Biljana Srbljanović

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Biljana Srbljanović

Biljana Srbljanović (Serbian pronunciation: [bǐʎana sr̩bʎǎːnoʋitɕ], Serbian Cyrillic: Биљана Србљановић, born 15 October 1970 in Stockholm, Sweden, now claiming Belgrade, Serbia[1]) is a Serbian playwright and politician.

She has written seven plays for the theater and one TV screenplay for Otvorena vrata TV series that ran on Radio Television of Serbia during the mid-1990s. Her plays have been staged in some 50 countries. Srbljanović is also a part-time lecturer at the Faculty of the Dramatic Arts in Belgrade. On 1 December 1999 she became the first foreign writer to receive the Ernst Toller prize. She is the recipient of various theatre awards, including the Slobodan Selenić Award, the Osvajanje Slobode Award, the Belgrade City Award, The Statuette of Joakim Vujić and the Sterija Award.


Srbljanović obtained her dramaturgy degree in 1995 at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade. The first play she wrote, Beogradska trilogija (The Belgrade Trilogy), was first performed in 1997 in Belgrade, Serbia at the Yugoslav Drama Theater. After its huge success, the play was produced in many other countries, including Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, England, and the Scandinavian countries.

In April 1998 her second play, Porodične priče (Family Stories), was written in Belgrade and staged at Atelje 212. It won the Best New Play Award at the theatre festival in Novi Sad, Serbia and was later staged in Germany, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, United States, Switzerland, the Netherlands, France and elsewhere.

In December 1999, Srbljanović completed The Fall, which premiered in July 2000 at the City Theater Festival in Budva, Montenegro. Due to lack of public interest, the play was quickly erased from the program of Belgrade's theaters.

The premiere of Supermarket, her fourth play, took place in May 2001 at the Festival of Vienna, Austria. It is still staged in many European countries.

In late 2003, Srbljanović completed her fifth play, America, Part Two. This became Serbia's most popular play in 2003 and 2004.

Srbljanović's next play, Skakavci (Locusts), won the New Theatrical Realities Award, one of Europe's most prominent theatre awards. In the 2005-06 season, German theater magazine Theater Heute proclaimed Srbljanović the best foreign playwright of the season.[2]

Her latest play is Barbelo.

Since 2007 she has been a member of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), with an additional role as a member of the party's political council.[3] Srbljanović was LDP's candidate for mayor of Belgrade in the Serbian local elections, 2008. She has distanced herself from the party afterwards.


Biljana Srbljanović is an outspoken figure in Serbian public life. She is known for speaking up on various political topics, as well as for railing against what she views to be "the irresponsibility of the political elite in Serbia", "Serbian violent nationalism" and "the culture of violence and exclusion in Serbian daily life".[citation needed]

From May 2006 until February 2009, she maintained her own blog on the site[4] where among other things she frequently criticized various individuals, mostly Serbian politicians and other public figures who displayed political opinions she opposes such as Nebojša Krstić, adviser to the Serbian president Boris Tadić.

Since 2010 Srbljanović is active on Twitter where she continued commenting on Serbian politics. She got into several heated exchanges with the Democratic Party (DS) spokeswoman Jelena Trivan.[5][6]


In March 2001, Srbljanović was sued for libel by film director Emir Kusturica as a result of calling him "an immoral Milošević's profiteer" in her op-ed piece in the Vreme magazine.[7] She also claimed in the same piece that Kusturica's 1995 film Underground was mostly financed by the Serbian state-owned TV (RTS), which was financially and editorially controlled by Milošević's regime at the time, accusing the director of "directly collaborating with the regime via his friend Milorad Vučelić".[8] In December 2003, the Belgrade municipal court ruled in Kusturica's favour as her claims couldn't stand up to closer scrutiny after Kusturica's attorney Branislav Tapušković provided a complete documentation of Underground producers and financiers thus proving that funding mostly came from the European production companies while parts of the movie were only shot in Serbian studios.[9]

In July 2007 Srbljanović went after basketball player Milan Gurović on her blog, referring to him as "that tattooed idiot", for having a tattoo of World War II Chetnik leader Draža Mihailović on his arm.[10]

Additionally, Srbljanović aroused controversy with her 18 February 2012 tweet referring to the news item that former Serbian interior minister Dragan Jočić is to get extra police security following the arrest of Luka Bojović. Srbljanović's tweet — "'Jočić getting extra security detail' why? he ain't gonna run" — mocked the fact Jočić is unable to walk since his 2008 car accident.[11]

Srbljanovic set off a torrent of negative sentiment from the general public in Serbia, after making an awkward joke during the catastrophic May 2014 floods on Twitter. The tweet in Serbian read "Excuse me for not being compassionate, but you have 10 more minutes to swim to the gallery for the promotion of my book "Tomato". A flurry of tweets, facebook posts and news updates were quick to condemn the post, and her twitter account @leyakeller became unavailable not long after [12]

Troubles with law[edit]

She was accused of possession of illegal substances, and detained on December 1, 2011 when buying illegal drugs from street dealers. According to police, she bought drugs twice paying 60 euros.[13] The case was settled in court, and she agreed to pay 200.000 dinars to the charity funds, and testifying against the drug dealer who sold her the drugs, in a deal to avoid prison sentence.[14]


In 2006 she married the former French ambassador in Serbia Gabriel Keller.


  1. ^ Biljana Srbljanović, Aleksandar Popović, Aleksandar Vučić, Dragan Đilas, Žarko Obradović (2008-04-20). Utisak nedelje (Television production). Belgrade, Serbia: B92. Archived from the original on 4 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  2. ^ B92 - News - Society - Serbian playwright wins prestigious award
  3. ^ B92 - Vesti - Lečić napustio predsedništvo LDP-a - Internet, Radio i TV stanica; najnovije vesti iz Srbije
  4. ^ Biljana's
  5. ^ Okršaj Srbljanović-Trivan na Tviteru;Blic, 23 August 2011
  6. ^ Svađa Biljane Srbljanović i Jelene Trivan na Tviteru;Blic, 20 September 2011
  7. ^ Kusturica encore montré du doigt;, 27 September 2001
  8. ^ Umesto pomirenja - tužba;Glas javnosti, 14 September 2001
  9. ^ Srbljanović kriva za klevetu;Večernje novosti, 28 December 2003
  10. ^ Biljana Srbljanovic blog, 21 July 2007
  11. ^ Biljana Srbljanović se sprda s invalidima!;Kurir, 25 February 2012
  12. ^ Kurir Daily, 19 May 2014
  13. ^ "French envoy's wife accused of possession of cocaine". News.Az. 13 March 2012. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  14. ^ Dileru Biljane Srbljanović 3,5 godine zatvora, Večernje novosti (Serbian)