SERBIAN NOVEMBER at the Volkstheater Wien, Austria


More than 70,000 people of Serbian nationality live in Vienna, and that doesn’t include the nationalised Serbs of the second, third or forth generation. Serbian migration to Vienna has a long tradition and experienced its heyday at the beginning of the 60ies due to the labour migration of thousands of Serbs. Today, Vienna is one of the biggest Serbian cities.

The cultural exchange between Vienna and Belgrade has been intensive all along. The cultural activities of the guest workers are today part of Vienna’s cultural heritage; Serbian artists like Marina Abramović, Milo Dor and Bogdan Bogdanović have provided lasting impulses to the Austrian art world.

Today, an extraordinary vital art scene, that is mainly based in Belgrade, characterizes Serbia’s cultural life. A young generation of theatre professionals attracts attention in the established as well as the independent theatres in Belgrade and Novi Sad, and has partly even become famous in the German-speaking world. The discursive and reconciling contribution of artists to reappraise the Yugoslav wars in the 1990s is reflected in their works. But the war is by far not the only subject. The young generation of artists treats subjects like gender stereotypes and domestic violence, Serbian politics since the end of the war and the fall of Miloševićs, and creates sensational staging for old and new, native and international dramatic literature.

The country-focus at the Volkstheater in Vienna invites us to rediscover Serbia as a theatrical place, a ‘place of memory’, a birthplace of contemporary art and a discussion space. It starts with the guest performance of the comedy Pokojnik by the ‘Serbian Nestroy’ Branislav Nušić (YUGOSLAV DRAMA THEATRE FEATURING FACULTY OF DRAMATIC ARTS PRODUCTION; a selected performance from some of Serbia's youngest and most promising directors) on the big stage of the Volkstheater. The young director Igoor Vuk Torbica already worked on this production during his studies, and is said to be the young new talent not least because of his anxiety-free update and comedic accuracy.

Further current productions with a Serbian reference point will be shown in the Volx/Margarethen, the small stage of the Volkstheater; amongst others a dizzying version of Fassbinder’s Katzelmacher by the director Bojana Lazić and Aleksandra Zec by Oliver Frljić, which deals with the assassination of a twelve-year-old Serbian girl by Croatian militia during the war in 1991. Die Sprache der Anderen (The language of the others), an exchange project by the Junge Volkstheater, with Serbs who are learning German and Austrians who are learning Serbian, will accompany the programme. A movie night presents Serbian cinema of today. We’ll cook and dance together.


Refugee movement and right-wing populism

(Flüchtlingsbewegung und Rechtspopulismus)

14 Novemner 2015 15h | 3pm

At the Rote Bar of the Volkstheater

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Theatre during the Yugoslav Wars 1991-1995

19 - 21 November 2015

At the Rote Bar and at the Volx/Margareten

Furthermore, the conference Theater während der Jugoslawienkriege 1991-1995 (Theatre during the Yugoslav wars 1991-1996) organised and carried out by Prof. Stefan Hulfeld (Institute of Theatre, Film and Media Studies, University of Vienna) in cooperation with Blockfrei (non-aligned movement) takes place at the same time.



Journalists from the UTE program YOUNG EUROPEAN JOURNALISTS ON PERFORMING ARTS will accompany the whole SERBIAN NOVEMBER in Vienna— writing on performances, attending the public discussions, doing individual interviews —striving to capture the essence of this project between politics and arts.

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Learn more about the SERBIAN NOVEMBER