Institut Ramon LLull

Playing Together: Catalonia at HB Studio continues with Mivion (Radio Sarajevo) by La Conquesta del Pol Sud

Arts.  New York, 08/06/2021

HB Studio is pleased to partner with Institut Ramon Llull to present Playing Together: Catalonia at HB Studio, a special showcase of select Catalan plays, with English subtitles, followed by in-depth discussions with the artists about their work and creative process. The program, hosted by HB Studio, kicked off in May with an HB public conversation on A.K.A. (ALSO KNOWN AS) by playwright Daniel J. Meyer. The series now features MIVION (RADIO SARAJEVO), a piece of documentary theatre written and created together by Slobodan Minic, Arza Suljic, Carles Fernández Giua and Eugenio Szwarcer of the theatre company La Conquesta del Pol Sud, and it will continue with two more plays in the Fall.




MIVION (RADIO SARAJEVO) by La Conquesta del Pol Sud

“Like water, life always finds a way.” - Slobodan Minic

MIVION is an acronym in the Serbo-Croatian language, formed by the abbreviation of the words “We”, “You” and “They”. MIVION was the title of a cultural program (referring to artists, audience and critics), conducted by Slobodan Minic, a renowned journalist who also was director of the Culture programming at Radio Sarajevo. In that radio show, Minic interviewed artists such as Bosnian poet Sidran, filmmaker Emir Kusturica and musician Goran Bregovic.

During the siege of his city (1992-1996), Minic resisted by doing what he knew best: radio and journalism. Finally, like thousands of other people, he fled through the tunnel excavated under Sarajevo and arrived into Spain, where he established himself together with his family in a little village on the coast of Catalonia, in Spain. There, he worked as a waiter and raised his two sons.

Minic’s story is a testimony to the progressive advance of intolerance, nationalism and authoritarianism, but also to the strength of culture. His story is about the power of the human voice to offer comfort as well as how words and speech can be used to promote hatred and construct an “us vs. them” mindset that can eventually lead to a civil war.

MIVION (Radio Sarajevo) also explores the crossing of cultures and generations. It is a set of mirrors between the voice and the experience of Minic and the lives of two young people, Bosnian Azra Suljic, who also arrived in Catalonia as a child fleeing from the war, and Catalan dancer and performer Marc Soler who was born in 1998 and hardly knew anything about the Bosnian war before joining the project.

MIVION (Radio Sarajevo), magically merges radio and theatrical languages. Journalist Slobodan "Boban" Minic is on the air broadcasting live from his house, just as he was at the station from which he resisted the siege of his city. On stage, two young people who, due to the pandemic had experienced a lockdown that somewhat connects their experiences to Minic’s, Azra Suljic, a translator and interpreter who has never performed on a stage before, and performer Marc Soler. There are also the images filmed in Bosnia and Serbia during the documentary travel, which was an essential part of the creative process of La Conquesta del Pol Sud.

The referential framework for the play is the eclecticism, variety and dynamism of the radio, the 'natural environment' of the protagonist. A language in which interviews, moments of reflection and intimacy, musical interludes, even connections with correspondents operating in other spaces are alternated. The language of the radio offers many possibilities for the imagination.

Length: 80 minutes. The show is performed in Catalan, Spanish and Bosnian, and presented with English subtitles. Watch the trailer here

CREDITS

Created by: Slobodan “Boban” Minic, Azra Suljic, Marc Soler & La Conquesta del Pol Sud

Performed by: Slobodan ”Boban” Minic, Azra Suljic, Marc Soler

Stage Direction: Carles Fernández Giua

Set & Video Design: Eugenio Szwarcer

Movement: Ariadna Montfort

Lighting Design: Luis Martí

Sound Design: Damien Bazin

Live Stream Video Operator: Xavi Domènech

Assistant Director: Mònica Molins

Executive Production: Carol Murcia

Booking & Communication: Lidia Giménez

Stage Photography (pictured above): Alfred Mauve

Presented by La Conquesta del Pol Sud and Institut Ramon Llull with the support of the Catalan Institute for Cultural Companies (ICEC) and Terrassa Arts Escèniques, with the collaboration of Taula de cultura de les Escoles Velles i l’Ajuntament de Sant Esteve de Palautordera & of Nau Ivanow. With appreciation to: Dina Minic, Goran Minic, Borchi Minic, Vera Bilbija, Sifa Suljic.

MEET THE ARTISTS

Slobodan 'Boban' Minic was born in Sarajevo in 1950. He has a degree in law and is a journalist. He was director of Culture programming and host of the program MIVION on Radio Sarajevo. Once the seige of the city began, he refused to leave it to continue 'resistance' through the microphone. After two and a half years of siege, he decided to reunite with his family who had already taken refuge in Catalonia. Since then, he has named himself “Boban” which was an easier way to pronounce his name for Spaniards.

He has participated in many artistic and cultural initiatives, traveling around Catalonia and Spain giving lectures and talks. He has collaborated in different audiovisual media as well as with the written press. He participated in the session of the Permanent People's Court for the crimes of the former Yugoslavia. In 2005 he received the LiberPress Award. Boban has always been a great communicator. Most of these activities were carried out while working in the cafeteria of the social center of L'Escala. For years, as a good journalist, he has been writing down his experiences as a foreigner in all kinds of papers, notebooks, receipts and napkins. Scraps of conversations that mix with his memories and his thought, always lucid, always skeptical. Boban has built his life in the Empordà: his two children were born in Sarajevo but were educated in Catalonia and he, although he will always declare himself a citizen of Sarajevo, has decided that he will never return to the Balkans. His experience is built on two different realities and contexts that continually dialogue. His gaze is that of the one who carries journalism in his blood: curious and erudite, insightful and skeptical, terribly human.

Carles Fernández Giua has a degree in Law and Theater Direction. After studying Art History and visual arts (sculpture), he chose the theater for the possibility it offers to integrate the different live and plastic arts. In 2009 he created, alongside with Eugenio Szwarcer, the company La Conquesta del Pol Sud. From its origins, the company’s work has explored the connection between many compelling themes of daily life using the theater as a space for collective debate.

Eugenio Szwarcer studied in Argentina and Barcelona. He combines set design with video design in numerous productions. The essential themes of his work are the interaction between the action on stage and projected image and the use of space as an expressive element and engine for resistance and movement. Abroad he has recently worked with premier international creators like Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui (MILONGA, 2013; SHELLSHOCK, 2014) and in Catalonia he has collaborated with directors such as Carme Portaceli, Joan Ollé, Josep Mª Pou, Toni Casares and Rafel Duran.

Arza Suljic was born in Bosnia, but flew with her mother to Spain because of the war. She has a Bachelor's degree in Translation and Interpretation from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. She has further education through the University of Perpignan Via Domitia and is a specialist in environmental governance in African countries (Master's degree from the University of Geneva). She is passionate about language learning, as well as about environmental protection through community management of natural resources. Through dance, she has always been involved in the performing arts, although MIVION is her first professional experience on stage.

Marc Soler was born in El Masnou (Barcelona). He graduated in Dramatic Art for the Esart Campus in Barcelona (Bath Spa University). He has taken further courses such as Meisner and Chekhov acting technique and method Suzuki and Viewpoints, Spanish and Catalan diction classes, Estill Voice Training and studied contemporary dance, tap, jazz, acrobatics and HipHop. In theater, he has appeared in MAREMAR by Dagoll Dagom, LA PARTIDA by Vero Cendoya, SIX CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR by Marti Torras, DES-ESPERA by Les Impuxibles, among others. He also worked in the films TODOS MIENTEN by Pau Freixes’s and MINUTOS DE ESPERA by Mikel Uraide, for TV in MOEBIUS by Eduard Cortés.

ABOUT THE COMPANY

La Conquesta del Pol Sud is a company formed by Carles Fernández Giua and Eugenio Szwarcer and has a number of regular collaborators. The company is interested in contemporary dramaturgy, which asks relevant questions and requires a challenging study concerning the theatrical language used on a project. Now the company has reached a moment in which it's looking for new forms. They find themselves more often interested in reality as theatrical material, bringing them to the world of documentary and the world of non-fiction as a space of equilibrium between emotion and debate. They are interested in exploring how poetry emerges from reality.

 

 

Playing Together: Catalonia at HB Studio

Presenting an HB Public Conversation on Mivion (Radio Sarajevo) by La Conquesta del Pol Sud

Saturday, July 10, 2021

2:00pm ET / 20h CET

The talk will feature Carles Fernández Giua (director), Eugenio Szwarcer (set and video designer), and Arza Suljic (performer and co-creator of the show). Moderated by HB Teaching Artist Maria Fontanals.

Learn more about the Playing Together: Catalonia at HB Studio series.

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