Mirza Mušija – Kakanj: ”Every profession can have a deeper sense if we recognise our potentials”
Mirza Mušija is 37 years old. He was born in Zenica, and he spent his youth and went to the primary and secondary school in Kakanj. After that, he moved to Sarajevo, enrolled at the Faculty of Civil Engineering, studied for two years, and then went to the army. After the army, he went back to his initial dream – to enrol at the Academy of Performing Arts, because he dreamed about becoming an actor and knew that he was made for that calling. He graduated from the Academy in 2008.
Before I graduated from the Academy, I established the association FACE, with two of my colleagues, Nela Đanisijević and Lana Stanišić. After a while, Mirela Trepanić, a director that also graduated from the Academy in Sarajevo joined our team as a member and external collaborator. We did 6-7 plays, and two of them won awards at international festivals.
After that, we all chose a path. I am currently a coordinator for culture and education in Kakanj at the Cultural and Sports Centre Kakanj. This institution is in a way a torch-bearer, a place where young people gather with their ideas, projects, an institution that generates certain cultural processes, follows sports events, follows and supports persons that need additional education. We also have a museum that gathers museum material and preserves our rich historical heritage and identity.
Kakanj is an interesting area. Kakanj was perceived by many as a mining town, a small town with the centre being tied to the mine. The exploitation of the mine ran parallel with the construction of a thermal power plant, an open cut mine, and later on also a cement factory. This is a good and rich part, which is a great material benefit in today’s capitalist society. On the other hand, there are also negative sides in terms of pollution. But this is also being worked on a lot.
On the other hand, the historical heritage of the town has been neglected, the fact that we have Bobovac, Kraljeva Sutjeska, historical monuments that are a testimony even today. In this respect, the town and its mine have always been a magnet for various persons from different parts of Yugoslavia. And not just Yugoslavia, but also various parts of the world. There are Austrians, Hungarians, Slovenians here, they all left a mark on Kakanj. I grew up in such an environment and this openness and diversity gave my character a certain new dimension, a better dimension, to have some sort of tolerance and width and understanding for others and diversity.
I believe that Kakanj is a positive example in every respect, including also the cultural aspect. And I am glad to be part of the process in which a public institution is investing millions in infrastructure, hundreds of thousands in programmes, in employment for young people. Young experts that can be useful and contribute to our institution.
I am glad that we have developed the theatre as an activity to such an extent that we are starting to engage professionally in production, to already have four plays from professional production, that BNP is a strategic partner that we cooperate with. That we are standing side by side, of course, as a younger, smaller, but nevertheless equal partner. The fact that we have earned respect in a setting much wider than the local circles. And everything else, in order not to go into too many details about the institution itself. The results and activities demonstrate the work of our institution and its principles of work. I am part of the story and I am glad about it.
And you are working as an actor in addition to all this?
Of course. I have never neglected or left may primary profession. I am still active. I am cooperating as an external collaborator with many theatre professionals. Among others, I frequently also cooperate with a professor and theatre director, a man who was the director of almost every theatre in Sarajevo, Gradimir Gojer. We recently worked together, and this play is now finished and it is being shown. It is called ”Dobri ljudi u vremenu zla” and is based on a book of the author Svetlana Broz. It is a story that is told in a very emotional and honest way, and then Gojer made some sort of a documentary theatre from this book. The premier of the documentary theatre took place in Sarajevo a year ago. And we are now travelling to present the play. We were in Croatia, we were recently in Macedonia, at a festival in Strumica, we were in Sarajevo, Kakanj, Tuzla and Mostar. The play will be staged in Goražde in November. It is continuing to live its life.
In addition to this, there is the project I initiated with the theatre group FACE, so that we took a break in order to decide on the path to take. Nela is in Belgium, Lana stayed at Face TV as a producer and editor, and I came to Kakanj – and I continued the whole story, but with other persons, with my university colleague, Nusmir Muharemović. He established recently Studio Teatar. I got in there with the play ”Državni lopov”. There are some other plays, Irfan Kasumović, Adem Smajlhodžić, then colleagues from Serbia, Zenica, etc., Danijel, Zlatan, Mirza, who is a writer.
We decided not to leave things to chance. You see, Nusmir is a member of BNP in Zenica. He is very engaged and he is acting. But there is still the need to tell stories that we would like to tell, motives that motivate us, ideas that we would like to share with others, they simply cannot be implemented if one is only part of an ensemble and cannot do what one would really want to do and what is fulfilling.
In this respect, I continued the work with Studio Theatre. The plan implies that we create plays, travel, act, exchange experiences, meet new people, expand, get together with other people.
Every profession can in its own way have a deeper meaning if the person that practices it does enough on his/her self-development to understand what potentials he/she was given by God. And, on the other hand, to see what can be done with such potentials. Whether he/she will develop them to the fullest or leave them to chance. So, if you have a garden, but you do not till it, even the most beautiful garden will turn into weed and be inaccessible. And inaccessibility is this arrogance in people. We open ourselves – we open our hearts, souls, emotions, ideas. And we are very vulnerable in this respect. But we are also courageous enough to accept this vulnerability. And to accept pain as part of the process of maturity, because it cannot be any different.
So, that is the process in a theatre. That is the process in a company. That is the process in a family. That is the process in a marriage. That is the process in maintaining family relationships. That is the process in maintaining friendships. Where persons accept, or do not accept certain forms of behaviour. One form is this modern, imposed, selfish, self-centred, superficial, instantaneous one. And another is the deep one, gritty, with universal values, with short-term planning, with persistence in taking steps in order for such plans and goals to come true, but over a long term.
That is a dignified life worth living. That is a life that every person should live. And that is ultimately life, because life is fair, every person was given a chance to reach that dimension. Of course, in proportion to his or her qualities. Because we are not all the same, and someone can earn a PhD degree, and someone cannot. But someone can be an excellent craftsman that makes great shoes, or someone who makes tasty dishes. It is all noteworthy. But what I am trying to say is that everyone has certain potentials that they should develop.
That is my mission and what I would like to achieve in my life. This is what I persist in. I also hope, may God will, that I will be always surrounded by people who have a positive attitude, elevated goals, people who appreciate true values when it comes to character, moral, acting. We get into conflict in relation to various things – values, goals, opinions, manner of acting. But in the end, we are all free to choose. We should not impose our opinions on others. It is up to us to offer, to open up; if a person accepts it, it is fine. A person that does not accept it, should stay in their zone of comfort.