Ramno (in English: adj.“flat”) is a village in the north-eastern part of Macedonia, with a total population of 21 inhabitants (as of 2002 when Macedonia had a census for the last time). It has been forgotten by the Macedonian authorities until recently, when a stone plate was found in the area with the engraved Latin phrase - Primus inter pares (“The first among equals”). This expression was popular during the Roman Empire, used to imply that people were equal. Although, they obviously were not, compared to someone in more power, for example an emperor or religious leader, who was of more importance. Being part of the contemporary artistic and cultural scene and community, criticizing the “world” for promoting inequality, we couldn't avoid sensing that there might be something wrong with the way we ourselfs practice horizontality. Isn't this unspoken hierarchy similar to what is happening in front of our eyes, hidden underneath the “horizontal organisation” which is commonly stated? Triggered by the event in Ramno as well as our self-reflected analysis, we decided to develop a performance trough which we, once and for all, could face and question the well-promoted horizontal organization. Isn’t the horizontality applied actually creating an ideal environment for mobbing and passive aggression among collaborators?
Elegy for Ramno tries to reflect on the relation between horizontal organization proposed as a theoretical concept and its practical manifestations. This piece questions whether this relation might be fictional and inapplicable; whether theory is often idealized in its form, and the factual situations are far from ideal. Elegy for Ramno explores performing relations and the discrepancy between theoretical and practical equality - from now on called “horizontal monarchy”. This piece explores performing relations of equality, which afterwards fail and go “unhappy” (as J.L. Austin would say). We are wondering if performing art these days mines it’s own fundament by not practicing what it preaches? Does Flat really exist?
Elegy for Ramno is financially supported by the EU Culture Programme 2007-2013, The Swedish Arts Grant Committee, Swedish Arts Council and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Macedonia. The performance is realized in the frame of the yearly programme of Lokomotiva, supported through CIVICA Mobilitas Programme, implemented by the Centre for Institutional Development – CIRa and financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).