2023 was a year full of dynamics for us at Qendra. We started the year with the tour of our three productions The Sworn Virgin (2022);, The Return of Karl May (2020) and In FIve Seasons: An Enemy of the People (2019) at the National Experimental Theater in Tirana. We welcomed 25 members of the ONDA network within the Collaboration in Context Thematic Cycle, for whom we curated a program of shows in Pristina and Gjilan as well as many networking meetings between local cultural scene actors. We moved on with the production of Gadjo, in association with the National Experimental Theatre Tirana, which we premiered in Spring 2023 in Tirana. In May, we organized the 13th edition of polip - International Literature Festival. Under the theme To The Lighthouse, we gathered around 30 writers and translators from various countries, in a tribute edition for the festival. In this edition, we also published the Sea of Change: International Literature Festival - polip. 13 Editions in 13 Turbulent Years.
In summer, we organized the tour of our show The Handke Project (2023) in Maribor, Nova Gorica and Ptuj, Slovenia, which we concluded in Zagreb, Croatia. In August, we started rehearsals for our show Negotiating Peace, which premiered on October 16, 2023. In the end of October, we organized the 6th edition of Kosovo Theatre Showcase in partnership with IETM - International Network of Performing Arts where we welcomed over 80 guests from all over the world, who got to closely know the local theatre scene through shows in Prishtina, Gjilan, Ferizaj and Gjakova and through panels and other networking events, got to meet different local cultural scene actors. We concluded 2023 with the production of Charles III, which premiered in December 2023.
In between these important momentums of our work, we co-organized a rich year-round program at ODA Theatre, where every month we offered theatre shows and other cultural events for the audience.
With our shows Negotiating Peace, The Handke Project, The Sworn Virgin, The Return of Karl May, we traveled in the region and Europe and gave more than 25 shows only in countries outside Kosovo, in North Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Romania, Italy, Germany, Czech Republic.
Hundreds of international platforms for theatre and cultural critique had our work in focus in 2023. We were also awarded with several important prizes, which made us very happy and motivated us to keep up the good work. The Handke Project was awarded the best show of 2022 by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports of the Republic of Kosovo. The Handke Project was awarded twice at the 38th International Festival of Alternative Theatre - FIAT in Montenegro, as the best show and Arben Bajraktaraj as the best actor. Jeton Neizraj’s play The Handke Project got the Les Journées de Lyon des Auteurs de théâtre for foreign authors. Gadjo was awarded three times at the 13th edition of Etnofest as best show, Blerta Neziraj as best director for Gadjo and Edona Reshitaj was awarded best actress for her role in Gadjo at the 13th edition of Etnofest and 2nd edition of Moisiu Festival.
We are forever grateful to everyone (collaborators, friends, visitors and audience) with whom we have shared so many moments of happiness in 2023. These achievements are all thanks to the effort of each and every one of you and for this we are forever thankful. We can’t wait to share more extraordinary moments in 2024.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!
Team Qendra Multimedia