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PRESENTATION OF RESULTS

Upon consideration of coded (anonymised) scripts, the jury of the theatre project Shadow Pandemic: Hidden Voices / Skriveni glasovi iz sjene pandemije has awarded the following three new and unpublished plays:
Kristina Kegljen – POD SUKNJOM (UNDER THE SKIRT)
Katja Gorečan – AKTIVISTKE (THE ACTIVISTS)
Tijana Grumić – SVET ZASLUŽUJE KRAJ SVETA (THIS WORLD DESERVES TO END)

This expert jury consisted of the following members: Vilma Štritof (Maribor Theatre Festival), Rok Andres (Maribor Theatre Festival), Biljana Srbljanović (Belgrade Drama Theatre), Tanja Šljivar (Belgrade Drama Theatre), Tomislav Zajec (Zagreb Youth Theatre), Selma Spahić (Zagreb Youth Theatre), and Ivana Vuković (project dramaturge).

Award rationale:

The open call for three new plays received 69 scripts, one of which did not meet the requirements and was not considered. It is important to note that the open call was issued only to female authors. The number of applications this high shows that the topic of the call is quite important but also that open calls of this kind are rather scarce in the region.

Violence against women (regardless of the pandemic context in which it is set in our project) is a difficult subject to treat as it may easily invoke stereotypes and banal interpretations. It is quite a challenge to show the victim’s position as someone other than passive and subjugated and an equal challenge to show the position of the bully without banalising it. It is even more challenging to move the text beyond the limiting qualification of being “female”. With all this in mind, we wish to thank all the authors who took the challenge and, within our limited deadline, applied with their texts set in a variety of worlds, from hyperrealist or familiar depictions of everyday life to poetic or science fictions. Therefore, even though only three texts have been selected in this open call, we hope that other titles will find their way to the stage.

Kristina Kegljen – POD SUKNJOM (UNDER THE SKIRT)

In her story about a mother and a daughter living in a continental rural setting of Croatia, the author creates a poetic world that sees the two women seek their emancipation and, ironically, get isolated in the process, oppressed by a never-ending nightmarish atmosphere that can both facilitate their doom or deliverance. In a series of variations of the same scenes the author seeks to disorient the reader, which becomes obvious as she completes the full circle by the end, as if to say that something else is more important than how the story begins or ends. This play with form and twisted perspective on the subject are exactly what sets this work by Kristina Kegljen apart.

Katja Gorečan – AKTIVISTKE (THE ACTIVISTS)

From up close women activists observe the violent environment and identify without fail the conditions and tribulations in which young women find themselves, questioning along the way their position in the society. This text does not follow the classic dramatic structure, as Katja Gorečan intertwines three stories about a Young Writer, Young Dramatist, and a Young Girl. In an unspecified setup, each tells her own yet common story rooted in a society ruled by the laws of precariat, patriarchy, abuse, and dishonesty. Each protagonist paints an intimate landscape in which young artists live, bringing them close to us, but with some cynical and wryly humorous distance. Set at the time of and little past the lockdown, the author speaks about a seemingly changing society, yet one that has revealed its deeply rooted preferences hidden under the surface. Using a rich palette of words, Katja Gorečan makes this short drama the classic of her own generation, or to be more accurate, a shining exemplar of all young female authors.

Tijana Grumić – SVET ZASLUŽUJE KRAJ SVETA (THIS WORLD DESERVES TO END)

In her text Tijana Grumić sets up the stage for a diegetic world that reflects and converses with our pre-apocalyptic, late capitalist reality. A world that – just like ours – comes to an end. In the context of environmental disasters, pandemic, and hoarding more profit, a piglet is born, inseminated, and put to death by humans. Up on the stage it speaks to the audience in human tongue about the circumstances in which three women lived, procreated (or declined to), and died: the mother, her daughter living in a rented flat, and the landlady. The last one raises the rent and forces the daughter to move out. The play does not resort to a simple criticism of bourgeois ethics or to an obvious moral of the story. None of the protagonists speaks from a high, “correct” ground. The landlady is a corona-profiteer, but her father was a bully who ended up eaten by pigs (according to the bedtime story our pig narrator listened to every night). The daughter is a vegan, but her mother earns her living in a slaughterhouse whose owner was also eaten by pigs.
Stage directions play a particular role as they bring author’s comments and make the link with a reality outside the story. A reality which is not real. Writing itself is part and the topic of this story, as is the issue of (self)exploitation on the creative arts market that reflects the ongoing exploitation of resources and living beings on this planet. By the end, pigs serve their revenge cold, taking more time than the world to end, more time than it takes to write, by eating everything, including this play.

Congratulations to the winners!

We held the first round of auditions for the play The Activists

Shadows of the Pandemic: Hidden Voices

On Friday, September 22 and Saturday, September 23, we held an audition for the play The Activists, which is being created as part of the Shadows of the Pandemic: Hidden Voices project, on the Chamber Stage of SNG Maribor. We invited women workers from the field of culture who are interested in the experiences of others in this segment and who have no problem sharing their own experiences and impressions, regardless of what they are or do in the cultural sector (accountant, actress, dresser, director, business secretary, producer) )

In two days, 15 candidates took part in the audition with the director of the play Selma Spahić, the dramaturg of the project Ivana Vuković and the author of the selected Slovenian text Aktivistka Katja Gorečan, and a few more will meet with the creative team via virtual platforms in the coming days. The atmosphere at the auditions was relaxed and motivated, with the aim of finding different profiles of female workers that would fit the concept of the show.

The emerging performance is part of an omnibus, which will consist of three parts/performances and will be performed in Maribor, Zagreb, Belgrade and two other foreign countries.

We held the second round of auditions for the play The Activists

Shadows of the Pandemic: Hidden Voices

On Tuesday, November 7, on the chamber stage of SNG Maribor, we held an audition for the play The Activists, which is being created as part of the Shadows of the Pandemic: Hidden Voices project. We invited women workers from the field of culture who are interested in the experiences of others in this segment and who have no problem sharing their own experiences and impressions, regardless of what they are or do in the cultural sector (accountant, actress, dresser, director, business secretary, producer )

The auditions with the director of the play Selma Spahić and the dramaturg of the project Ivana Vuković were attended by candidates with several decades of experience in the field of culture. The atmosphere was pleasant, relaxed and motivated, with the goal to discover different profiles of female workers that would fit the concept of the show.

The emerging performance is part of an omnibus, which will consist of three parts/performances and will be performed in Maribor, Zagreb, Belgrade, and two other foreign countries.

NEW DEADLINE FOR CALL AWARDS

The deadline for the announcement of the winners of the Call for three new unpublished plays under the theatre project Shadow Pandemic: Hidden Voices has been moved to 15 March 2023.

The announcement has been postponed to allow the jury enough time to review a surprisingly high number of applications (69 scripts received) with due care and attention.

Invitation to the Panell Discusion

The two-year international project Shadow Pandemic: Hidden Voices is carried out by the Maribor Theatre Festival in cooperation with the Zagreb Youth Theatre and the Belgrade Drama Theatre. It addresses the problem of violence against women during the closure of public life due to the coronavirus pandemic. The main aim of the project is to raise awareness of this issue among the general public and young people through a series of project activities, including an open call for new plays, a series of five workshops with young people, and a theatrical performance of the plays selected in the open call, led by theatre director Selma Spahić. It is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme with a grant of EUR 200,000 from the European Commission.

As part of the open call for the selection of drama texts, we kindly invite you to the panel discussion, which will take place on Wednesday, 14 December at 12 noon in the Kazinska Hall of the Slovene National Theatre Maribor.

Participants:

  • Ivana Vuković, dramaturge of the project
  • Jerneja Turin, consultant-analyst at the Centre for Human Rights
  • A representative of the Centre for Social Work Maribor

Open Call Details:

  • The deadline for submission of plays is 18 January 2023 at 24.00. Texts sent after this deadline will not be considered.
  • The drama script can only be submitted by women authors with a residence address in the EU member states and countries included in the Creative Europe Programme (Iceland, Norway, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Georgia, Moldavia, Ukraine, Tunisia, Armenia, and Kosovo*).
    *In accordance with the UN Security Council resolution 1244 (1999) and without prejudicing the status or the opinion of ICJ about Kosovo’s declaration of independence.
  • Each author can submit only one original play. The submitted text must not have been published or performed in any form. Texts in Croatian, Serbian or Slovenian must be sent in Word or PDF format to the following e-mail address: shadow.pandemic@zekaem.hr.
  • Interested female authors can ask questions about the competition by email: shadow.pandemic@zekaem.hr no later than 11 p.m. on 5 December 2022. The answers will be published on the project website www.shadowpandemic.eu no later than 15 December 2022 at 11 p. m.
  • Each of the selected scripts will be awarded Euro 4,400.00 gross (including all taxes and withholdings).
  • The selected texts will be translated into English, published in an online format and an omnibus play/performance, based on the award-winning texts as an integral part of the production, will be directed by Selma Spahić. The play will be performed in Zagreb, Belgrade and Maribor.

Invitation to a Panel Discussion

The Zagreb Youth Theatre (Croatia), Maribor Theatre Festival (Slovenia), and Belgrade Drama Theatre (Serbia) as partners and producers of the Shadow Pandemic: Hidden Voices project have issued a call for three new plays and a premiere to broadly address the issue of neglect and violence against women during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Shadow Pandemic: Hidden Voices project is being funded by the Creative Europe Programme (CREA) and co-funded by the European Commission and the Croatian Ministry of Culture and Media.

Planned project activities include several drama workshops and panel discussions to be held in Zagreb, Maribor, and Belgrade.

You are invited to attend a panel discussion in Zagreb on 28 November 2022 at the Zagreb Youth Theatre, Miško Polanec Hall at 4 p.m.:

 

Panellists:
Ivana Vuković, project dramaturge
Višnja Ljubičić, the Ombudswoman for gender equality
Anita Lauri Korajlija, psychologist, Autonomous Women’s House

Thank you for attending.

Follows a reminder to the terms of the call for three new plays:

The submission deadline is by the midnight of 18 January 2023, and the results will be announced at the Shadow Pandemic web site https://shadowpandemic.eu/javni-pozivi/ no later than 28 February 2023. You can download the call with all terms at the same site.

Scripts in Croatian, Serbian, or Slovene should be submitted in Word or PDF by email to: shadow.pandemic@zekaem.hr

Each of the selected scripts will be awarded Euro 4,400.00 gross (including all taxes and withholdings).

The drama script can only be submitted by women authors with a residence address in the EU member states and countries included in the Creative Europe Programme (Iceland, Norway, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Georgia, Moldavia, Ukraine, Tunisia, Armenia, and Kosovo*).

*In accordance with the UN Security Council resolution 1244 (1999) and without prejudicing the status or the opinion of ICJ about Kosovo’s declaration of independence.

The unpublished script can be submitted in Croatian, Slovene, or Serbian. The awarded scripts will be translated into English, published online, and staged together in an omnibus format under the direction of Selma Spahić. The plays will be premiered in Zagreb, Belgrade, and Maribor. This two-year project is funded by the European Commission as part of the Creative Europe Programme in the amount of Euro 200,000 and co-funded by the Croatian Ministry of Culture and Media.

The aim of the project is to raise public awareness about violence against women during the coronavirus pandemic, especially among the youth.

The project will involve 30 artists and 60 young people, who will attend the workshops and participate in the production of the plays, which will be performed 11 times in partner theatres in Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Poland, and Czechia.