ISSN 2451-2966


Zofia Smolarska

Blind Alleys in Documentary Theatre: An Analysis of the Production Process of Situation Rooms, the Multiplayer Video Piece by the Rimini Protokoll Collective


The essay is the author’s relation from participation in the work on a multimedia production of the Rimini Protokoll theatre collective, Situation Rooms (2013), to which ‘experts in everyday life’ were invited in the roles of narrators of their own video tales. The author, convinced that the value of a work of art depends on the method it was created, describes the organization of the big-budget production and its artistic implications. As points of comparison, she then gives examples of Polish documentaries also created with the participation of their protagonists, the creators of which attempted to deal in various ways with the aporia inherent in the documentary film genre.


documentary; collaborative film; participation; relational art

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Zofia Smolarska

(1987), a graduate of Theatre Studies at the A. Zelwerowicz Theatre Academy in Warsaw. She also studied opera singing at the Frederic Chopin University of Music in Warsaw and the German Hochschule für Musik Detmold. Currently she is preparing her doctoral thesis on the work of theatre craftsmen and technicians. As a theatre critic, she collaborates with the journal Teatr. Her articles and critical essays have appeared there and in Didaskalia, Dialog, Performer, at and in Svet a Divadlo and Rzut. Her research interests include (post) documentary theatre, participatory theatre and intermedia projects as well as organizational and technical performance. Smolarska operates on the edge of theory and practice, running theatre workshops and devising social projects, public space performances and short video forms. Most recently, she worked as dramaturge for Inventory of Powerlessness directed by Edit Kaldor and presented at the Malta Festival in Poznań in 2015.