Thursday, 28 June 2007

THIS PLEASANT STORY


By Fatmir Terziu
This story came unbidden. It was not what I expected to happen. As journalist and correspondent for national newspaper for that year’s Elbasan International Theatre Festival, (1999) one of my tasks was to write something for the programme. As the festival’s connecting theme was “landscape”, I felt obliged to produce something lyrical, even bucolic. After the entire programme includes Adonis Philip’s “spontaneity” and George Owell’s “The animal Farm” works are plangent, lyrical, homely and urban rather than rural but full of politics. Why is politics always so, well, politic? Why is any preferences is politic as distinctive as its food? Can we say that of its past? Also included is a group of actors from Skopje and Pristine playing historical and patriotic tribute. Drama felt about poetic truth. The Communists banned drama works: the character was involved in politics. Dreams of landscape can so easily become nationalist nightmares of purity, of those who “belong”.
In the end something sprang up that reflects my own ambivalence. My hero is an “animal” who refuses to accept the demise of the Albanian landscape by inverting the usual process of nostalgia and making the ghost of the past. It’s an animal escaped from George Owell’s farm played on scene by Netherlands actors. He finds solace in tired politically country guides such as Albania, but it’s an act really. If the story were imagined as a piece of writing for the past then the extract from my guidebook would be Albania or its past half-century as it is now in reality scene. There’s a connection here with the time and life of the people, the ebb and flow of its structure, but only a slender one. I sometimes write about politics and history, if there’s a specific period to be evoked, but there’s a danger that the politics, especially in Albania, provokes the emotion that ought to be irrigated solely by the words and fancy ball. It’s a substitute for someone.
I am intrigued by the professional world of journalism, so I look forward to the events, rehearsals and get together in my Country.


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