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Dino Pešut

THE NEXT TO LAST PANDA OR STATICS

Adaptaton and Dramaturgy: Marija Ratković
Directed by: Maksim Milošević

Tenth anniversary of a graduation in Šabac. This is the initial premise of the complex and touching story of the traumas of love and transition into adulthood. With the genre characteristics of a generational story and drama of growing up, The Next to Last Panda uses modern theatrical language in, episodically yet comprehensively, addressing the effects of wars, violence, and transition, as well as investigating the new conditions in education and labour, and (re)definitions of the concepts of friendship, love and success in today’s society.

 

The Next to Last Panda or Statics is a play by the young, yet established author Dino Pešut, and was awarded 2013 “Marin Držić” prize of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia. Currently, the play is in competition for the Deutschen Jugendtheaterpreis – one of the most prestigious European awards in the field of youth theatre.

ADAPTATION AND DRAMATURGY: Marija Ratković

DIRECTED BY: Maksim Milošević

CAST: Kristina Pajkić, Strahinja Barović, Miloš Vojnović, Jovana Pantić

LIGHTING DESIGN: Miroslav Sretenović (Izvanredni Bob)

PHOTOGRAPHY: Vladislav Andrejević

VIDEO EDITING: Matija Đukanović Đuka

VIDEO FOOTAGE DIRECTION: Vidan Miljković

ORIGINAL MUSIC: Petar Mirković A//O

COSTUMES: Marina Maričić

FASHION DESIGN: Ivana Davidović (DISCIPLINA)

GRAPHIC DESIGN: Kombinart

WORDS OF THE DRAMATURGE
PRE-POLITICAL SANDBOX AND POLITICS OF LOVE

The Next to Last Panda or Statics is a story about what is potentially the greatest neurosis of this generation – success. It is also about the scariest of all the manifestations of success – attending one’s graduation anniversary.

At the moment of the first encounter with those-we-have-known-all-our-lives, in a blink of an eye, the entire trauma of living in the modern society is unwound. A series of generations which were in pre-political condition during the wars on the territory of former Yugoslavia, grew up in devastated and ideologically confusing societies. This resulted in us, belonging to those generations, being introduced to politics in a number of arbitrary ways – we would change our identity politics as prom outfits. The real, political and/or personal maturing is delayed until early thirties, responsibility is postponed by financial adversities, studies and endless professional development trainings, familial and emotional rollercoasters, and a variety of existential crises. The time in The Next to Last Panda is conceived as an endless chain of present moments. Since we have landed on the radioactive junkyard of earlier concepts, values and politics, we have a diagonal view of the past and future. For us there is only present and only the present interests us, since it involves a potential for change. The history of the present is created only in the confronted visions of the four characters who fight with equal commitment to survive in this world that they do not entirely understand.

They, who grew up together, now represent four contrasting directions of the political compass, four faces of success/failure, but also complex and ambivalent characters which are simultaneously fragile and violent, active and passive, liberated and thoroughly restrained. I found it interesting to engage with the politics of emotions, i.e. the affective surplus, the unnamed residue of the feelings of belonging, love, hate, humiliation, passion, compassion, or anger – and during the process, for us to investigate together the existence and scope of the political, or even emancipatory potential of affect. I believe that we have made a shift from the rhetoric of reconciliation in which the issues of accountability are depoliticised and relativized in claiming that “we are all equally accountable”. We wished to provide an entirely new optics of friendship and solidarity from the perspective of the politics of affect and what Rosi Braidotti calls “regrounding of the subject in a materially embedded sense of responsibility and ethical accountability for the environments she or he inhabits”, which perhaps represents an inscription of the “female difference” in the text. We might never be able to fully understand Other and different, yet I wonder whether we are ever going to leave this pre-political sandbox in which we have all played for much too long. And if we are, where would we go from there? If we manage to deliver the politics of love from out of “our own four walls” we might head towards the resolution of many a conflict in the binary conceptualised world. Or maybe not?

Marija Ratković