Original title: Šta je nama naša borba dala?
Year of production 2013
Special thanks to girls from CRVENA for making it happen
The exhibition was made for 8th of March and it is inspired by the book Women heroes (edited by Mila Beoković in 1967.) The book consists of life stories of 10 Bosnian heroines from World War II.
Izložba “Šta je nama naša borba dala?” desila se 8. marta 2013 godine u galeriji Duplex u Sarajevu. Inspirisana je knjigom “Žene heroji” koju je 1967. uredila Mila Beoković. Knjiga sadrži životne priče 10 narodnih herojki NOB-a iz Bosne i Hercegovine. Njihove životne priče su sastavljene od svjedočenja ljudi koji su ih poznavali. One su u ovim pričama predstavljene kao nadljudska bića koja su hrabro trpila bol, poniženja i mučenja, a sve za dobrobit svoje zemlje. Na ovaj način su one kao žene ponovo dehumanizirane i pretovorene u mitska bića u kojima će narod pronaći uzor i slaviti ih, dodijeljujući im osobine koje nisu svojstvene “običnim” ženama. Tako narodne herojke pjevaju dok krvare na nosilima, prkose dok ih vješaju i same uskaču u svoju raku pred streljanje sa osmijehom na licu, sretne što umiru za domovinu.
Oko 100 000 žena priključilo se NOB-u, ne samo radi patritotizma kako se to htjelo prikazati, već zato što su u potrazi za svojom političkom emancipacijom pronašle izlaz u uključivanju u rat. Tako su pobjegle od patrijarhalnih okova u kojima su živjele unutar svojih porodica i konačno dobile šansu da učestvuju u društvenim procesima. Nažalost, već tokom 1950-ih ista politička elita koja im je obećevala ravnopravnost dok je mobilizirala za rat čini sve da zaustavi snažni emancipatorski val koji se desio u SFRJ tih godina. Ubrzo se ukida Antifašistički Front Žena koji je bio glavno uporište ženske borbe za ravnopravnost. Nova Jugoslavija za cilj ima da se žene vrate u “prirodne” uloge majki i njegovateljica sinova koji će izrasti u zdrave i prave Jugoslovene.
Dignity and defiance of encaptured Partisan woman at the time of the attack on Drvar
Ponos i prkos zarobljene partizanke u vrijeme desanta na Drvar
Fear and desperation of encaptured Partisan woman at the time of the attack on Drvar
Strah i očaj zarobljene partizanke u vrijeme desanta na Drvar
I wasn’t ashamed of any work. I went to scrub and wash laundry in villages and towns, I plowed the fields for them to sew me a blouse or a skirt. When I became a partisan I wore a colorful men’s shirt over a pleated cotton skirt, and over it a long military tunic, pinched at the waist with a belt and a gun, my feet in light leather peasant shoes. And a red bandana on my head! Soon on my shirt there was a red vertical stripe, and above it a five-pointed star with a hammer and sickle – I had become a Commissar.
I was born in an age when parents did not celebrate female children. The first of ten, I was the daughter of a judge. I was lucky to finish high school, for Muslim girls rarely did. I wanted to go to Zagreb, to school for teachers. Father said that girls should not be let out of the house. I never gave up on removing the hijab. Finally he relented. The only place where I could say what I thought and felt were our female gatherings. There, I shattered prejudices – that books are not for females, that a Muslim woman must hide and obey. They go to college, move freely, and we stay at home. Even when we go out, we are restrained in the hijab, like bugs in a cocoon. Women from wealthy families used to condemn me: “A Vlah (Serbian) woman! Wearing a tight blouse, cuts her hair, goes to cinema, theater…” Those poorer would say, “Dear Vahida, it can not be so with us.” The war came and our gatherings were replaced with books and marching songs. One day, when comrades from the woods asked for some clothes, I dragged from beneath the settee two packed suitcases and started cutting. Must comrades go naked and barefoot! I was angry with myself for not thinking of my attire earlier.
I had a beautiful red silk skirt. I wore it only once. Those were not times for skirts, and the youth of Kamenica did not have their own flag. I ripped that skirt and made a flag, on which I embroidered with yellow thread a sickle, hammer and star. When we walked to the Sreski choir in Gruborski Nasloni, my red skirt waved at the head of the column. I sewed it as a sign of brotherhood and sisterhood.
Before I went to partisans, I went to say goodbye to my girlfriend. She noticed I was poorly dressed and that I wasn’t properly equipped for the woods. Her sister offered me some of her clothes. She had the entire ski equipment. Wind jacket fitted me perfectly. I said: “I will be worm in cold winter nights, but I ll also be elegant in the woods.”
It was New Years Eve. I sewed all night long, for me and for him, that dress. My comrades gave me the fabric. It turned out very nice, with a fine, white collar. The only one I ever had, a real one, festive. So when the party began I couldn’t stop myself, I was humming, singing – the spirit had taken me. And I thought, everything will be fine. It has to. Look at us, the revolution has begun.
as I marched spritely down the Šekovići
in the new skirt that I sewed out of parachute silk,
I met a fellow soldier, Mitar Minić.
Amazed, he looked at me and asked why the skirt
when no other comrades wear it.
I liked the skirt
and the parachute silk.
I dreamt about going to town – that I would go there
and be nicely dressed.