MAYA AND I AND MAYA
Director: Anja Suša
Duration: 70 min.
Under the patronage of the European Cultural Foundation, (www.eurocult.org), within the program Balkan Incentive Fund for Culture (BIFC)
Maya and I and Maya is a regional theatre project which aspires to establish and examine patterns of interrupted cultural ties through an analysis of the crisis of intimist awareness, drawing on the picture-books about Maya, which numerous generations grew up with, and the novel Maya and I and Maya by Sreten Ugričić.
The project about Maya explores the post-Yugoslav legacy and wheter the personal memories can continue the discontinued social and political environment. The most painful topoi of personal memory are problematized within the context of collective memory and present-day reality.
The project draws the inspiration from the novel written by the Serbian author Sreten Ugričić, and original text by Milan Marković and the series of children’s books by the Belgian authors Marcel Marlier and Gilbert Delahaye, illustrated by Casterman. The original name of the heroin was Martine, and the first picture-book: Martine à la ferme (Martine on the Farm) was published in 1954. It was followed by more than 50 books translated into numerous world languages with the heroine changing names (Martinka, Emma, Debbie etc) along the way. Two video games, based on the contents of the first and the eighth book, are dedicated to Maya.
In the Yugoslav version in the lead character was called Maya (Maja) and this picture-book influenced considerably many generations which grew up in former Yugoslavia. Ugričić’s book, written in 1993, focuses on the disintegration of Yugoslavia and the political changes in Europe, using the character of Maya and the specific atmosphere as a metaphor for a fairy-tale-like happy childhood which comes to an extremely brutal end. The performance applies a similar procedure, but its focus is on the present. Maya becomes an iconic figure of the happy past within the local and global contexts. The authors of the production were intrigued by the fact that Maya in the picture-book was from Brussels, the capital of the European Union, and by her local echo, both from the perspective of present-day Europe and that the former Yugoslav territory today.
Workshops REMEMBERING MAYA
Workshop I – Belgrade, 7-10 June 2012
The workshops are conducted by Radina Vučetić Ph.D., Docent at the Department of History, Faculty of Philosophy, Belgrade
Project coordinator: Marko Miljković MA
Maya is the Yugoslavian version of „Martine“, a series of picture-books by Marcel Marlier and Gilbert Delahaye, which first appeared in Belgium in 1954 and after that in other countries and in other languages. The series of picture-books about Maya was published in Yugoslavia during the Sixties and to this day has remained an unavoidable part of childhood memories, as testified by numerous Internet blogs and forums.
In Yugoslavia, a specific cold war country between the East and the West, Maya was one of the examples which showed the Yugoslav 'capitalist' version of socialism. At that time, the children in Yugoslavia were brought up to embrace the values of both the socialist East and the capitalist West – they took the pioneers’ oath of allegiance, wore red kerchiefs and were educated in tune with the achievements of the People’s Liberation Struggle, but at the same time, they read Disney comics, picture-books about Maya, watched American films and played cowboys and Indians...During the workshops to be held in Belgrade and Zagreb, students of the faculties of philosophy in Serbia and Croatia will learn more about this 'split' childhood, and, indirectly, about an aspect of the Yugoslav socialist history. This is the first joint project of this kind, both in terms of regional collaboration of these two faculties and the research of the culture of childhood memories in Yugoslavia. The Remembering Maya workshops are conceived as a contribution to the research of the culture of childhood memories in Yugoslavia and heir participants and will include, apart from the students of the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade and the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb, history and anthropology lecturers from Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia (Svetlana Slapšak, Ildiko Erdei, Radina Vučetić, Igor Duda, Hrvoje Klasić). These workshops will be an opportunity for students to meet, to research the joint Yugoslav past and to understand the growing-up process and the creation of the collective identity in Yugoslav socialism.
We wish to thank the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade and the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb.
Director: Anja Suša
Performers: Maša Dakić, Nevena Jovanović, Jelena Ilić, Miloš Isailović, Damjan Kecojević i Strahinja Lacković
Organisation: Marta Kolega
Design: Lana Vasiljević
We wish thank the Children's Cultural Centre Belgrade and the Dom omladine Beograda.