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<eyebeam><blast> Belgrade and Maribor - Slovenija in Srbija

6th April 1941; the Germans were bombing Belgrade. The Serbian people
were striking before; the message was: Better a war, than a pact! (Bolje
rat nego pakt!) meaning the pact with fascists. 6th April 1998; Belgrade
artists were coming to Maribor in Slovenia (where Adolf Hitler 1941 had
a large applauding audience). We were intending to give the title Better
a pact, than a war!, but Belgradians didn`t agree. They wanted the
serious title Live act,which is OK anyway.

Artists from Belgrade were happily accepted by audience and media.
Specially the theater group Torpedo, an independant group of actors and
directors...from different Belgrade institutional theater companies. We
know already from ex-Yugoslavia that Serbian actors and actresses were
excellent, specially in the field of comedy. We understand their
language, their humor which is really the best part of the Serbian soul.
So first show. Overlapping is made from around thirty sketches - like
parts of one story, a kind of archaic criminal story about a husband who
killed his wife because of money. You have probably heard middle-age
stories about murders and even witches from central Serbia which still
live on. It was like a single two hour audience laugh, which I haven`t
seen in Maribor for a long time. Actually some were crying because of a
sudden attack of emotions and nostalgia. Yes, it was a great idea to
connect six nations, so different and beautiful, into one alliance -

But a surprising (or maybe not) fact is that every project (theater,
music, fine arts) was very much connected to national roots, Serbian
characters, painful situations of pride and bitterness because of their
internal and external political situation. Ex-Yugoslavia was (the best
metaphor I can imagine) a kind of oriental harem. Serbia was the male
and the others (Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Albania,
Macedonia) were more or less women. But who cares, as this connection
was joyful. Recent Serbian politics doesn`t contain diplomacy, reason or
sense any more. The metaphor became a vulgar sketch. The President is
obviously non-mature and regressive. Even humor in such a condition is
like a not very strong solution. Actually there is no solution for
thinking Serbs except being refugees, which is already a big problem.
Remember people who want to runaway from mobilisation, even in
psychiatric hospitals.

Compared to the Slovenian part of the exchange, the latter is like there
is no political or national message. Selectors; we never thought about a
certain statement. So, now we see that the message is that we are
completely and even unintentionaly apolitical. We were very much
concerned about the media of art, different multi and intermedia
projects. This was the basis. (This selection is made possible by the
Soros Foundation in Ljubljana and the Slovenian Ministry for culture.
But Slovenian Ministry took off finances because of the recent political
situation in Kosovo. Nevermind, we decided to go ahead in June with
other financial sources, we will follow our Serbian colleagues in order
to fuck over the politic changes) What we really can do as a metaphor in
the Slovenian selection (there are one Columbian and some Italians also)
is to place an accent on the androgynous and possible love-stories
between opposites - anykind.

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