, that had allegedly invaded the Central Europe, is to blame. We are free – we admit that with a certain Central-Eastern European irony, for we know our freedom is but a mask. Long live the freedom, which is worth nothing! Long live the freedom, down with the equality! Down with the equality, down with the brotherhood!
“Ispaštanje, Priče iz donjih predela” (Suffering, Stories from Lower Parts)
(Serbian translation by Arpad Vicko)