Extracts with English subtitles
Young Writers Programme, Royal Court Theatre, London
Kassia Aleksic, a young playwright, started writing “Black Rainbow” in January 2011, in London, during her residency at the Royal Court Theatre. This play was inspired by her Masters thesis about women NGOs in the post-war context of Kosovo. She wanted to share what she learned and the stories she heard, from her subjective point of view. Her interest for Kosovo comes from going up in France with a Serbian father, and witnessing the war as portrayed in the medias, with the Serbs being the “bad ones”. She needed to understand the reality with her own eyes.
But the play “Black Rainbow” wasn’t aimed to be about Kosovo. Her research had led her to the violence of the war, and she didn’t want to keep digging into it. Rather, she wanted to seek for what is left, once everything has been destroyed.
The story is about a young Serbian woman, refugee from Kosovo, who gets pregnant, but her stomach won’t grow. She has a monster rotting inside. Time has come to confront it through the past.
Back in Paris, she translated the play and finished a first version entitled Arc-en-Noir. Through the creative process of the Company, the play has been worked on.
The Company Engag’Art
The Company is founded in March 2012 around the project Black Rainbow. Its main objectives:
– to create bridges between contemporary writing, performance and social sciences;
– to gather artists from different artistic and cultural backgrounds;
– to create new theatrical spaces (in theatres and outside) in order to interact with the audience
– to be in a constant process of creation
First performance: an ambulatory play in the park of Belleville, June 2012, Paris
The choice of this park, located in a popular neighbourhood of Paris, was to give a new image of Kosovo. Before being a “post-war” country, it is a place filled with life, which everyone should be able to discover and appreciate.
Along with three musicians, we brought the audience into a trip, between France and Kosovo – and in Kosovo, between a Serbian enclave and the capital, Pristina, Albanian speaking. The audience followed the main character – who went back to Kosovo, looking for her mother, and on her way, met Serbs who had stayed there, and Albanians. Between the dramatic parts, the audience was given some information about the social and political context of Kosovo.
A creative process between France and Kosovo
During our rehearsals, we met a few Serbs, Albanians and Kosovars living in Paris. It was essential to share our work with them and get their feedback. We wish to push this further, and bring the play to Kosovo. At this point, we need to interact with a Kosovar audience to keep on digging the meaning of our project. It also nourishes our artistic direction.
Thinking of having a Kosovar audience, and acting in a theatre, pushes us to find new ways of sharing an experience. What do we have to bring them, by talking about them? One of the answers is imagination. Another one is digging into our personal and cultural heritage about war and politics.
We are now undergoing a new creative process – with the play being partly rewritten. The trip will no longer be geographic. It will be a game acted by French people.
On a longer term period, our main objective is to organize a workshop between our French (multicultural) team and a Kosovar one, in order to create a common artistic language based on the play. Together, we would then perform throughout Kosovo, in Albanian-speaking and Serbian-speaking areas, towns and villages, in France, and other places.