Real but not true

Duplex Gallery
Solo exhibition
March 08th – 30th

Guide through by artist on March 14th at 11h, March 18th at 17h and March 28th TBC

poster

Real but not true – Tijana Okić

The First, and especially the Second World War was a turning point for the women of Yugoslavia. In the Kingdom of Yugoslavia women could have only a few roles – they could be wives, mothers (property) and a cheap workforce. Legally, they didn’t even have the status of a person. World War One brought small changes, culminating in the victory of the national liberation. While men were on the fronts of WWI, women took vacant positions which were until then reserved exclusively for men. In WWII, women gave their contributions side by side with their co-fighters, showed superhuman resistance and mobilised against enemy forces in every way possible: through legal and illegal activity, on occupied and liberated territory, in fear and in freedom, women acted in the struggle against the enemy and fascism.

According to Mitra Mitrović, WWII was the war that blurred the lines between the front and the background. Women were in both at the same time; in the army with machine guns and with the laboring force in the background. With their bodies, in combat and in physical labour, women made the revolution possible and greatly influenced the outcome of WWII in Yugoslavia. They fought with guns and paid in blood for the rights we have today. We must never forget the most important rights we inherited from their struggle – women’s suffrage and the right to compulsory education.

As one of the largest women’s organisations in the region and the world, the Antifascist Front of Women counted at the time more than 2 million members, making it the biggest organised women’s movement in the Second World War. 100 000 women fought as Partisans, out of which 2 000 received a military rank. 25 000 partisans were killed, and over 40 000 were wounded in combat. The AFW, with its numbers and its activities, will be memorialized as one of the greatest instances of women’s organising of all time. After WWII the role of the AFŽ moved from the battlefield to the task of rebuilding the country. In 1947, the decision was made to start realizing the first Five-year plan, and AFW became one of the organisations fulfilling their obligation by working diligently on the reconstruction of the country. The realization of the Five-year plan depended heavily on the heroic work of women as a reserve army of labour for the creation of a happier future for the Yugoslav people. Women dug, built railways and railroads, worked in mines and fields, built infrastructure and factories. In addition to their heroic work on reconstruction, they still carried out all their traditional duties. The responsibilities of caring for children, the sick, the elderly, the feeble, and the household all still fell on them. The AFŽ is a phenomenon of a time inscribed with the experience of the witnesses, a time of struggle where women really, but not completely, won their rights, a time when everything changed and stayed the same for women.

How do we treat this past in a time of complete dissolution of the idea of togetherness and collective struggle? On the one hand, for generations who are completely cut off from their past, even comprehending the power and magnitude of the AFŽ would be a genuine step forward in the fight against the dominant ideology of oblivion, the everlasting present, and the historical revisionism of reactionary forces. And on the other hand, radical dehistoricization and mythologization of the AFŽ by the Left has led to a complete misunderstanding of the historical circumstances and causes which ultimately led to AFŽ’s formation, and the original roles envisioned for it. Exactly because of this, now more than ever, we have to think through our past critically and not nostalgically, against the ideology of oblivion, defiantly remembering and collecting experiences from which we can learn a lot – about the past, but also about ourselves.

Translation from Bosnian: Kasja Jerlagić
Proofreading: Eric Gordy


Stvarno, ali ne i istinito – Tijana Okić

Prvi, a osobito Drugi svjetski rat za žene na području Jugoslavije označili su prekretnicu. Žene su u Kraljevini Jugoslaviji imale par uloga. One su mogle biti supruge, majke (vlasništvo) i jeftina radna snaga. Pravno im nije bio zagarantiran niti status osobe.  Već s Prvim svjetskim ratom dolazi do polaganih promjena koje će kulminirati izvojevanom pobjedom u Narodno-oslobodilačkoj borbi. Dok su za vrijeme Prvog svjetskog rata muškarci bili na frontovima, žene su zauzele upražnjena mjesta do tada rezervirana isključivo za muškarce. Za vrijeme Drugog svjetskog rata žene su, dajući svoj obol u Narodno-oslobodilačkoj borbi, podnijele veliku žrtvu zajedno sa suborcima, pružajući nadljudski otpor i mobilizirajući se protiv neprijateljskih snaga na sve moguće načine: legalnim i ilegalnim radom, na okupiranoj i oslobođenoj teritoriji, u strahu i u slobodi žene su radile u borbi za pobjedu nad neprijateljem i fašizmom.

Drugi svjetski rat je, riječima Mitre Mitrović bio rat u kojem se brisala i pomicala granica između fronta i pozadine. Žene su tako bile i front i pozadina; i armija puškomitraljezaca,  ali i armija rada u pozadini. Svojim tijelima, u borbi i fizičkom radu, žene su omogućile revoluciju i dobrim dijelom doprinijele ishodu Drugog svjetskog rata u Jugoslaviji.  Puškom su se borile i u krvi izborile prava koja uživamo još i danas. Kao dvije najvažnije tekovine njihove borbe ne smijemo nikada zaboraviti da su se izborile za pravo glasa i pravo na obavezno osnovno obrazovanje.


Kao jedna od najmasovnijih ženskih organizacija, ne samo na našim prostorima, već uopće, u svijeu, isticao se tada Antifašistički front žena koji je brojao preko 2 miliona članica. “Ta brojka čini najveći ženski organizirani pokret u Drugom svjetskom ratu. Borilo se 100.000 žena (partizanki), njih 2.000 su dobile vojni čin. 25.000 partizanki je ubijeno, a preko 40.000 ranjeno u borbi.” AFŽ svojom brojnošću i svojim djelovanjem ostaje trajno upisan kao jedna od najsjajnijih faza ženskog organiziranja ikada i igdje.  Uloga AFŽ-a po završetku Drugog svjetskog rata sa bojnog polja prelazi u borbu za izgradnju i obnovu zemlje. Kada se 1947. godine donosi odluka o realizaciji prvog petogodišnjeg plana, AFŽ postaje jednom od organizacija koja predanim udarničkim radom izvršava obaveze na obnovi i izgradnji zemlje. Ostvarenje petogodišnjeg plana u velikoj je mjeri ovisilo od udarničkog i herojskog rada žena kao rezervne armije rada kojom je izgrađena sretnija budućnost jugoslavenskih naroda. Žene su tako kopale, gradile pruge i željeznice, radile u rudnicima, na poljima, na podizanju infrastrukture i fabrika. Pored svog udarničkog i herojskog rada na obnovi i zgradnji, nastavile su obavljati i sve tradicionalne dužnosti. Na njih je padala briga o djeci, bolesnima, starima, nemoćnima i kućanstvu. AFŽ je fenomen jednot vremena u koje je upisano vrijeme svjedoka, vrijeme borbe u kojoj su se žene stvarno, ali ne i istinito izborile za svoja prava, vrijeme u kojem se za žene promijenilo sve i u kojem je sve ostalo isto.

Kako se mi odnosimo prema toj prošlosti u vrijeme potpune disolucije bilo kakve ideje o zajedništvu i kolektivnoj borbi? S jedne strane, za generacije koje potpuno odsječene od svoje prošlosti, uopće pojmiti moć i obim AFŽ-a predstavljalo bi pravi i istinski pomak u borbi protiv dominantne ideologije zaborava, vječne sadašnjosti i historijskog revizionizma reakcionarnih snaga. S druge pak strane, radikalna de-historizacija i mitologizacija AFŽ-a na ljevici dovele su do potpunog nerazumijevanja historijskih okolnosti i uzroka koji su na koncu doveli do formiranja AFŽ-a i uloga koje su za AFŽ od početka bile predviđene. Upravo zbog toga, danas više nego ikada našu vlastitu prošlost moramo misliti kritički, a ne nostalgično, protiv ideologije zaborava borbeno se sjećajući i sakupljajući iskustva iz kojih možemo naučiti mnogo. O prošlosti, ali i o nama samima.

Link to photos of opening and set up on Google+

Without enormous support of friends, this exhibition would never be realized: Pierre Courtin, Claudia Zini, Kasja Jerlagić, Elvira Jahić, Soraja Čehić, Ilvana Dizdarević, Danijela Dugandžić, Nardina Zubanović, Igor Šakić, Ervin Prašljivić, Enes Vilić, Jasmin Šehović. Ervin Nevesinjac, Dženan Hadžihasanović, Ferida Duraković and Milan Senić.

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