SHORT FORMS. Croatia - Earthquake
Production Company: HRT Radio. Author: Janko Polić Kamov. Producer: Katja Šimunić. Director: Dario Harjaček. Sound engineer: Lana Deban. Composer: Maro Market. Dramatisation: Ivan Vulić.
Janko Polić Kamov (1886, Sušak / Rijeka -1910, Barcelona) is a Croatian poet, storyteller and playwright, born in a wealthy bourgeois family. However, since early childhood Kamov has shown almost nihilistic doubt of everything surrounding him, most notably religiosity and petty-bourgeois rules. He died at the age of twenty-four at Barcelona's Santa Cruz Hospital and was buried in an unmarked common grave.
His short story "The Earthquake", written in 1908, is characteristic of Kamov's novelistic writing, imbued with the dichotomy of the farcical and the dissociated, the writing where all the farcical elements are hybridized with a relentless, almost frosty analyticity. This explosive and brutally explicit and honest narrative is dramatically topical today in our daily obsession with the fear of the unknown and the different. The obsession, which sometimes materializes as a perverse recognition of disasters such as earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, wars or coronavirus, as a deserved punishment or - a solution.
Averse to aesthetic canons and prone to mocking social norms, Janko Polić Kamov was not recognized as a writer in his day, but in modern times, he has acquired the cult status of a modernist writer and precursor to Croatian avant-garde art. The conceptual artist and poet from Zagreb, Vlado Martek, implores us through his installations and performances to "Read Kamov", while we exclaim: Listen to Kamov!
English text (click)