time periodMay 2017 - May 2017
Goran Ferčec (born in Koprivnica, Croatia in 1978) is an author, playwright and theater maker. He graduated dramaturgy at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb, and he is a member of the editorial board the Performing Arts magazine Frakcija, as well as the Croatian Association of Dramatic Artists. Ferčec is co-founder and editor (from 2008-2013) of the “dramaturgical collective” (dk), an initiative that promotes the performance and drama texts by young Croatian and international authors. Ferčec publishes performance texts, theoretical articles and essays in local and international magazines; “Frakcija”, Zagreb; “TkH-Walking Theory”, Belgrade; “Kretanja”, Zagreb: “Scena”, Novi Sad, “Kazalište”, Zagreb; “Buchkultur”, Vienna, “Sarajevske sveske”, Sarajevo, weekly magazine “Dani”, Sarajevo, and on Third program of Croatian national radio. His novel “There Will Be No Miracles Here” was published by the publishing house Fraktura in 2011. In 2015 he published a book of essays “Handbook for Yesterday – thirteen essa s”. The novel was shortlisted for all relevant literary awards in Croatia and is translated and published in Republic of Macedonia. In 2011 at Zagreb Youth Theatre was premiered his performance text “Letter to Heiner Müller”, directed by Bojan Djordjev. His latest text “Workers” was premiered in 2014 as part of the “Vor den Hunden” project in co-production with fringe ensemble from Bonn and Schaubühne Lindenfels in Leipzig and Bonn. For 2017 drama trilogy collection “Workers” is planned to be published by Fraktura publishing house. Croatian premiere production of a play “Workers” is announced in Zagreb Youth Theatre for the season 2016/2017. For his theater work Ferčec received the following awards: Award of the Austrian Cultural Forum (Vienna, 2007); Croatian Theatre Award for best dramatization and adaptation (Zagreb, 2014); The award of the Borštnik Festival for dramaturgy (Ljubljana, 2014 and 2015); Veljko Maričić Award for dramaturgy (Rijeka, 2014). For his literary work Ferčec received the annual awar Croatian Ministry of Culture for the novel “There Will Be No Miracles” Ferčec, as one of the best ten novels in 2011. He took part in “Artist-in-residence grant Milo Dor” in Vienna, 2010; “Writers residency at The International Writers House in Graz” 2014; Writers residency organized by Slovenian Writers' Association during the Vilenica festival in Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2015; “Performative arts residency Dialoghi” in Codroipo, Italy, 2016; Residency “Absolute Modern" in Skopje, FYRM, 2016.
In the last couple of years my artistic and literary interest was focused on discovering and repositioning historical and social term of a working class and what happened to that notion at the beginning of 21th century in south-eastern Europe, precisely in the countries that went through transition form socialism to liberal capitalism. The complexity of the subject and intimate relation to it, as a child from a working class family, expanded my writing into different literary modes of drama, non-fiction and fiction. In part of my recent drama trilogy titled “Workers” that was staged in 2014 in Bonn by the German theatre group fringe ensemble, accent was put on the actual hunger strike that twenty female workers from the textile industry held for eight day after they didn’t get salary for more than a year. In book of essays “Handbook for Yesterday” (Fraktura, 2015) I examine contemporary working conditions, re-questioning not only the context of workers in general, but position of a new precarious working subjects r cultural workers. In a work-in-progress, novel entitled “Life of a female worker at the end of the twentieth century in southeastern Europe”, that will be published at the beginning of 2018 by Fraktura publishing house, I am again approaching the theme of a workers through very intimate procedure, creating an anti-biography of my mother, a worker from socialistic era, as an central character in which you can recognize comprehensive and powerful symbol of a time of ideological and economical transition in the nineties. My first novel, “There Will Be No Miracles Here” (Fraktura, 2011), is set in the early 2000s with the intention to depict the aftermath of the wars in the former Yugoslavia, following period of the liberation and reintegration of the occupied regions, and deal with the consequences of the post-war politics more than its causes or the war and war itself. In my forthcoming novel I am focused on the period that preceded and led to the collapse of Yugoslavia. The narrative of the novel will follo the female worker protagonist from the age of twenty two to thirty seven, with every chapter corresponding to one year in the period between 1973 and 1991. The main character will be partially based on biography of my mother. Although my mother was born in 1954, the year 1973 was chosen as the starting point of the novel due to four events that defined her life: leaving her parental home, starting to work, marriage, and the death of a newborn child. The year 1991 also carries multiple meanings. On the personal plane, it symbolically marks entrance into adulthood, while on the historical plane it marks the violent collapse of a country – the end of a working and socialist utopia and its ideology. The experience of loss marks the initial and the final year of the depicted period in the protagonist’s life: the year 1973 is characterized by the loss of girlhood and the death of a child, and the year 1991 by the loss of a country and the social and working system in which she lived. Instead of branching narrative hreads as means to advance the plot, language itself acquires the function of the main literary procedure. I use language to construct the main protagonist’s multiple, passive perceptions, through which she interrogates the limits of her personal experience, forming the concept of anti-biography as a biography devoid of “big” stories. With a novel Life of a female worker at the end of the twentieth century in southeastern Europe I am trying to avoid any literal identification with the time period, or a specific collectivity and its problems and injustices. Instead, the novel would draw attention to a very specific feeling of unease connected to this generation’s impossibility of any sort of identification, not so much by depicting the mood that would draw the reader in, but through an attempt at an abstraction of its structure, or maybe even the grammar of this uneasiness.