In Serbia, theatre critics have expressed their support for the acting community following attacks by the government.
The Serbian Association of Critics and Theatrologists has expressed its firm support for the appeal of the Association of Dramatic Artists of Serbia against the frequent attacks, accusations, and open insults which have been directed at actors who supports the Serbia against violence protests, which have been taking place weekly following the tragic school shooting in May.
Over the last five weeks, these protests have taken the form of a peaceful denunciation of the culture of violence and the increasingly authoritarian rule of the country’s leader, president Aleksandar Vučić.
“Such attacks are believed to be a manifestation of the ugliest form of politics and an attempt to score political points at a time when the entire society is deeply affected by a great tragedy. As an association dedicated to encouraging critical thought about art, we strongly demand a halt to these assaults. We announce our opposition to all forms of violence, including verbal violence, since it is crucial for us as a society to establish a minimum common denominator that will stop tragedies from reoccurring,” said the Association on the 2nd June, after the assembly.
The Association of Dramatic Artists of Serbia has previously called for the cessation of verbal attacks and insults against actors. In response to their continued occurrence, including those taking place at the parliament, the Association has assessed that this indicates either a lack of concern among certain members of parliament to quell conflicts and tensions or an intentional provocation aimed at inciting even more severe conflicts.
At the closing ceremony of the 68th Sterijino Pozorje, the award-winning actress Danica Maksimović addressed the audience. She spoke about the insults against actors and the falsehood government spreads regarding high actor fees in TV series. Since the government funds the production of some TV shows, and the actors that work on them are well paid, the authorities think that actors should not support protests.
“Is that [supporting the protest] something forbidden? Is it something ugly? I would say no. You have seen how much effort it takes to create a play and how much we all pour into it. /…/ At least as much as we are dedicated to you, with our hearts, strength, and energy, we expect that synergy in return. We hope you can at least help us come out clean and, hopefully, not as tarnished as the rumours say.”, said Danica Maksimović.
Main image: Reuters