This unique event brings together artists and academics to experience and discuss how drama and storytelling can contribute to rebuilding identity and meaning in post-conflict societies. Extracts from two new audio plays by writers in Kosovo, part of a new podcast series from writers in the Balkans, will be streamed as part of a panel discussion between theatre makers and academics about the power and place of art in promoting justice and peace.
Fresh, funny and provocative audio dramas by a new generation of Balkan writers. Series one of the podcast series, Out Of The Woods, is inspired by Kosovo - the newest state in Europe. Whether you want to hear compelling new drama or find out more about this exciting and emerging part of Eastern Europe, you’ll find a story to immerse yourself in.
This event sees new playwrights Ulpiana Maloku and Agnesa Mehanolli, alongside acclaimed playwright and producer Fin Kennedy and research specialist Dr Ivor Sokolic, analyse the interactions of art and life in post-conflict societies. With Dr Denisa Kostovicova, European Institute, as Chair.
Produced by British-Bosnian writer Miran Hadžić, with support from award winning theatre company Tamasha, and Kosovan-UK company Intent New Theatre. Funded by Arts Council England. A link to the full podcast series, Out Of the Woods, can be found by clicking here: Out Of The Woods: New Plays from the Balkans on Apple Podcasts.
Meet the speakers
Fin Kennedy is an award-winning playwright and outgoing Artistic Director of touring theatre company Tamasha. Writing credits include Protection (Soho Theatre, 2003), How To Disappear Completely and Never Be Found (Sheffield Crucible, 2007), Locked In (Half Moon national tour, 2006), Life Raft (Bristol Old Vic, 2015) and four plays co-created with young people for Mulberry Theatre Company at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. For Tamasha, Fin dramaturged and produced eight national tours of new plays by diverse playwrights, including the award-winning Made In India by Satinder Chohan, Approaching Empty by Ishy Din, I Wanna Be Yours by Zia Ahmed, as well as digital projects We Are Shadows: Brick Lane, The Power of Persuasion and Out Of The Woods: New Plays from the Balkans. Fin’s new company, Applied Stories, uses site-specific audio drama in education and community settings, to foster positive social change.
Ulpiana Maloku has completed a Master for Script Writing at the University of Prishtina and also has a previous bachelor degree for Dramaturgy at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Prishtina. She is the author of theatre plays like: “Root”, “Tea and Poetry”, “Spectator” and the co-author of the experimental play called “The walls talk”. She was the dramatis for another play called “You are Me” and “Little Prince”. In 2016 she got second place at “Katarina Josipi” festival, awarded from National Theatre of Kosovo. Apart some scripts for short movies, in 2018 she was supported from Kosovo Cinema Center to make another long movie called “The man with purple suit”.
Agnesa Mehanolli is a 23 years old playwright/screenwriter, and author of Where is Mr. President? (WIMP) which premiered at Refugee Week in June 2021. She is completing a Masters in Script Writing at the University of Prishtina and writes reviews of local theatre plays. She is also the Coordinator for INTENT New Theatre and the current Writers Group which supports writers and helps their momentum by providing comments and feedback on their work as it develops.
Ivor Sokolić is interested in studying processes of transitional justice and reconciliation in the aftermath of conflict. He focuses his research on the former Yugoslav states and is interested in applying novel methodological approaches to the study of post-conflict societies. His PhD from the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES), awarded in 2016, researched why the transitional justice process in Croatia, following the 1991-1995 conflict, failed to instil universal human rights norms in society. Prior to beginning his PhD, Ivor completed an MSc and BSc in European Politics from the Department of International Politics at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth.
Meet the chair
Denisa Kostovicova is an Associate Professor of Global Politics at LSE’s European Institute and Principal Investigator of the ‘Justice Interactions and Peacebuilding’ (JUSTINT) research programme funded by the European Research Council (ERC). She is a scholar of conflict and peace processes with a particular interest in the role of justice in reconstruction of post-conflict societies. Kostovicova is the author Kosovo: The Politics of Identity and Space (2005), and co-editor of eight volumes in the area of post-conflict peace-building, including Rethinking Reconciliation and Transitional Justice After Conflict (with James Hughes, 2020). Her work, which has also been published in top political science and international relations journals, has informed policy-making at the EU, UN and in the UK.
Event hashtag: #LSEConflict
LSE IDEAS (@lseideas) is LSE's foreign policy think tank. Through sustained engagement with policymakers and opinion-formers, IDEAS provides a forum that informs policy debate and connects academic research with the practice of diplomacy and strategy.
The Ratiu Forum (@forumratiu) is a joint initiative by the Ratiu Family Charitable Foundation, the Ratiu Democracy Centre and the London School of Economics' think tank, LSE IDEAS. Romania and the Balkan region are priority areas of interest for The Ratiu Forum. The Ratiu Forum operates at three main levels: sharing expertise through the support of LSE IDEAS, holding regular workshops and lectures, both in-house and public, on subjects of topical interest and expanding external outreach through partnerships with similar institutions.
Justice Interactions and Peacebuilding: From Static to Dynamic Discourses across National, Ethnic, Gender and Age Groups (JUSTINT) is a five-year project led by Dr Denisa Kostovicova and funded by the European Research Council. The JUSTINT project provides a novel way of analysing how post-conflict justice practices advance or hinder peace-building by studying an interactive and dynamic aspect of discourse.