Darko Lukić

Strategies of Challenging the Official Mythologies in War Trauma Plays

One of the most significant topics in war literature, including war drama, is it’s relation to official war mythology or mythologies. Supporting or challenging common myth makes the borderline between state propaganda and war trauma writing. Experience of Croatian plays concerning recent war in 1990-ties shows clear tendencies of undermining official mythology, addressing problems of various individual experiences and tragedies rather than general(ised) national problems.

This paper intention i to show which strategies were chosen by the most important Croatian playwrights in their most representative plays written and produced during 1990-ties and 2000-ties. Using the term for subgenre “war trauma playwriting” which I established in my book “The War Trauma Drama” as a specific form of “trauma literature” genre, I am examining relations of Croatian playwriting concerning recent war through specific characteristic of “war trauma playwriting”. Relation to dominant mainstream national mythology and resistance to challenges of remythologization are the most specific tools for analyzing war trauma plays and their clear separation from many different plays which only has a topic of war, or use a war reminiscences in other genres and subgenera of playwriting.

Comparing different playwrights and plays in the review of different case studies, the paper is going to show ways of deconstruction of common myth and establishment of individual, critical approach to it. The review results would show that Croatian war trauma plays are following the same pattern of all trauma literature in process of challenging common mythologies and deconstruction of propaganda simplifications, by individual approaches to particular reactions and diversity of responses to same traumatic experience, as the author’s coping strategies.


Darko Lukić, Ph. D., theater scholar, playwright, and novelist, Born: Sept. 8. 1962.
PRESENT POSITION: Full time professor at Academy of Drama Arts University of Zagreb, department of production, and guest professor at Faculty of Phylosophy University of Zagreb – doctoral studies of theater, film, litarature and culture.
EDUCATION: BA in comparative literatutre and philosophy, MA in dramaturgy, and PhD in theatrology. Also is certificated TQ trainer, and e-learning course designer.
TRAINING AND FURTHER EDUCATION: His education and training includes Tisch School of the Arts – New York University, Institute for Theater Anrthropology – University of Copenghegen, European Academy for Culture and Management in Salzburg, and many seminares, workshops and educational trainings in Europe, USA, South America and Asia.
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: As a guest professor worked at Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz (Austria) – Institut für Slawistik. As a teacher also worked (lecturing, teaching and leading workshops) in Brazil, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Romania, Slovenia, USA, Canada, United Kingdom and Venezuela).

His professional experience include postions of: aritistic direcor of drama theaters like National Theater in Sarajevo, artistic director and mannager of Theater &TD in Zagreb, positions of Vice Dean and Deputy Dean at Academy of Drama Arts University of Zagreb.