What is Film? Letters 1 & Letters 2

Museum of Contemporary Art, Skopje

22. August 2020, 21,00

Ana Pavlović

Denmark / 2018 / 67’, 28′

The film screening is organized in collaboration with the Festival for Feminist Culture FIRSTBORN GIRL.

Curated by: Kumjana Novakova

(Curatorial statement)

On All Letters

“To write at all is to say … all. An act of ardor. That is why she hesitates, while she goes on writing letters in her head. But a letter in the head is a letter, too.”

Susan Sontag. “The Letter Scene” 

I left home…

I could no longer be who I taught I am.

I left the house. It was no longer the house I grew up in.

I left my family.

We were different from the family we were.

I started searching.

City after city after city.

Places. New places mostly. Sometimes old places, with new people. Always new people.

New homes.

New scents.

House after house after house.

A yellow wallpaper in stripes, so dirty that the stripes are hardly visible anymore. They rather work as breaks in the rhythm. It became the yellow saloon place.

Screaming pink bedroom with a bed hardly fitting in the room, pushed to the only wall with a window looking over the entry patio connecting the stairs with the other three apartments on the floor. Luckily, we were going to bed the last, and tightly sleeping over them leaving to work as if this will make our bodies invisible. Even though we both knew they think of us as the lazy migrants because of whom they wake up early, they work all day and they go to bed early. So we can have the lazy life in their promised pink bedroom in their promised open windows apartment complex in their promised land.

It became the Northern place.

Ana Pavlovic’ Letters 1 and Letters 2 wrote the letters I never sent from any of my homes, my walls, my bedrooms. Finally it was not about becoming.

It was about being.

It is always about being.

It is not easy to share presence. It never is, but especially not these days.

We will try to do it at the Museum of Contemporary Art – Skopje. For the Firstborn Girl Festival of Feminist Culture & Action.

Kumjana Novakova

Film synopsis & bio of the filmmaker:

Ana Pavlović , Letters 1 & Letters 2, Denmark / 2018 / 67’, 28

Original language: Serbian

Editor: Vladimir Tomić

Cinematographer: Ana Pavlović

Producer: Ana Pavlović

Contact: Ana Pavlović

anapavlovic.com

A personal diary constructed from the accounts of women migrants and the memories of their early days in Denmark, Letters 1 and Letters 2 central narrative are a series of letters and photographs exchanged between Ana Pavlovic in Copenhagen and her mother in Belgrade. By simultaneously showing other migrant women’s personal letters and photographs, Ana Pavlovic creates a memory collage of women in similar circumstances.

In Letters 1 Ana reads the letters different women have sent to their families back home from Denmark, while she cuts up the photographs with a pair of scissors and through a form of collage creates new contexts for the photos and narratives.

Letters sent to the women from their families are read aloud in Letters 2, as we look at family photos women have received.

The correspondences reveal intimate thoughts and reflections of women who are confronted with difficult, and at times controversial, decisions. The letter and photo correspondence speak of au-pair work, undeclared labor, and marital migration for better or worse. The total experience becomes a kind of dialogue between the two films where the separation is both physical and mental. We see how both sides develop mechanisms and strategies for handling the dream and reality of life in the West.

Biography

Ana Pavlovic is an artist working with a variety of media like installations, sound installations and film.

She was born in Belgrade, Serbia in 1977, but has lived in Denmark since 1999.

Pavlovic graduated from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen.