English Deutsch Argentina
Brasil Chinese Latvijas
Image: Patrick Hilss
Radio plays
Attaistic art
Bambiland - adapted from Elfriede Jelinek

The premiere of Elfriede Jelinek's Das Werk at Vienna's Akademie-
theater is followed just six months later, this time at the Burgtheater itself, by the premiere of another play by the Nobel laureate: Bambiland. Bambiland has now grown into an entertainment Disney-
land that spans the globe, the media bombardment during the war in Iraq also giving it a new name: Wartainment. Everybody could take part. Everybody became a participant in this war, whether they liked it or not. It is staged by performance artist, theatre director and filmmaker Christoph Schlingensief, who was the author's personal choice to direct Bambiland.


The oldest drama of our civilization - OUR CIVILIZATION ! - celebrates the devastating and therefore magnificent triumph of the Greeks over the Persians at Salamis - a battle in which the author, Aeschylus, had himself taken part. For his compatriots drunk with victory, the transplantation of the scene of the action, the theatre of war, to the side of the vanquished enemy was a warning not to make the enemy's mistakes and to be wary of delusions of grandeur and megalomaniac dreams. This likewise makes Aeschylus the archetypal embedded journalist. His play is a tragedy in more than just form. This is the tragedy of a war, of all wars, and the tragedy of war reporting.

Christoph Schlingensief during a "Bambiland" staging in Vienna (Soulek)

The "Axis of the Willing" runs through BAMBILAND, US troops march through BAMBILAND. BAMBILAND is Hollywood. BAMBILAND sees Elfriede Jelinek celebrating the devastating and therefore magnificent Iraq war triumph of ... of, well, who, in fact? She quotes from Aeschylus' THE PERSIANS and provocatively reverses the "Axis". Instead of reporting the war from the view of the victims (which victims?), BAMBILAND employs the camera perspective of the frontline observers and of those who observe the observers - us. How the former like to boast about the balanced nature of their coverage, how we like to promise not to forget the losers, for all the superiority of the western world. But in fact, it's simply nice to eavesdrop on the war while recording the victory in comfort, as well - from the passenger seat in a tank, from the TV couch. CNN & Co. Corp. switch on the lights right in the middle of hazy night-time shots of the bombardment of Baghdad. We are right in the thick of things, having ourselves finally become "embedded", we are participants with the big picture at our disposal: WELCOME TO BAMBILAND!

Horst Gelonneck in a "Bambiland" staging in Vienna (Image: Hilss)

Additional information on Bambiland

- Bambiland gallery - Images from Bambiland stagings at the Burgtheater
- Elfriede Jelinek - Nobel Prize winner Elfriede Jelinek`s Official website
- Bambiland in english - Elfriede Jelinek's Bambiland, English translation, (PDF)
- www.atta-atta.org - 1st Attaistic Exhibition (Attaistic Art from the stagings)
- "Totally confusing supposed unambiguities" - by Marion Löhndorf, Kunstforum
- It's not going - biography by the Guggenheim Museum New York (1998)
- Christoph Schlingensief - A biography by Till Briegleb, Goethe Institut
- Schlingensief.com German - Further information is available in german only
Adapted from Jelinek
Burgtheater Vienna

Director: Christoph Schlingensief

Artistic collaboration: Jörg van der Horst; Stage-design: Mascha Deneke; Costumes: Sabine Fleck; Video: Meika Dresenkamp; Light-design: Voxi Bärenklau; Music: Max Knoth

Cast: Margit Carstensen, Ulli Fessl, Ilse Garzaner, Kerstin Grassmann, Dorothee Hartinger, Brigitte Kausch, Aysegül Yüksel, Sam Brisbe, Kurt Garzaner, Mario Garzaner, Horst Gelonneck, Michael Gempart, Roland Kenda, Dietrich Kuhlbrodt, Hermann Scheidleder, Christoph Schlingensief, Rene Thaler

Premiere: December 12, 2003

Nobel Prize 2004

Additional information

- Picture gallery
- Bambiland-Text
   (english, PDF)

External websites

- www.atta-atta.org
- Elfriede Jelinek

Related projects

- Atta Atta
- Attabambi-Pornoland