Theater as a space where “the truth lives”, engaged art, cultural activism, challenges and perspectives in the field of culture – these are just some of the topics on which the theater director and founder of Hartefakt Foundation Andrej Nosov, famous actor, director and writer Enver Petrovci, and actor and professor Aleksandar Đinđić, spoke at the discussion on cultural challenges.

“I think that this space (theater) exists to connect two societies, to connect communities, whatever you call it here, to connect people, that this is the key thing. Because, whatever happens and however these things are seen in the future, I would like us to know and understand what happens every day in Pristina, but we don’t.” said Nosov.

He also adds his own example, explaining that his expectations about crossing Merdar and arriving in Pristina were wrong, thanks to the headlines in the media.

“I came to Merdare and nothing happened, I passed. Everything is in the best order, I went out into the city. What can I tell you, there is always this tension that something is going to happen,” said Nosov.

“We are somehow polarized. Either you are with me or you are with them, there is no in between. I don’t think that exists. After all, I don’t believe that there is such a thing as – the best, the most beautiful…” – said Enver Petrovci.

He adds that political parties also created divisions.

“Parties make you say that, if you say a nice thing about someone, then you are immediately against me… Let’s face it, I was not a member of the party. It’s not that I was against it, but I was an artist. That’s why I don’t think that an artist should be a member of a political party. I had problems because I wasn’t a member.” he said.

“I try to shape my students in such a way that they are open to the world, to literature, to each other, to diversity at all levels, so it’s nothing new to me, and it seems to me that I’m succeeding in connecting students with other students…” – said Đinđić, a professor at the Faculty of Acting in North Mitrovica.

Đinđić is one of the actors in Hartefakt’s play “Our Son”, which was performed in Gnjilan and Pristina at the end of October.

“I think there will be an opportunity to somehow meet and exchange artistic experience from these regions as well. Just as it is important for me, as an actor, that I am here now, next to my more experienced colleague and to exchange something with him…We didn’t have any dilemma when it comes to where we are going, an audience is an audience, I think everyone here will agree. We actually want to examine different spaces, different audiences, languages, cultures. That’s one of the reasons we do this job. As a professor, I try to convey that to the students, as something that is the primary thing they should be here for” he added.

“I think that theater and culture must be in the first place among those that contribute to the reconciliation of people, two cultures, two communities. And sports. They must be first,” Petrovci said.

He believes people who participated in the discussion are also brave.

“These people here are very brave, since time is against them. Now is not our time,” he said.

“We have no hope, and I think that art should, first of all, give us that hope… Real hope that there is a possibility that this kind of event will be a completely normal occurrence,” Nosov said.

In the context of understanding, he particularly emphasized the importance of a critical approach.

“We need people in the audience who will understand a critical approach, whatever their ethnicity, sexual orientation, whoever they are. It all sounds like platitudes, but the fact that the Albanians will be critical thinking people, and the Serbs in Kosovo will not, does not bring the Albanians anything good, because they will have as their neighbors people who will not have a critical opinion. As well as vice versa. So I think that’s the main thing and role in reviewing the other position… We have new generations who cannot understand, for example, Enver’s position. Now they can’t even understand mine, despite me being a little younger.” said Nosov.

The discussion was held at the end of October in Pristina, organized by the NGO Aktiv within the Manifesto 14 Project for the Western Balkans.

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