Film as Political School
With the economical crisis in Yugoslavia and the 1981 protest movements in Prishtina, the so-called “Question of Kosovo” erupted into the Yugoslav public scene as a mediatic event. In the politicised and nationalistic atmosphere of the 1980s, cinema became a crucial terrain where the social changes and political ambitions were mediated. The social contradictions of the 1980s, the emergence of the nationalist and liberal political movements, the exhaustion of the state socialist projects became decisive for the political future of the region. The aim of the project is to understand the effects of these changes in cinema and how moving images shaped and grappled with this reality. Initially, the project aims to publish pamphlet style publications on the specific encounters between politics and cinema in Kosovo.
BELBËZIMET E KOSOVAFILMIT
In 1985, Shkelzen Maliqi had published a critique of Kosova Film Company's one of the most celebratory productions: Isa Qosja’s Proka (1985) and Agim Sopi’s Njeriu prej Dheu (1984). The text was published in Fjala journal and quickly turned to a polemical between him and the supporters of the films such as Gani Mehmetaj who emphasised their national successes. Maliqi’s text is called Belbëzimet e Universalitetit te Shpifur and criticises Qosja’s work for its abstract universalism and its escapism from reality. Maliqi reads this escapism as a symptom of nationalism and inability to criticize it. The book aims to collect those polemical texts together as well as to write an introduction based on our research on the topic. The research will try to understand and situate those film productions which was overflowing with nationalist metaphors in the conjuncture of the 1980s.
ZA SADA BEZ DOBROG NASLOVA
Srđan Karanović’s experimental film A Film with No Name (Za Rada Bez Dobrog Naslova) (1987) is one of its few examples in Yugoslavia where the national and class questions of Kosovo are examined with an unconventional film form. Sezgin Boynik has written a long text on this relation which was published under the name of Limits of Representation: On a Couple of Minutes of Srdjan Karanović's film Za Sada Bez Dobrog Naslova in Slovenian language. The project aims to publish a revised English version of Boynik’s text as well as an introduction by the philosopher and cultural critic Slobodan Karamanic.
UNTIL THE NEXT WAR: CHRIS MARKER'S KOSOVO FILES
The famous French film Director Chris Marker visited Kosovo right after the war in 1999. Together with François Crémieux, he visited the camps, talked with people and with the new mayor of Mitrovica – Bajram Rexhepi about the fate of their land. Out of this journey he produced a a short film called A Mayor in Kosovo. Besides this, he also made another video film called Avril Inquiet which was supposed to be 52 minutes. The film is made of reportages with Kosovars that Marker conducted in the streets and takes its name from one of Ismail Kadare’s novel (Aprilli i Thyer). However, due to the international disinterest towards Kosovo in the new millennium (in A Mayor in Kosovo, Marker reminds us that in 1999, under the Western eyes, Kosovo and Kosovars were mediatic objects rather than historical subjects) Marker decided to not distribute the film, saying “…nobody cares of Kosovo anymore anyway – until the next war.” The project aims to collect the Kosovo files of Chris Marker into a booklet and also present it with an exhibition; make an investigation about his unreleased film; present his interest in Kosovo in relation with his internationalist film practice