Lives in Transition: LGBTQ Serbia

Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room, 1219 International Affairs Building (420 W 118th St)

Please join us for a talk with Serbian born photographer and architect Slobodan Randjelović about his photobook Lives in Transition: LGBTQ Serbia (The New Press), with a discussion moderated by Professor Tanya Domi (SIPA, Harriman).

In June 2001, Serbia witnessed its first LGBTQ pride parade in Belgrade’s Central Square. It was a short-lived march, as an ultranationalist mob quickly descended on the participants, chanting homophobic slurs and injuring dozens. For years afterward, fear of violence prevented further marches, and when, in October 2010, the next pride march finally went ahead, it again devolved into violence as anti-LGBTQ rioters, firing shots and hurling petrol bombs, fought the police. It was only in 2014 that a pride march was held uninterrupted, albeit under heavy police protection.

Lives in Transition: LGBTQ Serbia by Serbian born photographer Slobodan Randjelović is a powerful portrait of a community battling homophobia and transphobia in Serbia. It is part of the ongoing critically acclaimed series of photobooks published by The New Press with the Arcus Foundation on queer communities around the world. The book captures the struggles and successes of sixteen LGBTQ people living throughout Serbia—a conservative, religious country where, despite semi-progressive LGBTQ protection laws, homophobia fueled by religious authorities and right-wing political parties remains deeply entrenched. In a country where lack of employment opportunities and hostile families frequently drive queer people into poverty and isolation, these individuals have struggled to build a community that will offer solace, protection, and even joy.

Slobodan Randjelović is a Serbian-born architect currently working in New York City. He is also a photographer and passionate supporter of LGBTQ rights, environmental conservation, and the arts. The author of Lives in Transition: LGBTQ Serbia (The New Press), he serves on the board of the Arcus Foundation, the Gallmann Memorial Foundation, New York Live Arts, and the Design Committee of the Park Avenue Armory.