Comrades, I Am Not Ashamed of My Communist Past
Sanja Mitrović / Stand Up Tall Productions
Teatre Lliure Montjuïc - Espai Lliure 04/07 - 05/07
Is it a theatre piece or a cinema session? You might ask yourselves this, watching a performance in which the screen is one of the great protagonists of the story told by Sanja Mitrović and Vladimir Aleksić. Now you see them on stage, but they are childhood friends. They were born in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, a socialist, multi-ethnic and multi-religious country that disintegrated during the 1990s. Sanja Mitrović, director and theatre performer, and Vladimir Aleksić, an actor, both emigrated together in 2001, but while Sanja still lives and works in Western Europe, Vladimir returned home to rebuild his life in Serbia. Even so, they've worked together on a show that asks, in our times of materialism and individualism, what is left of the principles of solidarity and justice that governed the country they lived in, which was neither totalitarian nor monolithic. They leave a record of the thousand voices heard in this old socialist regime through the cinematographic productions created in former Yugoslavia, showing aspects from the epic battles of people fighting against Nazism to stories narrated from the margins of society. Through the projection of rich and diverse cinematographic images, employing devices such as voice-over, live dubbing, and the physical reconstruction of cinematic scenes, the performers tell their personal story, which is simultaneously that of an entire country. In particular they use images from the productions of Avala Film, one of the largest studios in the country, which, like so many companies and producers, disappeared with the changes triggered by the emergence of nationalism and the breaking up of Yugoslavia. In fact, Avala Film presented its last production in 2000, shortly before the lives of Sanja and Vladimir became separated from their motherland and they went their separate ways. Comrades, I Am Not Ashamed of My Communist Past is a story of friendship, love, war, and a country that now exists only in imagination and memory, also giving us valuable insight into the values that govern our world today.
Produced by Sanja Mitrović/Stand Up Tall Productions (Brussels), BITEF Theatre (Belgrade) and Beursschouwburg (Brussels).
Co-produced by Beursschouwburg (Brussels).
In collaboration with: Pianofabriek (Brussels), Centar Film (Belgrade), Yugoslav Cinematheque (Belgrade), Avala Film (Belgrade), Film Center Serbia (Belgrade), National Theatre Toša Jovanović (Zrenjanin)
With the support of: Flemish Community, Flemish Community Commission, City of Belgrade
Concept and performance: Sanja Mitrović, Vladimir Aleksić, Directed by: Sanja Mitrović, In collaboration with: Vladimir Aleksić, Dramaturgy: Jorge Palinhos, Olga Dimitrijević, Choreography: Sanja Mitrović, Set and costume design: Frédérick Denis, Light design & technician: Giacomo Gorini, Sound design: Vladimir Pejković, Assistant director: Siniša Mitrović, Original video material: Vladmir Pavić, Frédérick Denis, Video editing: Nikola Vrzić, Siniša Mitrović, Video and sound technician: Wouter Dupont, Translation into English: Siniša Mitrović, Produced by: Jelena Knežević, Tamara Pović, Photograph: Marko Berkeš (Sanja Mitrović / Stand Up Tall Productions).