On June 9 and 10, we performed The Handke Project at BITEF Teatar in Belgrade, thus closing the regional tour (Prishtina, Ferizaj, Skopje, Belgrade) of this demanding project not only production wise but also in terms of the responsibility towards the audience. We didn’t set out to provoke or produce something that would open debates for the sake of debates, but we were convinced – also thanks to continuous collaboration and consultation with people involved in the open discussion about Peter Handke – that we were producing a show that the audience, no matter where: in Kosovo, Serbia, Italy or Germany or wherever this show gets to travel - deserves to see and about which the audience should discuss and reflect more openly.
A discussion has been opened about the Handke phenomenon and the need of the Serbian society to be liberated of his cult. It is being talked about and we hope it will continue to be so. Like anticipated, some valued our work in this project whereas some felt provoked and offended. But we have been proven one thing: we were right to insist to make this show and perform it in a public theatre in Serbia. Sometimes, the audience is more prepared to accept and engage around difficult topics than we are to open them through arts.
We are very thankful to our partners from Heartefact Fund in Serbia for their continuous support in this process, the organization and their wonderful hospitality during our stay in Belgrade. We are also thankful to the technical crew of the BITEF Teatar for their help, welcome and a team spirit that they presented. Of course, we are tremendously thankful to our colleagues at the Albanian Drama Theatre in Skopje and Adriana Theatre in Ferizaj for their help and support.
Thank you to the audiences in Prishtina, Ferizaj, Skopje and Belgrade!
This is where we close the first part of the tour of The Handke Project, which will be followed by the tour at Teatro Adelaide Ristori in Italy (23 July), Kosovo Theatre Showcase in Kosovo (25-30 October); National Theatre Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina (10-11 November) and Theater Dortmund in Germany (October) and other European theatres.
The Handke Project is a production of Qendra Multimedia in association with Mittelfest & Teatro della Pergola (Italy), Theater Dortmund (Germany), National Theater Sarajevo & International Theater Festival - Scene MESS (Bosnia and Herzegovina).
Supported by: Allianz Kulturstiftung… for Europe, The Sigrid Rausing Trust, Rockfeller Brothers Fund, European Union Kosovo [through the program Reconnection 2.0, jointly developed with Heartefact from Belgrade] Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport of the Republic of Kosovo, Ministartsvo Kulture i Sporta Kantona Sarajevo, Kontrapunkt - Skopje, Teatri Oda - Prishtina.