Belgrade – Barcelona & Madrid Is happiness possible regardless of or despite existing social conditions?

Belgrade presents itself as a loud, lively, polyphonic city that wonders, however, where the free spaces are, if any, for young people. Economic hardships deprive many people in Serbia of their freedom. On the other hand, there are plenty of free spaces in the alternative music scene, which raises an interesting question for Belgrade: Isn’t personal satisfaction really the yardstick of a healthy, free society?

Belgrade is addressing the Spanish question “Do Sinti and Romanies symbolize the spirit of a Europe without borders?” in a documentary film. Andrijana Stojković and her team have been shooting the film in multiple stages since the summer of 2018, accompanying Skill and Buddy, two brothers in a German-Serb hip hop group called Gypsy Mafia, on their journey from Germany through Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and Hungary to Zrenjanin, their hometown in Serbia. From the protagonists’ point of view, we see the obstacles they meet with at and between national borders on account of their passports or ethnicity. No sleep till Mahala – Return of the Gypsy Mafia implicitly asks what an enlightened culture and a borderless Europe might look like, and whether either is even conceivable.

Barcelona/Madrid are working with La Joven Compañía Theatre on the question from Belgrade: “Is happiness possible regardless of social circumstances?” Professionals at La Joven Compañía are directing two (musical) plays in workshops for young people, one in Barcelona and one in Madrid, focusing on the Romani and Sinti community in Spain and their conception of happiness and lust for life. The two partner institutions, the Fundación Secretariado Gitano (FSG) and the Fundación Instituto de Cultura Gitana (FIGC), are actively encouraging young Romanies and Sinti to take part in the workshops. Each workshop will be mentored by an invited artist (actor, director etc.) from the community. The artistic team are also developing an overall concept to ensure that each group’s work complements and refers to the other’s. In mid-December, the two workshop groups will meet up in Madrid at the Feria Internacional de las Culturas festival to combine and present the results of their efforts.

(September 2018)

Our Partner

Film and TV director Andrijana Stojković has made several short and full-length feature and documentary films. Her work has been shown and won awards at film festivals in Rotterdam, Sofia, Havana, Marseille and at the Raindance Film Festival. She is the founder of All Inclusive Films, a production company committed to contemporary formats with a focus on hybrid docu-fiction forms. She is also a co-founder of Filmkultura, an educational association for audiovisual culture. She teaches courses in "Documentary Filmmaking" and "Contemporary Directing" at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade.

KROKODIL is an initiative dedicated to the realization of literary, cultural and socio-political projects with the aim of generating and nurturing a culturally interested public. It advocates the need for conciliatory dialogue and seeks to rebuild broken relationships in the Western Balkans. KROKODIL was founded by the Serbian writer Vladimir Arsenijević.

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