Okänt/känt, osynligt/synligt

Unknown/known, Invisible/visible

A seminar with Sanja Horvatinčić, Behzad Khosravi Noori and Jovana Nedeljković
Wednesday 17 October, 6–8pm

This seminar on the un/known and in/visibility is an inquiry into the history of the Non-Aligned movement and the role of Yugoslavia in the establishment of the movement in 60s, within the framework of the cold war. The seminar looks at the “big history” from the perspective of micro-historical narratives in order to explore the intersection between micro and macro through what Edoardo Grendi termed the “exceptional normal.”

What are the imaginable alternative futures for the past? What is the method of investigation or even interrogation could be used to destabilize the given narrative of the past? The image of the past perhaps demands reinvention to confirm the possibility to think about social transformation, emancipation and solidarity.

By looking at the archive of the Museum of Yugoslavia and at post WWII monuments in Yugoslavia, the seminar emphasises the correlation between the local and the global in art production, as well as in the notion of nation state.

The seminar and the exhibition Professor Balthazar and a monument to the unknown citizen is part of Behzad Khosravi Noori’s PhD with the working title Four or five Ir/relevant stories, art in hyperpolitics at Konstfack/KTH.

Sanja Horvatinčić
Memories of Collective Struggle, Monuments for Social Use 

In the 1980s, it was estimated that there were more than 30,000 monuments of various types and sizes, which had been dedicated to the Peoples’ Liberation Struggle, revolution and workers’ movement, dispersed all over the territory of former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The invisible network they formed and their social agency are as impressive as the outstanding aesthetic features of some of the renowned examples that today circulate the virtual sphere thus intriguing a global audience.

It is often overlooked that the innovative ways of designing and thinking about the monuments were substantially correlated with the need to actively manage authentic locations and objects and engage local communities. This included the development of new strategies of transferring the specific experience of the antifascist and class struggle, and remembering the new models of social organizing that had been developed at the liberated Partisan territories (such as hospitals or military and refugee camps).

The aim of this lecture is to give an overview of the wide array of memorial forms and practices in former Yugoslavia, as well as to address the topic of the relation of these sculptural forms and architectural structures to contemporary self-managed socialist society and individual memories.

Sanja Horvatinčić is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Institute of Art History in Zagreb. She received her Ph.D. degree in 2017 from the University of Zadar, with the thesis “Memorials from Socialist Era in Croatia – Typology Model”. She conducts comprehensive research on memorial sculpture and architecture in Croatia, with the focus on their relation to cultural production and memory politics in socialist Yugoslavia. She is the author of a number of scientific papers and book chapters, researcher at two projects financed by the Croatian Science Foundation (ARTNET, Cro_sculpture). She is a member of the Advisory Board and the author in the catalogue of the exhibition project “Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948–1980” (MoMA, 2018).

Jovana Nedeljković
Reclaiming the Non-Alignment

The Museum of Yugoslavia in Belgrade is preserving in its collection innumerable gifts Josip Broz Tito, Yugoslavia’s lifelong president, received while in power. Considering Yugoslavia’s prominent role in the Non-Aligned movement, as well as the fact that foreign policy was a focal point of interest of the president himself, numerous gifts testify to the important global position Yugoslavia had during the Cold war era.

By navigating through this vast collection and focusing on some of the exhibits the presentation will try to underline some of the key moments and concepts of the Non-alignment in the Yugoslav, as well as global context. At the same time it will try to suggest a curatorial strategy for presenting this phenomena, considered an integral part of the Yugoslav heritage, in the upcoming permanent display. Finally, it will bring forth various ways the present Serbian government is attempting to deploy the political and diplomatic capital of this heritage.

Jovana Nedeljković is a historian and a curator based in Belgrade. She graduated at the History department of the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade and obtaind MА in Curating Art, including Management and Law at the Stockholm University. Since 2012 she is working on digitization and intrerpretation of photo archive of Museum of Yugoslavia, where she also collaborated on various exhibitions and international projects. She is currently also working on the new permanent display of the Museum, focusing on the topics of Antifascism and Non-Alignment.