Tribute to Jadranka Cigelj and the rest of the women survivors of the concentration camp in Omarska, BiH.
Credit: Maximilian Klamm
In this experimental video, I aim to expose my everyday pressure and fear that occupies my mind which derives from subjective experience; I grew up with constant TV media channels conveying horrifying pictures of ex-Yugoslav war in the 1990s when images of atrocities were present in daily routine. One of the most significant events at that time was genocide in Srebrenica, and afterwards, the victims spoke about systematic rape on (mostly) women and brutal physical violence. Those images never disappeared completely from my mind, but only intrigued me to raise a never-ending question, “What kind of a person would do such a thing?” On a regular basis, we meet people and encounter with them socially. Although people seem casual just by smiling at you, perhaps buying a grocery at the store to feed their families, I ask myself if these people would be capable of doing a crime if they would be pushed into an extreme environment of violence where ethics suddenly fail. “Am I safe and to whom should I really trust?”
This desire for clarity, which must precisely define where Europe ends, is the construction of symbolic geography, which separates it from Europeans from “others” and “Europeanized Westerners.” Implicitly in these words is the proposal that the next iron curtain will divide Europe and again isolate it against the Other one.
The aim was to highlight the consequences of nationalism and armed conflicts on war victims of rape. Shame and possible rejection of families and society have become part of everyday life and the theme of a cultural taboo. The end of the Bosnian war brought a veil of silence over this socially sensitive issue. The dominant discourse of Bosnian society leaves women, their stories and the consequences of war crimes as part of the private spheres of suffering.
Performance is followed by an audio storyline.
(Supported and produced by KulturKontakt and Austrian Chancellery)
Credit: Vitya Glushchenko
It’s a video performance conducted as a monologue confession of a woman in early ’30s and obstacles she is dealing with. Content is touching problematics such as gender, identity, migration, and ethnicity. Biographical thoughts are exposed to the audience only with the audio recording while the performer in the video is slightly visible. It gives a notion of a classical portray while the mind is the main source of happening. Artist is addressing an audience with world’s issues that are still current and in meanwhile trying to escape from inner conflicts and is asking herself if she – as an individual did enough for society and if it is even possible to do so regarding personal confusion. Performance is not only personal; it is sharing common threads of nowadays world and is appealing public to identify with the performer and vice versa.
ZAHIDA IS A FEMINIST
The red thread of the project is the question of feminism in the Balkans or how it is shaped through the occidental dominant white feminism. The issue I deal with is if we can talk about emancipatory women’s practices in the Balkans, without the implications of the western category of ideological and cultural practices. If I simplify, I give voice to women who are historically completely neglected from this point of view and presented through a single prism, the prism of the patriarchy. Since the importance of their lives is pushed to the margins of anonymity and without value, I decided to do the opposite. The fact that the Balkans is described by the West and its intellectuals as patriarchal, traditional, rural, backward, mystical and scary is just one side of the story that has completely taken hold of our perception.
BEHIND THE VEIL
In the discourses of geopolitics, the appearance of the veil is an emblem of many things, one of which is the rejection of the West. The veil received its re-attention, ironically because of the West – as a specific discourse of colonial domination, which first defined the importance of the veil, and thus set the conditions for its appearance as a symbol of resistance. The question I asked who can decide in what way the individual is covering his body and which parts of the body will cover it relates to the historical moment of 1950 when Đemal Bjedić introduced the policy of banning the veil “Feređa”.
Credits: Alja Ferjan, Daniel Fischer.
ALL ABOUT THE VEIL
Art students have been asked questions and their body language was observed. The main purpose of the idea was to film an experimental interview about the object so-called veil. They had to wear it in order to tell how it feels like. My personal aim of this art project was to dismantle the semantics of the veil itself and give it a new meaning. I have chosen art students because they are a specific social group that is well known for “looking outside of the box” principle. It turned out that no matter how hot topic veil on our lips is, in nowadays, we somehow tend to be oblivious toward “the Other”.
Credits: Andrej Uduč
The artist in the video performance stands in a blank space in front of the wall, to which, across the projection, the text in English is written: “I am a Muslim I am a Muslim I am a Muslim …”. The statement is repeated until it fills the entire wall. The artist stands still, has a loosely wrapped scarf around her head, and smokes a cigarette. After a while, she takes her scarf off her head and starts to say “I am a Muslim” out loud. She repeats the statement with various affirmative intonations. When the text is fully written, the artist leaves the scene. With the gesture of the projected text on her body, the artist publicly proclaims her origin, which can also be accepted as an identity in the local environment as a negative mark. By making confident statements, she accepts this identity, affirms it, “crosses the border,” thereby achieves empowerment.
The purpose of video installation is to show both sides of the ritual of clitoral circumcision in the Western and Eastern world. There is a typical anthropocentric attitude toward foreign sociocultural manifestations in our society. When cutting the clitoris on the Southern hemisphere we speak of a primitive process of female genital mutilation. The “developed” West talks about the medicalization of sexuality, medical intervention in the form of new technologies. Sexuality is a construct of beauty ideals, dictating the aesthetics of cosmetic surgery. On both sides, there is a presence of male domination, to which female members are subordinated. Superior countries, which are considered the peak of civilization, are drawing ideas from the primitive world. But unlike them, do so with technologically advanced equipment. Technological progress, however, does not also mean the mental development of mankind.
Being a woman and dealing with this social responsibility is always a questionable matter. In this piece, I am trying to depict through which stages I am going through to figure out what I want regarding our already constructed social roles. In one hand there is a sexual drive that manipulates my decisions, on the other hand, there is a mother’s instinct that tries to achieve its goals but no matter what, nature is always unpredictable.