LitBirthdays October 15, 2010

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October 15

Biljana Srbljanović (born October 15, 1970) – Swedish/Serbian playwright, activist- The Belgrade Trilogy (1995) [available in the book Eastern Promise ]

Read about Biljana Srbljanović here and here

Read about Srbljanovic’s play The Belgrade Trilogy

Set on New Year’s Eve in three different cities around the world, Prague, Sydney, and Los Angeles, the play shows us a glimpse of the life of three groups of Serbian refugees as they struggle to survive in their new worlds.

… In contrast to the traditional folk and dance music found in the two previous scenes, the music of the third scene is a Beatle’s song, “Get Back.” The pervasiveness of American commercial culture has erased their own history, making it almost impossible for the two to truly “get back” to where they belong.  Sadly, as characters Mara and Jovan soon discover, in the country where capitalism is king, artistic jobs are even harder to find than they were in their war-torn homeland.

Unlike the immigrants in Prague and Sydney who are able to maintain their native identities in the hope of one day returning to their homeland, in Srbljanovic’s America the price of entry is a case of  forcible cultural amnesia and the reward is artistic paralysis and minimum wage labor.

(Melissa Rynn Porterfield, “Srbljanovic’s Ugly American” in
Portrayals of Americans on the World Stage: Critical Essays )

Watch Biljana on a Serbian talk show (in Serbian language)

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