This Year’s MESS Central Theme is “Nostalgia for the Future”



Marking the International Theater Day, the Office of the International Theater Festival MESS presented a part of the program of the upcoming jubilee, the 60th MESS Festival. The program was presented at a press conference which, observing the recommendation #stayhome, was broadcast on the Festival’s official YouTube channel. This year’s festival, whose central theme is “Nostalgia for the Future”, will take place from October 1 to October 9.

“Chekov’s First Play”, a piece by the Irish Dead Centre theater company from Dublin, having been cancelled last year for financial reasons, will mark the closure of the 59th and the opening of the 60th MESS Festival. This year’s festival will be held with the generous support of our general sponsor, the Visa Company and the traditional, friendly support of the Goethe Institute, the Heinrich Boell Institute and  BH Telecom.

“Regardless of the pandemic, the fear and concerns by which the year 2020 will be remembered, we will make sure that MESS remains a part of the other side of this year’s story – the story of kind people, solidarity, empathy, the importance of art and freedom for every society”, said the director of the International Theater Festival MESS, Nihad Kreševljaković, moving on to explain the visual identity of the 60th MESS, which was once again trusted in the hands of the creative team of the FABRIKA agency.

“The visual identity of the 60th MESS is the spark of knowledge and hope for humanity. Our experience is simultaneously a stimulus for what needs to happen for us to move ahead of a completed past to the beginning of a new century. A look into the future is like a spark of new life, a nostalgic search of something unreal. An aspiration to fulfill a dream of security, peace and solidarity”, said Kreševljaković, further announcing the various off-scene programs, the Italian performance of “Moby Dick”, a performance to be held at the Susan Sontag Square, the publication of the Festival’s Monograph and an exhibition honoring the Festival’s 60th anniversary.

The artistic director of the MESS Festival, Dino Mustafić, noted that throughout its history, MESS had always been a great platform for all “performance arts” and that this jubilee was an opportunity to recall the different artistic practices from drama, dance theater, recent drama, documentary drama, as well as the different hybrid combinations of all the above.

“All these forms could be seen in previous editions of the MESS Festival, but the jubilee is an opportunity for their labeling and conceptualization through different materials and different stories that will continue to move the Festival’s audience. All of these are theater and they all belong to MESS.

This program remains true to our ambition that we should, in an artistic sense, search for the new, the different, the radical and the provocative”, said Mustafić, adding that the situation with the pandemic of the coronavirus has shown the extent to which the notion of theater has now definitely been extended by finding its way to its audience using various digital forms.

The general sponsor of the 60th MESS will be the Visa Company. Visa’s General Manager for Southeast Europe, Vladimir Đorđević noted that it is a great pleasure to provide support for such a significant cultural event which   emphasizes some of the best features of our society, including the affirmation of theatre and cinema, but also of visual art and music. “MESS has always been ahead of its time, a festival empowering creative and original projects of domestic and global artists. We take great pride in the fact that our clients will be given the opportunity to enjoy their unforgettable and exciting performances. Providing support for such events we remain true to our mission to be innovative and to connect people from all over the world”, said Đorđević.

This year’s official message for the International Theatre Day titled “Theatre as a Shrine” was written by the Pakistani artist Shahid Nadim.

“We need to replenish our spiritual strength; we need to fight apathy, lethargy, pessimism, greed and disregard for the world we live in, the Planet we live on. Theatre has a role, a noble role, in energizing and mobilizing humanity to lift itself from its descent into the abyss. It can uplift the stage, the performance space, into something sacred.“, reads a part of his message which was presented to the Bosnian audience by the actor Ermin Bravo

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