Inside the Info Park and the park in front of the Faculty of Economy we, the crowed of 18 people (including photographers, camera person and coordinators) have done two group performances that consisted of emptying all contents from our bags and pockets and turning each single item inside out. We were taking each item apart, including taking out batteries and cards from our mobile phones and photo-cameras, and the reverse, packing it all back afterwards. This showed to be introspective and communicative setting for us, and for people passing by including refuges and volunteers who gather on near by benches. I believe that one can understand artistic process and experience of migration and exposure “on own skin” only, so to say… In this sense and as most of participants felt during the workshop and have reported after it was an initiation of a particular kind that gave to more experienced ones a strong flash of even (forgotten / traumatic) memories from the past.
Charming Nazer, one of the asylum seekers joined us and presented to us the content of his refuge bag.
It gave me a feeling of deep gratefulness to figure out that bordeaux Robe-di-Kappa wool scarf that was since my school years part of my father’s closet has now found an important place in Nazer´s bag of basics and necessities…
From the highly valuable and extensive participants reports I would in particularly like to share the following excerpts:
1. “My motivation to apply for this workshop was because I had ample opportunities during my life to develop strong friendships with people who found ten self in very unfortunate situation, who had to leave their homes behind during the wars in former Yugoslavia. I´ve been witnessing scenes of verbal and physical violence against refuges by at the first glance ordinary people and that ones who should be in charge of order — police… Participation in the “Missplaced Women?” performance overwhelmed me with feelings of revolt and sadness. The change of perspective, produced by the artist´s intelligent manoeuvre evoked memories of the scenes I witnessed on Bar-Belgrade train a number of years ago. Policemen was checking in a brutal way a women traveling with two of her kids, while baby stuff were flaying all over the corridor. Being involved in the performance “Missplaced Women?” myself, at ones, from an observer I transformed into the victim myself. I felt naked, attacked, exposed to any passing bayer who might get an idea to approach me. I thought at ones about all possible complications in case my documents, bank cards or mobile phone would go missing. All those paper and plastic stuff that approve our communication and consumption and without which as it seems I would not be homo sapiens but rather Alien. A word that could the best describe experience I had in regard to the luggage searchings that I witnessed and the one I performed myself would be “rape”. I think this performance workshop should be an obligatory educational tool for the ones in the position of power. At the end, I stayed with more questions then answers, as our artists claims, is the role of art… “ — Jelena Dinić (Medical worker from Belgrade)
2. …After an experience of volunteering for two weeks in a refugee centre in Belgium, I was surprised by the energy and enthusiasm of some of the refugees I met here in Belgrade. The facts they shared with me in such a brief period of time I find precious. The children’s drawings in Miksalište left the strongest impression on me. They drew their experience of the trip and the struggle they are going through.
…When I removed all of my personal things from my backpack and placed them where everybody could see them, I felt exposed and vulnerable. That came as a surprise to me. I thought the second unpacking at the next location would be easier then the first one, but it was even more difficult. At one moment, I felt very insecure, and quickly returned everything back into the backpack. I think this experience was valuable because I got a chance to see this situation from a different point of view, and to exchange thoughts and attitudes with other participants of the workshop.— Gorana Bačevac (graduate student of sculpture, Faculty of Fine Arts Belgrade)
3. “During the workshop I felt compassion, solidarity and the need for more solidarity.
…feeling of the misplaced position of ourselves and other people around us in everyday life that we all try to suppress…
…it is not that hard to imagine the misplaced position of all of us, if the world continues to act this way…
“We all know the history, and It wasn’t that long ago…” — Bojana Radenović (Master student, theory of art and media, University of Arts, Belgrade)
Jurnalist: Vesna Milosavljević
Camera: Milan Nešić
Video-editing: Marija Aranđelović
Video Production: SEEcult.org, 2015.
Concept and workshop leader / performance artist: Tanja Ostojić
List of Workshop participants / performance artists:
Nela Antonović, art director, Mimart Theatre, Belgrade
Gorana Bačevac. student of sculpture, Faculty of Fine Arts, Belgrade.
Tatjana Beljinac, student, School of Design, Belgrade.
Tamara Bijelić, master student of Theatrology, Faculty of Dramatic Arts, Belgrade
Jelena Dinić, medical worker, Belgrade
Irena Đukanović, student of painting, Faculty of Fine Arts Belgrade.
Milica Janković, student, School of Design, Belgrade.
Marija Jevtić, master student, Academy of Arts Novi Sad.
Nadežda Kirćanski, student of sculpture, Faculty of Fine Arts, Belgrade.
Irena Mirković, master student, New Media, Academy of Arts, Novi Sad.
Bojana Radenović, master student, Theory and New Media, University of Arts Belgrade.
Sanja Solunac, feminist, activist and independent artist, Belgrade.
Sunčica Šido, Women Initiative and Goethe Institute, Belgrade.
Production: This workshop has been produced by Remont — independent art association Belgrade, in the frame of “From Diaspora to Diversities” international project. Production co-ordinators: Miroslav Karić and Darka Radosavljević
See as well other two directly related blog entries:
— Nela Antonovic´s Story: https://misplacedwomen.wordpress.com/2015/11/10/nela-antonovics-story-prica-nele-antonovic/
— Review in Serbian language: http://www.seecult.org/vest/t-ostojic-missplaced-women