Skip to main content

Women: Bodies, Spirituality and Commitment

By Ivana Bilić

“All women have to be raised in a way that they appreciate and respect themselves”

The fourth day of FemArt 10 started in Gračanica, where Nevenka Rikalo and Gordana Toskić held training on “Education of Young Women on Feminism”. It was aimed at women and girls from Serbian community to empower them and to teach them about feminism and different definitions that break patriarchal norms.

The trainer Nevenka Rikalo started the training with history of the feminist movements, and important heroines in the past. Soon she moved to the very interactive part where all the participants could read a sentence out loud and then discuss whether, based on the statement, a person is feminist or not. All the girls seemed to enjoy it very much, sometimes they would raise other issues or simply comment with their own experiences. Some of the girls were particularly interested in language and literature, therefore trainers spoke about use of gender sensitive language.

They were thrilled at the idea and proposed some names for professions, for instance, in order to familiarize ourselves with some words that we are simply not used to; but if we use them often enough, they will become normal. Later on, the trainers showed paintings where women represent power, strength and courage. On the other hand, there was also an emphasis on poetry in which there were elements of sexual harassment or oppression, and the participants discussed these lines and rhetoric to be able to identify harassment in they own environment. Very fruitful and beneficial afternoon in Gračanica that ended with acknowledgements for all women and girls who gathered to learn about feminism.

Broken Waltz: Broken Bodies?!

In the evening, the audience had a privilege to see a contemporary European-level performance on the stage of the National Theater of Kosovo. The extraordinary dancers from Tirana brought us a Broken Waltz, skilfully presenting human conditions through movement. The choreographer Gentian Doda masterfully incorporated contemporary dance techniques that were impressive from a compositional, conceptual and technical perspective as well!

The three dancers, united and separated at the same time, functioned in an almost unrecognizable fluid form, powerful, with astonishing expressiveness.

Bodies. Intertwined bodies. Bodies that ache. Bodies that hurt. Bodies that give in. Bodies that never give up. Bodies that run. Strong bodies. Tough bodies. Resilient bodies. Weak bodies. Soft bodies. Bodies that carry and carried bodies. Observing bodies. Observed bodies. Listening bodies. Bodies that hug. Hugged bodies. Intertwined bodies. Arms. Legs. Hands. Fingers. Intertwined hearts. Souls. Careful bodies. Reliable bodies. Bodies that are alive. Bodies that breathe. Touch. Feel. Bodies that are.

ON THE VERGE OF A BREAKDOWN and Belgrade DIVAS’ – a night to remember

A talk-show everyone needed. Soaked in spirituality, Dekadenca and Markiza de Sada opened up their talk-show and chakras of the audience to indulge in 45 minutes of pure delight. The well-established divas came directly from Belgrade to promote love, faith and spirituality, to encourage contemplation and go even deeper.

This sensational performance was enjoyment of all senses. There was an exclusive opportunity for the audience to get a presentation of range of enlightenment items such as medicinal vibraton mahuna and golden egg – only for the bravest ones. A lot of laughter, dancing and singing along our two divas marked the fourth day of FemArt Festival 10.

But that was not all! If you buy one, you get two performances, just like it is the case for the very precious items our guests promoted. In the other performance the lights turned on and first notes on piano erupted. Where we in Hollywood or in Prishtina? Difficult to say with Dekadenca and Lady K who took us on a memorable road to some of the greatest cabaret music trips. The audience danced together, sang, laughed, applauded and in the end – lip-synced for their lives! Such an extravagant, fabulous and memorable way to finish up the day!

“HUSBANDS” – an evidence of artistic commitment

The road from Portugal to Prishtina for our guests from Teatro Mosca was not paved only with roses. Before getting to Prishtina, they experienced delayed flights and their van with props was returned from the Croatian border with the entire scenography with some 400 objects. Alas, they did not give up on their performance, but decided to improvise and do with what they had, to show us that the real artists go beyond borders and are limitless. They managed to perform in Prishtina on the 5th Day of FemArt Festival.

Husbands is a comedy about life, death and freedom. It opens with a scene of death, goes on with life and freedom. At first, the movie starts. The audience is surprised because they came to see a theater performance, not a movie. Even during the dialogs of the main protagonists, the movie is simultaneously played in the background.

The play actually challenges boundaries between theater and the movie. A lot of emotions in interaction between three women, yelling, crying, being silent. There are three women at a funeral, and then, there is a wild night in a city, having fun and drinking after it. The scenery changes, the colors change, the music and lights. They start dancing, smoking, rolling on the floor, almost like in a chaos. In these different changes we see the corporality of the actresses, the gestures and understanding body in space.

Ivana Bilić (Sarajevo, BiH) is an intern in Artpolis where she will conduct her research on the role of performing arts for social change. She is a translator and interpreter in English, French and Bosnian and a human rights student with special interest in women’s rights, minorities and LGBT+.