In 2000, Bitef Polyphony was launched, as a programme aimed at young people, in which theatre-makers and other creators explored processes, relationships and forms that can mobilize the forces of contemporary performing practices in education, in building community, and especially in the fight against violence. Twenty-three years and as many polyphonic releases aimed at educational and social changes later, a school massacre took place. The society of violence reverberated in full force, creating the impression that absolutely nothing makes sense anymore. It was as if no exploratory and exemplary practices of polyphonic authors could create a dam against the perverted individualistic logic of killing and robbing. Then, after the initial shock, a reassuring question emerged: what would have happened if nothing had been done in the previous decades? Soon, insights followed, concerning the difficulty of the task, the importance of long struggles, perseverance, and the necessity that now, more than ever before, we are facing the regime of violence, based on structural inequalities, under the dictatorship of the money-god that is destroying education, science, art, and life. The keywords of this year's Polyphony shaped themselves: violence, youth, education, strength, change. How polyphonic authors hear them today, where they see techniques, tactics, and methods for the application of theatrical and performing practices that can conduct an educational turn, activate young people, find new strange loops with them, in motion, and without giving up, from fatal insecurities to permanent new beginnings. Having sent the first invitation, the number of responses surprised us. The power of content and approach even more so. Five thematic workshops, fifteen performances and three new initiatives sought their place in this year's programme. Only some will be shown in their full form, but the experiences of all will intersect in new exploratory formats, announcing Polyphony in Duration.We left the yard and went into the forest, and yet it is the jungle that engulfs us. There are no clear outlines of the outcome, and no retreat. Growing up in that gap, overcoming the wilderness, bypassing traps, breaking through fears, and finding strength again - these are the achievements of all previous polyphonic releases. There is will and skill in them, there are knacks for changes.
Concept of Bitef Polyphony: Ljubica Beljanski-Ristić
Realized by: Polyphony Theatre in co-production with Bitef Theatre, Belgrade
Co-curators: Irena Ristić and Ljubica Beljanski-Ristić
Program team: Slađana Bušić, Marina Mađarev, Irena Popović Dragović, Dijana Milošević, Milena Bogavac, Janko Lačnjevac, Marija Pavlović, Jelena Gavrić, Bojana Karajović, Lidija Antonović, Jovana Živković, Milica Cvetković, Jelena Stojiljković and Ljubinka Brezojević.
Partners: Cultural Centre of the City Municipality Stari Grad "Parobrod", Little Theatre "Duško Radović", School for Pharmacy and Physiotherapy, Belgrade
Entrance to all programs is free, although there is limited seating available.