6 – Critics
In times when the world is ruled by chaos and violence and we are witnessing such a terrible dehumanization of human beings, we can finally stop asking ourselves what kind of people are refugees. The real question is what kind of people are we. The only balanced reaction to the situation is solidarity – and this is no idealization of refugees, it is a normal answer to a fellow human being in distress.
By establishing the antagonism between the private and the public, Divjak discloses the mechanisms of racism of the silent ‘centre’ of the society, which is not posed against the Other because of different culture, colour of the skin or religion; the underlying reason for its racism is economic. The faces of six refugee children that appear as a video backdrop of the performance thus express that the refugee tragedy is not just a consequence of some sort of ‘backwardness’ of the countries from which the refugees arrive, but that Europe has a deep problem with its understanding of life, work and fellow humans, which is also mirrored in the attitude towards the children who have escaped the hell of civil wars.
The concept of the performance is minimalist, with minimal music and lighting effects, and it builds primarily upon juxtaposing different discursive practices – a calm intimate confession, administrative address from behind the microphone and the abuse of the privileged position of proclamation: the one who has the microphone will be better heard and has social power – not by the virtue of being legitimate or just, but by the virtue of being the loudest. The straightforward use of official documents and emails allows the performance to outline the brutality and the psychopathology of hatred and the disintegration of possibility for a social dialogue. […] A stage piece that addresses one of the key – and extremely worrying – phenomena of our society and two years after the events tries to re-open the space for a dialogue. A brave and necessary performance.
Research project 6 is an extremely important revival of the critical (self-)contemplation and a useful, essential confrontation with the fears of all sorts, of foreigners, loss of job, aggression of the masses. And above all, it is the self-inquiry about the loss of fundamental humaneness. […] Director Žiga Divjak, last year’s Borštnik laureate for the direction of the performance The Man Who Watched the World, was given a new opportunity at the Mladinsko. With his sensitive and engaged approach once again collated real events, researched the facts in the field (together with the journalist Maja Ava Žiberna) and established an commited creative symbiosis with the actors. The dramaturgy is precise, the temperature and rhythm of the performance are subtly guided – from the initial quiet, personal discourse to the final frenzy. […] The performance should be shown on public television, so it could reach those same crowds that a year and a half ago fulminated against the boys who’d lost everything. Perhaps that fear would at least be replaced by shame.