News archive


31. October 2014.

While talking with Ilija Petronijevic, one of the organizers of the exhibition, we peeked at the moments related to the creation and realization the exhibition.  The idea about ​​the exhibition emerged four years ago, during the event in which young people from the region took part. Thinking of the issues and ways of dealing with the recent past, trying to find niches that could be common to all people in the region, about which there would be some kind of consensus and positive feeling, looking for something that is woven into our experiences, the idea of presenting the life of the great actor and man through, in every sense, a special exhibition, was born.

In order to present Bekim’s life to the visitors of the exhibition “Bekim Fehmiu - Treasure Lost in Silence” as realistically as possible, we used various sources, from the Yugoslav Film Archives to the private collection that is in the possession of his family. It is important to point out that one part of the exhibition is supported by the photographs of the places in which Bekim lived and by those of the houses and streets in which he grew up. Those photographs were taken by young activists.   

Cooperation with Behim’s family was established by gathering the materials and preparing the exhibition. “We mostly cooperated with Branka Petric and Uliks.  First and foremost, they are great people! While you work with them, you keep learning various things, some professional and some human ones. Politeness and good manners, amiability, honest communication and benevolence are present all the time”, says Ilija Petronijevic. “When you walk into their family circle, it seems as if you were immersed in a different atmosphere.  We believe that Bekim, too, contributed a lot to its creation. We had the feeling that in this way, through this very atmosphere that is full of mutual respect and understanding, we had the privilege to indirectly get to know Bekim as well,” said Mr. Petronijevic. 

Preparation of the exhibition, and especially cooperation with his family, was wrapped in a network of different emotions. “What we were troubled with from the start was the responsibility we had towards Bekim’s family and Bekim himself, because we were are dealing with the life of a man who, through his way of being and his strong symbolic gestures, became part of the history of a country and eventually became a kind of a landmark for what is ethical conduct in turbulent times. We should create something that would be worthy of such life’s role. We went into the whole process most sincerely, with the desire not to compromise, in any way, the basic values ​​that Bekim practiced in his life.  Every aspect of the exhibition, starting from its preparation to its realization, had to meet this demand”, Mr. Petronijevic said.   

The exhibition of Bekim’s acknowledgments, of his life and career and of his private and public life, was shown to the audiences in both Belgrade and Pristina, and in both cities the reactions were warm, touching and emotionally powerful. The initiators of the event somehow felt that the reactions would be positive due to the fact that the news of Bekim’s death resonated with melancholy in the Belgrade and Pristina media, as if it were a moan and longing for the premature loss of the actor of a tragedy that deserved great and sincere respect.  

“The message of the exhibition is that it is difficult but possible, and for some people even necessary, to be a man at the time when societies show their irrational and destructive sides.  Bekim insisted on that.  And in the storm that was racing in one direction and tearing down everything in sight, the size of which we shall see in the ravaged landscape of the Balkans that is appearing before our eyes, one should remain a man.  We think that Bekim was trying it all the time, but certainly not without consequences for himself and a breakdown.  It’s not easy to stand against the general one – directional flow of madness.  But that gesture of his is valuable, that is the stake that we believe should be the building block of a future Balkans. So, this exhibition is a story about the past, about the life of one man. But it’s not only that - it is also a stake for the future.”

We believe that the exhibition will be shown to the youth of South of Serbia, who will be able to secretly sneak into the hidden pores of Bekim’s life and listen to his quiet, almost inaudible, messages and so be able to strip away the heavy chains of mistrust. And what could they, on that occasion, learn from Bekim’s life? They could learn that. . .” respect and mutual understanding are the prerequisites for everything in life. Then, if they look a little longer in the direction of Bekim’s life,  they’ll notice  the values ​​by which he lived and perhaps for a second,  part of their own future, too,  in which rough division won’t be the simple fact of their everyday life,” Mr. Petronijevic said.  

Bekim is an invisible bridge between the two nations, he is the emotion that we need in order to understand the meaning of living together, he is the understanding that we lack in order to live better and more beautifully and in order to be kinder to one another.  The loss of such a man is a warning to all of us - as if it tells us that life should be devoted to love, understanding, warmth and respect.  Everything else includes less important trifles that get achieved of their own accord. 

By: Milica Rodic

Source: Coordination Body’s Office