about the production
In the year 1992, 25 671 people were deleted from the register of citizens of the Republic of Slovenia. And although in 1999 the constitutional court made a decision that this had been illegal, the affected citizens had not been registered again, neither paid any compensation. As late as 2012 the European Court for Human Rights decided that the Slovene government must draft a system of compensation for the deleted citizens. Will the victims live to see it eventually?
This is not a fictitious story from the production by the Prešeren Theatre in Kranj, but a reality of the recent past in Slovenia. On the initiative of the dramaturgist Marinka Poštrak, who had addressed the famous Croatian director Oliver Frljić, an author drama production appeared describing these not very well known events which had happened shortly after the establishment of independent Slovenia, or to be more precise, following the end of the first stage of the civil war in Yugoslavia. The production is based on the documents, internet discussions, and direct evidence of people affected by the register deletion, as well as personal experiences of actors and the director who has had to go through something similar in Croatia. The conflict in Yugoslavia had such likeness, too. However, it was little talked about and if so, it was mostly done in a misleading way.
The production is trying to point out the tremendous injustice perpetrated on the deleted and remind people of this undignified deed of independent Slovenia that has hardly been discussed. Yugoslavia, torn apart by war, had seen horrendous acts against humanity. Against the background of genocides and murders “a kind of” citizenship deprivation might look dismissible. But just imagine how it would feel to live without health and social insurance, an identity card or a driving licence, a passport and generally the rights your neighbours in the house are enjoying.
In the political situation of the day this act might have even been be looked upon as a sort of revenge by the Slovenians for the attack by the Yugoslav army. But even if all the deleted had been members of the Yugoslav army, as was often wrongly said, this act would have been inexcusable anyway. Many families which were fatally affected by this event are suffering up to this day.
Oliver Frljić, who often does author political theatre, concentrated on the multi-layer structure in the production, by which he and his actors want to open a discussion about this political event. He is presenting it from different angles: from the point of view of the victims, or everyday Slovenian citizens, whose anonymous and often nationalistic voice echoes in internet discussions, or the actors themselves who remember their attitude to the event at the time. Frljić and his actors highlight the political and also the theatrical context, because the theatricality is being admitted throughout the production. We are viewing an authentic and a very sincere collage of theatrically expressed materials placed next to each other very sensitively, in order to point out the eternal circle of wrongdoings, hatred and revengefulness. The dramatic, although theatrically rather simple production opens the perennial issues of justice, guilt and conscience. The show which has been on since March 2013 has provoked different reactions. Obviously, as it strives to open the eyes, provoke a discussion and search one’s own conscience. Citizens of a country cannot just watch political decisions denying human rights and do nothing. The production 25 671 is an important contribution to the debate about the moral responsibility of an individual and society and urges us to remember how necessary a nation’s memory is.
“A work of art that has provoked hot discussion, demonstrative departures from the auditorium, enthusiastic acceptance but also angry rejection. A committed, drastically direct and provocative production has opened the issue of the deleted and has rigorously introduced ´the truthfulness of life´ into the theatre. It has shaken the “trendy theories” about the stupor of the present day viewer. The baffled and chicken-hearted, those without a view, prefer to babble about the “already seen director’s principle” rather than comment on its content. The awesome stage depiction of the (non-transparent) issue of the deleted has provided some with the essential, lasting but mainly intimate view on their own moral and ethical views.”
Zala Dobovšek, 28 June 2013, Delo
“The space of a theatre resembles a mirror in which we are supposed to see the truth. In this case it goes to the extreme and even further. We are not confronted with the truth but rather pushed into it, expected to declare for it, embark upon it, whether we want it or not. The production of 25 671 is shifting the limits somewhere where we have not been yet.”
Tadeja Krečič, Radio Slovenija 1
directed by Oliver Frljić
dramaturgiy: Marinka Poštrak
composer: Irena Popović
stage designer: Oliver Frljič and Biro Filter Arhitektura
costumes: Sandra Dekanić
light design: Bojan Hudernik
make-up: Matej Pajntar
cast: Vesna Jevnikar, Darja Reichman, Miha Rodman, Vesna Slapar, Aljoša Ternovšek, Borut Veselko, Matjaž Višnar, Maja Malnarič, Bojan Stojanov, Tina Vlašič
Oliver Frljić (1976) – obtained his academic degree in philosophy, religious culture and sound creation at the Academy of Performing Arts at Zagreb University. In addition to his work for many renowned theatres, he cooperated with almost all groups on the Zagreb independent scene (BADco., Montažstroj, OOUR, Sodaberg, kombinirane operacije, Studio – Contemporary Dance Company, etc.). He is a member of the Centre for Theatre Art in Zagreb. Jointly with the Academy of Performing Arts at Zagreb University the Centre publishes the journal Frakcija, in which Frljić works as an editor. Another Centre project is the educational programme Highways of Knowledge, in which Oliver Frljić is the director.
Oliver Frljić’s productions have been presented at several festivals: Wiener Festwochen (Vienna), Perforation Festival (New York), Gavella’s Evenings (Zagreb), The Split Summer (Split), APAF (Salzburg), International Children’s Festival Šibenik (Šibenik), Sterijino Pozorje (Novi Sad) and others. Oliver Frljić has obtained several awards, e.g. the Grand Prix at the International Festival of Chamber Theatre Golden Lion in Umag for the production of Turbofolk, two Borštnik Prizes in Maribor for the play Damned Be the Traitor of His Homeland!, 3 prizes at the festival Sterijino Pozorje 2011 for the author’s project Cowardice – Prize for the Best Production, Prize for the Best Direction, Critics‘ Prize.
Video of the productione: yes
Script of the production: SK, EN, SI
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