by Almir Imširević

"You can't simply talk and hope that you forget.“ (Ajsa)

On some 9 November in Geneva. In the present. Enki and Ajsa, a migrant couple from Bosnia, live a modest life, withdrawn from the rest of society in the lovely and peaceful city of Geneva. It's Ajsa's birthday. While out one day, Ajsa got to know the Serbian couple Gile and Tamara and she spontaneously invited them to visit. At long last, they would have guests from their Heimat, at long last, people who spoke their familiar language from home, at long last, people with similar fates (all of them abandoned their homes at the start of the war or during it), at long last a little amusement, a little variety. But although the shared language appears to suggest a shared feeling of Heimat, it actually no longer exists. The differences (including language differences) become increasingly obvious as the play unfolds. We discover that Serbian and Bosnian are both really good for extensive and enthusiastic swearing sessions, but while a Serbian says, for example “Fuck your mouse!”, a Bosnian says “Fuck what you know!”. And that's a small but significant difference. Enki is a strange guy. He doesn't have any music in his flat, just a collection of tapes with everyday noises from Sarajevo: a remarkable archive of irreplaceable authenticity from a time past. Perhaps the material could be rocketed into space for another extra-terrestrial intelligence. An old Sarajevo telephone book also plays a role. Discovering old acquaintances again. “Addresses of friends, ex-girlfriends, professors ... telephone numbers where no one answers anymore.” But that kind of telephone book is also good for hitting someone over the head –especially if he's Serbian. Though none of that can help to drive the tenaciously clinging past out of your mind. It turns out that Gile is suffering from cancer and Tamara has dubbed porno films but hasn't had sex with her partner for years and he, in turn, is screwing a Polish woman. And because we've now arrived at the confession phase, Enki admits that he's not really Enki at all. Enki was a sniper who escaped with the fake Enki from a besieged Sarajevo and apparently died in the attempt. The fake Enki then rang up the dead Enki's mum and she mixed him up with the dead Enki, and the fake Enki just never really managed to face up to telling her the truth. Since then, the fake Enki has rung up his supposed mother everyday in Sarajevo and adopted the dead Enki's identity. That's why the fake Enki has never had his own identity ever since he escaped from Sarajewo. Everything seems wiped out. Ajsa never even has a chance to get worked up about this lying game because the police have arrived, called by the neighbours because of the noise. Enki goes and fetches an old revolver and fires directly through the door. The police open fire in return...

In his play “Mousefuckers”, Almir Imsirevic depicts the clash between “homeless” Yugoslavs in the exile of 21st century. They are casualties, ill people without identities, simply vegetating their lives away without the slightest power to resist. They either try to anaesthetize themselves with drugs or become endlessly enmeshed in the knots of the past. Many ordinary people lost their sense of the meaning of life when the great national, Yugoslavian utopia was given up and the nation shattered into competing individual states. Those people can never find their way back to normality but remain suspended (as in space) in a vacuum, waiting at long last for something to happen.

A text by Jens Groß