Jelena Kajgo, Selector

I have always been drawn to the theatre that bravely faces the demons of its time and space. The one that makes no calculations and does not flirt. The one that seduces by sheer power of the intellect and imagination. 
It is along these lines that the selection of this year’s Infant was formed. (With a note that the job of a selector in Serbia today is quite limited both by modest budgets and by the narrow range of travelling, and consequently a limited insight into some new authors who are waiting to be discovered.) For this reason, in regard to the international selection, I decided to stick to the proven authors who belong to the very top of the European and regional creative scene. The domestic authors at the Infant festival are related to the first sentence of this introductory text and their work greatly rely on revolt, resistance, questioning and a refusal to languish in conventions and convenient stagings.  All the authors of this year’s selection fit into the slogan of this year’s festival - the acute statement of Hamlet’s that ‘conscience makes us all cowards.’ Here, we are relying on the well-known proposition that theatre does not offer answers but questions. Does our consciousness of the space and time we live in make us calculated, timid, self-interested; does it make us give up our integrity with ease and seek the path of the least resistance? The majority of the productions from this year’s selection re-examine some of the phenomena of our past that are deeply reflected in our present moment.
Coming from Berlin is the play THE PAST by Constanza Makras, which poses the question - what happens with the memory if it is associated to a place that is destroyed or has been changed? This author, together with her troupe, digs into the personal and collective memory, re-examines and rewrites a personal and collective history, in an attempt to overcome some painful memories or to gain a better understanding of the events of today.        
The activism, and sometimes brutally brave and unrelenting handwriting of Croatian director Oliver Frljić are well-known to our audiences. So, here is an opportunity to see his work reflected in staging of a classical masterpiece such as Shakespeare’s HAMLET, and which has emerged from memories of the time whose consequences we still live in and ‘whose madness we keep tripping over.’
Via Negativa with their performance MANIPULATIONS brings an engaged, exploratory theatrical concept, looking into the question – who and why do we place our trust in? The play examines the phenomenon of capitalist society in which our nations sacrifice their own interests and identity in order to gain the confidence of the owners of capital and imaginary money markets.   
Coming down on the social mechanisms of the authority and the state of Serbian culture is the backbone of the play DOGVILLE directed by Kokan Mladenović. It is an exciting stage setting which, through depicting a morally deformed community, creates striking scenes of theatrical subversion.
A similar theatrical approach that engages all the senses and sharpens the audiences’ attention will be seen in András Urbán’s staging of A SHORT STORY OF THE ANTI-CHRIST. The ecstatic movement, loud music played live, mental and visual provocation, among other things, are the stage elements framing this theatrical piece.   
The show BALLERINAS, by Milena Bogavac and Olivera Kovačević Crnjanski, is an exciting example of a documentary, physical theatre, which, through exploratory, open concept, completely denudes the role of performers stripping it of any illusions, false effects, fiction...
In her accomplished staging of Bernhard’s text MY PRIZES, Maja Pelević, together with Slobodan Beštić, takes us to a European Union’s banquet, where Serbia arrives when the party is already over to find an already empty room and an empty table, with the remains of the feast already finished.    
Through the biography of journalist Dada Vujasinović, in the play DADA, Sanja Krsmanović deals with the issues of freedom, responsibility, conscience,... but also draws the attention to the lack of the  power or will of the state, which, after twenty years, still cannot find the way to deal with the ghosts of the past.  
In the performance THIS IS NOT RED, BUT BLOOD!, Bojan Đorđev removes the layers of dust from the communist poetry making us ask – what defines revolutionary fervour, and what defines patriotism today? What idea are we for today, and are we ready to make sacrifices at all?
 Last but not least comes the directorship language of Jernej Lorenci in the play DEAD MAN COMES FOR HIS SWEETHEART; a language complex in regard to the meaning while denuded and reduced in regard to staging. This Lorenci’s ‘concert drama’ examines the human need for love, as well as some painful family and social mechanism, and with its particular sensibility creates an exciting theatrical act.