“Creative mentorship” affirms mentoring as a tool of personal and professional development, strengthens the capacities of the cultural sector and provides support to prospective professionals interested in developing, networking and sharing knowledge and experience. We want to build, gather and support a community of motivated and socially responsible individuals that will contribute to the development of a society based on creativity, culture, knowledge and mutual cooperation.



We present you the interview that Dušan Kalejski, participant of the 4thgeneration of the “Creative Mentorship” programme and drama pedagogue in the youth organisation CEKOM, gave to the Lookerweekly portal.

Drama pedagogue in the youth organisation CEKOM, awarded actor and musician, Dušan Kalejski is one of the perspective professionals in the field of culture, who participates in the current “Creative Mentorship” programme. For a period of one year, his mentor will be a theater director Nikola Zavišić, who will try to help him to make the right steps in his future work. Kalejski describes their mentoring relationship as relaxed, and therefore, productive.

During the “Creative Mentorship” programme, the mentee should have 10 monthly meetings with their mentor, and discuss the challenges that he/she, in this case Dušan, faces. Apart from that, this programme gathers all the participant (25 mentoring pairs) with aim to create strong network of the future leaders in the field of culture. Regarding the “Creative Mentorship” programme, we will find out how do the youth, culture, education and existence look from Dušan’s point of view.

The “Creative Mentorship” programme is focused on young and perspective professionals in the field of culture. How much can, a creative individual like you, contribute, on his own, to his community?

Dušan: I am engaged in culture in arts only in my free time. I earn for living working in a restaurant. It is a hard battle, with lots of ups and downs. I really think that we can change things through art. I don’t know how big those changes could be, but if we don’t do something, the shackles will tighten more and more. For that reason, I work a lot with young people, and I emphasize the process of thinking about values and principles that lead us. Performances, presentations, plays… are the result of that process, just like the determined attitude and deliberation of the group are, as well.

You are drama pedagogue in the Center for creative growing up and multicultural cooperation (CEKOM), in Zrenjanin. How important is, for your hometown, or any other town and its young inhabitans, to have this kind of center?

Dušan: It is of a great importance that informal education, with its methods and contents, exists in those centers. The formal education system is bad and non-innovative, so young people should be given the possibility to spend their free time in a creative environment. The example of CEKOM shows us how young people, by using drama techniques and methods, shape very clearly their attitudes and, through artistic activism, impose certain questions to the wider community. Essentially, they are lacking to actively participate in learning process, they are bored with passive repeating of what they have been told.

In May, at the 9thFestival of youth theater of Vojvodina that was held in Kula, you were awarded as the best actor in the play “The legend about Man-Potato”. Tell us something about your role.

Dušan: It is a walk-on part. I play a wise man who waits for a 1000 years to meet the Potato-Man, to tell him a legend and die. His life is written on a piece of paper and he already knows his destiny. So, you wait for the time to pass by and to die. The wise man is a symbol, but his role in the play is much more than that. The play is selected as the best at the Festival, and we were awarded also for the best direction, stage movement and original music.

What was your motivation to apply for the 4thgeneration of the “Creative Mentorship” programme?

Dušan: My motivation was to make progress in my work, to learn something new, meet people and stay in contact with some of them. Finally, to have fun, in a creative sense. I think that the knowledge should be shared, so, one of my motives was to share my potentials with other participants.

Having in mind that the programme exists since 2012, do you know somebody who has already participated in the programme?

Dušan: I know Vladimir Đurić, sociologist and programme director of the Cultural center in Zrenjanin, who was a mentor in one of the previous generations.

Have you already met your mentor, theater director and lighting designer, Nikola Zavišić?

Dušan: We met a lot of times in these few months. We manage to do good work. I would say that our theatre aesthetic, as well as approach in the creative work, is pretty similar. Therefore, our discussions bring new experiences and inspire me. We are both very relaxed when it comes to the mentoring relationship, we don’t work under pressure, and I consider it a big quality.
Videli smo se dosta puta u ovih nekoliko meseci. Dobro smo se snašli. Ide nam, što bi se reklo.

It often happens that diligent and talented people do several jobs in order to survive. Besides acting, you express your creativity through music. Is there any news about ska band “Neke face” (“Some faces”)? You are band member, composer and lyrics writer.

Dušan: The band exists for 12 years, and we play whenever we can. We had some periods when we took a break, but currently we are active and we performed several times in Vojvodina in 2018. We will play on 7thJuly in the open scene of the Cultural center in Novi Sad at WATERFEST, so whoever might be interested, do come by.

Which song would you choose for the end of this interview?

Dušan: At the end, here is one song that I like very much and that we composed for the play “Korak” (“Step”).
Look around you, you’ll see yourself standing alone
Others cherish you, wiggle your finger, so I could know.
When that feeling wakes up and tries to make you crazy
You try, but in vain, you disappear but everybody still can see you.

Interview: Tijana Janković Jevrić for LookerWeekly