Harriman Institute

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Archives of Solidarity: Yugoslav Newsreels and the Non-Aligned World
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Please join the Njegoš Endowment for Serbian Language and Culture at the East Central European Center for a lecture by the award-winning filmmaker and archival artist Mila Turajlić. Moderated by Aleksandar Bošković and Christopher Caes, co-directors of the East Central European Center.

A presentation of Mila Turajlić’s artistic research project Non-Aligned Newsreels, offering a deep-dive into the archival materials of non-aligned ciné-collaborations and the legacy of the Yugoslav cameramen who filmed them. Since 2015, Turajlić has been collaborating with Filmske novosti (Yugoslav Newsreels) and President Tito’s cameraman Stevan Labudović on digitizing and contextualizing films they shot for liberation movements and newly-independent countries in Africa. Starting from the 1950s, when Stevan Labudović was sent on a clandestine mission to film the Algerian Liberation Army, Yugoslavia provided technical aid in the form of cinema to many liberation movements (including Frelimo in Mozambique, and the PLO) and new governments (creating newsreels for Mali and Tanzania). An exploration of the archival holdings and circumstances of their creation reveals the ways in which the filmic image chronicled the birth of a political project, becoming at the same time the vehicle through which the non-aligned community was constituted and their vision narrated.

Featured image: Stevan Labudović filming at the first Summit of Non-Aligned countries in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, 1961. © Non-Aligned Newsreels

 

Mila Turajlić is an award-winning director born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. She is currently a fellow at the Columbia Institute for Ideas and Imagination. Her films have screened at numerous festivals including Toronto and Tribeca, and have been released theatrically in Europe, North America and across the former Yugoslavia. Her most recent film The Other Side of Everything (2017) was HBO Europe’s first co-production with Serbia. It won 32 awards including the IDFA Award for Best Documentary Film, the Grand Prix for Best historical documentary released in France in 2018, the IDA Award for Best Writing and was nominated for the LUX Prize the European Parliament. Turajlić’s debut feature doc, Cinema Komunisto (2011) played at over 100 festivals and won 16 awards including the Gold Hugo and the FOCAL Award for Creative Use of Archival Footage. Turajlić is currently in post-production on her third feature film, The Labudović Reels, an archival road trip through the archives of African liberation movements of the 50’s and 60’s filmed by Stevan Labudović, the cameraman of Yugoslav President Tito.

In her work with archives, Turajlić researches the intersection of personal and national memories, seeking to reactivate forgotten histories, through forms ranging from lecture performances and video art to analytical essays. In 2018 she was commissioned by MoMA to create a series of archive-based video installations for their landmark exhibition on Yugoslav modernist architecture. Her next exhibition & performance project The Non-Aligned Newsreels was selected for development in the prestigious Cph:Lab in 2021.

A graduate of the London School of Economics in politics and international relations, Turajlić obtained her PhD in cinema studies from the University of Westminster. She teaches documentary and creative use of archives at Sciences Po and INASup in Paris, as well as at a documentary programs run by the Balkan Documentary Center, and Scottish Documentary Institute.

Photo credit: Miguel Bueno

 

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