MisplacedWomen?

Routine by Mia Bradić

In Bus-stations, Performances, Split, Workshops on May 16, 2021 at 9:05 pm

Mia Bradić performed a very playful improvisation entitled: Routine, starting from the Score #1: Unpacking a Bag of Your Own on the bus stop next to Saint Francis Church in Split, on April 7, 2021, in the frame of Misplaced Women? Workshop led by Tanja Ostojić.

[Translation to Croatian is below]

Routine

Contribution by Mia Bradić

Routine by Mia Bradić, Misplaced Women? Workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

When I was preparing for the second day of the workshop, I packed with the intention of collecting things that I interacted with in the past few days. The idea for the performance to occur on the bus stop came naturally to me, because I spend a lot of my daily time waiting for, inside, or chasing buses due to the circular migration. 

The performance itself was over 15 minutes long improvisation. I was only certain of the objects packed in my backpack and that I wanted to use the circus discipline of contortion as a guide for my movement. As a young circus artist, I cannot get professional circus education in Croatia and will have to leave my country (but also friends and family, culture, language…) to pursue my dreams. However, I am already living through this kind of scenario on a micro level. The town of some 25 000 citizens where I live, Solin, prides itself of being the town with the most children per capita in Croatia, but at the same time, it has no content for young people, including the non-existence of a high school. That’s why I have to travel every day, spending hours in traffic, because my education, training and pretty much all activities are happening in Split. 

Routine by Mia Bradić, Misplaced Women? Workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

In fact, my everyday backpack looks similar to the one I used in the performance, overflowing with stuff. It was a nice experience to connect my daily routine to a bigger picture of packing and leaving my current life behind, which I will be experiencing in just a few months, and it felt healing to use this performance to express my disappointment with the lack of resources for young people in Croatia and the general under-appreciation of (circus) artists in our society, which both affect my reality and, among other things, my decision to leave. 

I was not surprised by the lack of interest from the people passing next to the bus stop, mostly because performances in public spaces are very rare in Split, and people are not used to this format and the role they could potentially play in it. I think for the participants and organisers of the workshop who were also the biggest audience for my performance, the most interesting interaction was the one of a probably homeless man stopping for a moment, almost as if I’m in his spot or as if he is trying to see if he knows me. At the end of the performance, the lady who got out of the bus on this stop advised me to get my picnic blanket of the floor, so it doesn’t get dirty, but she said it in a very caring way, which made me happy. 

Routine by Mia Bradić, Misplaced Women? Workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

I have also just now, three weeks later, while watching the video of my performance, noticed a really interesting link between advertisements placed in the bus stop, which are focused on commercially exploiting women’s desire to look good (often only in the ways that are considered socially acceptable), and me putting clothes on myself in unanticipated ways, as well as putting on mascara in those clothes.

I’ve previously participated in workshops that required the participants to perform in the public space, but this one felt different because of the focus being put on the misplacement of women, and the fact that I was performing in what is practically my hometown — in a space that is an important part of my everyday life. I was also very much inspired by all the performances from other participants and the dialogue we had about the position of women in our society and the role of misplacement has in shaping our identities. 

I was honoured to perform earlier that day alongside Alejandra while Tanja was talking about her own experiences in which she managed to escape rape and sexual assault. As a feminist and an ambassador of an organisation which focuses on eradicating violence against women and girls, I regularly hear stories like hers, often ending even worse for the survivor. Yet, before this performance, I haven’t explored it artistically. While performing, I was carefully listening to Tanja’s words, I tried to imagine myself in her place and I let the emotions caused by this lead my movement. The space where we performed was also very symbolic, because these kind of stories are, in most cases, distorted in the media and the survivor, if she chooses to step forward, often doesn’t have any control of the narrative. In this piece, I felt Tanja was having full control over her story and in that sense, it felt like the story wasn’t just hers, but of all women who experienced rape and sexual assault, and who could, through Tanja, claim their power back.

About the contributor:

My name is Mia Bradić and I’m an 18-year-old circus artist from Croatia. For the past 11 years, I have been learning aerial skills (hoop, silks and trapeze) in Cirkus Kolektiv (Split), where I now teach aerial silks to children and adults. Contortion is also a circus skill I have been practicing for the past three years in Room100 (Split). I’m very passionate about creating positive change in the world, even if it’s small-scale. That’s why I became a Fridays for Future member working on climate justice, WAVE (Women Against Violence Europe) Youth Ambassador, and I have created a project “Leave a mark”, which connects the topics of gender equality and art through workshops for young teenage girls. 

Text written in English and translated to Croatian by Mia Bradić

Edited and First Published by Tanja Ostojić on the Misplaced Women? Project Blog, May 2021.

Photos: Tanja Ostojić 

Video recording & editing: Andrea Resner

This performance has been developed and realised in the frame of Misplaced Women? Workshop led by Tanja Ostojić, in Split, April 6-8, 2021. 

Organised by Culture Hub Croatia in the frame of Voids2021 

Production: Misplaced Women? Project, ongoing since 2009

Routine by Mia Bradić, Misplaced Women? Workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

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Please see other posts from Split and this workshop:

Misplaced Latina? by Alejandra Robles Sosa

Feminism Forgives by Ines Borovac 

Misplaced Women? Misplaced Organization? by Culture Hub Croatia

#NismoSamoUkras by Lissette Nicole Josseau

Routine by Mia Bradić, Misplaced Women? Workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

[HR PRIJEVOD]

Mia Bradić (miacircus)

7. 4. 2021., Split, autobusna stanica pokraj Crkve svetog Frane; trajanje: 15 minuta

Kad sam se pripremala za dan pred sobom, spakirala sam se s namjerom da skupljam stvari s kojima sam bila u doticaju proteklih dana. Ideja da se performans odvije na autobusnoj stanici došla mi je prirodno, jer mnogo svog svakodnevnog vremena provodim u čekanju, unutar ili u potjeri za autobusima. Sama izvedba bila je gotovo u potpunosti improvizirana, bila sam samo sigurna za predmete spakirane u ruksak i da želim koristiti cirkusku disciplinu kontorcionizma kao vodič u kretanju. Kao mlada cirkuska umjetnica, u Hrvatskoj ne mogu steći profesionalno cirkusko obrazovanje i morat ću napustiti svoju zemlju (ali i prijatelje i obitelj, kulturu, jezik…) kako bih ostvarila svoje snove. Međutim, već proživljavam sličan scenarij na mikro razini. Grad s oko 25 000 građana u kojem živim, Solin, ponosi se time što je grad s najviše djece po glavi stanovnika u Hrvatskoj, ali u isto vrijeme nema sadržaja za mlade, uključujući nepostojanje srednjih škola. Zbog toga moram putovati svaki dan, provodeći sate u prometu, jer se moje obrazovanje, osposobljavanje i gotovo sve aktivnosti događaju u Splitu. Zapravo, moj svakodnevni ruksak izgleda slično onom koji sam koristila u izvedbi, natrpan stvarima. Bilo je lijepo iskustvo povezati svoju svakodnevicu s većom slikom pakiranja i ostavljanja trenutnog života iza sebe, koji ću proživjeti za samo nekoliko mjeseci, i bilo mi je ljekovito koristiti ovu izvedbu kako bih izrazila svoje razočaranje nedostatkom resursa za mlade u Hrvatskoj i općenito podcijenjenost (cirkuskih) umjetnika u našem društvu, što utječe na moju stvarnost i, između ostalog, na moju odluku da odem.

Prije sam sudjelovala u radionicama koje su zahtijevale da sudionici nastupaju u javnom prostoru, ali tijekom ove sam se osjećala drugačije zbog fokusa koji je stavljen na Misplaced – zagubljene žene i činjenice da sam praktički nastupala u svom rodnom gradu – u prostoru koji je važan dio moje svakodnevice. Također, nadahnule su me  performansi drugih sudionica, kao i dijalog koji smo vodile, o položaju žena u našem društvu i ulozi te “misplaced” pozicije u oblikovanju našeg identiteta.

Routine by Mia Bradić, Misplaced Women? Workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

Bila mi je čast zajedno s Tanjom i Alejandrom biti dio performansa u kojem Tanja govori o svojim iskustvima u kojima je uspjela izbjeći silovanja i seksualno nasilje. Kao feministkinja i ambasadorica organizacije s ciljem zaustavljanja nasilja nad ženama i djevojčicama, redovno čujem priče kao što je njena, a mnoge od njih često završe još gore za žrtvu. Usprkos tome, do sada ovu temu nisam intenzivnije umjetnički istraživala. Tijekom izvedbe pozorno sam slušala Tanjine riječi, pokušala sam zamisliti sebe na njenom mjestu i voditi se pokretom emocija koje su se budile u meni. Mjesto performansa je također bilo vrlo simbolično jer ovakve priče, u većini slučajeva, budu iskrivljene u medijima i žrtva koja odluči istupiti često nema kontrolu nad svojom pričom. Osjećala sam da Tanja u ovoj izvedbi ima potpunu kontrolu nad svojom pričom I, na taj način, priča nije samo njena, već je priča svih žena koje su preživjele silovanje i seksualno nasilje i koje su kroz Tanju mogle preuzeti svoju moć natrag.

Routine by Mia Bradić, Misplaced Women? Workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

Zovem se Mia Bradić i 18godišnja sam cirkuska umjetnica iz Hrvatske. Posljednjih 11 godina učim zračne vještine (obruč, svila i trapez) u Cirkusu Kolektivu (Split), gdje sada podučavam ples na svili djeci i odraslima. Kontorcionizam je također cirkuska vještina kojom se bavim posljednje tri godine u Room100 (Split). Jako sam strastvena u stvaranju pozitivnih promjena u svijetu, čak i ako su male. Zbog toga sam postala članicom Fridays for Future-a koji radi na klimatskoj pravdi, ambasadorica sam mladih mreže WAVE (Women Against Violence Europe) i osmislila sam projekt „oSTAVi trag“ koji povezuje teme rodne ravnopravnosti i umjetnosti kroz radionice za mlade djevojke.

Misplaced Latina? by Alejandra Robles Sosa

In Performances, Port, Split, Stories on May 14, 2021 at 8:08 pm

Alejandra Robles Sosa performed over 15 minutes long Misplaced Latina? based on Score #1: Unpacking a Bag of Your Own, at the Split Ferry Port, on April 7, 2021, in the frame of Misplaced Women? Workshop led by Tanja Ostojić

[Translation to Croatian is below]

Misplaced Latina?

Contribution by Alejandra Robles Sosa

“Misplaced Latina?” by Alejandra Robles Sosa, Misplaced Women? Workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

Who am I?

I am Alejandra Robles Sosa, with two last names, because I was born and raised in Mexico. My mother tongue is Spanish and I grew up at the periphery of a three million inhabitant city, Puebla City. I was backpacking across Latin America, South East Asia, and Europe for three years before I enrolled in 2018 at the Arts Academy in Split, Croatia, where I have been living ever since. My art practice is strongly influenced by critical theories and a decolonial approach. I explore the collective memory of the migration of the human race represented in art, textile patterns, food, and plants.

What were my expectations from the Misplaced Women? workshop?

I was interested in exploring the idea of how my “female” body as a brown Latina is read in different contexts while crossing borders. My body is not read in the same way in a South American country, in the USA or the Balkans. Every place has its expectations from me. Our bodies and our presence are also read according to the objects we carry with us while crossing borders. My body is read differently if I am alone with a hiking backpack or with a fancy suitcase. People perceive things differently when I am on a long trip with bags on my bicycle. Those objects influenced the way I feel, if I am vulnerable or not, that includes my body itself, my clothes, and the things in my bag.

The Misplaced Latina? performance

My emotions: I didn’t cry for a while. The pandemic situation brought to me, as too many people around the world, a desolation feeling. I have been constantly suppressing my feelings in order to stay mentally stable. While carefully choosing my objects, the day before the performance and at the beginning of it, I couldn’t stop crying. It is as if for the last four years I have packed my sorrow and tears in small containers. So, I brought those containers with me.

“Misplaced Latina?” by Alejandra Robles Sosa, Misplaced Women? Workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Neli Ružić

My sorrow containers:

Food. I brought along food ingredients that came to Europe after the colonisation of the Americas and nowadays are part of the Croatian daily diet, like homemade tomato sauce, potato and banana. Those represent the sorrow of my colonised and de-indigenised ancestors.

“Misplaced Latina?” by Alejandra Robles Sosa, Misplaced Women? Workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Neli Ružić

Religion. I included the Holy Rosary I bought for my grandmother on my first visit to Vatican. She died a year before I could give it to her. I am not a religious person, but I love my grandma and I know how important this used to be for her when she was alive. The Catholic Church also has a dark colonial past in the Americas.

Embroidery. Historically, embroidery hasn’t been taken seriously as a medium because it belongs to the sphere of women’s work. And women’s issues are usually related to unpractical data. I decided to embroider the existential themes that inhabited my mind for the last few weeks: Annual living cost for three different categories of people (that are considered physical persons) from third world countries required to obtain Croatian visa. Those are my personal options, since I have a remote job outside Croatia: 

  • Studentica / student: 53,368 HRK, 
  • Digital nomad: 217,718 HRK, 
  • Kao supruga / as a wife: 44,742 HRK. 

*Those are amounts needed to be present on ones bank account (at the moment of application) required by the Croatian immigration office. They refer to the sum of an average monthly rent, insurance, and in case of a student, fee per semester.

“Misplaced Latina?” by Alejandra Robles Sosa, Misplaced Women? Workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

Final reflections

Regarding my initial expectations, I ended up reflecting upon how our sorrow and tears are read when our body is seen as a female foreigner. What is a woman supposed to cry about? How do I express my feelings, and how people validate our feelings according to our gender, race, and social status? 

Each of the performances realised in the frame of Misplaced Women? workshop was full of those feelings and reflections that as women we experience in our day-to-day life. Sexual harassment, the church imposition of values over our bodies, the precariousness of artistic life, self-exploitation at work. Being seen as an accessory, and not being taken seriously when we argue against structural problems. Which feelings and in which way are allowed to be expressed in the public spaces? Tanja Ostojić has done silence braking performance in which Mia and I took part. She spoke in the public square of Peristil about attempts of sexual violence that she experienced in the past, about the subject that has been encapsulated into the private space, thus denying its social and structural nature. On her right side, Mia Bradić was appropriating every part of her own body with her contemporary dance improvisation, while my accompaniment included embroidering seemed more passive and therefore within the category of the feminine. Embroidering allowed me to listen, meditate and reflect.

As a foreign woman in a city where there is no Latino community, during a pandemic I have experienced a feeling of loneliness that I did not know before. Meeting with women from different backgrounds who responded to a feminist call was a hug to the heart. Thanks, everyone!

“Misplaced Latina?” by Alejandra Robles Sosa, Misplaced Women? Workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

Alejandra Robles Sosa (born 1988) is currently Split based artist and designer of Mexican origin. She graduated from the Arts Academy in Split. 

Text written by: Alejandra Robles Sosa

Edited and First Published by Tanja Ostojić on the Misplaced Women? Project Blog, May 2021.

Copy-editing: Cultural Hub Croatia (CHC) and Tanja Ostojić

Translation from English to Croatian: CHC

Photos: Tanja Ostojić and Neli Ružić

Video recording & editing: Andrea Resner

This performance has been developed and performed for the first time in the frame of Misplaced Women? Workshop led by Tanja Ostojić, in Split, April 6-8, 2021. 

Hosted and organised by CHC in the frame of Voids2021 

Production: Misplaced Women? Project, ongoing since 2009

“Misplaced Latina?” by Alejandra Robles Sosa, Misplaced Women? Workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Neli Ružić

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Please see other posts from Split and this workshop:

Feminism Forgives by Ines Borovac 

Misplaced Women? Misplaced Organization? by Culture Hub Croatia

#NismoSamoUkras by Lissette Nicole Josseau

Routine by Mia Bradić

Embroidery by Alejandra Robles Sosa, Workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Alejandra Robles Sosa

HR PRIJEVOD 

Tko sam ja?

Ja sam Alejandra Robles Sosa. Imam dva prezimena jer sam rođena u Meksiku (1988.). Moj materinji jezik je španjolski i odrasla sam na periferiji grada s tri milijuna stanovnika.

Alejandra Robles Sosa (born 1988) is currently Split based artist and designer of Mexican origin. She graduated from the Arts Academy in Split. 

Tri godine sam putovala po Latinskoj Americi, jugoistočnoj Aziji i Europi, a 2018. godine sam upisala Umjetničku akademiju u Splitu u Hrvatskoj, gdje živim od tada.

Na moju umjetničku praksu snažno utječu kritičke teorije i dekolonijalni pristup. Istražujem kolektivno sjećanje migracija ljudske rase zastupljeno u umjetnosti, tekstilnim uzorcima, hrani i biljkama.

Što sam očekivala?

Zanimalo me istražiti ideju kako se moje “žensko” tijelo Latinoamerikanke tamnije puti čita u različitim kontekstima tijekom prelaska granica. Moje se tijelo ne čita na isti način u južnoameričkoj zemlji, u SAD-u ili na Balkanu. Svako mjesto ima svoja očekivanja od mene.

Naša tijela i naša prisutnost također se očitavaju u skladu sa stvarima koje nosimo dok prelazimo granice. Moje se tijelo drugačije čita ako sam sama s planinarskim ruksakom ili s otmjenim koferom. Ljudi različito percipiraju stvari kad sam na dugom putu s torbama na biciklu. Ti su “rekviziti” utjecali na to da se osjećam ranjivo ili ne, što uključuje i samo moje tijelo, ali i odjeću i stvari u torbi.

“Misplaced Latina?” by Alejandra Robles Sosa, Misplaced Women? Workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Neli Ružić

Performans

Moje emocije:

Neko vrijeme nisam plakala. Situacija s pandemijom donijela mi je, kao i mnogim ljudima širom svijeta, osjećaj pustoši. Neprestano sam prisiljavala svoje osjećaje da budu posve stabilni. Dok sam birala rekvizite, dan prije nastupa (i na početku), nisam mogla prestati plakati. Kao da sam posljednje četiri godine pakirala tugu i suze u te malene posude. Pa sam te posude ponijela sa sobom.

Moji kontejneri za tugu

Hrana. Sa sobom sam ponijela hranu koja je u Europu došla nakon kolonizacije Amerike. I ona je danas dio hrvatske svakodnevne prehrane,oput domaćeg umaka od rajčice, krumpira i banane. To predstavlja tugu mojih koloniziranih i neo-indiginiziranih predaka.

Religija. Uključila sam i „svetu krunicu“ koju sam kupila svojoj baki prilikom prvog posjeta Vatikanu. Baka je preminula godinu dana prije negó sam joj uspjela dati krunicu. Nisam religiozna osoba. Ali volim svoju baku i znam koliko joj je ovo bilo važno. Katolička crkva također ima mračnu kolonijalnu prošlost u Amerikama.

“Misplaced Latina?” by Alejandra Robles Sosa, Misplaced Women? Workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Neli Ružić

Vez. Povijesno gledano, vez nije shvaćen ozbiljno kao medij, jer se radi o ženskom djelu. A ženska su pitanja obično povezana s nepraktičnim podacima. Odlučila sam izvesti teme koje su mi okupirale um u posljednjih nekoliko tjedana: troškovi života na tri načina (od mnogih) za dobivanje vize u Hrvatskoj kao osoba iz treće zemlje.

Ovo su moje osobne mogućnosti, budući da obavljam posao na daljinu za poslodavce izvan Hrvatske:

– studentica: 53,368 HRK,

– digitalni nomad: 217,718 HRK,

– kao supruga: 44,742 HRK.

* To su potrebni iznosi na bankovnom računu (u trenutku prijave) koji zahtijeva Hrvatski imigracijski ured. Odnose se na zbroj prosječne mjesečne stanarine, osiguranja, a u slučaju studenta, školarine po semestru.

“Misplaced Latina?” by Alejandra Robles Sosa, Misplaced Women? Workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Neli Ružić

Završni osvrt 

Što se tiče mojih očekivanja, završila sam razmišljajući o tome kako se čitaju naše tuge i suze kada se na naše tijelo gleda kao na žensku strankinju. Zbog čega bi žena trebala plakati? Kako mogu izraziti svoje osjećaje i kako ljudi potvrđuju naše osjećaje prema našem spolu, rasi i socijalnom statusu?

Svaka izvedba bila je puna onih osjećaja i razmišljanja koja kao žene doživljavamo u svakodnevnom životu. Seksualno uznemiravanje, crkveno nametanje vrijednosti nad našim tijelima, nesigurnost umjetničkog života, samo-eksploatacija na poslu. Na nas se gleda kao na dodatak i ne shvaća ozbiljno kad propitujemo strukturne probleme. Koji se osjećaji i na koji način smiju izražavati u javnim prostorima?

Svaki od performansa realiziranih u okviru radionice Misplaced Women? bio je pun onih osjećaja i razmišljanja koje kao žene doživljavamo u svakodnevnom životu. Seksualno uznemiravanje, crkveno nametanje vlastitih vrijednosti našim tijelima, nesigurnost umjetničkog života, samoeksploatacija na poslu. Na nas se gleda kao na dodatke i ne shvaća nas se ozbiljno kad se pobunimo protiv strukturnih problema. Koji se osjećaji i na koji način smiju izražavati u javnom prostoru? Tanja Ostojić izvela je performans koji prekida tišinu, a u kojem smo sudjelovale i Mia i ja. Tanja je na Peristilu govorila o pokušajima seksualnog nasilja koje je doživjela u prošlosti, o temi koja je inkapsulirana u privatni prostor, negirajući tako njegovu društvenu i strukturnu prirodu. S Tanjine desne strane, Mia Bradić prisvajala je svaki dio vlastitog tijela svojom suvremenom plesnom improvizacijom, dok je moja pratnja s vezenjem djelovala pasivnije i, samim time, unutar kategorije ženskog. Vezenje mi je omogućilo da slušam, meditiram i razmišljam.

Kao strankinja u gradu u kojem ne postoji latino zajednica, tijekom pandemije doživjela sam osjećaj usamljenosti koji prije nisam poznavala. Sastanak sa ženama iz različitih sredina koje su se odazvale feminističkom pozivu bio je zagrljaj srca. Hvala svima.

Feminism Forgives

In Performances, Split on May 5, 2021 at 11:01 pm

Ines Borovac developed and performed for the first time Feminism Forgives in front of the Saint Domnius Cathedral in Split on April 7, 2021, in the frame of Misplaced Women? workshop led by Tanja Ostojić, inviting the audience to embody sexually liberated Mary Magdalene, the role of institutionally stigmatised woman and the unexplored powers she carries…

Feminism Forgives

Contribution by Ines Borovac 

During my adolescence age, I have been faithfully attending the Sunday mass as considering myself Christian. Unfortunately, my approach towards Church was superficial at a time. Looking at it now, it is clear I was motivated by the lack of religious diversity in my social and family circle. I didn’t pay much attention to what the priest was saying nor applying or understanding the ideology of the Christian community as much. Nonetheless, my physical presence was soaking up the Christian ideologies, more then I wanted and could control. The influence was undeniably present inside of my body. Entering the sexual awakening as a teenager, I was a little bit disappointed. The intensity of the sexual desire was not as expected, on the contrary, it was barely present. Whereas, when the desire would appear, it would come in bursts and would make me feel uncomfortable, dirty and guilty for feeling the pleasure I was allowed to feel.

Ines Borovac: “Feminism Forgives” Misplaced Women? workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Tanja Ostojić
Ines Borovac: “Feminism Forgives” Misplaced Women? workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

Croatia is still a religiously homogenous country where more than 90 percent of the population is identifying as Christian, not leaving the young generations much space to explore and own their body and identity. Thus, the performative piece is inviting the audience to identify with the character of sexually liberated Mary Magdalene. With the symbolic gesture of washing the feet (just like Mary Magdalene did to Jesus when she was asking for redemption for her sins), performative act is inviting the audience to embody the role of institutionally stigmatized woman and the unexplored power she carries. Contrary to the Biblical story, the audience was not washing the feet of the forgiver’s body (Jesus) but mine, feminist body with the red letters written on my chest saying “feminism forgives”. Wearing nothing but a skirt and bra, I set exposing my feminine vulnerability radiating the motherly strength of understanding and care. Therefore, instead of begging for forgiveness, with the gesture of washing the feet of the misplaced feminist body, I took a role of the medium through which one is encouraged for the “sins”, opposite to the atonement and change.

Ines Borovac: “Feminism Forgives” Misplaced Women? workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

The performative act took place in front of one of the oldest churches in the region, the Cathedral of Saint Domnius (Katedrala Svetog Duje) on April 7, 2021. The performance lasted 30-40 minutes, influenced by the weather conditions, cold wind, low temperatures and very cold stone ground, my wet feet were lying on. I could not help but notice that the people leaving or entering the Cathedral were ignoring the performance, acting like it wasn’t happening (avoiding the eye contact and bypassing), – which could be seen as denying such realities and rejecting liberated female bodies from the Christian community, labelling them as marginalised bodies. Parents were turning away their curious children looks or even changing the walking route not to confront the performance. Ironically, while I was taking off my clothes, the male passers stopped to observe and show interest, showing us the transparency of the patriarchal culture in Croatia. Apart from female participants of the workshop, there were other brave woman who challenged their inner Mary Magdalene and participated in activation the performance. At this point the performance expanded from the workshop circle towards the interaction with other bodies, making me endlessly happy.

Ines Borovac: “Feminism Forgives” Misplaced Women? workshop Split, 2021. Video: Andrea Resner

On this occasion, I would like to thank all the women who’ve embraced Mary Magdalene during the performance (Kristina Tešija, Lissette Nicole Josseau, Alejandra Robles Sosa, Jasmina Šarić, a group of South-American tourist girls, Tanja Ostojić, Mia Bradić, Neli Ružić…) and the ones who are still carrying and searching for her inside themselves. Thank you Tanja Ostojić for holding the workshop and all the other beautiful participants I met; Culture Hub Croatia girls for organisation and confronting the Split with such topics; Andrea Resner for commitment and creation of the digital archive.

Ines Borovac (b.1996) is a student at Design Academy Eindhoven (NL) where she is enrolled on the Masters program of Social Design. In her design work, she is often working with performance and body as the locus for social change and critique. Ines is currently working on her thesis project where she is researching the topic of patriarchy in Croatia, performativity of the patriarchal values and Croatian traditional dance. She holds a bachelor degree from the School of Design, Zagreb

Ines Borovac: “Feminism Forgives” Misplaced Women? workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

Text written by: Ines Borovac

Edited and first published by Tanja Ostojić on the Misplaced Women? Project Blog, May 4, 2021

Translation from English to Croatian (see below): Ines Borovac

Copy editing: Cultural Hub Croatia (CHC)

This performance has been developed and performed for the first time in the frame of Misplaced Women? workshop led by Tanja Ostojić, in Split, April 6-8, 2021. 

Performed by: Ines Borovac

Performance assistance: Alejandra Robles Sosa

Photos: Tanja Ostojić and Neli Ružić

Video recording & editing: Andrea Resner

Hosted and organised by CHC in the frame of Voids2021 

Production: Misplaced Women? Project, ongoing since 2009

Instagram: @lochnesi

Ines Borovac: “Feminism Forgives” Misplaced Women? workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

Croatian/ HR PRIJEVOD 

Lokacija: Katedrala Svetog Duje

Feminizam oprašta

Tijekom adolescentske dobi vjerno sam prisustvovala nedjeljnim misama. Smatrala sam se  kršćankom, ali, nažalost, moj pristup prema Crkvi bio je površan. Gledajući to sada, jasno je da me je motivirao nedostatak vjerske raznolikosti u mom društvenom i obiteljskom krugu. Nisam obraćala mnogo pažnje na to što svećenik govori, niti primjenjivala ili razumijevala ideologiju kršćanske zajednice. Unatoč tomu, moja fizička prisutnost upijala je kršćanske ideologije više nego što sam htjela i mogla kontrolirati. Utjecaj je nedvojbeno bio prisutan unutar moga tijela. Doživjevši seksualno buđenje kao tinejdžerica, bila sam pomalo razočarana. Intenzitet seksualne želje nije bio onakav kakav sam očekivala, već naprotiv, bio je jedva prisutan. Kada bi želje došla u valovima, osjećala bih se nelagodno, prljavo i krivo zbog osjećaja užitka koji mi je bio dozvoljen. 

Hrvatska je još uvijek vjerski homogena zemlja u kojoj se više od 90 posto stanovništva identificira pripadnicima kršćanske religije, a to mladim generacijama ne ostavlja puno prostora za istraživanje i posjedovanje vlastitih tijela i identiteta. Dakle, ovaj performans poziva publiku da se identificira s likom seksualno oslobođene Marije Magdalene. Simboličnom gestom pranja nogu (baš kao što je to učinila Marija Magdalena Isusu kad je tražila iskupljenje za svoje grijehe), performativni čin poziva publiku da utjelovi ulogu institucionalno žigosane žene i neistražene moći koju ona nosi. Suprotno biblijskoj priči, publika nije prala stopala tijela onomu koji oprašta (Isusu), već feminističkom tijelu (autorici) kojem je na grudima napisano “feminizam oprašta”. Noseći samo suknju i grudnjak, otkrila sam svoju žensku ranjivost zračeći majčinskom snagom razumijevanja i brige. Stoga, umjesto da moli za oprost, gestom pranja nogu mog “misplaced” feminističkog tijela, sam utjelovila medij kroz kojeg se potiče na “grijehe”, suprotno pokajanju i promjeni.

Performans se odvio ispred jedne od najstarijih splitskih katedrala, Katedrale svetog Duje, 7. travnja 2021. Trajao je 30-40 minuta zbog vremenskih neprilika poput hladnog vjetra, niskih temperatura i iznimno hladnog kamena na kojem su stajala moja mokra stopala. Nisam mogla ne primjetiti da su ljudi koji su ulazili ili izlazili iz katedrale ignorirali perfromans ponašajuci se kao da se ne odvija (izbjegavanje kontakta očima i zaobilaženje mog tijela) što može ukazati na njihovo nijekanje sličnih stvarnosti i odbacivanje oslobođenih ženskih tijela od strane krščanske zajednice označavajući ih kao maginalizirana tijela. Roditelji sa djecom su sklanjala znatiželjne poglede svoje djece ili čak promijenili rutu svog kretanja da izbjegnu prostor performansa. Ironično, dok sam skidala odjeću, muški prolaznici bi se zaustavilis ciljem da promatraju te su pokazali zainteresiranost ukazujući na transparentnost patrijahalne kulture u Hrvatskoj. Nakon što sam se smjestila na stolac i pozvala publiku na sudjelovanje, osim sudionica radionice u performansu su sudjelovale ostale hrabre žene i izazvale unutarnju Mariju Magdalenu. U ovom trenutku perfomans je izišao iz kruga radionice u interakciju s ostalim tijelima što me je učinilo neimjerno sretnom. 

Ines Borovac: “Feminism Forgives” Misplaced Women? workshop Split, 2021. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

Ovom prilikom želim zahvaliti svim ženama koje su prigrlile Mariju Magdalenu tijekom nastupa i onima koje je još uvijek nose i traže u sebi. Hvala Tanji Ostojić na održavanju radionice i svim ostalim lijepim sudionicima koje sam upoznala; curama iz Culture Hub Croatia za organizaciju i suočavanje Splita sa sličnim temama; Andrei Resner za angažman i stvaranje digitalne arhive.

Ines Borovac (1996) studentica je Akademije za dizajn u Eindhovenu (NL) gdje je upisana na Masters program Socijalnog Dizajna. U svom dizajnerskom radu često radi s performansom i tijelom kao mjestom društvenih promjena i kritike. Ines trenutno radi na svom diplomskom radu u kojem istražuje temu patrijarhata u Hrvatskoj te performativnosti patrijarhalnih vrijednosti unutar hrvatskog tradicionalnog plesa. Preddiplomski studij završila je na Studiju dizajna u Zagrebu, smjer Produkt dizajn.

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