Each of the five scenes of the play is a piece of fiction inspired from a reality or a particular type of public discourse which are present in the Romanian society of today: from the wall built in Baia Mare to separate the Roma community from the main road entering the town to the increasingly stark differentiation between social categories, ethnicities or generations. Under the pretext of upholding social conventions and saving “the citizen”, new rules are in fact invented, meant to stigmatise every difference and stifle anything that could bring us closer. The political view on poverty (seen as a guilt of those who don’t manage to be competitive and efficient) has contaminated the public space and threatens to become a normal, fair, and perfectly justified perspective. The nationalist trends of the past few years are the most obvious effect of discriminative political attitudes which encourage intolerance and the search for scapegoats.
We accept without questioning new rules that limit our rights as inhabitants of a city. The lead actors have taken over all visibility, while we remain as silent spectators, in the dark. If we are asked for an opinion, it is most often as a formality. There is a growing feeling that the cities no longer belong to us, their citizens. Decisions are made on how they should look, with complete disregard to public statements, criticisms and protests. Of course, new and effective means of applying pressure must be found, but we are currently living times of utter confusion, which leads to isolation, even to despair.
Sometimes, reality is so absurd, and media fiction is so surreal, that we no longer manage to coherently articulate a discourse for defence, for protest. It was precisely this feeling of confusion, of stalemate, that I attempted to transpose into the play. I don’t know whether it will do any good, but what I am trying to articulate is the very loss of the capacity to articulate.
Co-production Théâtre National / Bruxelles
In collaboration with Festival d’Avignon
With the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union in the frame of Villes en scène/ Cities on stage.
Performances in Avignon with the support of the BNP-Paribas Fondation. In collaboration with the Romanian Cultural institute.
During its production and tour, this performance will be accompanied by the citizens’ workshop Moving cities Sibiu.