Address by the President of the Republic of Srpska, Željka Cvijanović, at the opening ceremony of the XXIV Theater Fest “Petar Kočić” 2022

Dear organizers,

Dear citizens,

Dear guests,

The President of the Republic emphasized that efforts would be made to upgrade cooperation, so that Northern Macedonia would be even more a partner of Srpska in agricultural fairs.

First of all, I would like to express my contentment that Banja Luka and the Republic of Srpska, this year as well, through the organization of the 24th Theater Fest, as one of the most esteemed theater arts festivals in the region, have the opportunity to present themselves as a cultural center that is developing intensively, but also as the center of one of the most demanding and the most creative forms of human creativity.

The slogan under which this year’s Theater Fest is held – “Strength of a Nation”, especially in times when almost everything is tried to be viewed through a material prism, clearly indicates the importance of educational and cultural policy and the role of cultural creativity in creating the identity and spirit of a nation.

For us, the Theater Fest “Petar Kočić” is a symbol of the huge talent and creativity that our people are endowed with, but also an event that the Republic of Srpska can rightly be proud of.

It is an event that sends the most beautiful and positive messages about Banja Luka, the Republic of Srpska and our cultural workers to the region and beyond.

Of course, the task of institutions and us as the society is to strongly support the talent and creativity of our people, especially young people, as well as the work of our educational and cultural institutions.

It is important to create a framework in which talent and effort will not go unnoticed, but will be strongly supported, giving them the opportunity to develop unhindered and thus further enrich the cultural and any other sphere of our social life.

When we look back, we see that the Republic of Srpska, precisely through the symbiosis of the talent of our creators, on the one hand, and the development of the necessary systemic conditions for its manifestation, on the other, is increasingly recognizable on the regional map of the theater, music, film, drama and every other art.

Certainly, we are aware that in the effort to create the best possible conditions for the development of cultural creativity in the Republic of Srpska, there is still a lot of work ahead of us.

But we also know that only through intensive cooperation of all actors - institutions and cultural and educational workers, we can reach the desired goal.

I extend special gratitude to our host - the National Theater of the Republic of Srpska, as the largest and most eminent institution of theater culture in the Republic of Srpska, not only for organizing this, now traditional event, but also for the role of an “ambassador” of the Republic of Srpska, which this cultural institution responsibly and proudly performs for years.

I wish you, dear guests, artists, cultural workers, that your stay in Banja Luka remains in your fondest memories and that you leave the Republic of Srpska even wealthier spiritually and more inspired for your future achievements.

I wish the audience, which is eagerly waiting for you and which is going to watch everything you have prepared for us, pleasant moments and all the good emotions that art and culture can bring us.

Once again, many thanks to the National Theater of the Republic of Srpska and all cultural institutions and individuals who contributed to the organization of this year’s Theater Fest with their hard work and commitment.

With the wish that in the coming days we all enjoy the wealth of creativity of theater and, in general, cultural workers from the region, with great pleasure I declare the 24th Theater Fest “Petar Kocic” open!

All the best and thank you!