The performance YOUTH WITHOUT GOD is director Borut Šeparović’s latest authorial project based on the motifs from Ödön von Horváth’s novel of the same name and partly inspired by Franco “Bifo” Berardi’s work “Heroes: Mass Murder and Suicide.”
In his 1937 novel “Youth Without God,” Ödön von Horváth successfully portrayed the emergence of fascist man, i.e. pointed to the social forces that produce this type of man. School program, mass media and amenable parents instill a new spirit into young minds – filled with hatred, cruelty, aggression. The youth of the novel psychologically and physically prepares for war. Our performance begins where Ödön von Horváth’s novel ends and asks the question: What can be done when nothing can be done?
This performance is not a period piece, it is a contemporary postdramatic performance. The performance is not a canonical piece either, it is a performance about the present and even the future. This is a performance about Europe of today and tomorrow – a performance about the reign of nihilism, the contemporary Volk. This is a(n) (antisocial) performance about social Darwinism, the white Christian identity. About the European identity. This is a performance about the cruel digital generation, the radicalized youth of the internet. About the extreme manifestation of contemporary trends. This is a performance about young mass murderers, self-murderers and the ideology that drives them. This is a performance that discusses the exceptions that prove the rule. This performance explains the exceptions and rarely deals with the norm it condemns. This is a performance without conflict. This is a performance about online recruitment, the ironic-fascist epidemic. The youth before us is not only Croatian but European, a youth that primarily forms socio-political consciousness through networks much more than through parents, friends or news sites which, in combination with a lack of information literacy in schools, creates fertile ground for political manipulation and radicalization. This youth is by no means harmless. Youth Without God is a youth without orientation, without attitude, without civil courage, indifferent and callous, growing up in sinister coldness…
This is a sensationalistic performance, inspired by the film “Natural Born Killers.” This performance raises the questions of conformism, impotence and depression, identifying the political and strategical helplessness of the so-called cultural left. Those who this youth calls liberals and “cultural Marxists.” The performance, therefore, describes the tip of the iceberg rather that discuss the everyday and the human. This performance denies the end of the world. This is not an educational piece nor an entertainment piece. This is a pessimistic performance. This is (perhaps even) a morbid performance.
The message of Ödön von Horváth’s novel is that good can prevail, but only if people stop fearing evil. Ödön von Horváth had hope – in people who read banned books, in himself who was prepared to be close to God through truth and the acceptance of “penance.” Our performance does not carry a message, nor hope, nor answers. This performance offers despair.
The performance YOUTH WITHOUT GOD was created through a co-production venture of the Zagreb Youth Theatre, the artist collective MONTAЖ$TROJ and the Academy of Dramatic Art is Zagreb. The performers are Boris Barukčić, Lucija Dujmović, Ivana Gulin, Ugo Korani, Ivan Pašalić, Bernard Tomić from the Academy of Dramatic Art and Zagreb Youth Theatre’s actor Rakan Rushaidat.
Zagreb Youth Theatre and MONTAЖ$TROJ invite you to come see the performance about a world in which the fundamental means of the youth’s upbringing and communication take the form of internet manifestos, websites, webcams, the dark web, first-person shooter video games – about a world that produced school shooters who, looking for affirmation through violence, ended their bloody crusades in suicide.
Information on performance reruns can be found on Zagreb Youth Theatre’s official website.