kuda.org announces - video document: exhibition Želimir Žilniks' Shadow Citizens in Kunsthalle Wien - public discussion and screening of the film 'The Most Beautiful Country in the World'

kuda.org announces:

On the occasion of the current exhibition Želimir Žilnik Shadow Citizens in Kunsthalle Wien

Public discussion and screening of the film 'The Most Beautiful Country in the World'


Online talk, Friday 18.12.2020. at 2 p.m.



Conversation participants:

Želimir Žilnik, director, Novi Sad

Adrien Feix, director of the Austrian Cultural Forum in Belgrade

Simona Ognjanović, curator at the Museum of Yugoslavia in Belgrade

Ana Panić, curator of the art collection of the Museum of the History of Yugoslavia in Belgrade.

Dušan Radunović, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Foreign Languages ​​and Culture, the University of Durham in Great Britain

Sima Kokotović, Ph.D. in Film and Motion Picture Studies at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada

moderation: Zoran Pantelić, kuda.org, Novi Sad

The conversation will be conducted in Serbian, while Adrian Feix's introductory speech will be in English.


The film 'The Most Beautiful Country in the World', 2018

All those interested will have the opportunity to watch the film via the link: https://www.bmeia.gv.at/sr/austrijski-kulturni-forum-beograd/ in the period from December 18 to December 24, 2020, thanks to the Austrian Cultural Forum from Belgrade.

The film follows a group of young migrants in Vienna, who are breaking through the administrative labyrinths of checking and acquiring status and residence. We look at their fears, mutual encouragements, and achievements - as they master the language, they show skills in their professions, clarity, and knowledge in entrance exams for schools and colleges. The film is also a story about new and old friendships, about the feeling of freedom in a new environment, without the pressure of war threats and patriarchal family restraints.

'The Most Beautiful Country in the World', 101 min, HD, Austria, 2018

Screenplay and direction: Želimir Žilnik
Director of Photography: Peter Röhsler
Sound Recorder: Günther Tuppinger
Editing: Vuk Vukmirović

Production: nanookfilm, Vienna
Co-producers: Tramal Films, Ljubljana, Slovenia; JMU RTV Vojvodina, Novi Sad, Serbia; Factum, Zagreb, Croatia


WHW: “... Many of Žilnik's films prophetically hinted at real-world events, such as the breakup of Yugoslavia, the economic transition from socialism to the neoliberal order, the trampling of workers' rights, and wider social erosion of labor and migration. The title of the exhibition, Citizens from the Shadows, reflects Žilnik's life focus on the invisible, repressed, and under-represented or under-represented citizens. As a concept, "citizens from the shadows" refer to a form of political engagement in "amateur politics" - imaginative and subversive non-normative knowledge and alternative sensibilities that always exist latently in society and sometimes visibly shift "everyday politics".


This is an opportunity to organize an event that unites the work of longtime associates of kuda.org, despite the difficult conditions for the physical gathering: author Želimir Žilnik, curators of the WHW collective, Austrian Cultural Forum from Belgrade, with great contribution from the participants: Simona Ognjanović, Ana Panić, Dusan Radunovic, Sima Kokotovic.

At the same time, this event is a contribution to the research program 'The Continuous Art Class', which kuda.org has been developing since 2003 and within which several publications with a focus on the analysis of Žilnik's opus have been realized, and within which the ŽŽ - Želimir Žilnik educational web platform has been established.

We would also like to inform you that the exhibition Shadow Citizens at the Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna has been extended until April 18, 2021


Biographies of participants in the public interview:

Ana Panić, senior curator and art historian. Since 2005, she has been the curator of the art collection of the Museum of the History of Yugoslavia in Belgrade. The Museum Society of Serbia awarded her the "Mihailo Valtrović" award for her contribution to the advancement of museum activities and the development of Serbian culture in 2008 for the World of Silver project, and in 2012 for the best exhibition Yugoslavia: From Beginning to End. Did she receive the award of the Society of Art Historians of Serbia for the best author's exhibition in 2015 for the exhibition Never Been Better? Modernization of everyday life in socialist Yugoslavia. The exhibition Nineties: Dictionary of Migrations, co-authored with Simona Ognjanović, was declared the project of the year (2019) by the National Branch of the International Museum Council of NK ICOM Serbia. Her areas of interest are culture and art in socialist Yugoslavia, political practices of (post) Yugoslav art and contemporary production, the culture of memory and building a collective memory of Yugoslavia, art as a means of constructing (supra) national identity.

Simona Ognjanović, Ph.D. candidate at the Department of History of Modern Art. Since 2010 she has been active as a curator and author of numerous texts in the form of prefaces to catalogs of exhibitions and articles. She realized the exhibition, Pete Mondrian. The case of Composition II, for which she and co-author Jelena Dergenc received the award of the Society of Art Historians of Serbia for the best exhibition in 2014. Within the Association of Curators Alineja, of which she is a co-founder, she participated in the conceptualization and realization of a series of exhibitions, workshops, and a series of public lectures from 2015 to 2018. The curator has realized the exhibition Nineties: Dictionary of Migrations in the Museum of Yugoslavia since 2017 and in cooperation with Ana Panić, which was declared the best project in 2019 by the National Branch of the International Council of Museums NK ICOM Serbia. Lazar Trifunović received the award for the text entitled Dictionary of Migration: One Possible Interpretation of the 1990s, published in the catalog of the mentioned exhibition. She is a member of ICOM Serbia and the International Association of Art Critics of the sections Serbia - AICA.

Sima Kokotović is a Ph.D. candidate in Film and Motion Picture Studies at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. His research project explores how three different film cultural projects, embedded in three different geographies and political contexts, have mobilized the film circulation to respond to the renewed impulses of struggle that have emerged around the world in the last decade. As a member of the MediaLabour collective, he is involved in research and organization at the intersection of academia and works in the so-called creative economies. He organized "Cinema in the Midst of Struggle," a series of academic and non-academic events aimed at the political cinema in the neoliberal era, as well as "Alternative Media Policy", a project aimed at exchanging ideas on basic goals, non-commercial and emancipatory practices of using media as instruments. mobilization, empowerment, and community building.

Dušan Radunović is an associate professor at the Faculty of Foreign Languages ​​and Culture at the University of Durham in Great Britain, where he teaches in the programs for Slavic Studies and Visual Arts and Film. His publications include the author's monograph Rani Bakhtin (Official Gazette, 2012), the collection Language, Ideology, and the Human (Routledge, 2012), and a number of authorial articles on critical theory and intellectual history (Bakhtin, Russian Formalism, Gustav Špet) and a film in Russia, the Soviet Union, the former Yugoslavia and the post-Soviet cultural and political space (Sergei Eisenstein, Dusan Makaveev, transnational post-Soviet film).