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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 87 | volume XV | November-December, 2012



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                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 87November-December, 2012
Essays

Finding Freedom, Understanding Necessity

– On expressions of freedom in the performance Per Gint in Serbia, Užice, 2000 –


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p. 1
Jasminka Markovska

This paper investigates how desire for freedom was mediated by an Ibsen-inspired performance. The performance Per Gint (based on Peer Gynt) in Užice, Serbia, was adapted in a way that criticizes war, as well as the very recent brutal history and the political, cultural and economical harsh reality of the people living within the borders of what, in 2000, was left of Yugoslavia. The play was marked as a success in Serbia at the time. The text of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt was employed in a way that blended the motive of war with the motive of the search for the Self and one’s own freedom in a very secular way. Having in mind the main and dominating cultural, political and social trends in Yugoslavia since the Second World War, the play strongly reflected on the country’s past and present through various scenic, audio and visual mediations.
    This paper is an attempt to develop an understanding of how freedom or the search for freedom could make peace and co-exist in a non-conflicting way with the inevitability of power and the complexity of its manifestations. Power manifests itself through restrictive but also necessary agencies, while the search for power, as well as what is understood as power can take many directions and be motivated in endless ways. This paper intentionally builds on actions motivated by the desire to achieve internal freedom in a situation of being overpowered by external agencies.


    1.
An Introduction to Serbian and Very Recent Balkan History
    

    I will begin my essay with a short socio-anthropological and political introduction into Serbian very recent past, since the performance Per Gint was assembled in a way that was very reflective of it. I was born in and lived in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia for the first 25 years of my life, excluded a year of two of traveling and studying abroad. Due to belonging to a common wider social, political and geographic network of which Serbia was the administrative center, I have experienced this reality closely and have also been largely effected and shaped by it, and I am familiar with its many particularities. At the same time, I was forced by my own circumstances to understand this reality as if it were external to my existence. I have had the privilege to travel and educate myself in institutions distanced from my birth region, as well as to come in contact with






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