Photo: Bubulina Peni/BIRN

Serbian Play in Kosovo Unites Countries in their Fight Against Patriarchy

Serbian theatrical performance at 'FemArt' festival in Prishtina, showcases women's challenges and demands equality.

On Thursday evening, the play “Girls” from Serbia was performed in Kosovo as part of the international women artist and activist festival “FemArt”.

Eight actresses from Serbia took the stage at the Dodona Theater in Prishtina to present the, what the director called — documentary show ‘Girls’ — which highlighted the daily challenges women face due to sexism in Serbian society.

Through a combination of comical and painful elements, the actresses expressed their rebellion against the patriarchal mentality that hinders the freedom and safety of girls in society.

This theatrical performance was part of the FemArt festival organized by the art and community center Artpolis.

This year, under the motto “BURN YOUR FEAR,” the festival aims to showcase performances that give voice to women whose voices are often unheard, as well as to girls who dare to dream.

Photo: Bubulina Peni/BIRN

The show concluded with the girls raising their voices for equality and justice in society, demanding an end to sexism, misogyny, and femicide.

Milena Minja Bogavac, the director and dramaturg of the show, explained that “Girls” portrays the experiences of girls and young women growing up in Serbia today.

“I believe this play lies somewhere between art and activism because it carries a very important message. It premiered in early November when we saw many girls protesting on the streets. It was the first performance that actually asked this generation of young women to tell us what bothers them,” she said.

Photo: Bubulina Peni/BIRN

Bogavac emphasized the significance of Serbian actresses coming to Kosovo to perform, as it helps counteract prejudices and hatred that have arisen between the two countries.

“Belgrade is in a perpetual crisis, but currently it’s a particularly bad moment. I’m truly proud of my colleagues and actresses who, despite everything, decided to attend the FemArt festival to meet our feminist and activist colleagues and explore a new city that is both close and distant at the same time,” she expressed.

She explained how, for several years, different generations in Serbia have grown up hearing myths about Kosovo being a dangerous place and how Albanians and Kosovo are enemies of Serbs.

However, Bogavac noted that most young Serbs have never been to Kosovo.

“I firmly believe that when people know each other, they cannot hate each other. We are all victims of manipulation. Whenever we claim that Kosovo is a scary place, it becomes scary because when you prevent people from communicating, they naturally fear each other,” she added.

On the other hand, Zana Hoxha, the director of Artpolis, stated that human rights and their violations are often universal. She emphasized that the “FemArt” festival exposes the audience to different cultures and perspectives.

“People tend to judge less when they have a better understanding. Therefore, we strive to bring people together through information and the exposure to predominantly feminist art or art that addresses human rights issues. It’s then their choice whether they want to change their mindset,” Hoxha explained.

Photo: Bubulina Peni/BIRN

Hoxha also shared her admiration for the play Girls during her visit to Belgrade, as its content aligned with this year’s festival motto.

“I was in Belgrade a few months ago, and I truly enjoyed this show because it resonates with this year’s theme. Every year, we have a team from Serbia participating in FemArt,” she mentioned.

The “FemArt” festival, running from May 15 to 21, includes 28 scheduled events in Prishtina and Mitrovica. About 200 artists and activists from 15 different countries worldwide will be performing.

Photo: Bubulina Peni/BIRN
19/05/2023 - 16:16

19 May 2023 - 16:16

Prishtina Insight is a digital and print magazine published by BIRN Kosovo, an independent, non-governmental organisation. To find out more about the organization please visit the official website. Copyright © 2016 BIRN Kosovo.