Larisa Kurtović – An archive to build a future: The recovery and rediscovery of the history of socialist associations in contemporary Bosnia-Herzegovina

Online article
Journal History and Anthropology
ISSN: 1477-2612

“This paper chronicles the ongoing efforts of several groups of Bosnian activists, artists and academics, to create archives of the often forgotten, and nowadays variously threatened, heritage of political and social life during Yugoslav socialism. Postsocialist archives in other parts of Eastern Europe have typically been motivated by the need to ‘settle accounts’ with communism, understood in this context to be a totalitarian project. By contrast, these ongoing archiving efforts in the postwar and postsocialist Bosnia-Herzegovina, are created in order to recuperate and repurpose the unrealized potentials of Yugoslav socialism, and to use this history to reseed contemporary political imaginaries. I show how these post-Yugoslav activist-archives are working to recover a form of transformational historical subjectivity which seems profoundly necessary in the current political moment, marked by political disenchantment and the devastating effects of the postsocialist transition.”
Larisa Kurtović, abstract

Based on the interview conducted with Adela Jušić, author is analyzing Online archive of Antifascist struggle of women of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Yugoslavia (, created by Adela Jušić and Andreja Dugandžić.  Article features few Jušić’s artworks related to its topic.


Interview with Adela Jušić for academic journal Gender, sexuality and society

“Gender, war and militarism through the prism of feminist art: an intimate journey”
Interview by Nermina Trbonja
Genre, sexualite and societe, online academic journal
Special issue, Hors-série n ° 3  | 2018, Visuals. Production, dissemination and circulation of images of gender and sexuality, 2018
French language
ISSN 2104-3736

Genre, sexualite and societe is a French-language academic electronic journal with a reading committee. International and multi-disciplinary, it is devoted to issues of sexuality and questions of genre. The interview with Adela Jusic opens the debate on the role of the artist in the creation of visual representations in the context of post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina. Following her career pathway, Adela Jusic explains how her feminist engagement is embodied in her artistic practice. Through visual art, her work aims to break stereotypes, deconstruct patterns, denounce injustices and engender changes. Through multiple examples of her work, she offers an unprecedented reading of her feminist commitment and discusses militarization, the place of the victims in the contemporary post-war space, the gendered violence perpetrated through rape, and the issue of remembrance blurring the history of Bosnia and her family history.


Exhibition “REconciliations”

We are delighted to announce, REconciliations a major public exhibition in the Exchange, Bush House, Kings College, London, opening on the 1 November until 1 December.

Reconciliations displays 17 works by international artists open to the public from 9-6 daily. Alongside the exhibition we have developed a varied events programme, ranging from artists talks, dance performances, practical workshops, and a weekend Symposium. The full programme is available here .

The Private View is on Thursday 1 November 7-9pm in the Exchange.

The exhibition is part of a major AHRC-funded project, ‘Art & Reconciliation: Conflict, Culture and Community’, led by the Department of War Studies in collaboration with the University of the Arts London and the London School of Economics.

Featured image – Bedtime Stories, Adela Jušić and Lana Čmajčanin, exhibition view REconciliations, History Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, photo by Zijah Gafić, 2018

“Watch out!” in KIT, Dusseldorf

Exhibition view Artist’s Statement, Adela Jušić, 2010, photo by Ivo Faber

Die Düsseldorfer Stiftung imai unterhält ein internationales Archiv und Vertriebsprogramm für Medienkunst, ermöglicht einen umfassenden Zugang zu dieser Kunstform. Sie erweitert das Programm, das in den 1970er Jahren ansetzt, regelmäßig um zeitgenössische Positionen. KIT – Kunst im Tunnel und die Stiftung imai haben nun für die Ausstellung „WATCH OUT!“ eine Auswahl „von fünf audiovisuellen Werken getroffen, die wesentliche Themen der gegenwärtigen medialen Kultur verhandeln.“ Bis zum 11. Nov. 2018 sind Arbeiten von Dominik Geis, Miriam Gossing / Lina Sieckmann, Max Grau, Adela Jušić, Maki Satake im Rheinufertunnel am Mannesmannufer zu sehen, wo der Zwischenraum zwischen den beiden Röhren für den Autoverkehr regelmäßig für Kunstprojekte genutzt wird.

“Watch out!” is a good motto for engaging with contemporary art. Caution is only really necessary in the rarest cases, but artworks increasingly demand a greater deal of attention from us. Especially in art that operates with technological media and reflects on the role of media in society, it is important to pay attention to the nuances of its critical distancing from the overwhelming abundance of news, opinions, misinformation, entertainment, and non-stop self-presentation that surround us on a daily basis. Everyday technology makes it alluringly easy for anyone to produce and distribute their own video recordings. More than ever, videos have become an international language of communication, a medium for forging identity and interacting. In spite of or even because of this do-it-yourself mentality, artists must counteract the pragmatism of today’s abundance of videos with an artistic language of the moving image, react to it, and create environments for conscious perception. Already since its emergence some fifty years ago, media art has entailed a critical reflection on the aesthetic, technological, economic, and socio-political conditions of our media-rich society. In this sense, “Watch out!” means that the act of watching deserves our undivided attention.

The Düsseldorf-based imai Foundation maintains an international archive and distribution program for media art, provides access to a wide range of works in this art form starting from the 1970s, and regularly adds contemporary positions to its program. For the exhibition WATCH OUT!, KIT – Kunst im Tunnel and the imai Foundation selected five audiovisual works that negotiate essential themes of contemporary media culture.


The Lost Revolution: Yugoslav Women’s Antifascist Front between Myth and Forgetting

Online Archive of Antifascist Struggle of Women of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Yugoslavia is initiated, conceived and shaped by Andreja Dugandžić and Adela Jušić (as part of the program of Association for Culture and Art CRVENA What has our struggle given us?), and is constantly being upgraded.

The Archive consists of thousands of documents, books and periodicals, stenographic notes, minutes and reports, interviews with surviving members of the Women’s Antifascist Front (AFŽ),  and participants of Yugoslav Antifascist struggle, videos, latest essays and art works that critically examine the position of Yugoslav women in periods before and after the WWII, and their massive participation in War – as fighters, and in the foreground, as members of AFŽ, largest women’s organisation ever to exist in Yugoslavia, Europe and even beyond.

Realising that the history of the largest women’s organisation in our part of the world was by and large unknown to us, we partly turned our efforts to make the Archive public into an exploration of a facet of history which has always been, and remains, relegated to the margins.

The Lost Revolution: Yugoslav Women’s Antifascist Front between Myth and Forgetting, is a title of a book, a collection of inedit essays, an aftermath of Archive, of several years of collecting, copying, digitizing, recording, editing, publishing of numerous kind of documents. In addition to text, book contains illustrations by five women artists from Bosnia and Herzegovina, also created specially for this volume, each being in relation to one of the essays, and based on archival documents.

In their different ways, the essays seek to examine on the one hand, revolutionary ruptures and, on the other, the contradictions of a moment which marked a historical turning point for women in our region. They question the episodes of a struggle that we must constantly start and accomplish anew. The experience of victory and defeat, past and present, both the AFŽ’s and our own, is a reminder that our new and future struggles and fronts, the battles yet to be won, stand open before us and and testify to the creation of the possible even where every- thing seemed impossible. The revolution took place. Let’s start another one!” (editors Tijana Okić and Andreja Dugandžić, introductory text)

The book is funded by Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung Southeast Europe, published in 2016 by Association for Culture and Art CRVENA in Bosnian language. In 2018 it is translated to English, and it is available for free download.

heoizam radda dio

Download link for PDF format, Bosnian language
Download link for PDF format, English language
Link to Online Archive





Exhibition “Watch out!”

imai Foundation and KIT present contemporary media art
October 13th – November 11th 2018 at KIT – Kunst im Tunnel
Works by Dominik Geis, Miriam Gossing/Lina Sieckmann, Max Grau, Adela Jušić, Maki Satake
Curated by: Dr. Renate Buschmann and Gertrud Peters
Opening:  Friday, October 12th, 5 – 10 p.m.

“Watch out!” is a good motto for engaging with contemporary art. Caution is only really necessary in the rarest cases, but artworks increasingly demand a greater deal of attention from us. Especially in art that operates with technological media and reflects on the role of media in society, it is important to pay attention to the nuances of its critical distancing from the overwhelming abundance of news, opinions, misinformation, entertainment, and non-stop self-presentation that surround us on a daily basis. Everyday technology makes it alluringly easy for anyone to produce and distribute their own video recordings. More than ever, videos have become an international language of communication, a medium for forging identity and interacting. In spite of or even because of this do-it-yourself mentality, artists must counteract the pragmatism of today’s abundance of videos with an artistic language of the moving image, react to it, and create environments for conscious perception. Already since its emergence some fifty years ago, media art has entailed a critical reflection on the aesthetic, technological, economic, and socio-political conditions of our media-rich society. In this sense, “Watch out!” means that the act of watching deserves our undivided attention.

The Düsseldorf-based imai Foundation maintains an international archive and distribution program for media art, provides access to a wide range of works in this art form starting from the 1970s, and regularly adds contemporary positions to its program. For the exhibition WATCH OUT!, KIT – Kunst im Tunnel and the imai Foundation selected five audiovisual works that negotiate essential themes of contemporary media culture.

Dominik Geis „The Beauty of It“ (2018)
Miriam Gossing / Lina Sieckmann „Ocean Hill Drive” (2016)
Max Grau „«<…> craving for narrative»  lässt sich einfach nicht gut übersetzen“ (2015)
Adela Jušić „Artist’s Statement“ (2010)
Maki Satake „Remains (Omokage)“ (2010)


Wikipedia article

Thanks to young activists from Sarajevo, and especially Azra Čaušević, my biography is on Wikipedia.

Adela Jusic (Adela Jušić, born October 20, 1982) is a contemporary visual artist from Bosnia and Herzegovina.[1][2] She was born in Sarajevo. She is known for her socially engaged art on the subject of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina[3][4] and the role of partisan women during the Second World War in Yugoslavia.[5] She has exhibited her works in more than 100 international exhibitions including: Frestas – Trienal de Artes (Sao Paolo),[6] The Women’s Room (New York),[7][1] Balkan Artist Guild (London),[8][9] Manifesta 8. (Murcia),[10] ISCP (New York),[11][12] Videonale (Bonn),[13] Image Counter Image (München).[14] Jušić is a cofounder of the Association for Art and Culture Crvena. Adela Jušić is one of the creators of the online archive of the antifascist struggle of women in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Yugoslavia. She lives and works in Sarajevo.


Jušić attended the High School of Applied Arts from 1997 to 2001. She obtained an MA from the Academy of Fine Arts, the Department of Printmaking, Sarajevo University in 2007. She completed her second MA in Democracy and human rights in South East Europe from Sarajevo and Bologna universities in 2013.[15] She completed her internship as part of ERMA program at the Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities, Skopje, Macedonia in 2013.


Jušić grew up in Sarajevo during the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina which strongly influenced her art works.[2] The main aspects of her work are her personal experience of the war and the politics of war, her strong devotion to feminism, communality and solidarity.[16] She uses different media: video, video performance, performance, collage and drawing.[4][2][17](The sniperI will never talk about the war againSilk lavander shirtRide the recoil). Second part of her works portray partisan women’s role in the Second World War and the role of women in Socialism (Unknown Heroines, What has our struggle given us?Unknown partisan woman). Until 2017, she has created more than 50 multimedia and visual art works. Her works have been reviewed by Marina GržinićDavid Elliot, Jelena Petrović, Matthew Webber, Jonathan Blackwood, Alessandra Ferrini and Hodara Susan, among some. Her work is described as “disarmingly honest and candid, be it dealing with family stories or broader political narratives.”[2]

Auto-biographical works on war in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Sniper (2007)

Original title Snajperist, this short video is an auto-biographical work. Adela Jušić’s father had been a member of the Bosnian Army in Sarajevo from the start of the war. His task during Sarajevo siege was to hunt down the snipers who were shooting at civilians in breach of human rights and the Geneva Conventions. It was on December 3, 1992, when, as a sniper, he got killed by a sniper bullet which hit him in the eye.[18] In The Sniper, the artist narrates the part of her father’s notebook where he had listed how many soldiers he had killed during his combat assignments, while drawing a red circle behind which the photograph of her father appears.

The Sniper was part of the MOMENTUM exhibition “HERO MOTHER / Contemporary Art by Post-Communist Women Rethinking Heroism” curated by Rachel Rits-Volloch and Bojana Pejic in Berlin.[19] Bojana Pejic states that: “Memory is also re-enacted in the pieces that treat the trauma and loss caused by the war in Bosnia (Maja Bajević and Adela Jušić), and these works also specify that the memories of women, even when they are soldiers, differ from those of men.”[20] Alessandra Ferini, visual artist, researcher and educator, states:[19][21]

Revealing how wartime memories are intertwined with family and childhood memories, Jušić reminds us of the power of autobiographical work in questioning history and conflict. What is called into question in The Sniper is the reality of war itself, in an attempt to go beyond nationalist, ethnic or religious issues, which have been the main point of discussion throughout the post-war period.

The Sniper was used as part of MA Fine Art degree course at Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts London and Tate Research Centre[22] and rose “the issue of how personal material occupies the field of catharsis in making, living and restoring memories.”[22] Jušić presented her workThe Sniper atLondon School of Economics panel “Art in Conflict” in 2013.[23] The Sniper is part of imai – inter media art institute foundation archive[24] and Transitland: Video Art from Central and Eastern Europe.[25] Transitland EUROPA is a collaborative archive of 100 videos that reflect on the transitions and transformations in the post-Socialist countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The videos include works from the past twenty years, from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the present.[26]

When I die, you can do what you want (2011)

Original title of the work is Kad ja umrem, radite šta hoćete, 2011. In this video, the artist tenderly applies dye to the hair of her grandmother, who has since died. On the soundtrack, Jušić whispers in Bosnian, retelling the stories her grandmother shared about her difficult life. “Back then it was hundred times worse,” the subtitles read, and, “Death is a pretty relief.”.[1] Jušić’s grandmother had lived through both the Second World War and the previous war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Hana Marku describes the work:[27]

In a whisper, Jusic speaks in her grandmother’s voice, talking about war, poverty, corruption, hatred – but also love for her children, her husband and her neighbors. The all too ordinary difficulties of her life are made intimate and immediate. Jusic’s grandmother serves a stand-in for all the grandmothers of this world who witness war, death and their families growing apart. Their wisdom is quiet and seldom asked for, and we feel that wisdom here, while watching an old woman get her hair dyed. Jusic’s position is that of an oral historian of sorts, sifting through forgotten stories of subjects that are usually ignored in official historical narratives and reproducing them as best as possible.

When I die, you can do what you want is also part of imai – inter media art institute foundation archive of 3,000 artistic and documentary works from the pioneering era of the 1960s until the present day.[24]

I will never talk about the war again (2011)

Original title of the work is: Ja više nikada neću pričati o ratu. In this collaborative video performance I Will Never Talk About the War Again of Adela Jušić and Lana Cmajcanin, the two artists from Bosnia and Herzegovina promise each other not to talk about the war anymore, repeating the same sentence over and over, increasingly becoming more and more agitated that they cannot escape the subject even by not talking. Matthew Webber reviews the work:[28][29]

The point is that in reality Bosnian artists have no choice. Not only does everyday conversation in Bosnia continually return to the war, but even attempts to escape this are doomed to failure. Such is the ubiquity of images of the war, in documentaries, magazines, and art, that they are caught in a double bind. Mention the war, and they are accused of playing the victim; make art about something else, and this is a positive decision to ignore the carnage. There is no escape – not talking about the war is, by omission, talking about the war.

The work I will never talk about the war was included in the Perpetuum Mobile collection of Living Archive, during its first edition in Zagreb, Croatia in 2011, as “integral part, an attempt and challenge to politically (re)articulate these overlapping, conflicting and rebounding grounds”.[30] Jelena Petrovic, member of curatorial team, states that “the work itself becomes a trigger for the curators’ positioning in relation to the work, as well as a signifier of the context in which it is presented to the audience, media and the politics of place.”[31]

This work, along with The Sniper and When I die, you can do what you want have been included in Film Mutations: Festival of Invisible Cinema 08 Parallel Film, Zagreb 2014.[32][33] Selector of the Festival, theoretician and artist Marina Gržinić, describes the works showing the “intensified, militarized colonialism and the machine of war (which regulates gaze, affects and life)” and further that:[31][34]

These works refer to a period that is known as the post-Dayton reality of Bosnia and Herzegovina, when, after the Dayton peace agreement in the mid-1990s, the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (that lasted from 1992-1995) came to an end. In the 1990s the former Yugoslavia was at the center of imperial wars initiated by different political elites and their paramilitary forces and supporters. The video works by Čmajčanin and Jušić refer to the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the genocidal logic tied to the conquest of territories and power inside the former Yugoslav space.

I will never talk about the war again exhibitions

I will never talk about the war again was used as a title for an exhibition in Färgfabriken’s global project Psychosis in Stockholm in 2011, curated by Vladan Jeremic, on post-war trauma and the social psychological consequences.[35][36] It presents the works of artists from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia and Russia such as Adela Jušić, Marina Abramović, Igor Grubić, Živko Grozdanić Gera, Lana Cmajcanin and several others. I will never talk about the war again work and Bedtime stories, also a collaboration between Adela Jušić and Lana Cmajcanin are both included in the exhibition.[37][38] The modified exhibition of the original one presented in Stockholm I will never talk about the war again was also presented in Maribor, Slovenia as a part of the programme created by KIBLA for the manifestation Maribor 2012: European Capital of Culture.[39] It is focused on critical social analysis and testimonies of violence and trauma connected with recent wars in the countries of the former Yugoslavia.[39]

Ride the recoil (2013)

Adela Jušić’s mixed media work in collaboration with Ervin Prašljivić Ride the Recoil was developed with technical support by Ervin Prašljivić and Ognjen Šavija. Ride the Recoil is a critique of the video game Sniper : Ghost Warrior 2 (set in Sarajevo) as the commodification of the Bosnian war. The work consists of the video-game excerpts, audio narrative part of the artist on how to avoid snipers (based on her wartime experiences) overdubbing the instructions of the video game on how to kill and series of photographs of a little girl leaving the gate. Ride the recoil has won the Special award of 54th October salon.[40][41] Ride the Recoil was first published as part of Triple Canopy’s Internet as Material project area, supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston, the Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts.[42] Jonathan Blackwood, theoretician, writer and curator of contemporary art, describes the piece:[43]

The overall effect is quite chilling, as the visitor processes the multiple gaps between personal memories of that siege and the commercial ficition now offered for sale by a global corporation. The callousness of the computerised female voice, giving the gameplayer instructions of how to kill more effectively, set against the very human surveillance images of a small child, can’t help but provoke feelings of anger in the viewer; the flattening of the worst suffering into a dehumanised, pixellated game environment for the desensitised consumer; with, at best, an indifferent shrug from the game’s producers when called to account for their product.

Silk lavender shirt (2016)

As a main element of the performance, the artist uses ICTY trial transcripts, the memoirs of Biljana Plavšić, her statements to the media, and other relevant materials. Biljana Plavšić, the former President of the Republic of Srpska, was indicted in 2001 by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes during Bosnian war. After pleading guilty and statement of repentance, the prosecutors dropped genocide charges against her, and sentenced her to 11 years. She served two thirds of her sentence in prison in Sweden and was released earlier.[44] During her stay in prison in 2005, she published a voluminous memoirs in which she denied her previous confession.[45] The idea of the performance was to point out to the contrast present in representation of Biljana Plavsic, her false repentance and light sentence she had received, disproportionate to the crimes she had committed. The title of the work was inspired by the quote about Biljana Plavšić of a prominent writer Slavenka DrakulićPale green, lavender, fuchsia, and dark blue seem to be her favorite colors; a silk shirt under her jacket part of her uniform.[46][47]

Works on partisan women and Second World War

Adela Jušić has dedicated years to the research of participation of women in National Peoples Struggle, Women’s Antifascist Front and their position in the aftermath of the Second World War.[5] First central segment of her work is related to the portrayals of women partisans, their representation in NOB, women’s narratives and their oral history. Such works include What has our struggle given us? (2013), which is a mixed media work inspired by the book Women heroes[48] on life stories of 10 Bosnian heroines from World War II. Another example of Jušić’s work is Unknown Partisan woman (2016). After the World War II in Yugoslavia, Partisans whose names were not known were buried under the gravestone that instead of a name had words Unknown Partisan or Unknown Partisan woman engraved. Jušić created a replica of such gravestone with words: Unknown Partisan woman and put it in the park in the center of Sarajevo, near other historically important sites and across the building where notorious Beledija jail was, where many woman antifascists were held prisoners and tortured during the war.[49] After almost a year, no city authorities or media gave attention to the gravestone. It is still on the same spot.

The second central topic of her work is the relationship of the economy and the reporoductive role of women during Socialism. Jušić compares the participation of women in Second World War through their mass mobilization and armed struggle, post-war participation of women in re-buidling of the state through their voluntary work and the big turnover of perception of women’s work during 1950’s when women are called into their natural roles as mother, housewives and nurturers. Some of the most notable works on this topic include: Labor of Love in collaboration with Andreja Dugandzic (2014), Here come the Women (2015), We long for work and toil in collaboration with Andreja Dugandzic (2014) and many more.

As Jonathan Blackwood describes:[43]

Jušić picks out the hopes of these women for a genuinely transformed society in the wake of the victory of the Communist resistance movement led by Josip Broz Tito, and their bitter disappointment at the re-emergence of a traditional patriarchical organisation of society, in the first decade of Communist rule. This work, in its various manifestations, provides a platform for Jušić’s uncompromising feminist analysis of the effects of conflict on individuals, and the consequences conflict has for their place in post-conflict societies.

Archive of Anti-fascist Front of Women of BiH and Yugoslavia

Adela Jušić and Andeja Dugandžić have started an online archive of Women’s Antifascist Front of Yugoslavia and Women’s Antifascist Front of BiH in 2015.[50][51][52] This online platform consists of thousands of documents, photographs, interviews, transcripts, periodicals and books Adela Jušić and Andreja Dugandzic have been collecting for years in public archives, libraries and private collections.[50][52] The archive was launched on 8 March, the International Women’s day in 2015.[50] The archive was launched as to:[53]

(Our task is to) …preserve and make known historical evidence about the work and activities of the Antifascist Front of Women of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Yugoslavia, as well as about women’s participation in the People’s Liberation Struggle and in the building of Socialist Yugoslavia. The Archive aims to motivate our new struggles— on fronts that we need to identify, in numerous battles that we need to win. The revolution has taken place. Let’s start another one!

As part of the archive a book as a collection of essays, works and illustrations called Izgubljena revolucija: AFŽ Između mita i zaborava[54] was published[55]and presented.[56] The collection features a chapter on Jušić’s illustrations.[54]


  • 54th October Salon Special Award, 2013[40][57][41]
  • Henkel Young Artists Prize CEE 2011[58]
  • Charlama gallery award for best work of young artist, 2011[59]
  • YVAA Zvono for the best Bosnian young artist, 2010[60][61]

Complete list of works

Complete list of Adela Jušić’s exhibitions can be found here.

Residencies, scholarships, funded research and other

  • 2017 Artist in Residence Program, Kulturni Center Tobačna 001, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • 2017 November 11- January 11, 2018 – transmaking, art based research at Izmir University of Economics, Fine Art Department, Izmir, Turkey
  • 2017 April 25 – June 25 – transmaking, art based research at Izmir University of Economics, Fine Art Department, Izmir, Turkey
  • 2017 September 1–25 Artist in Residence, frei_raum Q21 exhibition space, Museums Quartier, Vienna, Austria[62]
  • 2016 International artist-in-residency platform GuestRoom Maribor, Slovenia
  • 2014 TICA, Tirana, Albania
  • 2013 recipient of ERMA Scholarship, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • 2013 i.a.a.b., Basel, Switzerland
  • 2012 Kulturkontakt, Vienna, Austria[63]
  • 2011 ISCP, New York, USA[17]
  • 2010 Temporary City, Kozelites Approach Art Association, Pecs, Hungary
  • 2010 Miskolc Institute for Contemporary Art, Miskolc, Hungary

LINK to online article

Oslobođenje – Maja Abadžija

Glas i muzika, narativ i historija


Savremena bosanskohercegovačka vizuelna umjetnica Adela Jušić nedavno je u sklopu edukativno-kulturnog programa British Councila održala predavanje u Historijskom muzeju Bosne i Hercegovine. Govorila je o narativu i zvuku u savremenoj umjetnosti i predstavila je svoj rad “Priče za laku noć”, nastao u saradnji sa Lanom Čmajčanin, koji u značenjsku igru upliće iste elemente. Tumačila je ne samo vlastite nego i radove kolega i koleginica iz regije, pa smo iskoristili priliku da s njom porazgovaramo o tome kako novi vidovi umjetnosti funkcionišu i dopiru do publike.

Jušić se, pak, ubrzo nakon predavanja javila iz Poreča, gdje boravi u okviru projekta “Umjetnik na odmoru” koji se organizuje kao aktivnost Muzeja avangarde, Instituta za istraživanje avangarde i Kolekcije “Marinko Sudac”. Riječ je o inicijativi koja prikuplja i predstavlja javnosti međunarodno poznate umjetnike koji u svom radu koriste naslijeđe avangardnih pokreta, kao i one koji nastavljaju prakticirati radikalnu umjetnost i razvijati njenu estetiku. Jušić u Poreču boravi, kako je kazala, u društvu “našeg najvećeg živućeg historičara umjetnosti – Ješe Denegrija”.

U ratnoj spavaonici


Rad “Priče za laku noć” produciran je 2011. godine, a činjenica da je otkupljen za projekat “Umjetnost i pomirenje: konflikt, kultura i zajednica” i da postaje dio stalne postavke Historijskog muzeja BiH, “Sarajevo pod opsadom”, Jušić i njenu saradnicu Čmajčanin čini jako ponosnom.

– Predavanje održano u Historijskom muzeju BiH je zapravo bilo prva prilika da rad predstavimo u BiH. “Priče za laku noć” izabrao je internacionalni žiri među pedesetak aplikacija pristiglih na konkurs muzeja i Univerziteta u Londonu. Rad je bilo logično prijaviti jer je ispunjavao sve propozicije konkursa i, na našu veliku radost, na konkursu je i pobijedio. Uslijedila je produkcija i konačno, nakon dosta posla i adaptacije rada kako bi što bolje funkcionisao u sklopu stalne postavke “Opkoljeno Sarajevo”, predstavljen je mnogobrojnoj publici na otvaranju izložbe “Reconciliations”. Rad ostaje tamo zauvijek ili dok se kulturne politike BiH ne promijene. Ja sam već mnogo puta surađivala sa Historijskim muzejom i kao i do sada, ova je suradnja bila jako dobra i zaista cijenim ono što direktorica Elma Hašimbegović i cijela ekipa radnika i radnica muzeja tamo radi i pokušava izgraditi, kazala je Jušić.

Kao brojni drugi radovi Jušićeve, i “Priče za laku noć” počivaju na narativu i zvuku. Za ovu je umjetnicu zvuk izuzetno bitan medij, jer se u svojoj praksi često koristi narativom, tekstom i govorom, a neizostavan je i kada radi performans ili videoperformans. Koristi vlastiti, ali i glasove drugih kako bi govorila o memoriji, oralnoj historiji, ženskoj historiji, te upotrebljava i muziku.

– Upravo u radu “Priče za laku noć” koristim muziku kao podlogu za priču djece naše generacije, vremenski smještenu u period opsade Sarajeva, u prostor podruma u kojem smo kao djeca proveli tri i po godine. Muzika je ovdje i dramaturški element za samu priču. Autor muzike je naš kolega Ognjen Šavija, član umjetničke grupe Ambrosia s kojom sam prvi put radila davne 1995. godine, učestvujući u njihovim performansima u Kamernom teatru 55, te nedugo zatim u Domu mladih Skenderija. Ti performansi i suradnja sa Ambrosiom koja se u svojim performansima dosta koristila zvukom – muzika, poezija, naracija, bili su moji prvi dodiri sa performansom i imali su, tek kasnije sam to osvijestila, dosta uticaja na moj rad godinama kasnije, ispričala je Jušić.

“Priče za laku noć” spoj su narativa, muzike i vizuelne imitacije prostora podrumskih šupa, ratnih spavaonica, a sastoje se od šest zvučno-narativnih zapisa na bosanskom jeziku. Adelu pitamo kako razumijeva mogućnosti, ali i ograničenja ove umjetničke tehnike.

– Ono što je u savremenoj umjetnosti i kombinaciji narativa i zvuka problem jeste svakako jezik. Mladen Stilinović, hrvatski postkonceptualni umjetnik, rekao je: “Umjetnik koji ne govori engleski nije umjetnik”. I danas je ova izjava podjednako aktualna u praksi savremenih umjetnika i umjetnica. Prostor na kojem izlažemo, galerije i kulturne institucije zapadne Evrope usvojile su engleski jezik kao jezik scene i umjetničkog tržišta. Umjetnici i umjetnice naše regije imaju dvije opcije: govoriti i raditi na engleskom jeziku ili ostati marginalizirani u svom djelovanju, kaže Jušić.

Baš zato je i 2011. godine, kada je rad produciran za grupnu izložbu u Stockholmu, problematičan bio jezik. Da li bosanski narativ prevesti, da li ga dati na engleskom jeziku? Hoće li integrisanje prevoda u rad razbuditi pažnju publike koja, ipak, živi u dobu informacija, nižeg praga strpljenja? Jušić priča:

– Rizik je, zaključile smo, bio prevelik. Nakon mnogo analize i razmatranja, iznašle smo način da problem jezika riješimo u našu korist, tj. da ga stavimo u službu rada, da problem iskoristimo kao dodatno sredstvo, medij, kao prednost. Prevele smo tekst na engleski jezik i snimile naratorku – voditeljicu FTV-a Nedu Tadić, kako čita tekst, te ga montirale sa glasovima naših prijatelja i prijateljica koji su svoje “priče” ispričali na bosanskom jeziku. Ideja je bila da naratorka nježnim i milim glasom na engleskom jeziku priča priče za laku noć, a zatim da se iz daljine ponekad pojavljuju glasovi na bosanskom, realni, stvarni, prisutni, glasovi koji zaista pričaju o ratnom djetinjstvu. Ovdje se treba staviti u poziciju nekog iz zapadne Evrope, dijela svijeta koji je ignorisao opsadu Sarajeva – najdužu opsadu jednog grada u modernoj historiji i takoreći dozvolio da se usred Evrope ljudi ubijaju na najsvirepije načine. Iz te pozicije strana publika sluša priču koja na njima poznatom jeziku uspavljuje, oni leže u udobnom prostoru spavaonice. Ubrzo spoznaju da to nije obična spavaonica, već podrum, prostor u kojem se djeca kriju od granata, provode dane u mraku i neizvjesnosti, hladnoći i gladi. Onda se začuju glasovi na nekom tamo stranom jeziku i više to nisu priče za laku noć, već priče o borbi za goli život, za opstanak, priče o dječijoj snalažljivosti i kreativnosti u ekstremnim nehumanim okolnostima rata i opsade.

Gdje je ženska historija?


U odnosu na tradicionalnije forme umjetnosti, medij zvuka pred publiku stavlja izazov recepcije koji je posve druge prirode. On ima veze, priča Jušić, sa njegovim vremenskim aspektom, bez obzira na to je li riječ o muzici ili naraciji. Njegov vremenski aspekt traži vrijeme za recepciju, a važan je, kako kaže Jušić, jer može da “reflektuje i bavi se memorijom, da uspostavlja relacije između prošlosti, sadašnjosti i budućnosti…”. Zvuk traje i ima potencijal reći nešto o trajanju samom, ili prekidu trajanja. Jušić ga dovodi u vezu i sa radom Briana Enoa koji se mijenja “polako i dugotrajno, u 77.000 oblika koji se mogu posmatrati pojedinačno, zajedno, u dijelovima, sve zavisno od momenta kada uđemo u galeriju, te vremena koje provedemo tamo”.

Jušić je na predavanju pokazala i radove “Muzička kutija” Lane Čmajčanin, “Prokleta brana” Lale Raščić, „Slana voda (s 47)“ Selme Selman. U razgovoru za Oslobođenje naglašava kako se i ove umjetnice dosta bave narativom, jer oralna historija, naracija, lično žensko iskustvo i životne priče majki ili drugih žena predstavljaju izvor, odnosno mjesto političkog djelovanja, refleksije, kritike, osvještavanja. Isto važi i za radove po kojima je i sama Jušić možda najviše prepoznatljiva – za one koji se tiču pamćenja dostignuća žena u NOB-u i AFŽ-a.

– Ženska historija je kao i svuda često ostala i ostaje nenapisana. Ona se zato prenosi oralno, kroz priče naših majki, nana, baka, na nas našu djecu i buduće generacije. Neki historičari smatraju da u Jugoslaviji neprijatelj ne bi bio pobijeđen da nije bilo tako masovnog učešća žena u antifašističkoj borbi, u NOB-u. Tako se oni moji radovi koji se bave AFŽ-om, ulogom žena u odbrani Jugoslavije i u poslijeratnoj izgradnji zemlje neminovno oslanjaju na arhivske dokumente i intervjue, vodeći se, kako individualnim iskustvima žena u burnim godinama rata i postratnim gladnim godinama, tako i kolektivnim iskustvom jugoslovenskih žena u djelovanju dvomilionske organizacije AFŽ-a. Tu spadaju i masovne akcije opismenjavanja, političkog agitiranja, jednom riječju, emancipiranja miliona naših žena, što je bio prvi korak ka političkoj, ekonomskoj i socijalnoj jednakosti što je konačno doprinijelo i tome da sam ja danas kao žena u mogućnosti da se bavim političkom umjetnošću, govorim za novine i da me se uopšte išta pita, ističe Jušić, inače jedna od autorica arhiva Antifašističkog fronta žena BiH u okviru Udruženja Crvena.

Krucijalna uloga žena Jugoslavije u Drugom svjetskom ratu, bilo da je riječ o radu AFŽ-a ili direktnom sudjelovanju na bojnom polju, ne uči se u školi ni danas, niti se u dovoljnoj mjeri učila prije. Baš taj aspekt teme intrigira i Jušićevu, koja, kako govori, kroz vlastiti rad pokušava “oživiti ovaj dio ženske historije koji je važan dokaz da je velika promjena moguća, da smo ujedinjene jače i da možemo mijenjati tok historije u svoju korist”.

– Iako feminizam nije riječ koje su naše afežeovke koristile, jer se tada feminizam vezivao za buržoaziju, to je zaista feminizam na djelu koji nam je u nasljeđe ostavio skoro sva prava koja danas imamo i podrazumijevamo i koja nam danas čak pokušavaju oteti ili su već oteli. Evo odnedavno nam nalažu i kako se trebamo odjenuti na fakultet, a pritom se gotovo niko ne bavi pitanjem besplatnog školstva ili obdaništa, što su osnovna pitanja našeg i cjelokupnog društvenog boljitka. Umjesto toga, pokušavaju da nas dalje ograničavaju, vodeći se konzervativnim političkim stavovima i etnonacionalističkim principima koji su u svojoj osnovi patrijarhalni, na štetu nas, ali da se ponovim, ne samo nas već cijelog društva i budućih generacija, uvjerena je Jušić.

Zato je i (historijski) narativ mjesto gdje umjetnost može tražiti potencijalna rješenja ili inspiracija za nove borbe. Jušić ga vidi kao mogućnost da se žene regije ujedine i prevaziđu granice etničkog i nacionalnog, ali i da shvate kako su problemi koji su nam najpreči i koji nas najviše muče – ekonomske prirode, te ih, kako kaže, “zajednički moramo rješavati na jednom širem planu, uprijeti zajedničkim snagama i izboriti za sebe, za sve nas bitku koju su naše pretkinje započele”.

LINK to original text on Oslobođenje