Saša Stanišićs «Herkunft»

Staged reading of a theatrical version unperformed for pandemic reasons

In Saša Stanišić’s acclaimed novel “HERKUNFT,” a first-person narrator talks about what that might be: Origin. He tells of homes, in memory and invention. He tells of a youth in Heidelberg, overshadowed by the racist riots in Rostock-Lichtenhagen, and he tells of a grandmother in Oskoruša, in a small town in the mountains east of Višegrad, whose memory is fading. The narrative jumps virtuously and sensitively between autobiography and fiction, novel and essay, today and yesterday, because origin is not available, not a fact, but a search for beginnings and connections:

“Home, I say, is what I’m writing about right now. Grandmothers. When my grandmother Kristina started losing memories, I started collecting memories.”

Author and director Ivna Žic has adapted the novel for a theater project with her team and dramaturge Jutta Wangemann – two voices pursuing, recounting and listening to questions that Žic knows all too well as the author of “Die Nachkommende” and director of “Gebrochenes Licht”. Žic translates this future text with a fine sense for simultaneities and ambivalences into a language space for life paths: “You’re looking for another exit?” Chose your own adventure!

Like so many things, this play has not (yet) been able to take place because of the pandemic. At Neumarkt, actresses from the ensemble are now lending their voices and bodies to the text in a staged reading – and are already giving an idea of the space that this narrative opens up, between times, between homelands.


Sascha Ö. Soydan, Yan Balistoy

Production Team

Lesefassung und Inszenierung: Ivna Žic

Ausstattung: Sophie Reble

Sascha Özlem Soydan

Ivna Žic

Sophie Reble

Yan Balistoy