Photo: Mladen Savkovic
Photo: Mladen Savkovic

The first press conference organized on the occasion of the approaching 57th Bitef festival also presented this year’s slogan - Strength, Don’t Let Yourself Be Anyone’s

It is a line from the poem forest, plow, primrose, by Radmila Petrović, a young and successful Serbian poet. 

“This line represents the best link between all the performances in the main programme”, the artistic director of the festival, Nikita Milivojević, explained, mentioning that the poem is from her collection My Mother Knows What Happens in Cities.

This slogan also inspired the visual identity of this year’s festival

Here you can read the whole poem by Radmila Petrović.

forest, plow, primrose

I feel the souls of female
who suffered at men’s

they clung to me when
I left for Belgrade
and now they won’t go home either

they say to me: slice them like aspic!

with a look or
a kitchen knife?
or the penknife I carry in my pocket?

I will, just not this one
especially not this one! they order me

of all I could have been in the world
I was just a woman, says
in the countryside, we never thought
much of dogs
and being a woman was worse than being a dog

your great-grandfather was like a spring
says Dobrosava, cold and
we slept in a brandy vat
when he brought me to this house
he hanged me like a cat that ate all the chickens

and all that was because of the brandy

strength, don’t let yourself be

get out of my poems!
you too only wanted sons
who later smashed your

you learned nothing from misery,
old women
it was all in vain

Translated from the Serbian by Jovanka Kalaba and edited by Ellen Elias-Bursać.