CAFE SARAJEVO is a politically charged and immersive performance inspired by the intersection of events, themes and topics that grew out of our fascination with the 1971 debate ‘Human Nature and Ideal Society’, between Noam Chomsky and Michel Foucault. The debate, at times difficult to understand, peppered with complex philosophy and full of subtextual tensions between the debaters, took place on Dutch television at the height of the Vietnam War, amidst growing political and social unrest in the United States, and at a time when both theorists were still at the beginning of their rise to fame.
In development, we have been collaging elements and themes inspired from the debate into a piece with incredibly varied elements, such as the the theme of 1971; the Manson Family, music phenomenons such as the Doors and The Beatles, psychedelic drugs, free love, the Vietnam War, and political dissent. Many of these elements parallel our own volatile era; the Syrian refugee crisis, the rise of political rhetoric that is at best conservative and at times frighteningly fascist and xenophobic. The piece is emerging as a collage of images rather than as a linear narrative, but the string that ties it all together is our exploration of power and human nature in the continual pursuit of the ideal society.
We’re also excited to explore the use of digital technology through the development of a smart-phone app to augment and enhance these stories – using technology such as GPS, mapping, and image/video overlay through augmented reality to affect the live performance for audiences.