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VASA film series ... "In the Land of..."

A VASA film series by documentary based artists' from former Yugoslavia
Curated by Miha Colner

The following video series showcases works of artists and filmmakers from the territory of former Yugoslavia who work in the field of so called “artists' moving image”. The series is conceived as a subjective insight into the production of documentary based films, which for their unconventional character would not be screened in cinemas but rather showcased in a gallery environment. Ten selected artists predominantly focus on social, political and economic issues of the post-socialist states that have undergone immense structural changes in the past two decades, and critically analyze the general or particular situation in their immediate surroundings.

Solidarity Network (2013)
a film by Gildo Bavcevic,

© Gildo Bavcevic Courtesy of the artist
Time: 30:13
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Gildo Bavcevic (1979) is multimedia artist who lives and works in Split, Croatia. He works across different media such as video, film, sound, performance and multimedia installation. His practice is focused on direct social and political engagement. He has participated in group exhibitions and festivals at home and abroad. He graduated in 2013 with an MA in Film and Media Arts at UMAS (Art Academy of Split) where he currently works as a freelance associate.

About the curator Miha Colner:

Miha Colner (1978) is an art historian who works in different fields of contemporary art as an independent curator, writer, editor and lecturer. Specialized in photography, video and  other forms of media art he is engaged in number of local and international projects focusing on research, analysis and curatorial presentation of significant currents in recent art making. Since 2006 he has been working as a curator and program coordinator at Photon – Centre for Contemporary Photography (based in Ljubljana and Vienna), a non-profit organization focused on exploring and presenting contemporary photography and artists' moving image.  Since 2005 he has been contributing articles, interviews and essays to number of newspapers, magazines, radio programs, and specialized publications. Currently he is a lecturer of Modern and Contemporary Art (20th and 21st century) at the School of Arts, University of Nova Gorica (Slovenia / Italy). He lives and works in Ljubljana.  


Curatorial Statement:

The Solidarity Network documentary is a compilation of direct actions and protests against the repressive apparatus of transitional elites in the city (and surrounding areas) of Split, Croatia. Together with his colleagues and adherents Bavcevic has organised or participated in number of engaged artistic projects with the intention of pointing out the maladministration, abuse of power and stealth that affected majority of the local population in the past twenty five years. Over that period the power has been distributed among the likeminded conformists whose sole purpose was to transfer the public property into their private ownership. Hiding behind the nationalist and patriotic rhetoric of the new elite, a mixture of opportunistic businessmen and unscrupulous local government officials have intentionally ruined local industry in order to privatise it. The process is very well known and widespread in transitional societies. In order to buy these companies they have to lower their prices. First step is the take-over, than violation of workers’ rights, insolvency and eventual closure of (sometimes) successful companies that are deeply rooted in local area. Furthermore, the new businessmen would than often market or simply sell these properties to investors, without being concerned for the “collateral damage” – unemployed and impoverished population without any prospects. The idea of “common good” is thus replaced by a very short-term private profits of privileged individuals. 

To break the silence, hopelessness and powerlessness of ordinary people who were unprepared for such exploitation a new type of struggle and resistance towards the repressive activities of the power structures were organised by local artists and activists. Based on the idea of solidarity among citizens outside the institutional framework they created a platform for networking and exchange of information and ideas regarding the crucial issues of local economy and governing. Documenting and sharing information through alternative media became a strategy for mobilising wider public and making an appeal to the wider idea of social responsibility which have a potential to become a weapon of resistance.

© Miha Colner

















About Karen Brett

Brett’s intentions are not to describe or illustrate but to visually question our sense of existence and challenge our perceptions of morality which in turn controls our differing views and perspectives.

Karen received her MA in Photography from the London College of Communications. She is currently a Senior Lecturer in Photography, Institute of Photography at Falmouth University (UK).

Funded by The Arts Council, England.

Film sereis funded by VASA.

All films are archived for future viewing
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Screening Schedule:

February 2016:
In War and Revolution
Ana Bilankov

March 2016:
Eric's Story
Eurwen & Jim's Story
Lost for Words

April: 2016
Moving On 1
Moving On 2

May 2016:
Horses Warped On An Altering Canvas

June 2016

Spetember 2016