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SKOMRAHI 2008 – 17th International Drama and Film Students’ Meeting in Skopje, Macedonia

Skopje. From International Theatre Day – 27th of March to the 3rd of April, the Macedonian capital Skopje was once more inhabited by more than 200 drama and film students from whole South Eastern Europe and beyond. This year’s meeting was held within the scope of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue, as announced by the European Parliament and Council.

The traditional SKOMRAHI students’ meeting was initiated by the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Skopje and already took place for the 17th time, once again with the financial support of the Austrian Development Cooperation. WUS Austria Graz Office holds responsible for the coordination of the Austrian project partners.

This year’s international students’ meeting was enriched by the participation of drama and film schools from outside of SEE, namely by schools from Cardiff, Whales; Hamburg, Germany and the Austrian schools – University of Music and Arts (KUG) Graz and Schauspielschule Krauss, Vienna.
More than 200 students and professors from 15 renowned film- and theatre schools from 9 countries in Southeast- and Central Europe again used the opportunity to discuss and discover newest trends in film and drama education and to exchange their knowledge and visions with each other, which leads to important new impulses for their

Intercultural Theatre Acting
One of this year’s absolute highlights was the fruit of a unique cooperation between Macedonian and Austrian drama students. Under the Macedonian director Aleksandar Popovski, a group of students from the University of Music and Dramatic Arts KUG Graz elaborated a play together with their colleagues from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts Skopje. The performance “Metamorphosis”, based on Ovidius, was staged in Macedonian and German and thus marks a milestone in intercultural theatre acting reflecting the realities of an intercultural and multilingual society. After a most successful premiere of the performance in September 2007 in Graz, the actors surprised the audience with an even more developed version for the opening of SKOMRAHI 2008.

For 2009, another intercultural theatre production, this time with a play written for the occasion, will be elaborated by students from Graz and Skopje.

Ndere Troupe – Uganda Calling
A very special experience for the participants of SKOMRAHI 2008 was the dance-, drum- and music-performance shown by the “Ndere Troupe” of Uganda.

Already for the second time, the Ndere troupe, a member of the Development Theatre Association in Uganda and long-time partner of the Austrian Development Cooperation’s activities in Uganda, sent a delegation to SKOMRAHI and thus greatly widened the geographical, cultural and creative focus of the meeting.

The Ndere Troupe also staged the opening performance of this year’s “Multikultiball” in Graz on the 30th of March, and are currently touring through Austria supported by many individuals and organisations with the biggest support coming from the VIDC in Vienna.

Promoting Cultural Cooperation
This year’s SKOMRAHI meeting showed a total of 15 theatre performances, more than 10 hours of film screenings, four workshops and one international scientific conference.
Through SKOMRAHI, which was held for the first time in 1988, more than 1200 students and professors of 25 universities came together in Skopje, notwithstanding the devastating conflicts in the region. More than 110.000 people came to see more than 100 theatre performances and 100 hours of film screenings. More than 40 lectures and workshops were held.

SKOMRAHI stands for the creation of a future on the Balkans, where differences will be applauded and the common heritage will be respected. This respect goes far beyond the artistic sphere, entering the deeply rooted cultures forming a rich and diverse region. The sustainable international cooperations initiated there create strong (inter-)cultural networks that develop further.

“The Skomrahi, those travelling medieval actors, used to link divided paths, the erossed rivers and brought breath from far away countries, they brought the message of artistic maestry through mockery, laughter, pain and anger. […] Once again, Skomrahi will build bridges among nations, societies, people…” (Program of Skomrahi 2008)

For more information on skomrahi 2008 please go to:


Opening Ceremony and opening performance “Metamorphosis” (Graz-Skopje)Christopher Opancar, Head of the Austrian Coordination Office in Macedonia and Dancho Cevreski, Dean of the Faculty of Dramatic Arts Skopje enjoying the vivid performance of Ndere TroupeFounder Stephen Rwangyezi and his Ndere TroupeFounder Stephen Rwangyezi and his Ndere TroupeFounder Stephen Rwangyezi and his Ndere TroupeScenes from “Metamorphosis”Scenes from “Metamorphosis”Scenes from “Metamorphosis”Opening Ceremony and opening performance “Metamorphosis” (Graz-Skopje)