We present you the first part of the story about the idea of Ivo Lola Ribar – “Death to fascism! On Heroes and Freedom”, through the conversation of the director Reflector Theater Aneta Goranovic and our editor Milana Vojnovic.


How and why did you come up with the idea to deal with this topic – antifascism and why Ivo Lola Ribar?


The performances of Spotlight theatre are always engaged and created with the desire to raise questions and reflections in the audience, and to narrate from the scene what we think is important. The idea is that our reflectors illuminate the suppressed and forgotten themes. So the theme of our new play was chosen, Death to Fascism! On Heroes and Freedom. When it comes to the moment of final selection, we remember it, of course. We worked last summer together with New Optimization, Crocodile and Exit Festival. Whose is our language? in Novi Sad. As a producer of the lecture, I organized the transport of people who speak on the forum, so Milena Minja Bogavac (playwright and director of the play) and Vlatko Sekulovic (our ally, now and the producer) traveled together to Novi Sad, talked about the Declaration of the Common Language, and the meaningless insisting on the differences, so many people of the region. Somewhere on the highway to Novi Sad, the story of anti-Fascism started up, they knew, and we all quickly knew we were doing the play about Iva Lola Ribar, his fiancée Sloboda, and the story of the Ribar family. We used the summer to ask the young people: Do they know who Ivo Lola Ribar is? Little did they know more than the answer, to know the street or the institution bearing his name. The second question was who are their contemporary heroes? If we do not omit them as family members, then there are almost none of them. This mini-research only strengthened our conviction that it is the right moment that the repertoire Reflector Theater offers some new information and inspiration. We love the fact that the idea of ​​this show came from joint work and association, it is symbolically important.


The team that works on the show is young, and during the preparation for the show you have also called casting. How hard was it to find young people who would be able to present such a project?


The play Death to Fascism! On Heroes and Freedom, is a great combination of youth, driving energy and experience, which the recognized and accomplished people have provided to young people. When it comes to casting, it was important for us that it happened, because we are just standing behind what we believe in, which is the opportunity and honesty of the opportunity to get a chance. During those two days of casting, we loved our jobs more than usual. We met great and talented people, it was difficult to choose a team of five actors, not because they are not, or can not, come out, but because young artists have shown a serious talent and dedication. When it comes to the production and organizational team, it is made by a young and proven volunteer team from Spotlight Theatre and me. In order to present the qualities of young artists in full capacity, the older and among the best contemporary artists have been unselfishly supported: designer Slavimir Stojanović, composer Dragoljub Đuričić, koregorafkinja Andreja Kulešević, photographer Jelena Jankovic, and other members of the team. The investigative and scientific side of the play was supported by historians: Srdjan Milosevic, Olga Manojlovic Pintar, Milovan Pisarri, and Maja Maksimovic, film director Mila Turjalic, and more than 20 professional associates. In parallel with the process of creating the performance we also filmed a documentary, signed by Ivan Stojiljkovic, and he will allow you to get to know the team of our performance, also learn more about the topic and its actuality today. Since the founding of the Reflector Theater, we believed that there are contemporary patrons, I am happy to know this time that there are, in our case, Vlatko Sekulović and Branimir Brkljač, who understood the importance of this fight and became allies and part of our young team.


The process of creating the play is different and new to our scene. The material is created through open lectures and discussion between the audience and your team (actors, Minja Bogavac, expert associates). Why have you decided on this step?


The methodology of co-authorship and process creation is authentic for our work, so I would say that we continued the tradition of creating texts with actors, collaborators and the audience. I am proud of all our associates, their desire to share their knowledge with us, my memories, I am proud of the actors and actresses who were devotedly reading, researching, suggesting, on a tireless and curious Minnie, to our organizational team that has enthusiastically prepared all the activities. I am grateful to all the people who came in and appeared in our process, we all make this show together. The decision to work this way, rather than quicker and more pragmatic, lies in our need to understand, find out, and really believe in the subject we are putting on the scene. My perspective says it would be pathetic to say that you are shining in the dark, without the devoted work and real investment in this emanation. Our process implies that in each of us, a light bulb of desire and understanding of the importance of the subject is turned on, and that it is created on the scene from that inner light. Now this sounds pathetic, but so, if you were part of the process, you know that, if not, you can see on our networks.


Do you think that the theme of the play, anti-fascism, that is, the struggle against fascism – is still relevant? Is there a correlation between the present and the present?


Sadly lost opportunity is today to be proud of our anti-fascist past, to heroes like Ivo, Jurica and Ivan Ribar, to the heroine that was Sloboda. The relevance of the historical topic is directly related to the needs of the ruling elites, above all the political ones, and they successfully dictate the values ​​of both the intellectual and the cultural values. How is education, loyalty and devotion to the idea, love and optimism, faith in the equal importance of every human life become overcome? In our homes live witnesses of the Second World War, talk to them, you will be touched by their stories, their strength and readiness to confront the then ultimate evil fascism. Ask your grandparents – did they eat chocolates that the Germans bribed them? Who are heroes today? Who is ready today to give up all his privileges or to invest them in the general welfare? Where is the red line today, after which resistance is the only answer? In which uniform is fascism today and who are its victims? Why did not we, young people, have the opportunity to read a letter that Ivo Lola Ribar wrote to Slobodna? What is so decadent in it, besides love, truth and hope? I will not give an answer to these questions, but rather performances. You will only know from me that we have not chosen historical figures to convince their biographies, that we have not given up on our expression and have chosen to anesthetize the audience. The story of anti-Fascism, the Fishermen and Freedom, will be actual until some people are labeled as similar, others are less valuable and as long as our present wants to obscure heroism and love.


The play “Death to Fascism! About Ribari and Slobodi “you can see the following dates:

May 8th pre-premiere – AKUD Lola (Resavska 11) from 20:00

May 09 Prime Minister Atelje 212 from 20.30

May 16 AKUD Lola (Resavska 11) from 20.00

May 23 Firchie Think Tank Studio, Novi Sad from 20.00h.


Photo: Vanja Sakic and Dimitrije Stanic


Author: Milana Vojnovic


Taken from: Hoću u pozorište