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Archive 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.

In the Land of Bears
a film by Nika Autor

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Screened February-March 2016

“In 2010 and 2011, the huge Slovenian construction sector, which employed more than 70,000 foreign workers, collapsed, leaving behind it debts, halted construction activities and exploited and unpaid workers. Most employed workers came from the territory of former Yugoslavia, especially Bosnia and Herzegovina. While the government silently watched the exploited, underpaid, unpaid and humiliated workers, the accumulation of wealth on one side led to the accumulation of indignation and resistance on the side of the exploited and those struggling against exploitation.

In War and Revolution
a film by Ana Bilankov

Bilankov video still

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Screened March-April 2016

Ana Bilankov’s experimental-documentary video In War and Revolution (2011) investigates the personal and collective amnesia that occurred during political changes of the early 1990s in Croatia. Bilankov employs a structure of parallel editing and an interview with the author’s 97-year-old grandmother, who tries to remember her youth as a teacher during the anti-fascist movement during the World War II by looking at a photograph from the book The School in War and Revolution.

Blue Wall Red Door (2009)
A film by Alban Muja and Yll Citaku

Muja & Citaku

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Screened April-May 2016

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.

Solidarity Network (2013)
a film by Gildo Bavcevic


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Screened June-July 2016

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.

Mechanical Dream
a film by Iva Kontic


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Screened September-October 2016

The ten-minute video which is shown in this series gives insight into crude reality of political and economic transition in Serbia following the case study of Crvena Zastava [red flag] car factory in Kragujevac, Serbia. The factory used to be one of the driving forces of former socialist industry in Yugoslavia which produced domestic brand of cars affordable to (mostly) every individual. Zastava became one of the most significant Yugoslav trademarks that is still deeply rooted in the collective memory of the people since almost every family would own one in the 1970s and 1980s.

The Factory (2013)
a film by Sanela Jahic

Sancla Jahic

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Screened November-December 2016

In the past ten years the artistic practice of Sanela Jahic has been through ongoing but constantly upgrading phases that are mostly dedicated to the relationship between human and machine. Among other things she has also conveyed into the close dissection of the background of (contemporary) industrial production in order to find profound answers to questions of the ethics of the labour process and the value of labour. Nowadays, beside the immense number of unemployed, ever more people who are fully employed (often for more than eight hours per day or more than one third of their time available) but they, however, earn so little that they still live on the margins of society.

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.