The performance is part of the project ‘The Power of Remembrance’ and deals with the post-traumatic memories of family members, especially women, who are missing persons from their immediate environment. Their disappearances are tragic events for the individuals and families left in the dark, holding on to memories, hoping for a resolution. During the process of resolution, which requires time, the memory darkens and is erased, together with historical truths. The deep wounds of missing persons continue to undermine the relations between groups and peoples, sometimes for decades after such a disappearance- preventing society from healing. [2013]

Art, and specifically the theater, is able to record and revive these efforts of remembrance with the living word and the presence of the performers. The performance ‘the Presence of Absence‘ deals with such topics as: How to make a place for remembrance? What is it that can record absence? How not to repeat the horror that took place, but to create something that allows life to be carried on to a healthier state? How, when those who are responsible for the tragic situation are still unpunished?

By creating the performance and music installations, our aim is to empower women and their families who have gone through the trauma of losing family members, to underline their role in overcoming the trauma, as well as to offer theater as a tool for transforming difficult memories and open dialogue in the process of dealing with the past and building peace in the region.

The authentic testimonies provided by: Samra Alić, Olgica Božanić, Ema Čekić, Cica Janković, Dragica Majstorović, Slavica Marinković, Beška Avdić, Ismeta Dardagan, Fadila Grahić, Hahifa Hasanović, Enisa Hasanović, Mirsada Lupić, Mevludin Lupić, Šifa Musić, Ajka Selimović, Mevla Selimović, Suvada Selimović and Zarfa Suljić.

Excerpts from: Circle of Love Over Death: Testimonies of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo by Matilde Mellibovsky; I Remember Julia: Voices of the Disappeared by Eric Stener Carlson; A Single Numberless Death by Nora Strejilević; The Art of Truth-Telling about Authoritarian Rule edited by Ksenija Bilbija, Jo Ellen Fair, Cynthia E. Milton and Leigh A. Payn; On the Heights of Despair by Emil Cioran; Nemesis by Richard Muller; Wisdom from the Earth by Anna Voigt and Nevill Drury; also original texts by the artists of DAH Theater.

Direction and Dramaturgy: Dijana Milošević
Performers: Sanja Krsmanović Tasić and Maja Vujović
Music: Jugoslav Hadžić
Violin and violin compositions: Nemanja Ajdačić
Recorded voices: Sanja Krsmanović Tasić, Ivana Milenović Popović, Nina Noren, Maja Vujović
Scenography: Neša Paripović
Costumes: DAH Theater and Marija Marković
Lights: Milomir Dimitrijević
Assistant Director: Mladen Lukešević
Partner and consultant: Klaudija Bernardi
Translation: Sanja Krsmanović Tasić
Costume-making: Rajka Sokić
Organization and Public Relations: Ivana Milenović Popović and Nataša Novaković

DAH Theater would like to thank:
to Goran Bubalo, Jaya Hartlein, Kenan Karavdić, Snežana Ljubevska, Nataša Novaković, Suvada Selimović, Milena Todorović, Staša Zajović and Women in Black, Danka Sekulović and Aleksandra Stojanović.

DAH Theater’s special thanks go to:
Lina Vušković and Claudia Bernardi for their support, and to Ivana Milenović Popović and Nina Norén for “lending” us their voices. Also to all those who have given us their trust and shared with us their testimonies.