Digital theater. A never-performed workers’ play. An online, 15-fragment mini-series. Free, ad-free and no registration required – you won’t find this on Netflix!
At the height of the fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic, in place of the theater, artist collective MONTAЖ$TROJ responsibly and proudly invites you to the purpose-built website RADNIČKA CESTA.
The never-performed, two-and-a-half-hour workers’ play RADNIČKA CESTA (WORKERS ROAD) takes place in Croatia during the corona crisis, in the warehouse of a production plant located on Radnička cesta (Workers Road) in Zagreb. Two workers from the plant for the production of electronic components for Chinese 5G generation mobile phones, EDO (Bernard Tomić) and ĐURO (Domagoj Janković), decide to kidnap and kill a corporate consultant who is coming to assess the efficiency of the plant with the end goal of automation or possible profitable liquidation. They envision their act as a political message that will bring back the idea of revolutionary violence as a legitimate form of working-class resistance.
All of this is witnessed by the night guard TOMO (Matej Đurđević), who belongs to the “Millennial” generation of highly educated, precarious workers and happens to be at the scene. Problems arise when the revolutionaries realize that the corporate consultant they had targeted is neither Chinese, nor American, nor German – that he, in fact, is not from one of those countries where, according to their prejudices, the winners of corporate competition come from – but a local man named FRANJO (Goran Grgić) with whom they share the same language, culture and historical relations.
THE CHARACTERS in the online mini-series RADNIČKA CESTA (WORKERS ROAD) belong to different generations and harbor different hopes and fears, yet all of them are the sons and grandsons of workers from the production sector of the socialist-era planned economy who worked at that same location on Radnička cesta – once a symbol of industry, now transformed into the service and financial center of Zagreb.
The project RADNIČKA CESTA (WORKERS ROAD) is the result of a year-long effort by artists from the independent scene who were determined to create something meaningful during the pandemic. Actors frequently isolating and Covid restrictions led us to adapt the project for a digital format to make it more sustainable and accessible. We moved away from performing in front of an audience within a physical space to adjust the project to the circumstances of the corona crisis. Picture and sound were recorded with an iPhone 12 Pro Max.
In addition to 15 short video fragments, the website contains additional textual and audiovisual content that raises issues further contextualized by the health and economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. What is precarious work? Is there a dichotomy between failed production plants and the post-transition service sector? Is there class consciousness of resistance and engagement or has cynicism prevailed while frustration inevitably forces youth to cross the border? Is the introduction of automation and artificial intelligence in the workplace threatening to further increase polarization and employee insecurity?
A chronicle of the whole process, written from the personal perspective of Ana Prolić, author and dramaturge, WORK DIARY consists of a series of poetically intoned, self-reflective and self-referential records of the long, discontinuous and demanding one-year work process on the project RADNIČKA CESTA (WORKERS ROAD) during 2020 and 2021. In addition to constituting theatrical material about the process itself, the records also illustrate the specifics of working on the independent scene in pandemic times, further aggravated by earthquakes. The author details all this both from her position as co-dramaturge and co-author of the text of the performance, as well as from the position of an independent artist directly endangered by the consequences of the corona crisis.
The website also features NOTES that offer additional insight into the process behind the project. The user of the website is therefore given access to materials used and created in the process of artistic research.
Precarious work? Alienation? The cyclical nature of crises? Post-capitalism and the coronavirus pandemic in the lives of workers? Where is resistance from the left? The legitimacy of violence? Interclass communication? A clearly defined area of struggle? RADNIČKA CESTA.