Saturday, October 18, 2008


(Flagstories and other personal histories)
a performative lecture by Saviana Stanescu

Saviana was a college student in 1989 when she participated in the Romanian "revolution" and the so-called "end of communism". Now, after almost 20 years she witnesses the so-called "end of capitalism" in New York. This autobiographical performative lecture explores her immigrant experience in New York through the lens of a personal dichotomy East-West and a permanent negotiation between the old and new set of values.

After 1989, Saviana worked as a journalist in the new free Romanian press for a decade. A week before 9/11 she arrived in New York, with a Fulbright fellowship to get an MA in Performance Studies at NYU. She also got an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and she teaches in the Drama Department. Her plays have had many productions in NYC and internationally. Most recently her play "Aliens with extraordinary skills" (the title hints to her O1 visa...) opened to rave reviews off-Broadway at Women's Project.

One of the main issues to be discussed in this lecture is what role does the flag perform in creating and maintaining identity (with a powerpoint presentation of over 100 pictures of the American flag displayed in the aftermath of 9/11). Another important question for Saviana is: did she do the right thing by leaving her home country Romania? Is she now inhabiting a new land called INBETWEEN? "Moving" into the English language was the right move? And what's right after all when a (r)evolution can change preconceived definitions of "right" and "wrong"?