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"My Name Is Janez Janša"

Screening of Slovenian Documentary Film on December 17, 2015, at Freie Universität Berlin

№ 385/2015 from Dec 03, 2015

On December 17, 2015, at 6 p.m. the International Research Training Center "Interweaving Performance Cultures" will be screening the documentary film "My Name Is Janez Janša" at Freie Universität Berlin. The film portrays the consequences of actions taken by three Slovenian artists in 2007: All three officially changed their names to that of the Slovenian Prime Minister, which caused great consternation. Following the screening, there will be a discussion with the director and Fellow of the research center, Janez Janša. The film will be screened in the original Slovenian with English subtitles. Admission is free.

After the change of names, Prime Minister Janez Janša, who was also the chairman of the conservative Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS), was forced to act in public as one of four individuals with the same name. The 68-minute documentary film "My Name Is Janez Janša" tells the tale of the three contemporary artists as well as the consequences of and reactions to their name change, which led to further confusion in the media. Even in art circles, there were controversial discussions over the intentions behind the action. Was it a special form of artistic activism? A political criticism? Or did the artists simply want to be provocative?

"The documentary shows how confrontational and amusing tensions arise when several individuals with the same name need to share the same physical and media space," says Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Erika Fischer-Lichte (theatre studies scholar and director of the International Research Training Center "Interweaving Performance Cultures" at Freie Universität). The events inspired artists and scholars to think about the private and public dimension of names and the meaning, and purpose of naming and changing names. The documentary features a great deal of internationally known individuals, among them net artist Vuk Cosic, the artist couple Franco und Eva Mattes, the performance artist Vaginal Davis, the directors Jan Fabre and Tim Etchells, the culture and media scholar Stephen Kovats, the philosopher Mladen Dolar, and – Janez Janša, Janez Janša, and Janez Janša.

Janez Janša is currently a Fellow at the International Research Training Center "Interweaving Performance Cultures" at Freie Universität Berlin, where he reflects on his own artistic practice within his research project "Performing Name."

Time and Location

  • Thursday, December 17, 2015, 6 p.m.
  • Institute for Theatre Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, Lecture Hall, Grunewaldstr. 35, 12165 Berlin. Bus stop: Schmidt-Ott-Straße (Bus X83)


Stefan Donath, International Research Center "Interweaving Performance Cultures," Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 30 838-51925, Email: stefan.donath@fu-berlin.de

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