The howl of National Theater – Arbër Sadiki

The howl of National Theater – Arbër Sadiki

“The attack on Dubrovnik – I’m horrified to say this, but I’m obliged to – has been deliberately directed on an exemplary beauty! The attackers seem like the madman who threw acid on a beautiful woman’s face, promising her a new, more beautiful one in return! ”

Bogdan Bogdanovic, The Ritual Murder of the City (Ritualno ubijanje grada), 1994

In the mid 90s, as I was reading Professor Bogdanovic writing about twentieth-century Huns, as he called his Serbian compatriots, who were ritually shelling the very centuries old city of Dubrovnik – a miracle of worldwide civilization, I had never thought that a quarter of a century later I would have to write about my own Huns. In fact, unlike the professor who wrote about wartime destruction, where enlightened minds are not usually the ones making decisions, I have to write in a time of “peace, democracy and Euro-Atlantic values”, when society is usually led by its brightest minds! This made the situation even more tragic.

I have often seen theatrical performances that kept me confused all the time. Not because they were vague, but because the hatred that occasionally occurred in him, I could not believe that he could think, let alone the human race. It seemed like a nightmare to me! I only needed the last scene, where good prevailed over evil, to make me believe that the whole show was real and that all the previous feats were just an illustration of the devilish nature and readiness of a certain individual. possess and are able to manifest it, but that they can never be triumphant.

The same thing happened to me during the whole destruction process of the National Theater building in Tirana. When they first came up with the idea of ​​demolishing the existing building to build a new one, I thought it should be a theatrical and sad overture to arouse the curiosity of the audience about the further acts of the show, but definitely on the last act the main character (the theater building) will triumph.

The darkness came from the idea of ​​demolishing the theater building, a darkness that followed the whole process, and it was the final act of demolition in the dark that made me understand everything. Those that are created in the darkness, act in darkness and disappear in darkness, are ghosts. So in this show we didn’t have to search for a human ending, because the human actor wasn’t a character at all. It was all about ghost shows. Screenwriter – ghost, directors – ghost, costume designer – ghost, scenographer – ghost, actor – ghost …, ghosts end to end. They came, terrified us, and fled into the darkness!

But ghosts don’t always come by themselves. Often, we invite them. I remember as a child my grandmother used to say to me: Don’t whistle at night because ghosts will come! If we turn our heads and look at our past, apparently we have whistled frequently at night. For fifty years we have whistled to a ghost that destroyed churches and mosques, libraries and homes, and above all, human dignity. Today and thirty other years, we are whistling to the remnants of these ghosts, as if they did not terrify us enough for the first fifty years! In fact it is even worse. We have created a model that our leaders would definitely be ghosts. They must come from the dark past, act in the dark, and keep us in the dark! It often seems to me that we are starting to like the dark! Let the ray of the light stop us! I wish that the sad smoke that our national theater released as it was fading out, which seemed to me like a common howl of: Mihal Popi, Liza Vorfi, Marie Logorec, Sander Prosi, Kadri Roshi, Sulejman Pitarka, Besa Imami, Agim Qiriaqi. .. told us:  ALBANIANS, FIGHT THE DARKNESS! DON’T HAVE FEAR THE LIGHT!

Author: Arbër Sadiki, Architect, Prishtina, 17.05.2020

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