“I seek the beauty in the tragical, in pain”

Barbara Vandendriessche grew up in a small city Roeselare in Belgium, not far away from the French border. Her decision to study and practice theater directing and scenography brought her to Antwerp and finally to Brussels.

In an exclusive interview, she reveals the historical characters that are the inspiration for her work, her relation to photography, the Greek tragedy, and the people facing the uncertainty during the coronavirus pandemic.

Fathers Stamp

The Serbian Post has just issued a special edition of stamps to mark the ocassion of the 75th anniversary of the Filmske Novosti Newsreel.  The collection features a number of renowned personalities, among them is a stamp dedicated to the memory of my late father, Stevan Labudović, holding his treasured camera.  I cherish the memories of days when he took me along on assignment— the sensory elements surrounding the bulky, heavy machine he lugged.  With it he recorded millions of meters bearing witness to major political, cultural and social events of the former Yugoslavia that left their mark on history. He recorded proceedings of the Non-Aligned Movement, and most importantly the war for the liberation of Algeria.  Despite the great risk to himself, my father was the sole cameraman who remained and became known as a hero to the Algerian people.  To the end of his days, he held Algeria, its people, and its culture close to his heart. One final anecdote that can best tell the story:

One day, when President Houari Boumediene of Algeria was on a state visit to Belgrade he disappeared from his residence.  When his absence was noted, panic broke out as security searched high and low for him.  Finally, they found him in our small apartment asleep on our living room couch. When asked: “President, why are you sleeping here on a couch?” He replied: “I slept with my Godfather, Stevan, for years on the ground. The couch is much more comfortable.”

Moja Opština

Kao i većina drugih ljudi, kada mi je do nečega veoma stalo, onda to i prisvojim. Tako je i sa našom Opštinom, zato ona i jeste i moja Opština i u narednih desetak minuta ću sa Vama podeliti sasvim lična sećanja na period od 1998. do 2002. godine, za vreme koga sam radila na mestu referenta za kulturu. Sve je počelo u vreme praznika Sukot i toplog miholjskog leta 1998. Bilo je sazvano Veće na kome je trebalo predstaviti novog referenta u Opštini. Već je pao mrak nad ulicom Kralja Petra i bilo je jedno od onih toplih večeri za koje bi poželeli da večno traju. Otvorila sam vrata Opštine, dočekao me je nasmejan kao i uvek, Bata iz obezbeđenja. Obezbeđenje inače nije služilo da nekoga ne pusti u Opštinu, već isključivo radi osećaja sigurnosti. Događaji kojima ćemo dvadeset godina kasnije biti svedoci, su tada bili nezamislivi. Sve do prizemlja su mirisale teta Macine perece…