After two sell-outs at Kino Šiška, Laibach present their apolitically-political musical in Ljubljana one last time. Based on the texts by the German playwright Heiner Müller, Laibach’s new Wir sind das Volk album will be released this coming April on the English label Mute.
Featuring: Mina Špiler, Katarina Stegnar, Cveto Kobal, Sašo Vollmaier, Vier Personen Quartet, The Stroj and His Holiness, Reverend Peter Mlakar
As soon as we hear the word 'Volk', we feel like musical! (Laibach)
This very special "musical", blending a concert performance and theatre piece, was launched in 2019, when dramaturg and director Anja Quickert, head of the Heiner Müller Gesellschaft, suggested the band participate in Wir sind das Volk, a show based on the dramatic texts and poetry by the German literary giant, Heiner Müller.
Wir sind das Volk received its premiere at the Berlin HAU Theatre (Hebbel am Ufer) on 8 February 2020, followed by two subsequent performances before the epidemic temporarily halted the project. For the Slovenian audiences, the band produced a Slovenian version of the project, which opened the Klagenfurt Festival at the end of August 2021 and sold out two shows at Kino Šiška last September.
In Gallus Hall, just a stone’s throw away from the People's Assembly, Laibach and their featured guests will put on one last show in Ljubljana, a good hour and a half of patriotic fun. Although in its origin this is a patriotism grounded on German literature, patriotic sentiments are universal, and the band’s compatriots should thus also get pleasure out of the show.
As soon as I hear the word ‘Volk’, I get wary,” said Heiner Müller in 1990. “It isn’t my ‘Volk,’ my people. I understood very well why Brecht always insisted on saying ‘population’ instead of ‘people.’ A slogan like ‘We are one population,’ of course, does not work. It doesn’t have any spark at all.”
The demonstrators chanting "We are the people" in the 1989 rallies, when the Berlin Wall was being dismantled, the people who later established themselves as a political entity, seemed perfectly justified at the time. Since then, the term "Volk/people" has undergone profound political changes – not only in Germany, but everywhere in Europe, the US and the rest of the world. The ethnic potential of the "nation" demonstrated itself again, thus becoming an instrument of nationalist and racist exclusion, and today this slogan represents the appropriately balanced masses that "have had enough". In times of global regression, joining together right, but also left, populists, the phantasm “Volk” is solidifying again into ethnic, social, cultural or ideological "homogeneous" heterogeneity.
The music theatre project “Wir sind das Volk – a Musical” harmonizes what has long belonged together: the poet Heiner Müller and the legendary band Laibach. The myth of the people cannot be buried as long as the ghosts undermine its foundation. “The dialogue with the dead cannot stop until they hand over the future that has been buried with them.” – Welcome to the abyss of the people!