Thursday, 14 December 2017 | News today: 14

Ljubisa Georgievski: Macedonia is psychological, mental and physical part of my existence

We met the Macedonian politician, the country’s ambassador in Belgrade, former head of the Parliament, where he probably feels most pleasant – the buffet in the theater “Center”. Surrounded by his friends and theater workers, Ljubisa Georgievski was telling us with smile about his bad and good moment through years. With his relaxed style, hat on his head and sunglasses, he began to tell us about his fascination of the legendary ship owner Aristotle Onassis:

– He was famous with Jacqueline Onassis, world most famous widow and former first lady of the United States, whom he married. I’m fascinated by his life story. He both an island in Greece as a present for Jacqueline. No one else had done that. He was a magnificent guy.

Georgievski is currently preparing a new play. Describing it as a “long story”.

It is about true story for an event that occurred in Elsinore, about Hamlet. There is an  assumption that what Shakespeare wrote is not true, that a lot  from it is changed from the court offices. It is a forensic, archaeological analysis of who paid whom and who killed whom. There are three versions of the story – one from the king, one from the queen, one from Ophelia. In their diaries the entire drama is reconstructed, and of course, those diaries are never found, but I found them, here in my head.It would be like a world premiere. It is interesting that it will be the 165th play, and I will celebrate. We need to show something – he said.

The director, who believes that insanity is a blessing in the theater, pointed out that he is probably the director with  most banned plays.

-I made a book about some of my memories, of my ten banned performances by Tito. Ten! Probably  there is no man in the world with 10 banned plays. Stalin would ban you once, next time you are dead. You don’t have a chance for record – Macedonian politician is laughing.

How do you feel about Macedonia-as inspiration, as tragedy, as a story with a happy ending?

Georgievski: My fatherland is psychological, mental and physical part of my existence.

 You were one of the founders of MAAK. You know well the politic situation throughout the Macedonian independence. What was the attitude of the forces on independence in the circles where you moved during that period, before 1991?

Georgievski: In that time, the same “Titoists”  were still very strong and well organized, although they didn’t had political instinct for the importance of the historical moment, which, for their tyrannical/ slander / resourceful political skill was not important. They loved their fatherland in a way that could be called in Spanish “la malquerida”, meaning evil desired!? The public was already four decades indoctrinate with the cult of Tito to such an extent that during the screening of my film “country in flames” when Guli (Shishkov) says to his wife that he hands over his children to Macedonia, everybody laughed at the term Macedonia. Everybody except Tito, who was in the loge with me. He did not laughed. he was full of anger, and I said goodbye to my daughter …

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How many people really believed that Macedonia can become an independent State, how many of the most, realized too late that the potential for an independent state is much bigger than the minds of communist machines who led the country?

Georgievski: These are false impressions. Therefor, all parliament meetings should be  reviewed , where each new recognition of Macedonia was heartily welcomed by VMRO-DPMNE, while the left wing was like a zombie, shocked.

Were you afraid that the powerful JNA and Serbian regime can do what they tried to do in Slovenia?

Georgievski: A lot, because in  JNA I had a thick file. And they tried… Milosevic then decided to tear apart Bosnia, then Macedonia … And yet, then we saw how  in Skopje, the JNA  military police with trained dogs  was looking for our children, once again, to shed blood for foreign interests …

Did you made a mistake when you entered the politics?

Georgievski: When a nation gains its state after centuries of slavery, one who does not enter the politics is making a mistake. The “Titovists” that for decades wallowed in the politics mire, declared the politics as a mud only and only to maintain their tyrannical status. But there’s nothing sadder / funnier than a tyrant without commitment: he become crazy because he’s not in charge, paroxysmaly he is looking for a master (once slandered for the Turks), and then asked to slander at anyone, and if you have to, you will slander  the Macedonian non tyrannical government , just to earn their slender bread as well as their caviar … Anyway, once I got into the theater when I was 17 (next year I will celebrate 55 years anniversary creative work), in the same time I got into politics because politically neutral theater is a brothel …

The period when you were President of the Parliament was one of the most intense, at least in the media, for the national representative. Could you explain the fact that Parliament now (if you exclude the event from 24 December) is not a true house of democracy but only bureaucratic machinery of law-making, and thus does not produce new energy and spirit?

Georgievski: Can any sport or political  match,  be creative, exciting and appealing if the competition is not consisted of worthy partners for each other? Unfortunately, today the opposition is in shock from the election strokes in the recent years. It is like a zombie, and the democratic  tango, is requiring two sides. I’m afraid that if they continue like this they will destroy the Macedonian democracy, in a different way from that in which they wished to destroy it. Once they destroyed the democracy when they made ​election fraud in 1994, with one-party parliament by the sample of Tito’s parliament system, they liked it and now they want to repeat it!

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What is more theatrical, theater or politics, how much honesty can help in the politics, and how much in the theater?

Georgievski: Either, in the theater as well as in the politics you should play. Let me be more clear: a play, not a toy as the philistines think. And honesty is a fundamental condition of success in both games. Honesty is not an aspirin so that it can help. It does not help: it decides for the success or for the failure of each politic,  sooner or later (look for the examples of  Stalin, Lenin, Hitler, Tito, Milosevic ….).

How hard  it is to be a politician in Macedonia, a country that has no national icon that has been accepted as absolutely positive person. In country where, for example, you can hear notes associated with loyalty, devotion and patriotism even for Gotse Delchev and Mihajlo Apostoloski?

Georgievski: On this subject could and should be written a book. All can do in such an interview is to express disagreement with the idea to compare Georgi Delchev with Mihajlo Apostoloski!? Because  the first one was killed in Macedonia, and the second one survived for Yugoslavia!

In the public constantly collides two streams, left swing and right wing, patriotic one and treacherous one. Would Macedonia be a better place if this division didn’t existed?

Georgievski: We already saw that movie. In Yugoslavia, Macedonia was without divisions among the left and the right wing! Was it the introduction of totalitarianism suggested in Macedonia?! If the opposition understand you like this in these days, you will be seriously consider as their leader!? It is absurd because always and everywhere there existed two sides: heaven and earth, God and the devil, black and white, day and night…Regime without opposition,  is just a sign that the opposition is in jail.

The process of lustration revealed a lot of documents on the behavior of the Macedonian intellectuals. Among them, according to the archives of the security services, you were slandered by Bozin Pavlovski.

Georgievski: The famous French Minister of Police-Fushe introduce full espionage as a security method. He ordered, just like that, to all people who lived on the odd numbers on each street to slander those who lived on the even numbers!? And vice verse! Oh, why God we didn’t had such a brilliant police officer! I think that God wanted to give us one, but then he changed his mind in the name of better customs and decent taste.

You were part of the record “Bedrock”. Did you assumed then, that you are “interesting security subject” and how do you explain now, to your heirs that you have been subject for analysis in the services, and all that in independent Macedonian state, as a dream in which the rights of individuals guaranteed by the Constitution and common sense?

Georgievski: I didn’t assumed, i knew. Even to those who tapped us (who were earning their bread in that way) I was sending messages like- how are you guys, are you boring today, do you like warm burek etc.. Because, as  the first man slandered and betrayed by the Communists – Marx says , the  history repeats.

So-called antiquization is one of the issues that are the point of conflict between various groups in society. You made ​​a play about Alexander the Great. Did you revealed in your play your political stance on the importance of this Macedonian historic period, for the Macedonians current identity, or there was only pure artistic approach to the world’s largest military leader?

Georgievski: My play is the first attempt to write a play about this historical figure, which I am proud of. Because everybody praise him and nobody wrote a play about him, because this play requires great stuff! I mean, I wrote and directed a play about Alexander , not a formal academy for him!? Before Belgrade premiere of “Alexander” i said the same thing in front of fifty journalists and I got long lasting applause! Then I added modestly that the subtitle of the play says that I dedicated the play  to my son, named Aleksandar! Nota bene this play was performed in Macedonia, in Belgrade and Kiev, and everywhere was received with respectability. And no one dared to described it as a kitsch, nor pathetic, as they were speaking for our famous actor Risto Shishkov. And it is not a result to some great difference between the movie and the play, but to the spirit of the times then and now.

You were ambassador in two very close and complicated countries, where ethnicity and religious feelings of the Macedonians were always a trouble. However, you managed to acclimatize yourself and to calm down the situation. How did you manage, with rationality, arguments or with your personal charisma, which is respected by the biggest opponents of “Macedonianism”?

Georgievski: If i was glowing at some point , it was because  I was burning.

How would you describe Macedonia if you exclude yourself from the fact that in many lines you are its part , if you observed it from aside, as a stranger from a distant land.

Georgievski: I do not know what I would give to see it from the distance you are talking about. Although I live in an environment filled with European intellectuals, my mother is Macedonia and I can not describe my mother. It is beyond my powers.

During the elections in 1994 you were an opponent to the former President Kiro Gligorov. That was the first time when the public  throughout your duels with him, somehow realized that the time of the personality cult has gone, and that in a democracy, if there are good arguments, everyone can win  over the unchallenged officials as the President. At the end you lost in votes, but won in terms of public debate and rhetoric, and if I’m not wrong, one of the duels was delayed. 

Georgievski:
 Allow me here to pay tribute to your memory of those days of civil fraud. Then I understood the deepest meaning of the myth as it was: Macedonians educated in the spirit of the  myth for King Marko and the Black Arab, they voted for the Black Arab!? In that time Kiro (only good words for dead), the fact is that he avoided the final duel on television. It clearly means that he was the Black Arab, and after this he can die a hundred more times if he wants!

From the present point, according to you, who was Kiro Gligorov, great Macedonian, patriot or just a political opponent, who found himself where the history has brought him?

Georgievski: Yes. Only his boss, Tito, was greater Macedonian than  him.

As one of the biggest Macedonian intellectuals, certainly you had close contact with the first Prime Minister Nikola Kljusev. Was it possible for Macedonia, from the start to capture any other way, paved with stability?

Georgievski: I personally have a deep respect for the first Prime Minister – Nikola Kljusev, but, unfortunately, the commands were conducted from the head of  SDSM – Kiro Gligorov. They were weeping with crocodile tears for every award that meant stabilization for Macedonia, and sang for all the sudden blows against Macedonia!s

In socialist times you were one of the greatest directors of theater and film projects, well known to Josip Broz – Tito, for who, some of the sources today claim that he wasn’t Yugoslav but German, Russian or Polish. In your opinion, what is hi role in the development of the Macedonian nation.

Georgievski: With Tito I met only once, at the screening of “‘country in flames” into the”Arena “in Pula. Cheering for Shishkov, but when he understood  the message of the film, eventually went frozen forgetting its famous diplomatic manners, without saying goodbye to the author of the film, whose guest he was. However, historically, he was extremely pragmatic leader, which in the case of Macedonia has achieved more than it was possible. To do that, he had to make a purge among Macedonian patriots, and in Macedonia there are always victims and twice more perpetrators  of purges.

According to you, Tito was the greatest grand-master of falsehoods under this sky. How possible it is,  in general, politicians always to tell the truth?

Georgievski: A man who tells half-truths, lies.

Do you still have  political ambitions or you will focus on the public education through your columns, books, maybe a biography?

Georgievski: It is impertinent for a 76 years old man to talk about his future plans, but however, I have many of them: DUM SPIRO SPERO.

How do you see Macedonia for 20 years from now?

Georgievski: After two thousand years, equally, Macedonia will be in the north of Greece, in the east of Albania, south of Serbia and in the west of Bulgaria. I hope that its enemies will eventually realize this. However, for 20 years from now I see Macedonia as prosperous, democratic, European country …

By: Biljana Zafirova & Goran Momirovski
Photography: Aleksandar Ivanovski