Sunday, May 19, 2024


“Balcanibalism” keeps you in abeyance in the dimensions of theater freedom, in the dimensions of comic discourse that unleashes cruel and painful realities through drums and other unexpected situations produced, where facades, masks, pressures and wreckage coexist with humanity stucked in the fatal refrain “I have it for your sake”. A great play by actress, Ajshe Useini.

Author: Bardhyl Zaimi

One January Saturday, full of emptiness because of the beginning of the year and the melancholy of the year behind us, you can project yourself into other dimensions that only theater can offer, this temple of freedom and human being.

While drinking a coffee as fast as possible, enough fast to shake the boredom of January, a  feast of two nights ago leads slowly to ODA, an urban setting, where inside of it you can feel another rhythm of life, a twisting rhythm often with cultural events.

In a spontaneous surrounding with drinks in front, you can see in front of you the wallpaper of the mono-comedy  “Balkanibalism” directed by Sabedin Selmani. It is the third reply of this show that has created a warm and friendly interrelation with the audience in attendance.

You can easily sit on the armchair with stylized iron bars, you can change some words with your friends nearby before the show starts.

And, all of a sudden, in the ODA cafeteria-theater, appears Ajshie Useini, the stand-up comedy actress who, until the very end, keeps you suspended in the dimensions of theater freedom, in the dimensions of a theatrical discourse that unleashes cruel and painful realities through jokes and other comic situations, there where facades, masks, pressures and rubble merge with human destiny.

With a remarkable spontaneity of an actress, she, through a hospital situation, posters a comic prologue the entire constant mono-comedy played somewhere between fatal human normalcy and comics that comes as human decomposition, as omnipresent dehumanization in a time of total destruction. The prologue that comes with hospital pajamas commemorates the painting “State Hospital” with all the brutality of the actuality.

It is precisely within the bounds of normality and abnormality those comic situations are produced that sometimes come to a standstill and sometimes as liberations of textual and directorial definitions of the human being confrontation with the absurdity and unbearable ease of a cynicism that already acts as a system over the individual.

Slowly through a fatal refrain, “I have it for your sake” mono-comedy extends to a sociocultural and deeply ontological level of human-liberty bondage. This layer of this ontology, as Kundera puts it, ontology, between human existence and the shades of interdependence turns into a comic-situations generator that in the conceptual and textual plane demystifies an authoritarian consciousness that always comes in the form of fatal “care” for the individual.

The mono-comedy with the associative title “Balkanibalism” suggests a different conception of space and time, of events, of the power-citizen relation, of the story of history and of the pulses of typical Balkan life. The mono-comedy, through its many twists and turns that are built on worldview dichotomies, based on theatrical sensibilities that descend on human falsehood, often-fatal frivolity, exhibits a decomposed mentality that looms in the political space implied as power, but also in mentality of people who are correlated with the stupidity and brutality of power.

Escaping, alienating, and fleeing from freedom are other dimensions of comedy that are always at odds with other standards of human existence in the Western world, often accompanied by a typical Balkan unintentional mockery.

Man in the face of technological distortions is also another dimension of this comedy that produces the fatal laughter and banality of evil as defined by Hanna Arendt

All the lines of texture and comedy directing are in fact put into a comic misunderstanding between the two hemispheres the Western and the Balkan. Above this dichotomy of perceptions is played with elegance, sensitivity, and unexpected comic situations that make this coherent mono-comedy end.

The mono-comedy aims to touch upon the pinnacles of human freedom, exploring the theme of sex and in this case revealing the omnipresence of totality in the face of human normality and intimacy. The comedy is produced somewhere between the impenetrable and often canned world as well as the snobbish and sincere narratives of absent protagonists alternated with extraordinary creativity by actress, Ajshe Useini.

The stand-up comedy “Balcanibalism” offers the best possible release from all those burdens weighing on boredom and tribulation in people’s lives. In all its content, with its creative passages, this mono-comedy in addition to managing to create spontaneous communication with the public also manages to fulfill the main premise of defining comics. According to Kant, laughter is an affection that arises from the sudden transformation of taut expectation into nothingness.

All the attendees who had made their way to the ODA cafeteria-theater were subjected to this sprawl, this warm reception with inward artistic strain. Laughter came naturally internally from each fragment of mono-comedy structured into a text with much unexpected and many original findings.

“Balkanbalism” is a mono-comedy with a clear directorial concept with a creative text and an extraordinary play by Aisha Useini. A masterful realization that shows the original and creative dimension of the actress herself.

After watching this mono-comedy, you can quietly put your hands in your pockets and slowly leave this cafe-theater feeling as if you’ve killed the boredom of the day. For a January day, this is not a bit. It is not even for the days to come that may be good material for the texture of a future stand-up.

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