Posted May 6th, 2015 by NITEnews in Europe
Boris Liješević Directs “Flour in the Veins”
Photographer Velija Hasanbegovic
The play Flour in the Veins, directed by Boris Liješević, based on the text by Igor Štiks, produced by the Sarajevo War Theatre and the MESS International Theater Festival, premiered on Wednesday, April 8, at the Sarajevo War Theatre.
by Nihad Kreševljaković
Sarajevo War Theater (SARTR) has a long tradition in which culture, art, and theater are important tools in the fight for a better, more just world and for peace, at least an inner one. The story began on May 17th, 1992, just 15 days after the siege of Sarajevo had started with the intent to quell any thought of freedom. During this same time, the MESS Festival created some of the most important projects in our cultural history.
I believe one such project to be the MESS Scene, new Sarajevo theater, conceived as a space for theatrical freedom. Also, the Sarajevo War Theater, recognized as a "theater of the soul", has been striving since its inception to free theater; liberate it from fear of any kind, presenting our differences as a gift from God, not punishment!
By preserving our painful, yet precious, memories, we both strive to strongly affirm universal values, to remain in the territory of our conscience, and the courage to stand up against injustice and all other diseases of our time. Aware of the reality, though, we want to be the mirror of the future. It seems sometimes dark, sometimes light. We are fully aware that this is what will be in the good work depends on ourselves. We also know that one should never raise ones hands up and surrender to the general hopelessness, depression, and pessimism.
In the past few years MESS and Sarajevo War Theater managed to implement a series of joint productions, including "The Secret of Raspberry Jam", "hen", "Another Letter through Red Cross", "It Was a Nice and Sunny Day" "Memory of Stone" and others. Our latest joint co-production challenge is the play "The Flour in the Veins." Its writer is a well known author - Igor Štiks. The play is directed by Boris Liješević, currently one of the most important directors in Serbia.
The cast itself was a guarantee that the play would be a good one. Boris has brought together some of our most significant Bosnian actors and actresses. Unfortunately, we seldom have the opportunity to see actresses and actors from three different generations in our theaters. From SARTR come Selma Alispahić and JasenMESS2015_Brasno_U_Venama_Posterko Pašić. Among the guests are very nice people, friends and top representatives of their profession: Kaca Dorić, Izudin Bajrović, Admir Glamočak and Miodrag Trifunov. Miodrag Trifunov played in “Shelter” - the first SARTR play produced during the siege. Among his associates are Dubravka Zrnčić Kulenović (dramaturgy), Lejla Hodžić (costume design), Vedran Hrustanović (set design), Dusko Šegvić (music), and the entire team of good people from production, technology, administration ... We gathered all together to show and prove that theater is now what it always has been - a basic human need!
It is because of this that "Flour in the Veins" seems the right choice.
Boris Liješević and Igor Štiks are a well-known tandem behind "Elijah's Chair", one of the most exciting regional performances, a co-production between the YDT from Belgrade and the MESS Festival. This cooperation inspired Igor to write his first play. The first man who received the text was, of course, Boris.
The story of this drama evolved for years. As Igor Štiks says, first themes emerged even during his stay in Chicago, where he met a family of our origin, in which he saw a deep generational misunderstanding. "The children could not fully understand their parents, experience and history that had brought with them to America. They adopted their mythology of a past world, but also of a brutal loss. It seemed like an injustice, to inherit all that trauma, and you live and you want to develop in a world where there is no place for you, just obstacles. "
The fact that millions of inhabitants of the Balkans are experiencing this or a similar drama certainly is a strong motive to point out the importance of such a topic.
"This lack of understanding", writes Štiks, "and all these conflicts, both emotional and ideological – ideological, which are necessary emotional and emotional, which receive and ideological articulation – between different generations in the last hundred years, from the First to the Second World War, the recent war, and the time of peace which, as we well know, is not devoid of conflict, became the subject of this text."
Igor Štiks recognizes the past as a boomerang that always comes back, and makes us learn how to catch it before it hurts us again, "not in order to reject it and forget it, but to prevent it from hurting our future".
Rise from Trauma
In addition to announcing the play, Boris Liješević explained in the text some important details from the story of a war-scattered family, which after more than 20 years gets together in one city, one apartment, on a single night. Everything had changed (city, state, population, ethnic makeup, streets, faces), but the traumas remained, which neither the passage of time nor the change of space could delete. These traumas, as Boris says, have become a worldview, a way of thinking and a pattern of behavior, and over time they become familiar and pleasant, while an exit from these traumas is a painful and unknown one.
Boris Liješević adds: "In the Balkans, where wars make history, geography, economy, culture, politics and education, trauma becomes a national treasure, identity, political tool, tradition, education." In response to that Boris decided to direct a "drama in which heroes waited for decades. A drama of returns, meetings, negotiation, guilt, overcoming, unraveling and ultimately reconciliation. "
As nice as it may sound, the path to reconciliation is not an easy one. Boris describes it as a threat, because it "requires confrontation, acceptance and opening of new and unknown sites". Actually, it's a tough fight, a long process that requires time, maturity and courage! This is exactly what Selma Alispahić, Kaća Dorić, Izudin Bajrović, Admir Glamočak, Jasenko Pašić and Miodrag Trifunov communicate through this play in a truly fascinating way.
This performance seems to be able to wake us up from a dream with its silences. Suddenly! To shake us, perhaps! Again, the purpose of theater in its essence is that, even when it shakes us, it brings us peace!
This post has been translated from the original article here