Nebojsa TodoroviÄ, Yale University
This Postgraduate-work-in-progress seminar will be held online via Zoom and in person in room 102, Senate House. Booking is required.
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Two conceptual territories bracket Europe’s imaginary geography: Greco-Roman Antiquity and the modern Balkans. According to Leontis, an “abstract principle of territorial identification” ties the political and cultural life of both modern Hellas and Western Europe to ancient Greek civilization. 1 In comparison, the space of the Balkans seems peripheral to the project of European identity, especially if considering the poor understanding by the “U.S.-led West” of the violent breakup of the Yugoslavia (1992-2003). 2 In an attempt to theorize the complementary ways in which the Balkans and Greek Antiquity are intertwined in the European Imaginary, this paper compares two unpublished adaptations of ancient Greek tragedy, performed not within the epicenter of the Yugoslav warzone, but in a “borderland” space: Nikos Koundouros’ A Cry for Peace, an adaptation of Sophocles’ Antigone performed in 1994 at the border between Greece and Macedonia, 3 and Goran Stefanovski’s Bacchanalia, a 1996 Macedonian production of Euripides’ Bacchae. The oblivion these adaptations fell prey to resembles Yugoslavia’s marginal position in European political consciousness during (and after) the 1992-1995 conflict; their positioning on the border-line is theorized as the imago of the fourth wall of dramaturgical conversion and of the deterritorialized, imaginary and unlocatable line between the Balkans and Western Europe.