Foto: Miloš Miljković

Ono što je paradoksalno jeste činjenica da je lakše sarađivati sa Srbima koji žive van Kosova nego sa onima koji žive u Mitrovici, Štrpcu ili Gračanici. Za to krivim obe strane; lokalne Srbe koji imaju predrasude, kao i Albance, zato što nisu učinili više da ih uvere da su se okolnosti promenile nabolje – poručuje Ismet Sijarina, reditelj i profesor filmske i TV režije na Fakultetu umetnosti u Prištini, u intervjuu u sklopu projekta portala Danas „Druga strana Kosova“.

  • Pitanja koja je postavila scenaristkinja i rediteljka Minja Bogavac

Koliko na Kosovu danas ima prostora za kritičku umetnost? Ima li zabranjenih tema i sa čim se umetnici više suočavaju: sa cenzurom ili sa autocenzurom?

– Možda zvuči čudno, ali na Kosovu nikada nije bilo prave cenzure, ili pritiska neke posebne institucije vlasti zbog određene teme ili pitanja. Naravno, vlast ima svoje „prećutne prioritete“, pa su nakon rata umetnici uglavnom bili fokusirani na ratne teme i posledice sukoba. Vladala je totalna euforija oko toga ko će se više baviti tom temom, pa je ona često zloupotrebljavana.

Milena Minja Bogavac
Foto: Ivan Božić

Poslednjih godina, konačno smo shvatili da umetnik treba da bude individualac, nekonformista, koji treba da koristi svoje znanje i kreativnost kako bi predvodio društvo. Dakle, kritička umetnost je počela da se razvija, priče o „očiglednim stvarima“ počele su da se pomeraju ka onim „manje uočljivim“. Sistem biva više kritikovan, a marginalizovane grupe dobijaju veću podršku.

Danas je jedina cenzura sa kojom se umetnici na Kosovu suočavaju zapravo autocenzura, ograničavanje sopstvenog diskursa. Ona se dešava iz straha od suočavanja sa teškim temama, koje zahtevaju više kreativnog ulaganja. Nisu svi spremni da prođu kroz tu fazu, već radije rade po inerciji, zbog čega se decenijama ne menjaju

Dokufest u Prizrenu smatra se jednim od najzanimljivijih festivala u regionu. Koliki je, prema Vašem mišljenju, uticaj ovog festivala na kosovske umetnike, naročito na mlade umetnike?

– Zadivljujuće je imati takav reprezentativan festival i sjajnu priliku za izolovane mlade ljude da se upoznaju sa umetnicima iz različitih kultura i nacionalnosti. Dokufest nudi raznovrstan i bogat program, sa zanimljivim pristupom koji može uticati na lokalne umetnike da poboljšaju svoj rad, kao i na lokalnu publiku da poboljša svoj ukus. Dokufest je pomerio granice organizujući kulturni događaj sa ogromnim ekonomskim i promotivnim uticajem. Većina domaćih kratkih i dokumentarnih filmova svoje putovanje započinje na Dokufestu, da bi potom sjajno zaživeli na međunarodnim festivalima.

Kao kosovski filmski autor radite u okviru jedne male kinematografije. Šta su prednosti, a šta mane toga?

– Kosovo je imalo dugu pauzu kada je u pitanju snimanje igranih filmova. Poslednji film koji je podržala filmska agencija „Kosovo film“ snimljen je 1987. godine, a kasnije je institucionalni život kinematografije okončan usled dobro poznatih okolnosti. Trebalo mi je skoro 19 godina da produciram sledeći film, koji je svetlost dana ugledao 2006. godine. Postojao je veliki generacijski jaz i morali smo da pokrenemo sve iz početka kako bismo uspostavili našu kinematografiju. Kosovo je 2008. godine uspostavilo svoj filmski centar „QKK“, što je bio veliki korak napred kada je u pitanju podrška umetničkim filmovima. Generacija koja je godinama bila „na pauzi“ bila je prva koja je dobila podršku. Pravili su solidne filmove, ali su godine koje su proveli van seta mogle da se osete kroz njihov način pripovedanja. Bilo je potrebno nekoliko godina da rukovodstvo filmskog centra promeni politiku i počne da bira projekte koji su dolazili iz mlađe generacije. Budžet je samo jedno od pitanja sa kojima se suočavate kada krenete u produkciju filma; nedostatak profesionalaca, naročito iz oblasti kamere, zatim postprodukcija, prepreke za ostvarivanje koprodukcija sa drugim zemljama, uskraćivanje prava za prijavljivanje za fondove poput „Creative Europe“ pa sve do pitanja viza, čine da je kod nas teže realizovati projekte nego u drugim zemljama. U najboljem slučaju, uspemo da obezbedimo 50 procenata budžeta za film, dok se ostalo svodi na kompenzacije i doprinos ljudi koji su uključeni u projekat.

Mali budžet vam razara san i čini da se osećate nelagodno kada se na festivalima takmičite sa filmovima koji imaju deset puta veći budžet od vašeg. Ipak, novac nije sve. Strast i ljubav prema poslu koju umetnici iz regiona imaju je zapavo ono što pravi razliku. Naše priče su iskrene, originalne i veoma kreativne. Po mom mišljenju, budžetska ograničenja često služe kao impulsi za povećanje vaše kreativnosti, što se direktno odražava na kvalitet vaših projekata.

  • Pitanja koja su postavili čitaoci Danasa na društvenim mrežama

Koje albanske filmove biste preporučili gledaocima u Srbiji?

– Postoji nekoliko odličnih filmova koji su snimljeni u poslednjih četiri-pet godina i koji su veoma dobro prošli na međunarodnom planu. Počeo bih sa “Three Windows and a hanging” Isa Kosje (2014), zatim „Agnus Dei“ Agima Sopija (2015), onda „Martesa“ Bljerte Zećiri (2017) i „Cold November“ Ismeta Sijarine (2018). U međuvremenu je bilo nekoliko odličnih kratkih filmova koji su prikazivani na poznatim festivalima, i koji su uspeli da dobiju nominaciju za Oskara kao i na Sandens festivalu, poput Shok (Friend), Kthimi (The Return), Kolona (The Column), Ballkoni (Balcony), Ajo (Her), Gardhi (Fence), Nje muaj (One month), Me fal (Forgive me) i tako dalje. Neke od njih moguće je pogledati besplatno, na Vimeu ili Jutjubu.

Da li su srpski umetnici koji žive na Kosovu uključeni u stvaranje kulturno-umetničkih sadržaja sa svojim albanskim kolegama?

– Lično sam nekoliko puta imao priliku da sarađujemo sa „Teatrom Geto“ iz Gračanice, koji je osnovao moj dobar prijatelj reditelj Zoran Ristić, i sve je prošlo dobro. Moram priznati da je teško ubediti srpske umetnike da budu deo nekog projekta zbog političkih prepreka sa kojima se mogu suočiti od strane različitih partija. Ono što je paradoksalno jeste činjenica da je lakše sarađivati sa Srbima koji žive van Kosova nego sa onima koji žive u Mitrovici, Štrpcu ili Gračanici. Za to krivim obe strane; lokalne Srbe koji imaju predrasude, kao i Albance zato što nisu učinili više da ih uvere da su se okolnosti promenile nabolje.

Postoje mnoge kulturne organizacije koje sprovode zajedničke projekte koji uključuju umetnike oba naroda. Lično mislim da može i mora da se učini više u tom pravcu, jer su takve inicijative organizovane na nivou nevladinih organizacija i podržane od strane međunarodnih fondova. Sada bi trebalo da odemo korak dalje i da saradnju podignemo na institucionalni nivo.

Kako obični ljudi na Kosovu gledaju na probleme sa Srbijom? Šta im najviše smeta?

– Mnogo stvari se dogodilo tokom rata, pa je čak i 20 godina kasnije teško da se pretvaramo da smo „kul“. Ipak, obični građani na Kosovu suočavaju se sa mnogim problemima u svom svakodnevnom životu, tako da odustaju od „velikih problema“ ostavljajući ih političarima. Živimo u vremenu kada se svaki čin koji preduzmemo jedni protiv drugih smatra adekvatnim i patriotskim, a političari sa obe strane to savršeno koriste kako bi što duže zadržali svoje pozicije. Građani su umorni od ove situacije i žele da stvari krenu napred, uspostavljanjem konačnog sporazuma između dve etničke grupe. Međutim, prepreke poput nestalih osoba, masovnih grobnica, ratnih zločina, slobode kretanja, uzajamnog priznavanja dokumenata, povratka Srba koji su napustili Kosovo te ratne odštete, stoje između nas. Nažalost, ne postoji volja da se one reše, što naše živote čini još težim i održava stanje napetosti.

  • Pitanja novinara Danasa

Šta bi, prema Vašem mišljenju, trebalo najpre i prioritetno učiniti kako bi se odnosi Srbije i Kosova normalizovali?

– Obe strane čiji rad prate međunarodne institucije deluju na državnom nivou, kako bi uspostavile odnose između dve zemlje. Stoga oni zaboravljaju da se fokusiraju na potrebe običnih građana. Naši lideri kontinuirano na tim sastancima vređaju jedni druge, umesto da pregovaraju o konkretnim sporazumima koji bi poboljšali naše živote. Nedavno su priznali da su čak imali i fizički sukob pred predstavnicima Evropske unije. Nije li to zabavno? Zamislite balkanskog lidera u normalnoj situaciji: on ili ona ne bi imao/la nikakvog značaja, njihova uloga bi izbledela a običan građanin bi time bio osnažen. Ali ko je zainteresovan da gleda film bez drame?

Voleo bih da vidim da se na Kosovu stvara okruženje u kome će se svaki pojedinac osećati kao kod kuće, bez obzira kojoj nacionalnosti pripada. Dok je Srbija vladala Kosovom, propustila je to da uradi, jer nas je tretirala kao građane drugog reda. Kosovo ne treba da napravi takvu grešku. Izgradnjom zajedničkog krova i prijateljskog okruženja za sve, možemo učiniti da se Srbi koji žive na Kosovu osećaju kao da žive u Srbiji. Svakodnevne prepreke treba otkloniti, a politika treba da bude orijentisana na individualne potrebe, umesto izgradnje koncepta koji promoviše državu iznad pojedinca.

Kako ocenjujete proces normalizacije koji trenutno vode vlasti u Prištini i Beogradu?

– Ljudi sa Balkana kroz vekove su pokazali da bi pre da se bore nego da pregovaraju. Jednostavno nismo dobri u tome. Srećom, međunarodna zajednica je to najzad shvatila, i rešila da to pitanje konačno reši na svoj način: „uzmi“ i kreni napred ili „ostavi“ i suoči se sa posledicama. To bi moglo da povredi osećanja nacionalista sa obe strane, jer će se dogoditi mnoge stvari koje nisu očekivali, ali će se na kraju stvoriti jasna perspektiva za obe zemlje. U jedno sam siguran: nikome nije stalo da se ponovo sukobljava, jer od toga nema koristi.

Da li je moguće da proces normalizacije odnosa Kosova i Srbije okončaju političke elite koje su bile aktivne tokom sukoba devedesetih godina?

– Političari su čudni. Oni se uzdižu tako što izazivaju nasilje, siktanje i mržnju prema drugima i na taj način stvaraju uspešno karijeru. Onda promene svoja lica i počnu da se bore protiv onoga što su sami izmislili, ne bi li preživeli u politici makar još jednu deceniju. Nažalost, građani se ponašaju kao da se ne sećaju šta je bilo pre, jer je opšta amnezija dugo zatrpavala naše zemlje. Ko može bolje da pokaže gde je nagazna mina, od onoga ko ju je postavio? Zgrabimo ih za uši i naterajmo ih da pričaju.

Koja su Vaša prva sećanja na sukob na Kosovu?

– Živeo sam u kraju preko puta studentskih domova. Bilo je to 1989. godine, tada sam bio u osnovnoj školi. Dok su rudari štrajkovali u Trepči, studenti su to činili u Prištini. Dakle, ceo komšiluk je bio pod strogom policijskom kontrolom, i mnogo suzavca je ulazilo u naše domove. Tokom kratkih pauza u demonstracijama, deca iz komšiluka su nosila studentima topli hleb sa kobasicama i kuvanim jajima, koje su pripremale naše majke. Iskreno, još se sećam tog mirisa. Prokletstvo, to je bilo nešto tako ukusno i u potpunosti suprotno sa situacijom koja se pogoršavala. Od tih dana, čak i u komšiluku, počeli smo da se igramo odvojeno i zakleli smo se: nijedan Srbin neće biti u albanskom timu i obrnuto. Danas je 31. mart 2019. godine i još je tako.

***

ENGLISH VERSION

* Questions asked by screenwriter and director Minja Bogavac

How much room is there in Kosovo for critical art? Are there any forbidden topics and what do the artists face more – censorship or self-censorhip? 

It might sound strange, but there has never been the real censorship in Kosovo, or pressure from any specific institution of authority for a particular topic, or issue.  Of course, the authorities have their “silent preferences”, that’s why after the war the artists were mostly focused on war topics and its consequences.

There was a wave of general euphoria about who is going to treat that topic more, and it was often even misused and abused. 

In recent years we have finally understood that the artist should be an individual, nonconformist, and they should use their knowledge and creativity to lead the society. Therefore, critical art has started to evolve, topics regarding “obvious things” have started to change into topics regarding “hardly obvious ones”, the system got more criticized, and the marginalized groups are more supported. 

Nowadays the only censorship that artists face in Kosovo is the self-censorship, classifying one’s own discourse. This is done out of fear of tackling hard topics, which requires more creative investments. Not everyone is ready to move to this phase, instead they prefer to work with inertia, which has kept them unchanged for decades. 

Dokufest in Prizren is considered one of the most interesting festivals in the region. In your opinion, what is the impact of this festival on Kosovar artists, especially on young ones? 

It is amazing to have such a representative festival, and a great opportunity for isolated young people to meet artists of different culture and nationality.

Dokufest offers a varied and rich program, with interesting approach that can impact on both local artists to improve their work and local audience to improve their taste.

Dokufest pushed the boundaries further by organizing a cultural event with huge economic and promotional impact. Most of the local short and documentary films start their journey in Dokufest, and make the great lives in the international festivals. 

As a film author from Kosovo, you work in a small industry. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this? 

Kosovo had a long pause in producing feature films. The last film supported by the film agency “Kosova Film” was made in 1987 and the institutional life of the Cinematography was later shut down due to well-known circumstances.

It took me almost 19 years to produce the next film which was released in 2006. There was a big gap between generations, and we had to restart it almost from the very beginning, in order to re-establish our Cinematography.

In 2008, Kosovo created its film center “QKK”, which was a big step forward in supporting artistic films. The generation that paused for years was the first to be supported. They made solid films, but the years that kept them away from the sets were felt in their way of storytelling. It took the new management of “QKK” few years to change the policies and start to select projects that came from younger generation.

 

Budget is only one of the issues that we face when producing a film; lack of professionals, especially in the camera department, art department and post-production department, obstacles to making co-production with other countries, denying the right to apply for funds such as “Eurimage” and “Creative Europe”, visa issue make our way towards finalizing the projects more difficult than in any other country.

In the best case we manage to provide about 50% of the total budget for the film and the rest is “investment in kind” or contribution of the people engaged in the project.

Low budget destroys your dream and makes you feel uncomfortable when competing in festivals with projects that have ten times bigger budget than yours, but yet money is not everything.  Actually, it is the passion and love for this job that artists from the region have and that is what makes the difference. Our stories are sincere, original and very creative. In my opinion, budgetary constraints often serve as impulses for increasing your creativity and it directly reflects on the quality of your projects.  

* Questions posted by Danas social networks followers: 

Which Albanian movies would you recommend to audience in Serbia? 

There are several great movies released in last 4-5 years that achieved the international success. I would start with “Three Windows And A Hanging” by Isa Qosja (2014), “Agnus Dei” by Agim Sopi (2015), “Martesa” by Blerta Zeqiri (2017) and “Cold November” by Ismet Sijarina (2018). Meanwhile there were several great short films that were presented at the well-known festivals, including those that received the Oscar and Sundance nomination such as Shok (Friend), Kthimi (The Return), Kolona (The Column) Ballkoni (Balcony), Ajo (Her), Gardhi (Fence), Nje muaj (One month), Me fal (Forgive Me) etc. Some of them are available for free on Vimeo or Youtube.

Furthermore, I would like to mention several great films produced recently in Albania that might be interesting to Serbian wide audience. Titles such as “Day Brake”, “Delegation”, “A Shelter among The Clouds” and soon to be released “Open Door” shouldn’t be missed! 

Are Serbian artists in Kosovo involved in making cultural-artistic content with their Albanian colleagues? 

I personally had the chance several times to cooperate with “Teatar Geto” in Gracanica which was established by my good friend Mr Zoran Ristic (film director), and everything went well.

I have to admit that it is hard to persuade Serbian artists to be the part of some project due to the political obstacles that they might face and that might be posed by different parties.

What is more paradoxical is the fact that it is easier to make projects with Serbs living outside Kosovo, than with those living in Mitrovica, Sterpce or Gracanica.

I blame both sides for this – local Serbs who prejudge us and Albanians who do not do more to convince them that the circumstances have changed for the better. 

There are many cultural organizations that make joint projects and include artists of both nationalities, personally, I think it can and must be done more in this direction, since these initiatives are more organized on NGO levels and supported by the international funds.

Now we should move forward by upgrading this cooperation on institutional level!

What do ordinary people in Kosovo think about the problems with Serbia? What bothers them most? 

A lot of things happened during the war and even now, twenty years after it, it is difficult to pretend that we are cool.

Yet, ordinary citizens in Kosovo face many problems in their everyday life, and therefore they somehow gradually give up “big issues”, leaving them to the politicians.

We live in a time when every act against each other is considered adequate and patriotic, and politicians on both sides use this perfectly to stay longer in their positions.

The citizens are tired of this situation and they would like things to move forward by reaching the final agreement between the two ethnic groups, but obstacles such as missing people, massive graves, war criminals, free movement issue, mutual recognition of documents, economic barriers and free trade, the return of Serbs who abandoned Kosovo and the war damages stand between us.

Unfortunately, there is no the will to remove them and it makes our lives more difficult and keeps the tensions high.  

* Questions asked by Danas journalists: 

What, in your opinion, should be prioritized first and foremost in order to normalize relations between Serbia and Kosovo? 

Both sides monitored by the the internationals are working on governmental level in order to establish the relationship between two countries. Therefore, they forget to focus on the real needs of the ordinary citizens. Our leaders continuously insult each other in these meetings instead of talking about possible agreements that can directly improve our lives. Tthey even recently admitted that they had physical fight in front of the EU representatives. Isn’t it FUNNY?!

Imagine a Balkan leader in a normal situation – he/she would have no significance, his/her role would fade and the ordinary citizen would be strengthened.

But who is interested to watch a movie without drama?! 

I would like to see Kosovo creating an environment where each individual is to feel at home and safe, regardless of the ethnicity he/she belongs to. When Serbia ruled Kosovo, it failed to do that with Albanians because it treated us as the second-class citizens. Kosovo shouldn’t make that mistake!

By building a roof and friendly environment for everyone, we make Serbs living in Kosovo feel that they live in Serbia. All the everyday obstacles should be removed and all the politics are to be oriented to the individual needs instead of building a concept that promotes the state over the individual. 

What do you think about the process of normalization that is currently being led by the authorities in Pristina and Belgrade? 

People from the Balkans proved for centuries that they preferred the fight to negotiation. We are simply not good in that!

Fortunately, the internationals have finally understood it and therefore they have decided to solve this issue in their way, which means this is the solution, take it and move forward or leave it and face the consequences.  

This might hurt the feelings of the nationalists on both sides since a lot of unexpected things will happen, but at the end of the day it will open the clear perspective for both countries.

I am sure about one thing: no one is interested in bringing the fights back, there are no benefits from it. 

Is it possible that the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia might be achieved by the political elites that were active during the 1990s conflicts? 

Politicians are strange!

First, they rise by causing violence, hiss and hatred for others, and thus creating a successful career. Then they switch the faces and fight against exactly what they have invented themselves, making sure they will survive in politics and in leading positions for at least another decade. Unfortunately, normal citizens act as if they do not remember what was before since the general amnesia covered these lands for long time.

And who can show better where the landmine is than the one who fixed it! Let’s grab them from ears, and push them to talk! 

What are your first memories of the conflict in Kosovo? 

I used to live in the neighborhood where the student dormitories were just across the street. It was 1989, at that time I was in primary school. While the miners used to strike in Trepca, students did the same in Prishtina. Therefore, the whole neighborhood was under the strict police control and a lot of tear gas was getting into our houses. When short breaks from the demonstration took place, kids from the neighborhood used to bring hot bread with sausages and boiled eggs prepared by our mothers to the students, and honestly, I still remember the smell of it. Damn that was so delicious contrary to the situation that was getting worse.

Starting from these days, even in the neighborhood we separated the games and swore that no Serb should be the part of Albanian team and vice-versa. Today is March 31, 2019 and it is still like that.

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