A red sofa stands upside down on a colourful carpet. Danylo, Emma and Lara sit leaning on the edge. They introduce themselves with a microphone. The first thing they say about themselves: they are Generation Z. Just like all of us here at Youthperform. Generation Z wie zerbrechlich. Generation Z wie Zukunft. Lara starts to read out a Good Question article. Generation Z would seem to struggle with a stiff neck, a date thumb, egocentrism and climate change. A life with an almost infinite number of possibilities, a thousand open paths. Change of scene. A stage on a stage. Singing, blue lights, bright colours, a screen in the background. "I don't know what I'm gonna do in five years. I don't know what i gonna do tomorrow. I don't know what i gonna do today. " When I hear the singing, I hear the search for attention, for recognition and above all for identity.
The performance tells stories of the very intimate search for identity.
But what is identity anyway? Identity is the feeling, perhaps the reality, of feeling true. When am I truthful?
The truthfulness of being special. The attempt to be special. Instagram posts of Lara appear on the screen, she is smiling on them, styled and looking good, looking happy. But do Instagram hearts really go to the heart? What remains when there are no more 4000 photos on my phone? Who am I if I don't have 1000 likes on my latest photo? What movie of life am I living in if not in Instagram Stories? What is the proof that I exist? Generation Z wie zerplatzte Identität (burst identity)? The truthfulness of body beauty. Emma looks in the mirror. My face is long and my tummy is wide. I dont wanna be this person in the mirror. "But you are and you always will be. the attempt to be beautiful. It fails again and again, again and again. The look in the mirror, it is reflected in the other mirror, the screen reflects from behind, mirror in the mirror in the mirror. Emma begins to twitch, to scream without words, only with her body. She dances so beautifully, it's as if she's saying: can't you finally see how beautiful I am? Little by little, in an ever faster rhythm, she undresses. Her hair covers her face, the white dress falls and she stands there: pure.
The music ends. Danylo's voice vibrates through the microphone. "I could imagine going to Ukraine as a volunteer is a stupid idea. I could imagine being one of them. Under fire. I am one of them". Danylo came to Germany four years ago. His sister and grandmother still live there. He often starts crying before being hit. It's like a panic attack. Again and again. Sometimes he just wants to scream.
Generation Z wie zerbrochen (as broken)?
The three of them find themselves in an embrace. Generation z wie Zusammenhalt (as cohesion)? "Hug me, hug me. Heartfully.“
Text by Carla Pugnat
June 30th, 2022