Sniper, a new premiere by Mini teater and Ivica Buljan
Premiere of Ivica Buljan's Sniper, Robert Waltl's performances of Thumbelina and Waltl’s and Buljan's lectures in Ivory Coast
Damir Karakaš’s Sniper directed by Ivica Buljan is a coproduction of Mini teater Ljubljana, Novo kazalište Zagreb and Compagnie Yeyotheatre Abidjan and it premiered on 8th January 2014 in Abidjan. During the time of rehearsals for the premiere Robert Waltl gave two performances of Thumbelina, the first virtual puppet show in the world, in the production of Mini teater Ljubljana – one in a small village Abatta and the other in a SOS village (an orphanage).
Ivica Buljan and Robert Waltl also gave several lectures for the students of the Academy and Art High School in Abidjan and they had various meetings with some of the most important creators of the theatre scene in Abidjan, among them, the president of ITI, the president of UNIMA Ivory Coast and the director of the international puppet festival in Abidjan.
After the premiere of Sniper in Ivory Coast Tours across Abidjan and in April performances in Slovenia and in Croatia
We wanted to create a play which could be performed at various locations in Abidjan. The first few performances will take place in the Theatre Documentation Centre, French Cultural Institute and Goethe Institute in Abidjan. After that, the actors intend to tour all over Abidjan, which will be an extraordinary feat. The reason for this being that Abidjan there has no permanent ensemble, so the audition attracted many actors and the artistic community lost courage and orientation.In April, the play will be performed also in Slovenia and in Croatia.
Ivica Buljan's teachers, from Brook or Barba to Ellen Stewart, showed him that even the most local theatre is very international in its core. To be able open up to new ideas, people and collectives was also Krleža's philosophy. His play Kraljevo was directed by Ivica Buljan in Abidjan in 2009 on the request of the director of the National Theatre who had seen Buljan’s work with French students on the texts of Elfriede Jelinek.While working with forty artists on the play Kraljevo, this time Buljan decided to direct Karakaš’s Sniper in a more standard manner and to make the play more mobile and long-lasting.
Croatian Karakaš in African Abidjan
Irie Philippe is fighting bureaucratic windmills as one of the few actors who rejected working in an office, which is usually the best case scenario for Abidjan actors. He invited me to continue the work we started with Krleža. Like Krleža’s Kraljevo also Sniper has reasons to be connected to Africa. At first reading I found Sniper closely entwined with the situation in Ivory Coast. This work is partly connected to Croatian region Lika only because it is possible to recognise in it the environs from where the protagonist Muki originates. Karakaš is a cosmopolitan also in his Parisian Matoš-like adventure. The text is beautiful, rough, charged with ideas and paranoid like Gus van Sant’s script. It is a Balasco theme that Karakaš managed to write as the manifest of a generation thirsty for revolution and even more so for money which they will never get, not even by robbery or murder.
Karakaš's play speaks about the fragility of Croatian culture in a drastic manner because it is unfitted for the modern world constructed around institutions. Sniper is a medium of Croatian-Ivorian artistic action. Two countries in trouble reaching to each other. The first is marked by post-industrial emptiness, the second by postcolonial chaos.
Karakaš belongs in Abidjan – in a city which a hundred years ago didn’t exist, a city where people talk a language with no connection whatsoever to their origins, a city to which newcomers brought their own traditions, a city where a Catholic, an atheist, a Muslim and an evangelist, all by their own choice, can live together in one family, a city where the Chinese test new economy and where French restaurants are better than in Paris. Abidjan is an artificial city where the population increases by a million every year. It is a city with excellent instrumentalists, wild dancers and exceptional artists. A Babylon where 30 languages melded with French.
Empty and deserted apartement, time of the political campaign. Muki and his pregnant friend Sončica have to carry out an assassination of the presidential candidate to earn for their departure for Paris that has for them became a mythical city for better opportunities as opposed to nonperspective everydayimage of "the nation of lusers", that they are trying to escape.
In their plan a Student interferes, a resigned pacifist whose calmed beliefs show only remains of the resistance and oh the wish to end social conventions. Three members pf the young and lost generation are requestioning the reasones for their dissatisfaction with the society and the motives that force them toward changes. An idealistic struggle for a "more fair society", the need for the revolution, selfish materialistic reasones and personal frustrations are interwined in the motive of Snejper whose bullet has to kill a high-profile politician in which Snajper serves as a methaphorical demonstration of the confrontation with the society and oneslf.
Read more about Sniper also here!