After a very successful Philosophical Theatre with theatre director Oliver Frljić during last year's Bitef the new Philosophical Theatre has invited the highly praised German writer Norman Ohler, the author of the world bestseller on the Third Reich and drugs. As the subject of this year's festival is 'community', i.e. a critical analysis of the current strengthening of rightwing populism, xenophobia and authoritarian regimes, this time the Philosophical Theatre focuses on a dialogue between Normal Ohler and Srećko Horvat about the 'community' from fascism to antifascism, following the work of this intriguing author who has studied in detail the shocking relationship between nazism and drugs and in his latest book deals with the antifascist resistance of young people in Hitler's Germany, yet another neglected and as yet pretty much uncharted territory.
Which are the lessons to be drawn from the close relationship between totalitarian regimes and drugs; how does the ideology manage to bedazzle the community which is not only ready to go to war but turns a blind eye to crime as well; how are the resistance against and alternative for this nightmare born and can we learn and understand the past so as to avoid that it happens again perhaps in a worse form? These are the questions that the new Philosophical Theatre in Belgrade will deal with.
The Philosophical Theatre was initiated by Srećko Horvat and Dubravka Vrgoč at the Croatian National Theatre (HNK) and the guests included Slavoj Žižek, Yanis Varoufakis, M.I.A., Vanessa Redgrave, Thomas Piketty, Adam Curtis, Julia Kristeva and many others. In September 2019 the Croatian National Theatre will present the world premiere of Žižek's Antigone directed by Angela Richter. The Philosophical Theatre in Belgrade was suggested by Maja Pelević and Ivana Nenadović and supported by Željko Hubač, the then Drama Company manager of the National Theatre who has been a host since 2015 to the Italian philosopher Franco “Bifo” Berardi, British author Tariq Ali, philosopher Boris Buden, Benedictine nun Teresa Forcades, Hungarian philosopher G. M. Tamás and - by video-link - Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks.
NORMAN OHLER, German author and screenwriter. As early as 1995, when internet was still at its embryonic stage, he published the first hyper-text novel Die Quotenmaschine , a detective story set in New York. In 2001 he published the much praised novel Mitte, set in Berlin, and in 2001 Ponte City about Johannesburg. Ohler was a writer-in-residence in Ramallah in 2004 and the last person to interview Yasser Arafat. In 2008 he co-wrote the script for Wim Wenders' film Palermo Shooting. He earned world fame as the author of Blitzed - Drugs in Nazi Germany (2017) translated into over 30 languages, with Paramount purchasing filming rights. The Guardian wrote that it was an incredible overview that changed everything we ever knew about the Second World War. His new book, The Bohemians, about the resistance of young people in Hitler's Berlin came out in Germany in 2019.
SREĆKO HORVAT, philosopher originating from Croatia but without a permanent address or residence. He has more than ten books to his name translated into over 15 languages. Horvat's latest published books are Poetry from the Future (Penguin, 2019), Subversion! (Zero Books, 2017); The Radicality of Love (Polity, 2015); Welcome to the Desert of Post-Socialism: Radical Politics after Yugoslavia (with Igor Štiks, Verso, 2015); What Does Europe Want? (with Slavoj Žižek, Columbia University Press, 2014) - Šta Evropa želi? He writes regularly for The Guardian, Der Spiegel, Al Jazeera and others. He was a co-founder of Subversive festival in Croatia (2008-2013), and is currently editing and running the Philosophical Theatre at HNK (since 2014) and with the former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis is an active member of Democracy in Europe (DiEM25) movement.