director and set designer Dino Mustafić
original music Vladimir Pejković
movement Gjergj Prevazi
with Ema Andrea, Slobodan Beštić, Kushtrim Hoxha, Dubravka Kovjanić, Milutin Milošević, Bajrush Mjaku
guitar Damjan Babić
assistant director Igor Vuk Torbica
translators Qerim Ondozi, Dren Berishaj, Damjan Babić, Kushtrim Hoxha
costume design Ivana Jovanović
video Vukašin Živaljević
assistant costume designer Olivera Lekić
executive producer Dragan Simeunović
production director Milan Vračar
PR Manager Ivana Srdanov
Kulturanova, Novi Sad
co-production Qendra Multimedia, Pristine and Bitef theater, Belgrade
Running time 1h 15’
Played in Serb, Albanian and English with Italian subtitles
The performance is part of an artist-run research project The Views: A Meeting of Personal Histories of Serbs and Albanians, which was carried out in collaboration of Kulturanova and Multimedia Qendra during 2010. Within the framework of the project, 40 individuals of Serb and Albanian ethnic origin were interviewed. The questions asked were related to their personal memories of Serbian-Albanian conflicts, their versions of the future and the possibilities of Serbian-Albanian co-habitation. An exhibition of photographs and the publishing of a three-lingual publication, composed from these interviews, completed this research. Based on the material used for the exhibition, Milena Bogavac, a dramaturge from Belgrade, and Jeton Neziraj, a dramaturge from Priština, worked in collaboration to write a documentary, post-dramatic text, which a director based in Sarajevo, Dino Mustafić, with the actors and actresses from Belgrade, Priština, Skoplje and Tirana.
“This is a ‘post-dramatic’ text” Says Jeton Neziraj about Patriotic Hypermarket, who continues: ”This thing, ‘post-dramatic’ I first heard from a colleague and co-author of this collaborative play, Minja Bogavac. ‘Oh yes’, I was telling myself afterwards, ‘not only are we writing a drama, we are writing a “post-dramatic” drama!’ This conceptual dramaturgical explanation saved me in the eyes of friends when they asked me: ‘Tell us, what kind of a drama is it?’ Or, ‘What is the drama about?’ I would stutter a bit, I would say that it is about Serbs and Albanians, about history, a bit about the war…and when I could see that they were not happy with my answers then I would say these magic words: ‘Well, this is not a drama, this is a “post-drama”!’
In working with Minja, at the beginning we agreed to write about topics/concepts/stories which are related to the war and the Serbian-Albanian conflicts in an ‘indirect’ way. It seems that at the beginning, when we didn’t know each other very well, we didn’t have the courage to deal with the ‘real things’ of Serb-Albanian relations directly. But when we started to write, we slowly started to touch on the ‘wounds’ and the ‘black holes’ of both sides. Minja, at the beginning, sent me a scene which was not easy to bear. I promised her that I will ‘return the favour’. Only at the end of the process, finally I managed to write the ‘return scene’, which was without doubt, like Minja’s scene from the beginning, full of hatred, spite, racism and antagonism towards ‘those others’. However, this is not our personal ‘venting’, but a representation of those ‘collective minds’ full of prejudices and horrible stereotypes about the ‘others’”.
The other author of the text, Milena Bogavac, then speaks about the relationship between art and politics: "During the writing of Patriotic Hypermarket we avoid to raise explicit messages. These should be the field of politics, not art," says Milena, "in this sense the show, instead of offering a political message, proposes a 'bottom' view of the lives of ordinary people, anonymous, which are always the real victim of the war. Thanks to this particular point of view, the work forcefully poses direct questions: Why had we to do all this? Why have we destroyed churches and mosques? From where we came up with the idea that the whole world was watching us and would be interested in our problems forever?".
Speaking about the new wave of violence in Kosovo, Milena Bogavac emphasizes the importance of art in proposing his own truth, without compromises or hyperbolic emotions. The search for this truth, she adds, has been a difficult process, especially if conducted with another writer. Started with texts politically "neutral", the collaboration between Jeton Neziraj and Milena Bogavac could only develop once exhausted the difficulties caused by the stereotypes. "Then we started talking about the war and write the key scenes of the drama. We have developed a 'ping-pong' drama, which could be summarized as 'Strike as well, because it will turn back with interest as you give it!' Consequently, this show does not spare any of the part about war, but projected on a human level, which is more important than the art itself".
The main theme, that is repeated many times, is the advertising slogan: "The confirmation of happy consumers are our best recommendation. "Patriotic Hypermarket offers a very important thinking moment about the recent past of the history of the Balkans.
Born in 1982 in Belgrade, she graduated from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts, Department of Dramaturgy. Together with director Jelena Bogavac she founded the DMS (Drama Mental Studio) theatre company which has actualised over 30 artistic projects in Belgrade theatres and at festivals throughout Europe. Her plays have been translated into foreign languages, included in anthologies and presented at festivals in Avignon, New York, London, Leeds, Wiesbaden, Bratislava, Mostar, etc. As a dramaturge she has collaborated with a number of directors. She has received numerous awards and won many prizes for her work. She also writes and performs slam poetry. She is the selector of Ex Teatar Fest in Pancevo. She is a permanent associate of Bitef and the Bitef Theatre, a member of the Sfw New Drama group, and one of the editors of the website www.nova-drama.org dedicated to the promotion of young national writers. She has led several workshops for the development of drama text. She is a contributor to the Vecernje novosti daily newspaper, and her texts, stories and documentary prose are regularly published in periodicals.
Jeton Neziraj (1977) is a playwright from Kosovo, currently the Artistic Director of the National Theatre of Kosovo. As a playwright, he has written over 15 plays which have been staged and performed in Kosovo and abroad, as well as being translated and published in many other languages. His play, Liza is sleeping won the first prize in a national competition for Albanian plays, organized by the Publishing House, Buzuku, and it had its premiere in the National Theatre of Kosovo in 2007. In local and international theatre magazines and journals.His short stories have been published in local magazines in Kosovo and Albania. He is also the author of various books, including a book about the famous Kosovar actor, Faruk Begolli (published in Albanian, English and Serbian). Neziraj is the founder, and for a long time, was the director of Qendra Multimedia, which focuses on contemporary theatre and dramaturgy. Neziraj was Professor of Dramaturgy at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Prishtina during the year 2007-2008. He has given speeches about the theatre at several festivals, conferences and universities throughout the world. As a playwright, he has worked with many theatres in Europe and his plays have been performed in many important theatre festivals in Europe.
Born in 1969 in Sarajevo. Graduated from the department of Directing from the Theatre Academy and department of Literature from the Faculty of Philosophy. With only 27 years he became Director of the International Theatre Festival MESS in Sarajevo.Directed the plays by Sartre, Ionesko, Mrožek, Moliere, Coltes, Shakespeare, Thornton Wilder, Schwab, Dorfmann, Gardner, Dea Loher, Nick Wood, Glowacki, Ingmar Vilkvist, Boichev, the opera Cavalleria Rusticana. Directed documentaries, music shows. His film Remake, written by Zlatko Topčić, participated in international festivals in Rotterdam, Montreal, Karlovy Vary, Istanbul, Prague, Rome, Monaco, San Francisco and Belgrade.