"Polyp" in the new chapter as a creative outlet down memory lane


Without much fanfare, modest, a cocktail that precedes the event, was the image of the opening of "Polip" on Friday night at the "Oda" theater. I always leave room for the festival program to resonate. This year is the first edition that, in addition to literature, also includes theater

"The path of memory" is the theme of this year's edition of "Polip", which leaves behind 13 editions as an international literature festival to expand to the theater as well, with the aim of becoming a creative nest for well-known and young artists. . Apart from the central program of the opening day, an equally interesting and attractive event was what is known as "Poetic Consultations in Public Spaces".

On the last day of the last edition of "Polipit", one of the topics was the future of the festival. Even at the opening, it was warned that the next edition would be the last of the format with which it was developed in the past 13 editions. 

In the 14th, from the epithet as an international festival of literature, it was fully presented as "Polip - Prishtina International Creative Hub". 

"The path of memory" is this year's theme which recalls the foundations of the festival and reflects on the current transformation which, according to the organizers, in this edition is the testing phase. 

Without much fanfare, modest, a cocktail that precedes the event, has been the image of the opening of the event that has carried it for 14 editions. I always leave room for the festival program to resonate. This year is the first edition that, in addition to literature, also includes theater. As performing arts, they gather in "Polipin", which at the opening was evaluated as a creative nest that gives space to professional and young creators to project their ideas. 

Playwright Jeton Neziraj, leader of the "Multimedia Center", who together with the Serbian writer, Sasha Iliq, are the founders of "Polip", said that everything started with the discussion about the challenges of the festival and the way it communicates with the audience and the format . 

"We received really valuable ideas, suggestions, comments which have helped us to rethink the festival to turn it into such a format that marks the first edition practically, but which is not the final formatted edition, as we have it as a test to see in which direction we will go. The fact that we have opened the festival with artistic values, poetry is no longer the heart of the festival, but we have combined it with theater activities", said Neziraj while showing that so far the festival has brought about 300 writers. 

According to him, the new approach of the festival, which includes literature and theater, brings them closer to the public. At the same time, it enables artists to project their idea and express themselves creatively. 

"It is a kind of artistic laboratory where artistic ideas are generated, related to literature and theater. Also, the event is a platform for young artists to project their ideas", said Neziraj for TIME. 

The opening ceremony was preceded by "Poetic consultations in public spaces" in "Zahir Pajaziti" square. 

This year, the festival runs the program until May 19. Includes book promotions, panel discussions, poetry readings, musical performances and workshops. 

In the "Oda" theater, on Friday, as always when "Polip" opens, this year it was manifested with a performance that interweaves poetry, acting and music. Poems by Martin Camaj, Ali Podrimja, Jeton Kelmendi and international poets were read. The verses have also echoed in English, French and Italian. Dialogues between them are often held. As a kind of proof that people have the ability to understand each other, despite differences related to ethnicity and language. 

Arben Bajraktaraj, Julie Peigné, Albulena Kryeziu Bokshi, Nadia Saragoni, Aurita Agushi, Anne Duverneuil, Adrian Morina, Ailton Matavela, Armend Smajli, Davide Arena, Riccardo Ventrella and Linda Rukaj have performed. The latter accompanied the last part of the opening with music together with guitarist Armend Xhaferi. 

Apart from the central program of the opening day, an equally interesting and attractive event was what is known as "Poetic Consultations in Public Spaces". 

"It is a new form of expression where poetry, apart from being recited, comes in a completely different, more intimate form. The actor sits in the square, in a public space, there is a person in front of him and with him he realizes what is called a consultation. Like when you go to a psychologist, but in the end you don't get a prescription for medication, but a poem. This is a method that started in France and Italy four years ago", Neziraj said when he was contacted about the event. 

In the "Zahir Pajaziti" square in the capital, in the afternoon, more than ten prominent names of theater, music and more took place. Local and foreign artists, which has made passers-by not to have a language barrier.

Dressed in white robes, attracting attention was a sure thing. The courage to sit in front of one of them, another topic. But there was no shortage of people interested in listening to poetry, music or simply for short conversations with prominent figures of the artistic scene. 

The event aims for a kind of poetry healing. At least this was the aim it had when it was first organized in Paris by "Théâtre de la Ville". 

The Italian Riccardo Ventrella from the "Teatro della Pergola" in Florence, in his speech at the opening ceremony, said that the reason for the cooperation with the "Multimedia" center was the "Mittelfest" festival when in July 2022 the show "The Handke Project" was given ” with lyrics by Jeton Neziraj directed by Blerta Neziraj. 

"I am happy and honored to be here tonight, because for me and for us it is very important, as it is the important passage of our relationship with Kosovo and the 'Multimedia' center. We started it as part of the international festival 'Mittelfest'", he said to the audience.

While the French Julie Peigne from 'Théâtre de la Ville' in Paris has said that the project of "Poetic Consultation in Public Spaces" is a new way for artists to connect with society and meet people they have never met. He announced that this practice has moved to 14 countries so far. 

"We are here first because of the project we started in 2020. The goal was to put artists and poetry everywhere for the people, not only in the theater, for everyone, young and old. It has now been four years since the project, which we have toured in 14 countries in Europe and Africa", said Peigne in front of the public. 

The activity is likely to be very attractive. The public had the opportunity to meet prominent figures of the theater and music from the country and beyond. And at the end listen to a poem from them. 
Actress Albulena Kryeziu-Bokshi said that the idea of ​​the activity was also to expand the audience of the theater. 

"As an idea, it was born in the pandemic from the 'Théâtre de la Ville' in Paris. When they couldn't go out, they called people on the phone and the actors read them poems. With the passing of the pandemic, they began to go out in the squares of Paris and other cities, go to hospitals and then expanded to Italy. Their idea was that the audience for theater is chosen and they wanted to expand it. They bring the theater to the square, through poetry", she said. 

Kryeziu-Bokshi, who is also the director of the "Hadi Shehu" theater in Gjakova, was one of the "consultants" of the "Polip" team. As in Pristina, the event was a first experience for him as well. She estimated that a person finds his soul through poetry. 

"People are stopping, enjoying a poem, a moment of reflection to understand that if we return to books, poems, we give ourselves to return. I also address this to myself. Social networks have taken us far away from books, poems, novels, and we often lose our souls. We find it in books, especially in poetry", said Kryeziu-Bokshi. 

Previously, the event of this format was also organized in Italy. On Friday, it was tested in Pristina, while today (Saturday) the team leaves for Gjilan. 

Actress Aurita Agushi said that the event is a good way to bring poetry to people. 

"People love poetry, but they don't always have the courage to say it or recognize it enough. This is a very good way to interact with people, to be the kind of track where one can sit down and talk to an artist about their current state and then read them a poem, relax them and give them an emotion. other. This is something new for us", said the actress Agushi, before announcing that they have a variety of poems on their list that suit everyone. 

"I see that people are interested, even though they are sometimes reluctant to approach here, but it can be seen that they want to sit and listen to poetry. There are those related to love, freedom, protest, we have all possible types of poetry", said Agushi. 

"Polip" has been evaluated as a platform for exchange and literary growth, space for courage, reconciliation, reflection and constructive criticism.