“A Life without Compromise for Art and Peace. Jelena Šantić: essays, records, and comments”
As part of the 54/55 Bitef Festival, we presented the edition of Group 484 and the Jelena Šantić Foundation entitled “A Life without Compromise for Art and Peace. Jelena Šantić: essays, records, and comments”, by Amra Latifić.
The book contains interviews, critiques, essays, and theoretical texts on ballet and contemporary dance, plans and reports on humanitarian and peace projects, appeals, comments, photographs, biography, and bibliography of Jelena Šantić (1944-2000), ballerina, ballet historian, but also a fighter for peace and human rights. The book was prepared by Amra Latifić PhD and designed by Jelena Jaćimović. Jelena’s contemporaries and associates also contributed to the book: Goran Božičević, Ivana Stefanović, Marija Janković Šehović, Marijana Cvetković, Milena Dragićević Šešić, Svenka Savić, and Vesna Golić. Book reviewers: Prof. Gordana Nikić PhD, Prof. Marijana Prpa Fink PhD, and Prof. Ratko Božović PhD, and technical editors Irina Ljubić MA, and Professor Emerita Irina Subotić.
Almost in an encyclopaedic manner, Jelena Šantić systematically and structurally systematised information in the field of ballet art, visionarily unmistakably created the strategy and study programme of the future ballet academy, wrote a series of creative scripts and librettos. Jelena Šantić’s interdisciplinary competence is also reflected in the choreographic project about Isadora Duncan, which she signed as a librettist, choreographer, and director, performed on the stage of Atelier 212 as part of the 25 Bitef Festival under the 1992 embargo. Jelena found inexhaustible driving energy in the close environment and the fight for human rights and peace, especially in the war years at the end of the 20th century, when she proved not only empathetic, but also enterprising, efficient, and extremely brave. Inclined to peace, justice, and truth, she became one of the key figures of the anti-war and anti-nationalist movement. She started with her struggle for peace in 1991 with the Peace March around the Assembly, which is the first public manifestation of the newly established Centre for Anti-War Action. Projects Pakrac, Group Most, Group 484, represent Jelena’s achievements of passionate engagement and civic courage.
The book was created through the project Activist Heritage: Women’s Stories beyond West-Balkan Conflicts and Crisis, supported by the USAID Serbia and The Balkan Trust for Democracy.
Part of the text taken from the site of the Bitef Theatre