From Difference to Difference

The roles of self-image and outside perception in Eastern European Theatre

The developments of the last 30 years of European history are often interpreted as an ongoing integration process; as the settling of the former Eastern European countries in (Western) Europe.

This interpretation has to be questioned anew not only in regard to geo-political and economic aspects of the reshaping of Europe in the last couple of years but especially with respect to its culture, demarcating an area of tension: On the one hand culture is often seen as a connecting, unifying and integrating force. On the other hand, in recent years, initiatives for defining cultures have been used for (re)claiming national autonomy and – in the worst case – superiority.


The discussions of this evening will ask about the construction of European identity/ies as well as the impact of theatre as aesthetic and public practise in the setting of a continent which has undergone fundamental reshaping in the last years, not only along the binary distinction between “East” and “West”.


In the panel Former East – Former West?, Marina Davydova, theatre critic and curator of Wiener Festwochen 2016 discussed with Iulia Popovici, theatre journalist and editor, and Ana Vujanović, a freelance researcher, writer and dramaturge, about changes and invariabilities in being seen and classified from outside as Eastern European. The panelists raised the issue whether there exists or might be an aesthetic classification not linked to the geographic quality of coming from one of the former Eastern European countries or if there could be an outside evaluation basing on the sole artistic work of an individual. The panel was hosted by Erik Zielke, editor at the publishing house of "Theater der Zeit".

In a second panel Theatre in Former Europe hosted by Dorte Lena Eilers, editor in chief of the monthly  journal "Theater der Zeit", Senad Halilbasic, researcher and screen writer; Neda Sokolovska, actress and theatre director of the group Vox Populi;  Jan Klata, former artistic director of the Stary Teatr in Kraków and Marta Górnicka, theatre director and singer addressed the question of making theatre in today's society of alienation and separation. They discussed fields of power of the artist and the artistic work within the society, relating to approaches of creating visibillity of the unheard, but also of active particpation through theatre work.

Audio takes from the panels can be requated via mail to passage23 [at]













September 29th, 2017, at 8pm
International Theatre Institute Berlin