Keynote Speakers

Silvija Jestrović


Silvija Jestrović is Associate Professor / Reader of Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Warwick, UK. She has a BA degree in Dramaturgy from the University of Arts, Belgrade; she completed her MA and PhD at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto.

She has published widely on exilic and political theatre and performance, Russian and German historical avant-garde, performing cities, theatre theory and semiotics. She is the author of Performance, Space, Utopia: Cities of War, Cities of Exile (Palgrave Macmillan 2012), Theatre of Estrangement: Theory, Practice, Ideology (University of Toronto Press 2006), and the co-editor (with Yana Meerzon) of the collection  Performance, Exile, and ‘America’ (Palgrave 2009).

She has written a number of stage and radio plays including Noah’s Ark 707 and Not My Story.

With colleagues from Jawaharlal Nehru University (New Delhi) and the University of Warwick, she is leading on the British Academy funded research project Cultures of the Left: Manifestations and Performances.

Silvija is a member of Warwick University’s Politics and Performance Network and one of the co-editors of Politics and Performance Handbook to be published by the Oxford University Press. She is currently working on her new monograph entitled The Author Dies Hard.


Goran Stefanovski


Dramatist and playwright Goran Stefanovski was born in Macedonia, then in ex-Yugoslavia. He worked there as one of its most prominent theatre professionals until the late 90s, when he moved to England. Stefanovski has written extensively for the stage, TV and cinema. His plays and essays have had numerous productions, translations and publications. During the 90s his works became engaged with the social and political problems in Ex-Yugoslavia and their repercussion in Europe. He wrote scripts for a number of European productions, dealing with issues of migration, post-communist transition and identity. Among them was Hotel Europa (2000), a major project produced by Intercult, Stockholm.

Stefanovski has contributed papers to European conferences of IETM, Culture Action Europe, ResArtis, European Cultural Foundation and others.

Stefanovski is also a teacher of scriptwriting. In 1986 he founded the playwriting department at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Skopje where he was a full professor until 1998. In 1990 he spent six months as Outstanding Artist Fulbright Scholar at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA. Between 1998 and 2000 he was a visiting professor at the Dramatic Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, where his A Little Book of Traps, (a scriptwriting tool) was published in 2002. It has been translated and published in five languages, including Chinese.

In 2007 Stefanovski was awarded the Vilenica International Literary Prize, presented by an international jury to an author from Central Europe for outstanding achievement in the field of literary creativity and essay writing.  In 2009 he received the Golden Award for lifetime achievement in playwriting by the International Theatre Festival Sterijino Pozorje in Novi Sad, Serbia.

He is now a free-lance writer and a senior lecturer at the Canterbury Christ Church University in the UK.  He also teaches on the graduate programme of the Faculty of Dramatic art in Skopje, Macedonia.


James Thompson


James Thompson is Vice President for Social Responsibility and Professor of Applied and Social Theatre at the University of Manchester. He leads the University’s social responsibility goal which includes how the university orientates its research, teaching/learning, community engagement, and processes to making a positive social, environmental and cultural impact on society. He was founder director of the Theatre in Prisons and Probation (TiPP) Centre and the arts organisation In Place of War - a project developing and supporting arts programs in war and disaster zones, that started as a research initiative of the university. He has developed and run arts projects in Africa and South Asia (principally DR Congo and Sri Lanka) and has written widely on theatre applied to conflict, peacebuilding, reconciliation and social care. His most recent books are Performance Affects: Applied Theatre and the End of Effect (2009) and Humanitarian Performance: from Disaster Tragedies to Spectacles of War (2014).


Ana Vujanović


Ana Vujanović is a freelance cultural worker in the fields of contemporary performing arts and culture. She holds Ph.D. in Theatre Studies.

She is a member of the editorial collective of TkH [Walking Theory], a Belgrade-based theoretical-artistic platform, and editor-in-chief of the TkH Journal for Performing Arts Theory. A particular commitment of hers has been to empower independent scenes in Belgrade and former Yugoslavia. She has lectured at various universities and educational programs throughout Europe, was a visiting professor at the Performance Studies Dpt. of the University Hamburg, and teaches at HZT Berlin. Since 2016 she is an associate team member and mentor of fourth year students at SNDO – School for New Dance Development in Amsterdam. She participates in art projects in the fields of performance, theatre, dance, and video/film, as a dramaturge and co-author. She has published a number of articles in journals and collections and authored four books, most recently Public Sphere by Performance, with B. Cvejić (Berlin: b_books, 2012 / 2015). Currently she is working on an independent research project Performing the Self in the 21st Century, with B. Cvejic and M. Popivoda, and editing a book A Live Gathering: Performance and Politics, with L. A. Piazza.

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