Transdisciplinary research project by Bojana Cvejić, Marta Popivoda and Ana Vujanović


In the frame of TkH [Walking Theory] residency How To Do Things By Theory at Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers (2010-2012), we started a research about Performance and the Public. The main focus of Cvejić’s and Vujanović’s theoretical part of research are the concepts of “social choreography” and “social drama”, while Popivoda focuses on mass performances of ideology in former, socialist Yugoslavia.


Presentation of the research Performance and the Public at the symposium “Broken Performances: Time and (In)Completion”, March 21-23, 2013, Zagreb:


“If the body I dance with and the body I work and walk with are one and the same, I must necessarily entertain the suspicion that all of my body’s movements are, to a greater or lesser extent, choreographed”. This would be a concise statement of the social choreography thesis, as Andrew Hewitt develops it in Social Choreography: Ideology as Performance in Dance and Everyday Movement. Social drama, as developed in social anthropology by Victor Turner – with significant contributions by Arnold van Gennep, Cliford Geertz, Richard Schechner, Roberto Esposito, etc. – serves as a complementary counterpart to social choreography, which analyzes conflictual social processes, focusing on organization of public performances that takes place in the frame of social dramas. Social choreography and social drama then become interpretative tools for exploring the performances in the public and social spheres on the basis of their claim that social order isn’t just reflected but is enacted and rehearsed as an aesthetic order. The two models focalize bodily gestures and movements, organization of bodies in time and space, mise-en-scène, and dramaturgy of public gatherings and mass social events and thus discuss the functions of “liminality” and “communitas” in shaping social community between the public and the private spheres. 
In this phase of the research, we examine state performances as well as performances of the public and its citizens informed by two different contexts, socialist Yugoslavia and contemporary Western neoliberal capitalism.

The results of our research on Performance and the Public are the book Public Sphere by Performance (2012/2015) by B. Cvejić and A. Vujanović and experimental documentary Yugoslavia, How ideology moved our collective body (2013), dir. by M. Popivoda, script written by A. Vujanović and M. Popivoda.

More about the book see here and here

More about the film see here

Trailer of the film: