"A century of peace after the century of wars"
On June 28th 1914, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated on the Latin Bridge in Sarajevo. A hundred years later, from this same bridge, a grandiose multidisciplinary open-air show created by one of the greatest directors in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Haris Pasovic, will send out a message of peace to the whole world from the heart of Europe.
Susan Sontag said that the twentieth century began in Sarajevo, with the First World War, and ended in Sarajevo, with the siege of the city. This performance is a tribute to those men, women and children who, literally or figuratively, gave their lives in wars which have marked Europe for a hundred years. It is also dedicated to future generations, those who will make up tomorrow’s world.
On the common theme of war songs that spanned the century, this show explores the wars of the 20th century, not as inevitable natural disasters but as the will of humankind. It is also a message of hope for the century to come, an ode to life: its fragility but also man’s propensity to work together and create.
Twenty years after the start of the First World War, Hitler came to power in Germany. Twenty-five years ago, thousands of people in ex-Yugoslavia had no idea of what was in store for them a few years later. Two decades are almost nothing compared to the history of the world, and yet things can change so quickly. In all probability, today’s young Europeans will still be alive in twenty years: what kind of life will they make for themselves? What message should they take with them and, most of all, what message should the rest of Europe hear from Bosnia and Herzegovina?
This epic performance, combining dance, music, theatre and video, will bring together 200 artists – including 60 members of the Bosnia and Herzegovina National Opera and 100 children from Sarajevo – and 50 technicians, all from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia the Balkans and all over Europe. An audience of 5000 will watch the show, which will take place after nightfall and be broadcast live on a number of television channels.
The well-known film and stage director, Haris Pasovic, became famous in the late 1980s when he directed Wedekind’s Spring Awakening in Belgrade. During the siege of Sarajevo, he remained very active in the city, creating the first Sarajevo Film Festival, directing and producing a number of shows including Waiting for Godot, directed by Susan Sontag. Some shows toured France during the siege, including Silk Drums at the Bouffes du Nord Theater in Paris. More recently, his plays and films, such as Class Enemy, Football Football and Greta, have been shown in a number of festivals from Edinburgh to Naples, New York, Amsterdam and San Francisco. As director of the East West Center in Sarajevo, Haris Pasovic is also behind the Sarajevo Red Line installation in which 11,541 empty red chairs were placed along the city’s main avenue to commemorate those who, twenty years before, were killed during the siege. This installation was seen by thousands of people and the pictures traveled around the world.
Produced by the East West Center, in coproduction with the Mission du Centenaire. With the support of the European Union, and the Ministry of Culture of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia. Co-produced by the East West Center and the Mission du Centenaire. With the support of the European Union.