Panna Adorjáni

Photo: Vivien Miron-Vilidár

November 2023

During her residency at HELLERAU, theater maker Panna Adorjáni – who lives and works in Romania – will take a performative approach to her doctoral research. Under the working title “About all that is not related to the subject”, she is investigating her own context:

A PhD student plans to conduct interviews with theater artists relevant to her research topic. She is researching the alternative theater scene and collective creation in Romania before the regime change. The student is not progressing at the planned pace; her research is constantly throwing up new sub-topics that she has to write about. The complex global crisis caused by wars and pandemics is also affecting her work and livelihood, forcing her to carefully reconsider her priorities, both human and professional.

While she feels a morbid urgency to get ahead in her research before her potential interviewees die, she is plagued by existential questions in her personal life. How is it that she has to read Pierre Bourdieu in a PhD course to realize that her grandparents were working class, a social class that was also important to the topic and time she is researching? How can she give an academic lecture on Zoom in the middle of a pandemic while her grandfather is dying on the other side of town? Can art and knowledge really compensate for her regular burnouts?

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