The National Theater named after the city in which it has been established during the first years after the Italio – Germano Albanian occupation ended, is already for more than a decade outcast from their premises and their city. Since than, The National Theatre in Pristina is a kind of a refugee, temporarily located in the northern (Serbian) part of Kosovska Mitrovica.
But they are dedicated to survive in order to fight for the future of this and other expelled cultural institutions in Kosovo and Metohija.
Where is the regular National Theater in Pristina today and whether there is a room for the art and literature in the temporary home of the refugee theater in Kosovo and Metohija, the director of the National Theater of Pristina, Nenad Todorovic explained.
– Mr. Todorovic, the actors of the National Theater of Pristina used to play to a numerous audience, but they play also today, when there are not more than two or three persons in the theater.
How can the remaining Serbs live in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija, and especially how can their cultural and historical heritage survive, or will it survive?
– I do not know how whether the times are hard, but I know that our work and simply our existence means to these people a lot, because for over a hundred performances, ( that’s the number of the National Theater of Pristina plays in Caglavica, Gracanica, Strpce enclaves in Metohija, we’ve included the one thing everyone seems to forget, and that’s our people. The Audience. They are abandoned by the Serbian officials and persecuted by the occupier, therefore they are left all alone as if there’s no one who cares or needs them; their temporary accommodations do not even have electricity, but we realized that the theater cannot wait for the situation to change, but we must be the ones to make the change.
This means that if we cannot play and meet our audience in our National Theater premises, we’ll play and meet you in the house yard or courtyard of the church, – which roughly translated means: We are here. We exist and work. And we will continue to do so.
Our repertoire is not tied to particular any national tragedy, they all have it a lot and it seems to me that in these times of the darkness they need an hour or two of joy and laughter more than anything else.
And tears, stories of death and the stories that Kosovo is a symbol of suffering is something I cannot understand.
We ought to know that, if we want to survive in Kosovo and Metohija, that these people who remained there risking their lives everyday, do not need a private funeral service, but life and joy. Kosovo is a place of creation and source of joy and spirit.
The only way we will be able to bring the returnees back to Brestovik, for ex, and to other places in Kosovo is to stop equalizing Kosovo and Metohija with the place of Death and endless suffering.
For me, Kosovo is not a place of death, – such a belief makes me feel as if I hold a funeral for my own children who were born and who lived here, no! It’s definitely not an option.
Albanian separatists have all the thing realized very wisely, intelligently and accurately through deurbanization of Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija. They simply stormed their cities, blasted and arsoned their estate, homes, and killed them. Hundreds of thousands Serbs have been expelled and it’s over 14 years since they are unable to return to their homes and works.
Albanians simply confined them to the most rural villages, where they absolutely don’t have any possibility to attend regular school, to read not books, but even the newspapers or daily. That’s how they starting, after 14 years of such a life, to face the loss of their national identity. The next step is Albanization.
That’s the Albanian way, it’s a process and, unfortunately we did nothing to prevent it. And our refugee Theater, The National theater of Pristina, is trying to return the spirit of the city’s Serbs, ie to preserve the Serbian culture, theater, ballet and art, not just the national identity. –