Jovanovski as Siskov

Jovanovski as Siskov
Erol Rizaov

The CEO of the Macedonian National Theater , Dragan Spasov-Dac, decided to discipline the actors who canceled a play in solidarity to their colleague Vlado jovanovski due to his arrest and detainment, and this decision, as expected, became the main topic in the country. Threatening artists’ freedom, especially involving politics, is a very delicate and tricky issue. It always raises suspicion and revolt, not just in the profession, but the public as well, because of the actor’s popularity and not relating their personality with political quarrels, parties and propaganda. Court evidence and verdicts are the other issue. No one should be untouchable before the Law, not even Jovanovski. Canceling a play and apologizing to the public in MNT was not motivated by obstruction of justice, but an act of solidarity to the imprisonment of a fellow actor. However, the motive outside the theatre is just the opposite. Obstruction of justice.

If I were in Spasov’s position, I would’ve suggested that this protest, by the actors from MNT, is proclaimed as the day of solidarity to the fight against regime and obstruction of the artist’s freedom to create. This way, Spasov would have saved his colleagues from a lot of embarrassment. The actors’ decision to cancel a play would turn out to be a confession to their cowardness for not joining his fellow actor and hero Jovanovski when he climbed the barricades in the Parliament and called the citizens to prevent the legitimately elected majority to take over power.

I don’t know if such incitement is a criminal act called "a terrorist threat" and if there were other violations of the law when a police coup was attempted on April 27, when MPs were mercilessly beaten and the lives of many other people were endangered, but I’m sure it is a violation of the constitutional order, which is clearly described in both the Constitution and the Criminal Code of the Republic of Macedonia. It can be read and understood by everyone, even if you’re not a lawyer, even if you’re just an actor.

When an actor calls for conflict with party opponents in the political scene is definitely not just a moral issue, although the moral crime that is not tried is perhaps even more tragic, because the theater departments and theater houses, the temples of art in Macedonia, became political workshops where political parties and polytronism became more important than talent and determination of art and creativity. Sadly, it is absolutely true that party membership and activity determines the hierarchical position in the theater, not only in getting the CEO's and management positions, but also in getting main roles, selecting directors, awards and recognitions, selecting MPs, leading roles on TV and radio, writing columns with an apologetic praise of power...

If actor Vlado jovanovski, who is held in the “Sutka” penitentiary, heard the clumsy comparison that politician Vlatko Gjorchev made, reffering to Jovanovski as the new Risto Shishkov, I suppose he will be aware and probably very ashamed of who and why they involved him in politics. Or, if he accepted this glorification and equalization to the legendary Macedonian actor as his greatest achievement, then he will spend the rest of his life playing the role of Risto Siskov. And he’ll be playing it very, very badly because of one crucial reason. Siskov, aside from being an extraordinary actor, was a rebel against the government and against injustice. He never acted in favor of the regime in power and never took part in the regime’s propaganda, or agitate in political issues. Equalizing the fate of Siskov to Jovanovski is an idiotic comparison of two completely opposite characters and degrading the artistic giant that was Risto Siskov. Vlatko Gjorchev, with this indecent comparison, exclusively designed for political benefit, uncovered VMRO-DPMNE’s real motive, confirming that their protests before the court and the prison in Suto Orizari are not in the defense of the detained artists, but for their own defense and those involved the events on April 27.

Share with your friends: