HAPPY END
2024/2025 — Season 69
Tjaša Črnigoj, Sendi Bakotić, Vanda Velagić, Tijana Todorović, Lene Lekše
The New Post Office

Sex Education II: Fight

Directed by: Tjaša Črnigoj
Co-production: Mladinsko Theatree, Maska Ljubljana and City of Women
The project is part of a series of lecture-performances Sex Education II
Première: 1. 6. 2023
Performances
Tuesday / 3 Sep / 20:00 / The New Post Office / Buy ticket
Wednesday / 4 Sep / 20:00 / The New Post Office / Buy ticket
Friday / 27 Sep / 20:00 / Bitef Theatre
Saturday / 28 Sep / 20:00 / Bitef Theatre
Cast
  • Sendi Bakotić
    Perfromer
  • Vanda Velagić
    Performer
Credits
  • Set design: Tijana Todorović, Lene Lekše
  • Costume design: Tijana Todorović
  • Expert from the field: dr. Maja Vehar
  • Respondent on the topic of Vida Tomšič and Franc Novak biographies: Živa Novak
  • Vida Tomšič's voice: Draga Potočnjak
  • Franc Novak's voice: Matej Recer
  • The voice of the midwife: Nina Skrbinšek
  • The voice of the broadcaster: Sara Horžen
  • Music selection: Tjaša Črnigoj, Sendi Bakotić, Vanda Velagić, Tijana Todorović, Lene Lekše
  • Speech advisor: Mateja Dermelj
  • Editing and postproduction of the audio recording: Jure Vlahovič, Silvo Zupančič
  • Lighting design: Tjaša Črnigoj, Igor Remeta, Manca Vukelič, Tijana Todorović, Lene Lekše
  • Producer: Tina Dobnik
  • Partnership: Kolektiv Igralke
  • Stage manager: Demijan Pintarič

In the lecture-performance we used archive material from the Museum of Contemporary History of Slovenia, the RTV Slovenija Archive, the Archive of the Republic of Slovenia and from Živa Novak's personal archive.

Description

The fifth and final part in the lecture-performance series reconstructs the struggle for reproductive rights in Yugoslavia which only implicitly touched upon sexual rights but paved the path for us even being able to talk about sexual pleasure today. This struggle goes back to the time during and after World War II when the so-called epidemic of (backstreet) abortions claimed many women’s lives. At the time, abortion was illegal and carried a prison sentence, and the concept of marital rape did not legally exist. Using the biographies of Vida Tomšič, a partisan and an important Yugoslav politician, and Dr Franc Novak – Luka, a partisan, prominent gynaecologist and Vida Tomšič’s second husband, the artists outline the development of the policy, progressive for that time: the development of the idea of family planning as a human right, and the right to sexual education that goes beyond the biologistic notion of sexuality and focuses on the so-called humane relationships between sexes. At a time when society is being re-traditionalised and policies are re-questioning the right to safe abortion and contraception, the idea that women’s bodies belong to them alone cannot be taken for granted, but instead, as something that must still – and again – be fought for.

In the media

The series of lecture-performances entitled Sex Education II confronts and reminds us of the importance of acquired rights and the advancement of medical science. Fight is a journey through time and space: from the initial stage in Unity Square we journey into 1940 and into the body of a model woman somewhere in former Yugoslavia—a woman without education and rights, living as an object used to satisfy male sexual urges, perhaps even pleasure. In the cold and dark cellar at The New Post Office, the actress lists plants that help terminate a foetus. If they fail to work, there is a selection of acids that can be consumed. Should even this fail to work, you can try a feather from a rooster’s tail, a parsley root, horseradish, a knitting needle, or a hanger. [...] The scenes of the lecture-performance Fight offer much more than described above: the engaged and in places witty performance by actresses Sendi Bakotić and Vanda Velagić (both from Rijeka, Croatia, but their families originating from every part of the former Yugoslavia), Tijana Todorović’s and Lene Lekše’s set and costume design, and small live interventions by director Tjaša Črnigoj. The accompanying text to the performance, which in its concept and with arguments supports the need for Sex Education II, reads: “In a time of the retraditionalisation of society and politics, which questions the right to safe abortion and contraception all over again, it is far from clear that women’s bodies belong to them alone—something that we still and once again need to fight for.”

In lines with the feminist principle, the theatre narrative constantly intertwines the personal and the political, reminding us how we take the rights which are the result of the long and persistent fight of our sisters for granted. Our journey through The New Post Office spaces, through historical and collective memory, through the experiences of the previous generations of women and through our personal history, tells us the story of how we should not stop and settle for the world in which we currently live in. We can lose everything we have gained in a heartbeat. This is why it is necessary to remember those times, but also to gain an awareness of the current situation. In fact, in Croatia the vast majority of gynaecologists exercise the right to conscientious objection and abortions are often performed against payment, and in Slovenia it may happen that gynaecology will be excluded from basic health insurance. With its format, Sex Education II reminds us of the activist extent of theatre [...], which finds it function mainly in its ability to change society through aesthetics. All those of us who followed Sex Education II all the way to the end certainly found ourselves at least a tiny bit changed by this feminist school.

Guest performances

  • Bitef, Belgrade, Serbia, 27 & 28 September 2024
  • Festival Zoom, Rijeka, Croatia, 25 May 2024
  • HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin, Germany, 14–16 April 2024
Press downloads
Sponsors

Spolna vzgoja II je del projekta Testni poligon: Reparativne prakse za nov kulturni ekosistem, ki ga s podporo programa EU Kreativna Evropa razvijajo in izvajajo Kurziv – Platforma za vprašanja kulture, medijev in družbe, Združenje Stanisława Brzozowskega/Krytyka Polityczna in Maska Ljubljana. / Sex Education II is part of the project Testing Ground: Reparative Practices for New Cultural Ecosystem which has been conceived and is carried out by Kurziv – Platform for Matters of Culture, Media and Society, Stanisław Brzozowski Association / Krytyka Polityczna and Maska Ljubljana, with the support of the EU programme Creative Europe.


ZLATA PALIČICA

The performance was selected in the catalogue of quality stagings on the platform Zlata paličica.