Project Title: Samuel Beckett’s Arrivals on the Yugoslav Stage: Godot’s “lives” and “afterlives” in the inter and post-war
About Gabriela’s Research
My research will assess Samuel Beckett’s impact in former Yugoslavia. I will investigate the political and aesthetic lives of the Yugoslav “Godot” between 1954-2002. Godot would be banned, unbanned, and staged through a series of cultural and political shifts in former Yugoslavia. I will track the ways in which Godot was adapted for the avant-garde, neo-avant-garde, and mainstream Yugoslav theatres and became a political emblem. In conversation with Rancière’s model of the ‘politics of aesthetics’, I will interrogate how the tactile and aesthetic elements of theatre here manifested politically regardless of what is considered Beckett’s own political (dis)engagement. The latter period I pay heed to Godot’s “afterlives”. These manifest in two incidents where Yugoslav authors bring “Godot” onstage to make pointed ideological commentaries. These are Miodrag Bulatovič’s “Godot Has Arrived” (1965) and Žarko Komanin’s 2002 “Godot has Arrived to Collect His Dues”. My position is that Godot’s lives on the Serbian stage in the Republic are politicised, neo-avant-garde adaptations of Godot. I will read Godot’s afterlives as part of the beginnings of postmodern ‘political aesthetics’.