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BY 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access November 1, 2019

States of mind – political theatre at the age of nomadism

  • Michal Lachman EMAIL logo
From the journal Open Cultural Studies


The review article comments on major themes and ideas analysed by S.E. Wilmer’s Performing Statelessness in Europe (Palgrave 2018). Wilmer’s analysis offers an overview of most recent as well as historical approaches to the concept of citizenship and the state which have been developed by avant-garde artists and theatre makers. The overall aim of Wilmer’s survey of political art is to “assess strategies by creative artists to address matters relating to social justice”. He also gives a significant amount of attention to various projects carried by German theatres which attempt to integrate resident immigrants into German society. The central thrust of his argument falls on a variety of contemporary theatrical initiatives directly concerned with the life of refugees and asylum seekers. The review highlights those aspects of Wilmer’s argument which directly concern the concept of modern society, nation state and identity. Wilmer shows precisely these aspects of modern state as most destructive. The review questions that assumption, arguing that the criticism of modern society should be more subtle and nuanced and that the potential failure of responding properly to the crisis does not necessarily lie entirely on the side of the state


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Received: 2018-06-15
Accepted: 2019-08-14
Published Online: 2019-11-01
Published in Print: 2019-01-01

© 2019 Michal Lachman, published by De Gruyter

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Public License.

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