Verujem da mogućnost i šansu treba pružiti svima jednako (ENGLISH) 1Foto: Nikola Milatovic

Nada da će se ove političke elite uskoro povući ne ostavlja me nužno entuzijastičnim i optimističnim, jer ne vidim mnogo novih političkih generacija na horizontu – primećuje režiser Florent Mehmeti, jedan od osnivača ODA teatra, u razgovoru za Danas povodom projekta „Druga strana Kosova“.Teme kojim se ovaj umetnik bavi su od društvenog značaja, relevantne za njega i publiku kojoj se obraća, bez obzira na to jesu li u pitanju istinite priče, prilagođeni klasici ili novi spisi.

ODA teatar, prema njegovim rečima, predstavlja nezavisnu kulturnu organizaciju koja je posvećena profesionalnom razvoju umetnosti i kulture. Preduzima inicijative, programe i projekte na području i koprodukcije dela savremene umetnosti u pozorištu, muzici i umetnosti u javnom prostoru na Kosovu, u regiji, Evropi i šire.

Danasov projekat „Druga strana Kosova“ ima za cilj da približi kosovskoj i srpskoj javnosti informacije koje nisu plasirale političke elite, ni s jedne strane, već nezavisni građani, kao i povezivanje kosovske i srpske kulturne scene koja je nedovoljno zastupljena u medijima.

Pitanja novinara Danasa:

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

Ono što je ključno, potpuno je izbegnuto, a to je suočavanje s prošlošću i snažno potkrepljivanje činjenicama koje ukazuju na to što se zapravo dogodilo. To bi stvorilo proces u kome bi se žrtve i porodice žrtava osećale ispunjeno, a kolektivna svest u Srbiji dovela bi do zvaničnog izvinjenja srpske države ljudima na Kosovu za ono što se desilo tokom devedesetih godina. Osećam da postoji puno nepoverenja, sumnje i zbunjenosti prema realnim događajima sa Kosova iz dugog perioda od 1989. do 1999. godine.

To je rezultat konstantne politike koja negira zakon, etničko čišćenje, aparthejd, segregaciju i genocid srpskog državnog aparata tokom 90-ih i srpski narod to ne treba da nosi na ramenima.

Svedok sam iz prve ruke koji je sve to iskusio na sopstvenoj koži. Važno je da obični ljudi u Srbiji razumeju i priznaju činjenice, što bi sprečilo politički režim da iskoristi i prilagodi proces normalizacije odnosa.

I Albanci su činili vrlo negativne stvari, ali srazmerno mnogo manje od zločina srpskog režima, koji je potpuno neuporediv.

Tendencija izjednačavanja zločina obe strane predstavlja drugu veliku grešku koja ne dopušta normalizaciju odnosa između Srbije i Kosova.

* Šta mislite o procesu normalizacije koji trenutno sprovode vlasti u Prištini i Beogradu?

Smatram da je to vrlo politički motivisan proces bez ikakvih prethodnih napora koji bi doveli do tog procesa i povećali šanse za uspehom. Proces je politički iskorišten za domaći interes svih, Srbije, Kosova i, što je još važnije, Evropske unije.

Mislim da je Evropska unija propustila istorijsku šansu, utemeljenu na vlastitoj istoriji tokom i nakon Drugog svetskog rata, da bude plodonosna i moćna posrednica, stvarajući proces koji bi na kraju doneo normalizaciju među zemljama.

Umesto toga, živimo u vremenima kada upoznajem osobu koja istinski veruje da su Srbi „nebeska“ nacija i da bogovi govore srpski. To nije mit za njega. Naravno, znam da je to mala manjina ljudi u Srbiji, ali je istovremeno zastrašujuća i tužna.

* Da li je moguće da će proces normalizacije okončati političke elite koje su bile aktivne tokom sukoba 1990-ih?

Pitanje sugeriše da političke elite iz obe zemlje imaju istu pozadinu. Moram reći da to nije slučaj. Postoji ogromna razlika, budući da srpske vlasti nose prtljag dela Miloševićevog režima, a pozadina kosovskog vođstva dolazi iz borbe za slobodu, što čini dijametralnu suprotnost.

Zato pokušaj izjednačavanja strana ne služi normalizaciji odnosa. Kosovski rat nije bio sukob dve zemlje, bio je to rat koji je režim vodio protiv Albanaca na Kosovu. Međutim, kosovske političke snage zapravo ne služe i uopšte ne odgovaraju interesima vlastitog naroda, što je takođe, verujem, slučaj i u Srbiji. Nada da će se ove političke elite uskoro povući ne ostavlja me nužno entuzijastičnim i optimističnim, jer ne vidim mnogo novih političkih generacija na horizontu. Prilično sam siguran za Kosovo i nadam se da sam pogrešio za Srbiju.

* Vi ste jedan od osnivača ODA teatra u Prištini i osnivač HAPU – festivala umetničkog rada u javnom prostoru na Kosovu. Možete li nam reći nešto više o njima?

ODA teatar je nezavisna kulturna organizacija posvećena profesionalnom razvoju umetnosti i kulture. Preduzima inicijative, programe i projekte na području produkcije i koprodukcije dela savremene umetnosti u pozorištu, muzici i umetnosti u javnom prostoru na Kosovu, u regiji, Evropi i šire. Od osnivanja 2003. godine, u centru Prištine i na drugim mestima, u i izvan Kosova, ODA je do sada sprovela više od 60 jedinstvenih projekata iz oblasti umetnosti i kulture koji se prikazuju za oko 25.000 ljudi godišnje.

ODA je članica IN SITU-a, Evropske platforme za umetničko stvaralaštvo u javnom prostoru, i u okviru evropskog partnerstva na ovoj platformi organizuje se HAPU festival u Prištini posvećen umetnosti u javnom prostoru. Na njemu su predstavljeni evropski umetnici koji rade u javnom prostoru, ali i lokalni i regionalni rad za javne prostore.

Takođe, ODA promoviše kosovske umetnike unutar i van Kosova, kako umetničkim izvođenjima tako i u nastajanju umetnika koji rade u javnom prostoru.

ODA je razvila i brojne koprodukcije s raznim evropskim i američkim partnerima. Dugogodišnji strateški partner je (Blessed Unrest)  Blaženi Nemir iz Njujorka, s kojim je ODA sprovela brojne koprodukcije nastale u saradničkim procesima u specifičnim i jedinstvenim dvojezičnim pozorišnim predstavama, izvedenim u Njujorku, Evropi i na Balkanu.

Takođe smo u velikoj meri uključeni i u polje „Umetnost u obrazovanju“ s brojnim inicijativama i aktivnostima za decu i mlade, od pozorišnih nedelja, letnjih škola, interdisciplinarnih radionica, stalnih grupa do stvaranja 20 pozorišnih klubova u javnom obrazovanju, koji uključuje više od 400 dece i 20 nastavnika koji rade u klubovima.

U području kulturne politike ODA je stvorila brojne inicijative i projekte koji deluju na polju razvoja kulturnih politika na lokalnom i nacionalnom nivou i pokrenula je stvaranje Kulturnog foruma, kosovske mreže nezavisnih kulturnih organizacija.

Aktivni smo u procesu izradnje politike, donošenja zakona i proizvodnje znanja u ovom području.

Naš rad vođen je načelima: otvorenog uma; bez straha; prevladati prepreke; nema predrasuda; zagrljaj; naučiti; uživati; davati i primati; olakšati; pojednostaviti; podsticati; oprostiti; deljenje; razmena i međusobno razumevanje.

* Kako birate predstave koje režirate?

Inspiraciju dobijam iz samog društva. Umetnički rad tretiram prvenstveno kao goruća pitanja i probleme društva. Veći deo mog pozorišnog rada često je osmišljen kao novo pisanje u saradnji s timovima umetnika.

* Kojim temama se bavite u svojim predstavama i zašto su Vam one važne?

Biram teme od društvenog značaja, relevantne za mene i publiku kojoj se obraćam, sa elementima kulturnog značaja i autentičnosti, bez obzira na to jesu li u pitanju istinite priče, prilagođeni klasici ili novi spisi.

 

Pitanja Milene Minje Bogavac, rediteljke, upravnice pozorišta u Šapcu, spisateljice, dramaturškinje, pozorišne umetnice, slem pesnikinje i radnice u kulturi.

Verujem da mogućnost i šansu treba pružiti svima jednako (ENGLISH) 2
Foto: Ivan Božić

* Za savremene umetnike ključni pojam je mobilnost. Kako na vaš rad i rad ODA teatra utiče trenutni vizni režim za Kosovo?

Da, to je vrlo istinito. Mobilnost je ključna za naš rad, pogotovo zato što dosta radimo na međunarodnoj sceni. Imali smo dosta prepreka u vezi s vizama za timove, glumce, umetnike. No, osim toga, vrlo često radimo duže na međunarodnom polju, uključujući SAD, i zato nam trebaju radne dozvole ili vize. U tim slučajevima čak ni bezvizni režim ne pomaže.

Posedujem desetogodišnju američku vizu za posetioce, ali tri puta smo moj tim i ja morali proći kroz proces obezbeđivanja viza za izvođače jer vam nije dopušten rad sa vizom za posetioce ili ako ste oslobođeni viza.

* Koliko pozorišta, trupa i umetničkih organizacija poput vaše čini kosovsku savremenu scenu i ko je vaš najdraži umetnički saradnik/saradnica na toj sceni?

Nezavisna scena u zemlji je vrlo živahna. Nezavisni umetnički sektor u velikoj meri sprovodi kvalitativni rad koji je međunarodno prepoznatljiv. U mreži koju smo mi osmislili imamo 55 članova, ali naravno ima ih više. Naime, u pozorištu ima oko šest do sedam značajnih nezavisnih kompanija, ali mi smo jedini s prikladnim prostorom za prezentaciju i sa redovnim radom. Sarađujemo gotovo sa svima, uključujući i pojedine umetnike i studente.

* Na koji projekat ODA teatra ste posebno ponosni i šta je to što ga, za Vas kao umetnika, čini tako posebnim?

Naš rad s Blaženim Nemirima iz Njujorka je vrlo poseban. Imamo petnaestogodišnju istoriju zajedničke saradnje. Mi smo više porodica nego saradnici. Dela koje zajedno koproduciramo su vrlo zanimljiva, jer je reč o istinskoj kulturnoj saradnji mešovitog glumišta, pisanja i korežiranja, i tretiranja vrlo relevantnih tema za ljudsku vrstu, inspirisana albanskom književnošću i kulturom. Do sada smo imali tri pune koprodukcije, a poslednja se odvila u aprilu i maju ove godine.

Deleći ovakvu vrstu rada sa, nazovimo je „svetskom publikom“ u Njujorku, ali i u Evropi i na Balkanu, posebna je ponos i privilegija koju doživljavam već mnogo godina.

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Pitanja čitalaca:

* Jeste li ikada, i da li biste angažovali srpskog glumca u jednoj od Vaših predstava?

Svoje saradnike biram na osnovu projekata, njihove umetničke izvrsnosti a nikad na osnovu etničkog porekla. Međutim, kada se radi o pozorišnom tekstu, jezik postaje prvi kriterijum. U našem pozorištu imali smo vrlo često prezentacije srpskog pozorišta i srpskih umetnika, ali moram reći da su bili prisutni samo zato što su bili dobri umetnici i dobra umetnička dela. U našem stvaranju 20 pilotskih pozorišnih klubova, pet njih je stvoreno u školama kosovskih Srba, koji rade sa srpskim umetnicima i srpskim učiteljima. To smo učinili jer čvrsto verujem da se mogućnosti i šanse moraju pružiti jednako svima, u ovom slučaju svakom detetu, bez obzira na njegovo poreklo.

* Kako gledate na naše domaće filmove čija je tema „zabranjena ljubav“: „Stršljen“, „Besa“?

Mislim da oni predstavljaju mitsku politiku koja traje predugo u Srbiji. Prikaz Albanaca je užasan i služi samo politikama prevencije istine i političkim pamfletima koji su nažalost još uvek na snazi.

Moram reći da je tim „Stršljena“ došao u Prištinu 1990-ih s ciljem uključivanja mladih umetnika u film, s političkom misijom da dokažu srpskoj javnosti da su albanski umetnici dobri ljudi i da možemo sarađivati, ali da  su problem „divlji“ obični Albanci. Izabran sam kao pomoćnik redatelja, ali mi smo kao mlada generacija tog vremena kolektivno odbili angažman u filmu jer je bio vrlo politički i služio bi u propagandne svrhe. Ako oduzmete politiku toga, ipak je to bio veliki profesionalni izazov i prilika.

* Kakav je život u Prištini, isti kao ovde u Srbiji?

Život u Prištini je super. Valjda sličan Srbiji. Redovno mi prijatelji i kolege iz celog sveta i iz Srbije dolaze u posetu, radimo i zabavljamo se. Preporučujem vam da nas posetite. Dođite u julu, predstavićemo rad Ludifico iz Novog Sada na našem HAPU festivalu.

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ENGLISH VERSION

*Questions of Danas daily:

– In your opinion, what should be the priorities for the sake of the normalization of relations between Serbia and Kosovo?

Facing the past, bringing in strongly the facts of what happened, which I believe crucial, has completely been avoided. Had it happened, the process would have been created where victims and families of the victims would feel more fulfilled and the collective consciousness in Serbia would lead toward an official apology from the Serbian state to people of Kosovo for what happened during the 90’s. I feel that there is a lot of mistrust, doubt and confusion of what really happened in Kosovo in that very long period from 1989 until 1999. This is a result of a constant policy of denying the systematic ethnic cleansing, apartheid, segregation and genocide committed by the Serbian state apparatus during the 90’s and the Serbian people should not take that onto their shoulders. I am myself a firsthand witness that has experienced it on his very own skin and it’s important that ordinary people in Serbia understand and acknowledge the facts. This would have prevented the political regime to utilize and tweak the process of the normalization of the relations. There have been very negative things done by the Albanians, but the scale is much smaller to what was the crime of the Serbian regime and is completely incomparable. The tendency to equalize the crimes from both sides is the second big mistake that doesn’t allow the normalization of the relations between Serbia and Kosovo.

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

I think it is a highly politically motivated process without any prior efforts that would lead to this process and raise chances for success. The process has been used politically for domestic interest by all, Serbia, Kosovo and more importantly European Union. I think that European Union has missed a historical chance, based on its own history during and after the World War II, to be a fruitful and powerful mediator, creating a process that would ultimately bring normalization between the two countries.

Instead of this, we are living in times when I met a person who truly believes that Serbs are „heavenly“ nation and that God speaks Serbian and that’s no myth for him anymore. Of course, I know that that’s a tiny minority in Serbia, but is frightening and sad at the same time.

– 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?

The question suggests that political elites from both countries have the same background. I have to say that this is not a case. There is a huge difference though, being that the actual Serbian authorities carry the baggage of being part of the Milosevic regime and the Kosovar leadership comes from freedom fighting background, and this is diametrically opposite. Once again, trying to equalize both sides doesn’t serve the normalization of the relations. Kosovo war was not a conflict between two countries, it was a war conducted by the regime towards Albanians in Kosovo. However, Kosovo political powers are not actually serving and responding at all to the interests of its own people, which I also believe is true for Serbia. Hoping that this elites will step down soon, doesn’t necessary leave me with enthusiasm and optimism, as I don’t see much of a new quality political generation in horizon. I am pretty sure for Kosovo, and I hope I am wrong for Serbia.

– You are one of the founders of ODA Theatre in Prishtina, and founder of HAPU – festival for art work in public space in Kosovo. Can you tell us more about this culutral institutions and festival?

ODA Teatri is an independent cultural organization committed to professional development of the Arts and Culture, undertaking initiatives, programs and projects in the field of producing and co-producing contemporary art work in theatre, music and arts in public space in Kosovo, region, Europe and wider. Since its creation in 2003, in its own venue in central Pristina and in other places in and out of Kosovo ODA has carried more than 60 unique arts and culture projects so far serving around 25,000 direct audience yearly. ODA is a member of IN SITU, the European Platform for Artistic Creation in Public Space and in the frame of its European partnership in this platform it also organizes HAPU Festival in Pristina dedicated to art in the public space, where European artists working in public space are presented, but also local and regional work for public spaces. On the other hand ODA promotes Kosovan artists in and outside of Kosovo, both in performing arts but also emerging artists working in public space.

ODA also developed a number of co-productions with various European and US partners. Our long-lasting strategic partner is Blessed Unrest from New York, with whom ODA has carried out numerous co-productions created with fully collaborative processes in specific and unique bilingual theatre productions, performed in New York, Europe and the region of Balkans.

We are also involved largely in „Arts in Education“ field with numerous initiatives and activities with and for children and young people, ranging from theatre weeks, summer schools, interdisciplinary workshops, permanent groups to creation of 20 theatre clubs in the public education system in the country involving more than 400 children and 20 teachers working with the clubs.

In the field of cultural policy, ODA has created numerous initiatives and projects working in the field of development of cultural policies on the local and national level and has initiated a creation of Cultural Forum, a Kosovo network of independent cultural organisations. We are active in process of policy drafting, law making and know-how production in this field.

Our work is driven by principles of: open mind; no fear; overcome obstacles; no prejudice; embrace; learn; enjoy; give and receive; facilitate; simplify; encourage; forgive; share; exchange and mutual understanding.

– How do you choose the plays you directed?

I get inspiration from the society itself. I treat artistic work as primarily raising burning questions and issues of the society. Most of my theatre work is devised theatre or new writing very often in collaboration with teams of artists.

– What kind of topics do you deal with in your plays and why are they important to you?

I try to choose themes of social importance, relevant to me and the audience we are addressing and with elements of cultural significance and authenticity. Whether they are true stories, adapted classics or new writings, topics have a very wide range.

Questions from Milena – Minja Bogavac director of the theater in Šabac, dramatist and director

– For contemporary artists, the key term is mobility. How does your theater work affect your current visa regime for Kosovo?

Yes, very true. Mobility is key for our work, especially since we work a lot internationally. We had quite some obstacles dealing with visa for teams, actors, artists. But beyond that, very often we work for longer periods internationally, including US, and we need working permits or visas. In these cases even the visa free regime doesn’t help. I have a 10-year US visitor visa, but for three times me and my team had to go through a process for Performers visa as you are not allowed to work with a visitor visa or if you are exempt for visa.

– How many theater, troupe and art organizations like yours make a Kosovo contemporary scene and who is your favorite artist / associate on that scene?

The independent scene is quite vibrant in the country. The independent artistic sector carries largely the qualitative work being produced, especially internationally. In a network we initiated we had 55 members, but of course there are more. Specifically, there are about 6 or 7 significant independent theater companies, but we are the only one with a suitable space for presentation with regular work. We collaborate almost with everyone, including also individual artists and students.

– What are the ODA Theaters project you are particularly proud of, and what makes it so special for you as an artist?

Our work with Blessed Unrest from New York is very special. We have a history of 15 years of working together. We are more of a family rather than collaborators. The work we co-produce is very interesting as it is a truthful cultural collaboration of mixed cast, co-written and co-directed, treating very relevant themes for the human kind, inspired by Albanian literature and culture. We had three full co-productions until now, the last run we had was in April and May this year. Sharing this kind of work with, let’s call it „world audience“ in New York, but also elsewhere in Europe and the Balkans, is a special pride and privilege I am experiencing for many years now.

Readers questions:

– Did you ever, or would you like to engage a Serbian actor in one of your plays?

I choose my collaborators based on projects, their artistic excellence and never the ethnic background is a choice. However, when making text-based theatre, language becomes the first criteria. In our theatre we had very often presentation of Serbian theatre and Serbian artists, but I have to tell you that they were present only because they were good artists and did good art work.  In our creation of 20 pilot theatre clubs, 5 of them were created in Kosovo Serb schools, working with Serbian artists and Serbian teachers. We did this, because I strongly believe that the possibilities and opportunities have to be provided equally to everyone, in this case every child, regardless of their background.

– What is your view on our homemade movies whose theme is „forbidden love“: Strsljen, Besa !?

I think they represent a myth making policy that is lasting too long in Serbia. A portrayal of Albanians is horrible and it just serves the policies of truth prevention and political pamphlets that are still in force today, unfortunately. I have to tell you, that the team of „Strsljen“ came to Prishtina in 1990’s with the aim of engaging young artists in the film, with a political mission to prove to the Serbian public opinion that Albanian artists are nice people and we can collaborate, but the problem are „savage“ ordinary Albanians. I was chosen as an assistant director, but we, as a young generation at the time, collectively refused our engagement in the film as it was very political and would have been serving system’s propaganda. If you take away the politics of it, it was a huge professional challenge and opportunity though.

– How is life in Pristina, is it same as here in Serbia?

Life in Prishtina is great. I guess similar to Serbia. Friends and colleagues from all over the world and Serbia too, are regularly coming to visit, work and for fun. I highly recommend you to come and visit. Come in July, we will present work of Ludifico from Novi Sad in our HAPU Festival.