What Would You Give Your Life For? (13. November 2016, Old Market Hall, Bratislava). This performance explores what may be the most worrying question nowadays: what causes are people willing to die for. From jihadists and kamikaze warriors, through neo-Nazi murderers and suicide bombers and Tamil Tigers, to the noble motivations of those who have sacrificed their lives for freedom and equality, from the self-immolations of Jan Palach and other young people in Central and Eastern Europe protesting against the Soviet occupation to those fighting apartheid. This is a highly dynamic and deeply impressive, contemporary and urgent kind of theatre. The audience, seated amongst the young actors – Serbs, Bosnians, Croats and Hungarians – is directly drawn into the action.
is a Bosnian theatre and film director based in Sarajevo. Over the course of his wide-ranging career, he has also worked as a playwright, producer, choreographer, performer, designer and documentary filmmaker. The recipient of numerous awards, he has participated in many festivals worldwide. He is the artistic director of the East West Theatre Company in Sarajevo, which he founded in 2005, and a co-founder of the Directing Department of the Academy of Performing Arts. He directed some of the most acclaimed productions at key theatres across the former Yugoslavia. During the siege of Sarajevo Pašović continued directing and producing plays, including “Waiting for Godot”, directed by Susan Sontag. In 1993 he organized the first Sarajevo Film Festival “Beyond the End of the World”. After the war, Pašović directed “Romeo and Juliet” in front of the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo. In 2012 Haris Pašović was the main initiator, as well as author and director of a large-scale event called Sarajevo Red Line, which commemorated the siege of Sarajevo. « I think we are slowly killing liberty, creativity, intelligent thinking; it’s as if we were being led into a world that is like a huge shopping centre, with a sort of anaesthesia about everything, except the choice of goods before us. And in this situation, art performs the role of waking us up, changing the discourse, and generating Eros – real creative and sexual energy, rather than cheap images of it. I always thought that theatre had to be truthful. But now I know that we are also influential and frankly I don’t find a lot of responsibility in the way some artists conduct themselves today. I believe in the value of life, and in the seriousness of ideas. I am a zealot of seriousness and I know that you cannot perform even really good comedy without it. People come to the theatre in search of a genuine encounter with other human beings, and we must give them what they come for. Our capacity to do that is the measure of being human. And if the price is that we sometimes say something not very pleasant – well, that’s precisely why people want us, in the end; because we speak the truth.”