Autumn Highlights


“Ecology of the soul”, art in closed institutions, boarders treated in different ways, all these are themes that were thought and dealt with this Autumn in part of the artistic community in theatre , especially theatre that deals with young people.

It is interesting in what ways theatre makers in Serbia, in spite of complicated social and economic conditions, succeed in establishing new practices. Even though with the  abundant problems and needs the processes of artists, slowed down by the lack of systematic support, still manage to change the perceptive of about the significance, meaning and different ways of participation of performing art in the realm of culture, education, care and work with children and youth is evidently visible and slowly but constantly the number of ones that are involved and apply in their work principles of theatre art.

From 4 Festivals, that have by now been supported by ASSITEJ Serbia, this year only two have been realized : International TIBA Festival and the regional Theatre Zvezdarište have not. Becuase of a very difficult financial situation and the lack of the amount of state grants that are enough to cover main costs and fees of the emloyees in theatres founded by the state, the main childrens theatres had to give up a jumber of premiers on yearly level, so every premier is considered a heroic deed.

Theatres out of institutions and theatre groups are faced with new laws that find it hard to access schools, and schools have new measures that find any form of organized travel to organized artistic programs hard. In a society in which a new frame of creating culture is still not formed, it is hard to accomplish a continuity and realization of bigger steps involving years ahead.

Still in our area there was always a number of extraordinary and progressive artists and individuals and valuable artistic achievements created  with quality that went beyond the expected ways and institutional theatre scene.

What is especially valuable is the consciousness and persistence of certain  artists that address the young audience considering it is a vulnerable population, and in theartistic engagement that has not been respected enough in many parts of society, so it asks for more effort and requires support of every kind. So in this case we want to stress three events that have been realized by three members of ASSITEJ Serbia:  Sanja Krsmanović Tasić (Mater Terra Festival), Aleksandra Jelić (Parol)and Boris Čakširan (Off Frame).

The pilot Festival Mater Terra  that has been concieved and realized by Sanja Krsmanović Tasić has gathered drama groups that work in schools and use drama techniques, instantly gathered a lot of interest.“Ecology of the soul“ is a new expression, concieved fo the Festival Mater terra, and that for its team means healthy and developed human relationships, openess and acceptance of the other or different,  development of empatht and activation of solidarity and support. The festival is not competative, but is concieved as a place for support and exchange between drama groups and studios, a pleace where expert advice can be given and experiences excahnged with different groups and schools. The festival was realized in co/production of DAH Theatre Research centra and CEDEUM/ Centre for drama/theatre in education and art, and the team of experts invited to give advice and support consisted of three members: Ljubica Beljanski Ristić, Diana Kržanić Tepavac and  Boris Čakširan.

"Every impossibility gives rise to a new opportunity," says Aleksandra Jelic, Executive Director at ApsArt & ApsArt Community Theatre speaking at the Conference  Do I Have a Right to Know opening ceremony.

What is the relationship between the personal and creative freedom? Does  the loss of freedom of movement  means the loss of right to create? Why the  artists  are so often peered behind the walls and those behind the walls so often resorted to art as a means of release? These questions and attempt to answer to some of them dealt  project PAROL which was conducted in five European countries and has been  completed in Belgrade in November as conference organized by the ApsArt organization. The organization promotes and educates about the possibilities of theater in the work with vulnerable, disadvantaged and marginalized, groups of children and young people. Its creator, theter director and  tireless activist Aleksandra Jelic brought together representatives of various sectors, artists and representatives of  organizations for human rights to cross experiences, to shed light on the obstacles / problems together and tried to find some suggestions for solutions which will provide access to the arts and the introduction of artistic disciplines and creative process in working with vulnerable groups, in institutions such as shelters, institutions, psychiatric hospitals, day care centers ,... It was a unique opportunity to exchange views in an area that is in our country not yet sufficiently developed, recognized and supported.

Description: us mention also  OFF FRAME FRAME FESTIVAL 2014 a Belgrade based, regional festival of socially engaged theater, which was held  beginig December for the fourth time. The festival gathers authors and organizations from the domain of socially engaged theater in Serbia, the region and beyond, promoting involvement in theatrical work and giving stage time to those who are disempowered in some particular social context. Boris Čakširan whom ASSITEJ Comunity recognizes by its engagement in inclusive arts and active participation in a forming of IIAN network, as artistic director of the Festival chose for its beginning a play for children "The Boy Who Says Yes - The Boy Who Says No" inspired by the classical Japanese drama "Taniko" (Ritual throwing into the valley), as well as Brecht's plays, "He Who Says Yes / He Who Says No" and "The Horatians and the Curiatians" adapted by Milan Marković and directed by Anđelka Nikolić, production of Little Theatre Duško Radović. The play poses the questions if it is courage to sacrifice oneself for a higher cause? Or is true courage to oppose ancient laws and the opinion of the majority? It is a story about how there is never only one solution, never only one ending.  That is thought with which we conclude this article about some events on the theater scene for children and young people in Serbia these days,  events and actions  that we hope will one day instead of outside flow affect  the change for the better.



Diana Kržanić Tepavac