Post-Yugoslavs: Exile is (not) just another line in one’s biography

Museum of Contemporary Art Skopje

18. – 31. December 2020

The Museum of Contemporary Art – Skopje from December 18 to 31 presents the latest online film programme entitled “Post-Yugoslavs: Exile is (not) just another line in one’s biography.”

The program cycle builds on last year’s special program of the MoCA film and video “Yugoslav Experiment(s)” which was dedicated to the Yugoslav film avant-garde from the 60s to the 80s. Although we cannot talk about chronology or continuity in film and audiovisual art in the region, the authors presented in this program share sensibilities that are determined by the poetics of the space and the common, as well as the uninterrupted presence of Yugoslavia as a historical, political and cultural reference. Conceptually, the post-Yugoslavs programme does not aspire to a programmatic meta-narrative, on the contrary – it builds on the idea (of Walter Benjamin) that authors in transition create images of temporal clashes with the intention to expose the instruments and goals of the ideology of transition. In our context, these film images are also spaces of different experiences of history, echoes of deleted or cancelled histories, memories, experiences – of the political, of the collective. Finally, these are also spaces through which we create or at least have the opportunity to create affirmative collectivities that have the potential to grow from the progressive common heritage.

The films that will open the program – “Journal 63 – The Train of Shadows” by Nika Autor and “You Have the Night” by Ivan Salatic – will be available worldwide from December 18 to 31, 2020. The films “Letter to Dad” by Srdan Keca and “Homelands” by Jelena Maksimovic will be available from December 22, and “White Christmas” by Josip Lukic,”On the Water” by Goran Devic and “Oroslan” by Matjaz Ivansin will be available from 25 to 31 December.

“Post-Yugoslavs: Exile is (not) just another line in one’s biography” is part of the film and video program of MoCA-Skopje, which is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Northern Macedonia.

The program is curated by Kumjana Novakova, while the visual identity and graphic design is by Iliana Petrusevska.

All films are subtitled in English and Macedonian.

All films will be screened at the Vimeo channel of the MoCA film and video program (vimeo.com/msufilm).

Programme

18-31 December 2020

vimeo.com/msufilm

Newsreel 63 – The Train of Shadows

Nika Autor

Slovenia, 2017, 38’

(available worldwide)

Newsreel 63 follows the newsreel-related practices and tries to position and understand a particular historical narrative—a shred of video taken on the once famous Belgrade–Ljubljana train-line, where refugees travel not in couchettes but between the train’s wheels. Newsreel 63 drifts into a visual historical investigation of railways and explores both the social changes and the changes in the way such images were visualized and constructed; and the resulting impressions that such train-travel conveyed. The essayistic and associative elements of Newsreel 63 link this historical narrative to our pursuit of happiness in the current social constellation, where our longing for happiness is all too often tied to the idea of travelling somewhere—or the need to secure means for mere basic survival. In her conception of the newsreel, Nika Autor refers to traditional forms of the genre and employs various layers of content, connecting them through essayistic narration and visual elements.

What makes Newsreel 63 specific is the way it straddles the line between the traditional informative, committed anti-newsreel form and a more textually-driven and experimental cinema, guiding the viewers through the story while leaving them to fill in the blanks with their own thoughts and reflections.

Nika Autor represented Slovenia with Newsreel 63 at the 2017 Venice Biennale (Curated by Andreja Hribernik; Commissioner: Zdenka Badovinac).

You Have the Night

Ivan Salatić

Montenegro, Serbia, Qatar, 2018, 82’

(available worldwide)

After leaving the ship on which she works, Sanja finds herself stranded, with nowhere to go but home. The shipyard has filed for bankruptcy, leaving many workers out of work. Boats covered with tarpaulin are scattered around the landscape, set aside for better days. A storm comes. One life is lost. Luka is waiting for the night in the woods. The night when everything could change.

You Have the Night premiered at Venice Film Festival – Critics’ Week, and has been shown worldwide.

22-31 December 2020

vimeo.com/msufilm

A Letter to Dad

Srdan Keca

Serbia, United Kingdom, 2011, 48’

(available worldwide)

The filmmaker, trying to make sense of the way his father chose to die, opens several boxes, all that is left behind. The forgotten photos, letters and home videos take the film back to 1970s Yugoslavia, when his parents became lovers. But the journey through the years, to family members, lost friends and places, reveals the lingering horrors of the recent Balkan wars still tearing people and families apart.

Homelands

Jelena Maksimović

Serbia, 2020, 63’

(available former Yugoslavia)

A young woman discovers her grandmother’s mountain village, from which she fled during the Greek Civil War. There, she faces ruins and oblivion. The summer brings her back to the village, along with a feeling of imminent change.

25-31 December 2020

vimeo.com/msufilm

White Christmas

Josip Lukić

Croatia, 2020, 27’

(available former Yugoslavia)

A city park – an ideal place to relax.

On the Water

Goran Dević

Croatia, 2018, 79’

(available former Yugoslavia)

A portrait of a former industrial city through a river that passes through its centre. The river is today a place of relaxation and leisure. When we meet people who appear on the water or riverside, the social conflicts of transition arise in all directions. Sometimes river reveals the remains of past that left traces in the water. What will remain behind us?

Oroslan

Matjaž Ivanišin

Slovenia, Czech Republic, 2019, 72’

(available former Yugoslavia)

When a man known as Oroslan dies, the news quickly spreads through a little village, causing grief and emotion. Later on, actions become words and words become stories. In order to overcome the sorrow and restore the natural flow of life, the villagers start sharing their memories about Oroslan, recreating his image through their tales.