Still from episode Youth Voluntary Work from TV series Our Shows
Still from episode Youth Voluntary Work from TV series Our Shows

The fifty-sixth edition of Bitef festival takes place in Belgrade from September 23rd to October 2nd 2022 with nine performances by leading world authors in the competition, accompanied by a diverse side programme.

Along with the traditional formats like Meeting the Authors and Bitef Polyphony, this year Bitef hosts the IETM plenary meeting, a meet-up of leading theatremakers from all over the globe.  This four-day event comprised of expert lectures, workshops and other various exchange formats for more than 500 participants from all corners of the world is realised under the slogan WORK HARD, LIVE HARDER!

The focus of this year’s meeting is tightly bound to Bitef’s thematic interest of labour in contemporary society and art. Participants will work towards responding to questions like: What is the state of the labour market in today’s late capitalism? What are the effects of neo-liberal exploitation on society as a whole? What is the state of workers’ rights and their working conditions after the pandemic? How has work transformed in the performing arts and theatre? In a world of dramatic changes, is there even a way of achieving stability and predictability? 


In the frame of the Belgrade plenary meeting, we are organising Pitchorama - a special programme for both international and local community - an opportunity for artists to present their current projects and find partners for future collaborations. The deadline for applying is August 8th and further information can be found on this link

IETM Plenary Meeting Belgrade 2022

The visual identity of the meeting is based on a film still from the series Our Shows (Naše priredbe) written by Bora Ćosić, with music by Vojislav Kostić and directed by Jovan Ristić, broadcasted on Radio Television of Belgrade in 1973. The photograph is from the last episode of the series, titled Youth Voluntary Work, dedicated to the unique form of group labour dating back to the People’s Liberation War (the conflict in WWII occupied Yugoslavia) which further developed on the values of solidarity, comradery and joint venture Millions of young people participated in the voluntary workcamps and built motorways, railroads, factories, entire cities even. 

The festival is traditionally supported by the Secretariat for Culture of the City of Belgrade and the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia, as well as the Delegation of EU to Serbia. With us, this year, are again the Goethe Institute, the British Council, and the French Institute in Belgrade. Bitef’s partner and friend is I&F Grupa, and within it McCann Beograd, the creative agency of the festival. The partners of the festival are Pošta Srbije and Generali Osiguranje Srbija, as well as a yearlong friend of the festival, Coca-Cola Hellenic Srbija.