Sunday, June 7, 2015

Faki Festival, and exquisite anarchy

It was with excitement and anticipation that I boarded the bus for Zagreb and Faki - a theatre festival I knew little about. My expectations from the programming were for a fairly radical time, and my appetite was whet by, among other juicy provocative phrases, the festival press release's proud exclaimation:

"The international Festival of Alternative Theatre Expression was first organized in 1998, in reaction to the elitism, but also commercialization of the institutionalized cultural scene, defined by political and artistic one-sidedness to the point of obstructing the independent avant-garde, subversive and experimental practice of theatre and performing artists.
Admission to the entire festival is free of charge. On principle."


Photo: Merima Salkić

Part theatre festival, part rave, Faki seems to run on a kind of anaemic energy usually reserved for those at the extremes of life, which indeed some were. Amongst the Mad Max 2 style junkyard fortress of the Autonomous Cultural Centre Attack!, a former medical factory, one can party hard, sleep hard, art hard - everything turned up to 11, and a kind of sublime, with a beautiful community surrounding it, bouncing from conversation to conversation about the work in a kind of never-ending rigorous dialogue.