Theatre as a Place to Deal With a Family Memory (on the Example of Two Contemporary Czech Performances)

  • Sylwia Czachór Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan

Abstract

The communist era is one of the most explored topics in Czech art and it is showed from different perspectives. Not a very common way is to present the past by studies on a family memory. However, two of the contemporary performances, share this perspective and show how social and political conditions created the identity of the family. I would like to analyze and compare them, because they use completely different means to talk about the history and the memory and, moreover, they are examples of memory and postmemory. The first, more traditional one which premiered in 2007, is based on a classical Czech drama (written by Milan Uhde) about the dilapidated house in which lives authoritarian father, Jewish mother, son dissident, second son collaborator and catatonic daughter. The performance shows them talking about harms they have caused each other in the past, but about which they cannot forget. Through grotesque and black humor theatre presents their attempt to find a solution and restore the family bonds torn by the ambiguities accumulated in the memory. Unlike the first, the second performance (premiered in 2012) is created by the artist (Veronika Švábová) who was born at the end of communist era and it is based on her personal history. Through an alternative project she is trying to create a picture of her family using different means of preserving the memory: old photographs, letters, music listened with her grandmother, her own body, recipes handed down from generation to generation… She is using new technologies to shorten the distance to her ancestors, to try to understand the family choices and to build her own identity.

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Published
2015-09-01
How to Cite
CZACHÓR, Sylwia. Theatre as a Place to Deal With a Family Memory (on the Example of Two Contemporary Czech Performances). Култура/Culture, [S.l.], n. 10, p. 83-94, sep. 2015. ISSN 1857-7725. Available at: <http://journals.cultcenter.net/index.php/culture/article/view/153>. Date accessed: 06 july 2020.
Section
English Articles

Keywords

family memory, postmemory, identity, Czech theatre, communism