photography: Srđan Veljović
photography: Srđan Veljović

- A special place in your biography belongs to the roles in the performances organized in cooperation with the Centre for Cultural Decontamination (CZKD). How did that cooperation start and has your relationship with the CZKD changed or shaped up in time, and what, in your opinion, are the advantages of independent productions?

The fist performance with Ana Miljanić was About Germany, in 1999. I was still a student at the time and my professor, Predrag Ejdus, who played in that performance, recommended me to the director. We recognized each other back than and have been cooperating ever since. After that came the performances The Warriors' Brothel, Pornography1, 2, …4. The relationship has only gotten stronger. And as for the advantages of independent productions, I think they give you more freedom, i.e. there is a lack of some state institution which could impose censorship.


- It has been half a century since the events of 1968. What would you say have we learned since then?

Nothing, I’m afraid.


- One cannot escape the feeling that "Authentic Interpretations": ’68 does manage to make each of the actor authentically convey their feelings, and the storytelling is accompanied by interpretation in an organic way - as if the text distribution and dramaturgy are dictated by a specific attitude each of the actors had towards the material. How did you establish the link with the material and how did the process look like?

A process is a complex thing. Especially when it comes to a project like this which is so much different than a usual work on a theatre performance. It could be that the “blending” with the material occurs through an essential understanding of the material, and through the fact that I hold the same opinion.


- You start the performance in a monologue based on a text by Borka Pavićević. How do her texts affect you today?

In a powerful, inspiring manner… Most of all, they are motivating.


- Your presence on stage was somehow twofold, I’d say - it was felt towards the topic and towards the material, but also towards your colleagues, as if you were warmly supporting them. How challenging is it to be present on stage and how did that presence happen as far as you are concerned?

Being present is a given… You cannot play a performance or create without being present. In the past year, while we were preparing and playing the performance, Borka was always there, by our side… During the process and during the performances. She was the one who warmly supported us.


- “Freedom is when you can” is one of the thoughts we hear in the performance. How do you see the scope of freedom nowadays and what are the things we can do today? In your opinion, is an artist free in his/her creation, and equal in that feeling of freedom to the rest of the community?

The freedom of an artists is actually getting more restricted. Freedom is that you can - it doesn’t imply an element of anarchy or destruction, but freedom to be what you are and to be allowed to be that. Unfortunately, it’s shrinking.


- If you had had a chance to be in Belgrade in 1968, who would you be and what attitude would you have to the student protests?

I’d be supportive.


- How important do you think love is as a condition of being together, and how do you understand Bitef slogan “Let’s Start Love Over”?

That “Let’s Start Love Over” exists on many different levels… Love is inthe core of togetherness…. Maybe this mostly refers to a nostalgia or longing for the passion that existed when Bitef was created, almost at the same time as Želimir Žilnik’s film June Upheaval, about the student protests of 1968.