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Events

Borderlines

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July 2024 – ongoing

Organized by WCSCD in collaboration with Sreda Obitaninya

 

WCSCD is honored to announce a series of lectures, workshops and gatherings with and at Sreda Obitaninya, a cultural space established by two scientists from Saint Petersburg. This collaboration with Sreda Obitaninya is an extension of our educational program and alliances that welcome new communities that call Belgrade their home in recent years.

 

According to Chicana feminist Gloria Anzaldúa, the term “borderlands” refers to both a physical and metaphorical space of crossing and intersection, particularly concerning cultural, social, and identity boundaries. In her seminal work, “Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza”, Anzaldúa describes the borderlands as a space of hybridity and tension where different cultures, languages, and identities meet and interact. For Anzaldúa, the borderlands are not just geographic regions, but also psychological, social, and spiritual spaces where individuals navigate and negotiate their complex identities. This concept highlights the experiences of those who live on the margins or in between different worlds, emphasizing the fluidity and multiplicity of identity and the transformative potential of these in-between spaces. The borderlands represent a place of struggle but also a site of creativity and resistance, where new identities and ways of being can emerge.

 

In the post-pandemic world, we have witnessed the migration of humans and more-than-humans due to climate change, wars, political and economic recessions, and tighter border controls of the European Union. In the past three years, the influx of Russian communities and those from economically struggling regions, engaging in precarious work in Belgrade, has become our everyday reality.

 

Through collaboration with Sreda Obitaninya, we aspire to equip both locals and new neighbors with the tools needed to comprehend and navigate a place like Belgrade. This will allow us to situate ourselves within the city and facilitate the collective production and exchange of knowledge.

 

The city of Belgrade, with its rich history of migration, has long played a pivotal role in fostering Global South alliances and navigating Cold War politics between the so-called Former East and Former West, while consistently remaining on the periphery of the European Union. However, its troubled history is marred by power struggles and political missteps, which have ignited deadly civil conflicts throughout the Yugoslav region. In the present day, as Belgrade undergoes gentrification and the commercialization of its public spaces, new waves of migration are once again transforming the city into a complex and multifaceted environment.

 

Bringing different communities together is essential for fostering a harmonious and progressive society. When diverse groups interact, they become more familiar with each other's cultures, experiences and perspectives, which helps reduce stereotypes and prejudices. This engagement promotes mutual respect and understanding, leading to social cohesion.

 

Using culture as a means of integrating different communities enriches the social fabric. Cultural exchange broadens the collective worldview and promotes global awareness, fostering a deeper appreciation for the richness of human diversity and helping to overcome the isolation of diaspora communities.

 

The encounters in Sreda Obitaninya that will start from July will share marginal histories, silenced histories, from feminist and partial perspectives that will serve as a platform for exchange of ideas and dialogue through presentation and workshops. 

 

Format

Every month we will be organizing lectures, workshops, and gatherings led by local artists, curators, and cultural workers that will be set around the extensive history of Belgrade that is relevant to understanding the current city's constantly changing environment and social fabric.

 

Migrant communities have the potential to create a wide array of presentations through collective music listening, reading groups, food tastings, and workshops that share their culture, experiences, knowledge, and perspectives with diverse audiences. Storytelling sessions provide a platform to share folktales, personal stories, and historical narratives from their countries of origin, fostering understanding and empathy. Discussions with speakers from diverse backgrounds tackling topics such as cultural identity and migration policies. Cross-cultural workshops foster mutual understanding by allowing participants to share their backgrounds, beliefs, and customs interactively. Anti-discrimination sessions can raise awareness about challenges like racism and xenophobia, promoting inclusivity and respect.

1) July 4, 7 pm

Part 1. Feminizing the City: A Workshop on Gender, Mapping, and Memory

Language: English

Duration: 2 hours

Admission fee: 900 RSD

 

We invite you to take part in Feminizing the City: A Workshop on Gender, Mapping, and Memory, led by journalist and visual artist Dunja Karanović. This workshop will serve as a follow-up to our Walking as a Way of Knowing program, a series of artist-led walks organized in Belgrade from March to June 2024 by the educational platform WCSCD.

Participants will have a chance to engage in a feminist reading of cultural policy and politics of remembrance in the city of Belgrade, investigating questions like who gets commemorated in public spaces, how women’s bodies, names, and actions show up in monuments, what’s missing and what we can learn from looking at margins.

Street names, squares, and monuments often reflect a revisionist, one-sided historical narrative that celebrates violence and oppression – by looking into what gets sidelined and forgotten, we will attempt to co-create a more caring perspective, mapping out the contributions of feminist activists, scholars, artists, and community leaders.

By engaging in collective reading, discussion, mapping, and collage, we will have an opportunity to learn about women who shaped the city’s history with their pioneering initiatives, personal histories, and artistic endeavors. 

 

2) July 18, 7 pm

Part 2. “Not in Our Name”: Women’s Anti-war Movement in the 1990’s

 

Language: English

Duration: 2 hours

Admission fee: 900 RSD

 

A lecture and discussion continuing our exploration of feminist perspectives on Belgrade’s history. The 1990s conflicts in the ex-Yugoslav region prompted a re-traditionalization of gender roles and heightened nationalism, evident in contemporary cultural policies and public spaces.

The lecture will delve into the historical and social backdrop of the 1990s Yugoslav wars, highlighting the critical role women played in opposing the conflict. It will cover the formation and actions of anti-war groups and their connections with the Yugoslav feminist traditions of the 1970s, focusing on prominent figures like Žarana Papić, Jelena Šantić, Borka Pavićević, the origins of Women in Black (Žene u crnom), Center for Anti-war Action, and other initiatives, their strategies, challenges, and legacy of bravery, resilience, and solidarity. Part of the lecture will also involve discussing how remembrance culture, archiving, and feminist heritage equip us for reading, recognizing, and resisting revisionism and media obfuscation in today’s increasingly polarized world.

Location: Sreda Obitaniya, Šafarikova 6, Belgrade

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