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Bor Encounters

10 Aug 2022

As you go…roads under your feet, towards the new future

Bor Encounters

September 15th –September 19th 2022

Press statement from Dragan Stojmenovic, librarian, Bor Public Library, partner cell of the inquiry

“The long-awaited gathering of the participants of the As you go… roads under your feet, towards the new future project at the Bor Encounters will hopefully not be the end of that journey, although it might be said that Bor is somewhere far away, and at the end of the Belt and Road–like some kind of richly decorated, golden buckle on a cowboy belt, or maybe another hole to tighten or loosen that belt. We will finally get to know each other, socialize, consider what we have done so far to promote our shared work and present it to the widest public, at the same time, we will regret the destroyed natural environment, look for hidden stories among the walls of the library, wander and discover Bor’s arcades–the arches between the columns of the French colonial administration, socialist baroque, and neo-colonial practices of liberal capitalism, in the end, we will eat together the food prepared by the guests-hosts. We just need to agree on how to proceed, what road we will choose. We hope that we will have the strength to stay and survive where we are, until we build our own roads, not expecting them to lead us to predictable and presumed destinations, but to revealing and liberating free expressions of disinterested creativity, movement and encounter.”

Statement from us guests and visitors of Bor

By the time you read this, most of the preparations for As you go… Bor encounters should be done and we are waiting to walk with you in Bor. Bor is small town and I wouldn’t be surprised if you haven’t heard of it. It is where Public Library Bor, is located and together we will be hosting number of encounters. Bor is also a site known for its copper mining industry, which has existed since the early 20th century, but also for the recent purchase of its mining complex by Chinese mining giant Zijin. Chinese investment in Bor’s mining industry has created many headlines with regards to land disputes, pollution and relocations.

Bor is a very popular film location. Its extraction wounds are vast and photogenic and appear as the background in many movies. We are not going to Bor to extract yet another image of its ever-expanding wounds. We are going to Bor to spend time together as part of transnational inquiry As you go…roads under the feet towards the new future; to walk with people in Bor, as organized by Jelica Jovanovic; to eat meals that Hu Yun will cook with Qiu, a Chinese chef who cooks for Chinese workers living and working in Bor Zijin; to gift with artist Jasphy Zheng situating Stories from the Room in Bor Library and to mourn the place together with Robel Temesgen. This will be our first physical meeting since we launch the enquiry in February 2020 in Addis Ababa, although we know for sure that a few colleagues will not be able to physically attend due to closed borders. In addition, this will be our first moment of sharing with public in physical location.

The days in Bor also include launch of publication of inquiry As you go… done in collaboration with Mousse Publishing House and Rockbund Art Museum and edited by Biljana Ciric that looks closely into our mode of working and research done since 2020.

Participants: Robel Temesgen (artist, Addis Ababa); Larys Frogier (director, Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai); Sinkneh Eshetu (writer, Addis Ababa); Aigerim Kapar (interdependent curator, Almaty); Jelica Jovanovic (architect, Belgrade) in collaboration with Dr. Visa Tasic (engineer of electronics), Milos Bozic (member of local community in Krivelj), Katica Radojkovic ( producer and seller of cheese), Nemanja Stefanovic ( student), Hu Yun (artist, Belgrade/Shanghai/Melbourne); Jasphy Zheng (artist, Xia Men/Shanghai); Dragan Stojmenovic (Public Library, Bor); Nikita Choi (chief curator, Times Museum, Guangzhou), simona dvorak ( curator), Vladimir Radivojevic (photographer), Nebojsa Yamasaki (artist).

Organized by What Could Should Curating Do and the Bor Public Library

Conceived by Biljana Ciric

As you go…roads under your feet, towards the new future – Bor encounters


As you go… roads under your feet, towards the new future – Bor encounter is the first physical public moment of sharing not only our research but also our mode of working based on relationality and interdependence that we bring with us as we move forward.

As you go… roads under your feet, towards the new future is a long-term project and research inquiry that reflects on the Belt and Road Initiative and how it will alter the aesthetics and practices of everyday life in different local contexts of Ethiopia, Serbia, Slovenia, Uzbekistan, China, Kazakhstan. We have established set  commonalities as guidelines of our research including socialismnon-aligned legacies , neo-geopolitical settingseconomical influences (especially that of the Chinese and Arab world within localities of similar patterns, that have even employed the same companies through different regions), being an agent of its own culture, and the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

Since April 2020, due to the pandemic, we have employed the strategy “dig where you stand”, and have been working with 15 researchers across Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Ethiopia, Serbia, Slovenia, and China. The research inquiry has been developed trying to listen to local urgencies and learn from them. From there a number of case studies had been formulated and research conducted.

Bor encounters is culmination of our work and research done in last two years and will include, number of public moments.

China operates within this inquiry as a point of connection, but always with the potential of separation. We did this research with colleagues in China, staying with the trouble as Donna Haraway says. China’s name carries many burdens but what does it mean to talk about China today? Trinh T. Min-ha states that reality cannot be contained and framed in a name. When reality speaks to us, we create an elsewhere within the here and this is what we have trying to do. This was our strategy—not to talk about China as the other, but to speak with China or to speak with Bor.

Full day to day program from 15th to 19th will be announced on September 1st

All the events are open to public and free of charge and we are looking forward walking with you.


More about As you go…

roads under your feet, towards the new future.

As you go… roads under your feet, towards the new future is initiated and conceived by Biljana Ciric. The inquiry and research cells include What Could Should Curating Do (Belgrade), Zdenka Badovinac (Ljubljana), Rockbund Art Museum (Shanghai), Guangdong Times Museum (Guangzhou), ArtCom (Astana), Robel Temesgen and Sinkneh Eshetu (Addis Ababa), and The Bor Public Library.

The first stage of the project has been supported by the Foundation for Arts Initiatives, CURTAIN (Rockbund Art Museum), Austrian Cultural Forum, Curatorial Practice (Monash University Art, Design and Architecture), and the Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship。Bor encounters received additional support from Office for Contemporary Art, Norway.

As you go… Bor encounters

participants biographies:

Sinkneh Eshetu (penname: O’Tam Pulto), a published author and landscape architect, is passionate about cultural landscapes – the combined works of culture and nature. He develops his novels and children stories based on his studies and interpretation of cultural landscapes to help preserve indigenous cultures and natural ecosystems. He develops positive youth development and empowerment media products for children and youth f. Among his 9 published works, fiction and non-fiction are ‘Catch Your Thunder: Rendezvous With the End’ (2015, Partridge Africa ), ‘A Thousand Versions of Love: The Tao of the Dusty Foot Philosopher’ (2014, Oland Books), ‘Affordance-Based Conceptual Framework for Landscape Architecture: Dealing With Change in Fixity and Fixity in Change’ (2012, Lap Lambert Academic Publishers). In the process of publishing are his 12 children books, a ‘Fruitycity Series: Appo My Friend’, based on Fruitycity Children’s World that he has created– an imaginary world where children are leaders. He is a founder of a start-up – a social entrepreneurship company called ‘Fruitycity Children’s World, which he currently manages.

Dragan Stojmenović graduated in Ethnology and Anthropology from the Faculty of Philosophy (Belgrade, Serbia), and has been living and working in Bor, Serbia since 1974. Since 2000, he has been working at the Bor Public Library; since 2005 as a Local History Department librarian. He is the author and chief manager of Digitization of Non-book Materials, Cultural and Public Activities of the Public Library Bor; and the editor and curator of several cultural programs, exhibitions and public lecture series, as well as the online platform He has also been an associate of numerous cultural organizations and NGOs, and a co-author of their various projects and programs. His book On French Society of Bor’s Mines photographic documentation was published in 2021.

Born in 1987 in Ethiopia, Robel Temesgen is currently a PhD fellow in Artistic Practice at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts. He received MFA from Tromsø Academy of Contemporary Art, University of Tromsø, Norway in 2015, and a BFA with Great distinction in Fine Art (Painting) from Alle School of Fine Arts and Design, Addis Ababa University in 2010. He took part in several fellowships and residencies, Junge Akademie Program of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin, and IASPIS, Stockholm, the Swedish Art Grants Committee’s International Programme for Visual and Applied Art are to mention a few. Temesgen’s work has been widely exhibited in international platforms in solo and group shows including ARoS Museum, Aarhus (2021), Para Site, Hong Kong (2021), Kunsthall Oslo (2019), Circle Art Agency, Nairobi (2019), Addis Foto Fest, Addis Ababa (2018), Modern Art Museum, Addis Ababa (2018), Tiwani Contemporary Art Gallery, London (2018), Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2017), Marabouparken, Stockholm (2017), Nada Art Fair, Miami (2016), Akademie der Künste, Berlin (2016), TromsøKunstforening (2016), Tiwani Contemporary Art Gallery, London (2016), KurantVisningsrom, Tromsø (2015), Lumen Festival, New York (2015), Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2014) and Modern Art Museum/GebreKristos Desta Center, Addis Ababa (2013).

Aigerim Kapar is an independent curator, cultural activist, founder of the creative communication platform «Artcom». Born in 1987 in Kazakhstan, lives and works in Astana. Aigerim curates and organizes exhibitions, city art interventions, discussions, lectures, workshops. Cooperates with art and educational institutions and scientific structures. In 2015, she founded in collaboration with the art community, the open platform “Artcom”. The platform brings together cultural figures to exchange experiences and find channels of interaction with society in order to develop and promote contemporary art and culture. In 2017, Aigerim initiated the Art Collider informal school – when art meets science. Where artists and scientists jointly conduct artistic studies, lectures and discussions on current topics. The results of the school are presented at exhibitions, publications and video materials.

Jelica Jovanović (1983) is an architect and PhD student at the University of Technology in Vienna, working as an independent researcher. She graduated with a degree in Architecture from the Faculty of Architecture, University of Belgrade. She is a founder and member of the NGO Grupa arhitekata, within which she has worked on several projects: Summer Schools of Architecture in Bač and Rogljevo (from 2010), (In)appropriate Monuments (ongoing from 2015), Lifting the Curtain (2014–2016, exhibited in Venice Bienale in 2014). She also coordinated the regional project Unfinished Modernisations for Association of Belgrade Architects (2010-2012) and worked as s curatorial assistant for the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA) for the exhibition Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948–1980.

She is a twice-elected secretary general of DOCOMOMO Serbia, for which she is also working as a project coordinator and web editor. She is also the coauthor of the book Bogdan Bogdanović Biblioteka Beograd – An Architect’s Library with Wolfgang Thaler and Vladimir Kulić, as well as the coauthor of the web page Arhiva modernizma with LjubicaSlavković. She is also an OeAD One Month Visit scholar (Austria) and SAIA (Slovakia) scholar.

Hu Yun is an artist currently based in Shanghai and Belgrade. In his practice, Hu Yun revisits historical moments in order to provide alternative readings, a process that also informs the artist’s self-reflection on his native and personal ties. His selected solo exhibitions include Image of Nature (Natural History Museum, London, 2010); Our Ancestors (Goethe Institute Shanghai, 2012); Lift with Care (2013) and Narration Sickness (2016) at AIKE Shanghai, and Another Diorama (2019, NUS Museum Singapore). His works have also been exhibited at the Power Station of Art (Shanghai), Centre Pompidou (Paris), The Cultural Centre of Belgrade, Para Site (Hong Kong) and Times Museum (Guangzhou). Hu Yun has also participated in the 4th Guangzhou Triennial (2012), 11th Gwangju Biennale (2016), 6th Singapore Biennale (2019) and 10th Asia Pacific Triennial. He is the co-founder of art e-journal PDF (2012-2013).

Larys Frogier has been the Director of the Rockbund Art Museum (RAM) in Shanghai since 2012.Since 2013, he has been the Chair of the HUGO BOSS ASIA ART jury and he conceived this new award, exhibition and research program as an evolving platform to question Asia as a construction to investigate rather than a monolithic area or fixed identities.In 2020, he engaged the Rockbund Art Museum in the long term research program conceived by the independent curator Biljana Ciric As You Go… Roads Under Your Feet, Towards A New Future.

In 2020, with Alfie Chua, he founded the duo artists Ocean & Wavz engaged in text, sound and image creation.

Simona Dvorák is an interdependent curator based in Paris. She develops projects on territories as Ile de France or Central and Eastern Europe. In her practice, she employs performative, sound and video formats, specific to the territorial and temporary context with the valorization of long-term collective work. She questions how we can create spaces of “communality” in the cultural sphere, notably as a curator within Initiative for Practices and Visions of Radical Care (founded by Nataša Petresin Bachelez & Elena Sorokina). She works on creating frameworks for “exhibition processes” that allow us to share and generate knowledges to anticipate possible futures: antisexist, anti-racist, inclusive. These strategies are based on learning and unlearning as a decolonial methodology developed collectively in Nora Sternefeld’s doctoral research para-seminar at the HFBK in Hamburg, that she is part, as well as within CuratorLab dealing with practice of cultural “resistance”, a program led by Joanna Warsza at Konstfack in Stockholm. simona dvorák was also recently a fellow of program Art and Education in documenta fifteen in Kassel. She works now as a curatorial assistant on Walking with Water public program imagined by Biljana Ciric and Balkan Projects in relation to the Republic of Serbia Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale. Concurrently, she is in charge of programming at the Department of Cultural Development.

Vladimir Radivojevic is street photographer from Bor. Passion towards photographic research he inherited from father. He is working with analog and digital photography since 2005. Vladimir participated in number of group exhibitions.

Chef Qiu moved from Cambodia to Bor pursuing his ambition to open Chinese restaurant.

Dr VišaTasić, engineer of electronics, employee of the Mining and Metallurgy Institute Bor.

Miloš Božić, member of the local community in Krivelj.

Katica Radojković, a producer and seller of cheese at the local market in Bor

Nemanja Stefanović, a student of communication and a member of the local youth theatre in Bor.

Nebojša Yamasaki Vukelić was born in 1986. in Belgrade, where he lives and works. He has received his MA in painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade in 2021. His work is mostly focused on drawing, through which he deals the question of personal and collective capacities for social imagination. The notion of the end of the world is an important aspect in his work, both as a marker of anxieties experienced by individuals in current contexts, and as an expression of resistance to existing social, economic and political conditions. He has exhibited in numerous group shows, as well as a solo show – Inside it will all be soft and tender, at X Vitamin Gallery. He is one of the recipients of the drawing award of the Vladimir Veličković Fund in 2021, as well as the painting award “Miodrag Janjušević – academic painter”, the same year.

BILJANA CIRIC is an interdependent curator. 

Ciric is curator of the Pavilion of Republic of Serbia at 59th Venice Biennale in 2022 presenting with Walking with Water Solo exhibition of Vladimir Nikolic.

She is conceiving inquiry for first Trans- Southeast Asian Triennial in Guang Zhou Repetition as a Gesture Towards Deep Listening (2021/2022).

She was the co-curator of the 3rd Ural Industrial Biennale for Contemporary Art (Yekaterinburg, 2015), curator in residency at Kadist Art Foundation (Paris, 2015), and a research fellow at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter (Høvikodden, 2016). Her recent exhibitions include An Inquiry: Modes of Encounter presented by Times Museum, Guang Zhou (2019); When the Other Meets the Other Other presented by Cultural Center Belgrade (2017); Proposals for Surrender presented by McAM in Shanghai (2016/2017); and This exhibition Will Tell You Everything About FY Art Foundations in FY Art Foundation space in Shen Zhen (2017).

In 2013, Ciric initiated the seminar platform From a History of Exhibitions Towards a Future of Exhibition Making with focus on China and Southeast Asia. The assembly platform was hosted by St Paul St Gallery, AUT, New Zealand (2013), Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai (2018), Times Museum, Guang Zhou (2019). The book with the same name was published by Sternberg Press in 2019 and was awarded best art publication in China in 2020.

Her research on artists organized exhibitions in Shanghai was published in the book History in Making; Shanghai: 1979-2006 published by CFCCA; and Life and Deaths of Institutional Critique, co-edited by Nikita Yingqian Cai and published by Black Dog Publishing, among others.

In 2018 she established the educational platform What Could/Should Curating Do? She was nominated for the ICI Independent Vision Curatorial Award (2012). 

Currently she is developing a long-term project reflecting on China’s Belt and Road Initiative titled As you go . . . the roads under your feet, towards a new future. She is undertaking practice based PhD in Curatorial Practice at Monash University, Melbourne.

For more info please contact us

Monika Husar

Violeta Stojmenovic

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