Within our programme of feminist philanthropy it is important to us to raise the issues of investing money into women’s human rights, into a society where women would make changes, where we could hear opinions from various spheres. Zoe Gudović recently visited Transit festival in Odin theatre and it inspired us to make a series of interviews with women who made significant changes in the world of art, as well as in their environments and their lives.
Our first interviewee is Dijana Milošević, a theatre director, co-founder and art director of the DAH Theatre. We are publishing this interview on the great occasion of the celebration of 25th anniversary of the work and engagement of DAH Theatre. It is not easy to survive in a country that does not acknowledge the independent art scene. DAH Theatre needs space and acknowledgement of its work.
Here is what Dijana said:
Why is it important to organize feminist festivals, women’s festivals and gatherings?
Well, generally it is important to make a space where the work done by women can be visible. Usually the work done by women cares more about the local community and various groups in that community than the festivals organized by, let`s say, men without that kind of attitude and special considerations of the festival. Women are simply, since for centuries they have had the role of the other, the endangered one at different levels, more sensitized and willing to intervein in the community and make positive transformations. In that sense, women`s festivals always include, as we saw here at Transit festival, I don`t know, migrants, vulnerable groups, and they discuss topics that actually aim to break down the cliches that exist in the society and to empower both women and different other groups.
Is it important to invest money into women`s human rights? And, what about art?
Generally it is very important to invest, of course, money into human rights, especially women`s human rights, and especially today, since we see nowadays in the whole world a kind of return of darkness – across the world, from India and rapes in buses, to ISIS and all the horror going on, the women are again targeted and endangered, so that they remain a group that is highly vulnerable and we also know for the tradition of economic inequality that keeps enduring and that gives women less chances to get the finances and makes different funds less available to them. Specifically in art there is still much less women writers, less women playwrights whose plays are performed than men etc. – so the inequality remains huge and keeps persisting, it`s just that it became much more visible and that, of course, is very important and presents a true achievement.
Do you find it important to have local feminist foundations? Have you heard of some?
Definitely. Of course, I know of the ones working here, first of all of the Reconstruction Women`s Fund that supported our projects, and also for Kvinna Till Kvinna, Mama Cash etc., but it`s because of our specific engagement – we, women and artists from Dah Theatre are also leaders of Dah Theatre etc., and on the other hand there really is a kind of very important solidarity when it comes to women`s foundations – when it comes to Reconstruction Women`s Fund, also to Kvinna Till Kvinna while they worked in our part of the region, I think these funds are very sensitized for the needs of women. As you know, Dah Theatre applied for various projects and sometimes we were granted support, sometimes not, and we were supported by the Europe too, but there is always some kind of agenda in other foundations, their own agenda – and in women`s foundations, even though there should be and there is a sort of agenda that, first of all, includes support of women`s work, women`s art etc., and on the other hand we can see it is really taken into consideration what are the needs of women working on a certain project, and I find it fantastic, trully fascinating and believe it is a true support to take into acount the real needs and not only which agenda I implement.
What does the concept of solidarity mean to you?
Well, that really is an important question. For me the concept of solidarity means to be there for one another when needed, to be able to create a space where we can develop our work in all spheres we are active in, for instance in the sphere of art or theatre, without competing or being judgemental – of course it is the ideal situation – to create a situation where a work is supported and can grow. A work, of course, does not grow only from positive feedback and praises, it grows, first of all, when it is put in the context of learning, exchange of experiences and building trust in order to hear one another. On the other hand, solidarity also means to help the ones who need help at the moment at different levels.
Thanks a lot.
Interview : Zoe Gudović
Translation : Ana Imširović Đorđević