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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.

Blue Wall Red Door (2009)
a film by Alban Muja & Yll Citaku

© Alban Muja & Yll Citaku, 2009 Courtesy of the artist
Time: 32:45
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Alban Muja (1980) is a Kosovo based visual artist and filmmaker who graduated from the Faculty of Fine Art in Prishtina. His works cover a wide range of media including video installation, documentary, drawing, painting, photograph and performance, and have been exhibited extensively at local and international exhibitions, festivals and talks. He currently lives and works in Prishtina.

Yll Citaku (1979) is a Kosovo based film director who graduated from the Academy of Arts at the University of Prishtina, Kosovo. His short film Should I Stay or Should I Go (2001) won the prize for best film at DokuFest in Prizren. He directed several films such as Tatita (2005), Move with Me (2007), Blue Wall Red Door (2009), etc. He live and works in Prishtina.

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 documentary Blue Wall Red Door (2009) is a collaborative project of Alban Muja and Yll Citaku that provides an insight into the transitional society of Kosovo, the state that proclaimed and gained independence in 2008, ten years after the last amongst the bloody civil wars in former Yugoslavia. Their main interest is to investigate and showcase a very endemic phenomena of the capital city of Prishtina and its streets that were renamed for several times during the turbulent recent history. The artists explore the ways how its inhabitants navigate through often nameless or unmarked streets. They talk to different people, taxi drivers, postmen, firemen, and accidental passers-by, who reveal their relation with the city; most of them do not know their own home address and therefore they are compelled to find alternative ways when it comes to receiving postal items or calling a taxi. Instead of names of the streets the citizens of Prishtina use commonly known provisional names of important buildings, homes or popular places in order to get orientation.

So the filmmakers drive around with taxis and accompany post office workers in their struggle to find searched locations across the city. Even though people seem to be slightly cynical about the immense changes in the past decade they do not complain about the fact that very often their streets have no names. There is always a way around and they still find the places where they want to go. However, certain public services such as fire brigade, first aid or post seem to be struggling a lot more. Even the city official who claims that the streets of Prishtina are predominantly named and signposted admits that his home does not have an address because the entire district is under construction. One could see the film as a harsh criticism of the local government but also as the reflection of universal issues of post-socialist societies of the Europe's southeast. Moreover, with a great sense of humour it reveals everyday particularities of Kosovo and its chaotic capital.

© 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.

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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