Our fellow citizen Mira Banjac, who has left a special mark, not only on the cultural scene of Novi Sad, but on Yugoslav film culture, opened her home for us.
The reason was the action of delivering thank-you gifts for Novi Sad artists and cultural workers in retirement, among which, we found Mira as well.
With this action, we wanted to say ‘thank you’ for contribution to the cultural scene of Novi Sad, for patience and determination she showed together with her fellow senior citizens, who spent the longest period in isolation, and she shared with us her opinion regarding pandemic and impression about her city being the European Capital of Culture, its cultural identity…
For the beginning, we would like to know – how are you? Hod did you manage to hold out the quarantine?
Very well. Somehow, I have prepared for it, I haven’t had to shoulder the burden of it. I tried to make a programme in my home. To do some things I had no time for, tidy my library, refrigerator, house… When you make an order and balance, everything is fine.
Did you miss something? We know you enjoy going to the market…
No, I didn’t miss anything, since I have wonderful friends and neighbours. These are our proverbial citizens of Vojvodina who behave the same when the situation is normal, we help each other, send cookies to each other. Local community called and brought the package. Therefore, I didn’t lack anything, I didn’t complain about not going to the market because I had everything. I handled the situation very well. Both my son and I.
To which extent and whether will this pandemic change our behaviour in terms of responsibility towards nature and our environment?
I think that people will get closer more. That children and the elderly will look each other in the eyes. Realise a bit that life is not just a street, cafés… There are some deeper, wonderful feelings we have to nurture. I think that many things will change after this pandemic, when it comes to relationships among people, ethics, sociology and that, unfortunately, we needed such situation to face ourselves. Now, when we are freed from measures, I think that everything is in our head. We don’t have to wait for someone to command, now it is up to each individual to define the attitude towards life. I say, the only thing we need is positive thoughts.
Your city, Novi Sad, prepares for the title of the European Capital of Culture, how do you perceive it? Novi Sad is said to be the capital of culture, does it remain the same today?
Yes, maybe in a smaller extent, because, of course, everything changes. Many important people who contributed to the city, such as Tišma, Antić, etc., passed away, not to mention Miletić and others who created the amazing culture. I think that there are still people who are important for this culture and that the culture of Novi Sad is rich and still has been nurtured. I can still feel it amongst our children, who have that sense, from the most basic one – to say hello, to be attentive, all of which comprises culture. It starts from school, of course. There were no major scandals in Novi Sad, murders, not many situations that tarnished that cultural identity. Novi Sad is my homeland. I came back to Novi Sad as soon as I had retired in Belgrade, I came back to my friends, to the place where my mother was buried. Everything that means to me, the theatre to which I dedicated 23 years of my life, maybe the most important period of my life, is here.
What would Novi Sad preserve in its cultural identity, if we look back on decades ago, when you started your career until now?
Rhythm, the rhythm is completely different. Novi Sad has always had an gentleman’s rhythm. The young create a different impression about the city, which is good, it is actually up to young people, they will definitely introduce a new dimension of culture and politeness. I seriously believe that they will.
How do you perceive the action of delivery of gifts to Novi Sad artists?
This is nice, this shows a dimension of culture this city has.
You can see the interview with Mira on our YouTube page.