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OSTALGIA - a performance project

by Ognian Golev
Introduction to the script of "Ostalgie" performance, a project of the Bulgarian Non-governmental Organization for Contemporary Alternative Art and Culture - "Based on actual events" 

"Ostalgie" is a term coined in the early 90-ies of XX century, derived from the German words "Ost" (East) and "Nostalgie" (nostalgia), used to denote specific nostalgia for the life under the socialist system in Eastern Europe, especially Germany, Poland and the former Soviet Union.

"Ostalgie" in Bulgarian semantics acquires another meaning - "something that remains", "something that stays still". This is the starting point of the theater project - "the apparently changed things" in Bulgaria in the transition from socialism to democracy. The idea is that the adoption of the past, the conclusion of peace with its positive and negative aspects, makes a free life in the present, mainly in choosing how to live. "The time of the possible depending on me opportunities" as mentioned later in the text.

The script is not intended to provide a kind of cultural and economic summary review of the less research topic in Bulgaria for the Transition, the complex transformation from collectivist culture to individualism, but rather by means of sharing personal experiences and pass the complicated path towards the acceptance, understanding and separation with the recent socialistic past. One farewell to "ostalgie" with much love and based on actual events.

For this purpose in the beginning I created four main groups of topics - "my childhood in socialism," "my position now as a freelance artist," "the apparently changed things around me" and "alternatives and possibilities of freedom today." At the time of writing the script the themes tangled, following a clear, accurate and objective statement. The main stage decision and performance environment in the conception of the project is collaboration between three arts - theater, music and art, directly involved in the live show.

The performance project does not criticize or favor a certain historical stage of our development, but it tries to remember our childhood in the late socialism in Bulgaria, to turn it into material for a work of art and to accept it the way it was, making a comparison with the present and open up for new opportunities.

By the author

Ostalgia – performance

Performers: Ognyan Golev (actor), Teodora Doncheva (artist), Pavel Terziiski (musician)
Text and staging: Ognyan Golev

Where people do not talk about the past, it apparently does not exist, like a fictional (fake) amnesia. How does this reflect on the relationship between the generations? Why the dreamed change does not occur if we all fight to be free? What must we do to be happy where we are born, into the situation of animal struggle for survival? Why should we worship gods invented by us, such as the District Steam Heating? Where am I in the outlining when actually I decide my life? The new experimental theatre project "Ostalgia" of “Based on Actual Events” Organization gives a point of view to all these questions.

A story about the time of opportunities.

This project is funded by the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria.


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