Text topic: Forty Years of Kultura Journal
Text author: Милена Драгићевић Шешић
This study explores the leadership style of a theater director, producer and manager, Mira Trailović (1924 -1989). Her personal story is one of professional development in the theatrical world of former Yugoslavia, but it is also a story about the social and cultural development of Belgrade and Yugoslavia from 1956 to 1989 (the period of her most intensive professional activity), to which she contributed a great deal. A major question of this essay is to what extent did Trailović’s leadership capacities contribute to the development of new organizational forms in culture and new managerial methods (adaptable quality management) as well as to specific organizational cultures (Dragićević Šešić & Dragojević, 2005). In addition, there is consideration of the extent to which those leadership capacities contributed to the changing horizons of expectations in culture, as well as their impact on the opinion-makers and political leaders in the Socialist Yugoslavia (specifically expectations regarding the aesthetical and ethical values of theater performances). In this study we would like to investigate the actual power of the arts when they are “managed” by a person with courage, vision and determination. We would also like to elucidate what qualities (values, knowledge, capacities, and skills) have distinguished Trailović and made her successful at a time when leaders were predominantly men, drawn from the ranks of the Yugoslav Partisans and the communist movement. The methods of research presented here will comprise archival analyses, bibliographic research (different publications on the history of the institutions she founded), interviews with key collaborators (34 interviews made and published by Feliks Pašić) and also the personal experiences of the author of this text (an internship “diary” in a form of ethnographic research according to the then university curricular demands).