The upcoming festival was presented at the second central press conference in the City Hall on Thursday, 29th August, where journalists were addressed by Miloš Latinović, Bitef director, Ivan Medenica, Bitef artistic director, Phia Ménard, the author and performer of the performance Immoral Tales - Part 1: The Mother House, Anne-Lorraine Vigouroux, cultural attaché and the deputy to the French Institute in Serbia, and Radiša Kričak, communications manager of I&F Grupa, a friend of the festival.
The conference was opened by the director of Bitef, Miloš Latinović, by expressing his gratitude to everyone who supported the festival.
Radiša Kričak, communications manager of I&F Grupa, expressed his honour and privilege of being a partner of an institution like Bitef, which has been moving the boundaries and asking questions for more than fifty years now, in the spirit of progress and openness to the other and the different.
Ivan Medenica, Bitef artistic director, talked about the second half of this festival main programme which will take place in the Port of Belgrade hangars and offer an opportunity to the audience to see five performances, among which also Immoral Tales - Part 1: The Mother House, by the troupe Non nova (Nantes, France), authored by Phia Ménard and Jean-Luc Beaujault. Presenting Ménard’s work, Medenica said that it is a performance-installation which was created by the initiative of Documenta 14, an important European art exhibition in the area of visual arts.
Talking about Immoral Tales - Part 1: The Mother House, Phia Ménard said that it is just one presentation of an effort which does not strive to be didactic but talks about how it is a human destiny to continuously be in the position to make certain choices. Her aim is to demonstrate that we are constantly observing catastrophes instead of trying to prevent them.
Mentioning the festival side programmes, Medenica presented the traditional ones - Meeting the Authors, Polyphony, Bitef Library, and Philosophy Theatre, but also the special ones like Borka at Bitef, in memory of Borka Pavićević, and PQ at Bitef, which will in Novi Sad present the pavilion of North Macedonia, which won this year’s Prague Quadrennial, while the Serbian pavilion will be presented in Belgrade. Theoretical context of this year’s festival’s focus will be achieved through the panel Impacts and the Scope of Contemporary Immersive Practices, which will be moderated by Irena Ristić.
Medenica has informed the journalists that festival Cirkobalkana, alongside other programmes, will also take place in the Port of Belgrade, which will also be the venue where the festival will be closed on 26th September. Speaking of Cirkobalkana, he stated that this programme and the main programme will overlap in a way, since the performance Rare Birds by the company “Un loup pour l’homme” (Lille, France) will be also performed in the main festival programme.
Anne-Lorraine Vigouroux emphasized the importance of circus in the contemporary art and talked about the support that the French Institute offers to Circobalkana as one of the best ambassadors of Serbia to Europe. Defining contemporary circus, she pointed out that it is a very creative form of performing art, very different from how we imagine it, and that 53rd Bitef audience will have a chance to see that for themselves.
Ivan Medenica also introduced the upcoming promotional activities, first of which is Delicatessen Monday in KC Grad on 9th September at 7pm, to be followed by a roundtable discussion of Milica magazine under the name “Investment - Institution Love”, also to be held in KC Grad on 14th September at 7pm, after that, “Bitef Open Class”, a series of educational discussions which will be organized in First Belgrade Grammar school and at the Faculty of Drama Arts. He also presented the recycling activity “RElove” aimed at raising environmental awareness, linking within the community, and a creative use of rubbish which we commonly deem useless, this time to be collected for the purpose of the performance On Flesh and Concrete in the main programme.
Miloš Latinović proceeded to express his gratitude to 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 Cabinet of Serbian Government who have been offering their strategic support to Bitef. He expressed his satisfaction that Bitef, as one of the most relevant cultural events in Serbia and in Europe, is recognized as a first-rate event in our country.
Bitef has been supported, like always, by the Secretariat for Culture of the City of Belgrade and the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia. Also, the Council for Creative Industries Serbia Creates, EU Delegation to Serbia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany and Goethe-Institute Belgrade, the French Institute in Serbia, British Council, the Embassy of Switzerland in Belgrade, the USA Embassy, and the Embassy of Belgium. This year’s festival has also been supported by the Open Society Foundation.
As a present to Belgrade, Bitef, and to theatre lovers, I&F Grupa and its founder Srđan Šaper have decided to support the festival again this year in the capacity of an important sponsor and a partner.
We express our gratitude to the Port of Belgrade which this year lent its venues for our programmes, and to the company Coca Cola Hellenic Serbia which has been by our side for over a decade. Bitef has been traditionally supported by the festival partners MTS, Carnex, and IT company TeleGroup, brand Schweppes, Siemens, and friends of the festival Societe Generale Bank and Deloitte.
Numerous partners and friends of the festival will provide accommodation, transfer, and food for the participants and the team, and we will use various opportunities to thank them and enjoy their products.