Written by on 2019-12-19

Kozachok is an intermedia performative research for the mirror performance with a coda*.

It’s mirroring two historical emergency situations in Europe, particularly focusing on Croatia. The first one was within the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians (from 1919.-1922.) and the second one is the contemporary situation in Croatia within the EU (since 2013.). The performance would like to induce the responsibility for this situation in each of us and to expand this responsibility to each spectator of the show. So the main theme is emigration and immigration. Sounds familiar?

Since 1918., enormous waves of emigration started to come from Russia. Almost 45.000 people were hosted in Croatia around and in the cities of Cavtat, Dubrovnik and Bakar. More then half of those people stayed in Yugoslavia and a lot of them in Croatia, where they inbuilt themselves in all layers of the society, from aristocracy to culture and from peasantry to artisans – and contributed to the highlights of Croatian culture, science, technology, economy, industry, architecture, politics and education.

I, Boris Bakal, got my name from my grandfather who died a year before I was born. He came from Russia to Dubrovnik by boat. There, he changed his name from Avram (Abraham) into Boris. In that way he survived World War II in Croatia (run by Croatian fascists Ustaša) and after the war, he worked as an executive manager of one wood supply company in Zagreb, and after his retirement he decided to move to Argentina, where he died. All this I have found out just this summer and decided to make something out of it.
This project shows not only a different present and future, but also imagines what future stories we would miss by rejecting immigrants from Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan.

*In music, a coda ([ˈkoːda] (Italian for “tail”, plural code) is a passage that brings a piece (or a movement) to an end. Technically, it is an expanded cadence.