List of programs

A series of talks and screenings “The Non-Aligned and Cultural Connections”

The Museum of Yugoslavia, in cooperation with film and media scholar Sima Kokotović, is organizing a series of talks, lectures and film screenings entitled “The Non-Aligned and Cultural Connections” from June 4 to June 9. The event investigates the multiplicity and complexity of cultural exchanges and cooperations between the SFR Yugoslavia and members of the Non-Aligned Movement.

The author of the program, Sima Kokotović, emphasizes how cultural exchanges and cooperations “constituted a significant portion of activities of Yugoslav cultural workers which offered them an opportunity to become familiar with and, simultaneously, participate in broader cultural trends in the Third World. In addition, cultural actors from other continents learned about important aspects of Yugoslav culture through these collaborations “. Although primarily initiated by governmental bodies, Kokotović adds, the “cultural exchanges between Yugoslavia and the ‘Non-Aligned’ unfolded beyond the framework of state diplomacy though this remains the dominant lens for their analysis.

This undoubtedly transnational phenomenon “requires attentiveness in building and employing analytical tools capable of tackling all the complexities, contradictions, and the phenomenon’s, primarily, relational nature. In this light, an approach grounded in the nation-state paradigm proves to be inadequate,” Kokotović points out. Consequently, the program “The Non-Aligned and Cultural Connections” brings together research of local and international scholars, curators, and artists who have already tackled these issues and presents to the audience new entry points for understanding and rediscovering transnational dimensions of Yugoslav culture.

The author of the program is Sima Kokotović, a film and media studies researcher and lecturer. The discussants are Jelena Vesić, Bojana Videkanić, Natalija Vujošević, Ana Knežević, Nataša Kovačević, Aleksandra Perišić, Bojana Piškur, Nemanja Radonjić and Mila Turajlić.

The program will take place in the cinema hall in the May 25 Museum building. Entrance is free.

Visual: Miloš Zec

Photo: Courtesy of the Archives of Yugoslavia and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Montenegro

Gratitude to: RTS

June 4

6:00 p.m. Introductory notes, Sima Kokotović

6:30 p.m. Panel discussion “Travels and Friendships: from Political Alignment to Solidarity”

Nataša Kovačević and Aleksandra Perišić will participate in the panel with presentations “Revolutionary Travelogues: Anti-colonial Struggle on the Cultural Front” and “Non-Aligned Female Friendships and Solidarity: Aoua Keita, Veda Zagorac and Vida Tomšić”. The presentations will foreground how texts, such as travelogues and private written correspondence, enable understanding of the process of negotiating cultural, historical, and political differences in the context of establishing cultural ties. Thus, the authors suggest anti-colonial struggle and struggle for women’s emancipation as pivotal categories for analyzing international connections and their complex geography.

June 5

6:00 p.m. Panel discussion “Cultural Institutions in Organizing Connections among the Non-Aligned”

The presenters will discuss international activities of various cultural institutions in the SFRY at the end of the 1970s and during the 1980s (such as the Art Gallery of Non-Aligned Countries “JosipBroz Tito” and the Museum of African Art). The discussion will focus on the events initiated in this period, and especially on the logistics and organization that enabled their realization and the creation of “non-aligned” cultural ties. Such a perspective will offer understanding of the material conditions underlying international cooperations.

Participants: Bojana Videkanić, Natalija Vujošević and Ana Knežević

8:00 p.m. Panel discussion “Historical Cultural Solidarity in the Contemporary Artistic Practices”

The panel participants will reflect on contemporary artistic practices that turn to historical forms of cultural solidarities. Bojana Piškur will talk about the exhibition “Southern Constellations” and its numerous iterations which have been displayed in the venues ranging from Ljubljana to South Korea during  the last five years. Jelena Vesić will offer a theorization of the concept of “solidarity in time” focusing on images of history in contemporary art.

Participants: Bojana Piškur and Jelena Vesić

June 6

6:00 p.m. Nemanja Radonjić: “Yugoslavia, Africa, the Non-Aligned and Academic Colonialism”

In his presentation, Nemanja Radonjić will discuss two phenomena: the status of culture in a wider context of Yugoslav participation in international exchanges, and the new dynamics that have emerged in the international academic context around the research of the Non-Aligned Movement.

7:30 p.m. Mila Turajlić: “Chronicles of Yugoslav Film Solidarity: Dragutin Popović and Frelimo”

In the form of a lecture-performance, Mila Turajlić will present her new project exploring the connections between Yugoslav Newsreel and the Mozambique liberation movement.

Participants: Nemanja Radonjić and Mila Turajlić


June 8 and 9

1:00-3:00 p.m. Screening of selected episodes from the series “Anticolonial Struggle” by Nikola Vitorović 

The series “Anticolonial Struggle” was broadcasted between 1980 and 1986 as a part of the educational program of TV Belgrade. The series has 16 episodes, and each highlights an anti-colonial struggle in one Asian or African country (from Indonesia, through Yemen, to the Republic of South Africa). The author of the script was Nikola Vitorović, one of the most important Yugoslav “revolutionary travelogue authors”.



Sima Kokotović is a researcher and lecturer in film and media studies. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Advanced Research in Global Communications at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. His research examines intersections of global film cultures and leftist politics In his doctoral dissertation, “Cinematic Solidarities: Cinema Amidst Global Vistas of Struggle,” he theorizes the idea of film solidarity to describe the ways in which film cultural workers responded to the wave of global insurrections in the 2010s. In a new research project, he traces the history of film connections and media initiatives within the Non-Aligned Movement in the context of the 20th-century decolonization projects. He has participated in and initiated numerous projects dedicated to researching and constructing film cultural practices as a form of creating political culture.

Jelena Vesić (PhD) is an independent curator, writer, editor, and lecturer. Her field of research and exhibition practice combines political theory and contemporary art. She has curated many exhibitions, including the research-exhibition project “Political Practices of (Post)Yugoslav Art” (2009), which critically explores the concepts and narratives of Yugoslav art history after the breakup of Yugoslavia. Her recent exhibition “On collectivization: narratives about Yugoslav avant-garde art collectives and examples of feminist interventions” is part of the research and exhibition project Art at Work, MG – Ljubljana, 2022.

Bojana Videkanić is an art historian and artist. She teaches modern and contemporary art, visual culture and extended media at the Department of Fine Arts, University of Waterloo in Canada. The focus of her work is modern and contemporary art in socialist Yugoslavia. She is currently working on a project with the interim title “Folk Art”, in which she deals with forms of self-taught, amateur, and alike art in Yugoslavia in the 20th century. Her first book “Nonaligned Modernism” was published in 2020 by McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Natalija Vujošević is an artist and curator from Montenegro. The focus of her research and practice is the presentation of archives at exhibitions, with the aim of finding new ways of communication, engagement and understanding through new interpretations and expanded forms. Natalija Vujošević is the founder and director of the Institute for Contemporary Art in Montenegro, a non-governmental association dedicated to alternative education, research, and archives. Since 2022, she has been a curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Montenegro, where she is one of the curators of the project “Laboratory of Art Collections of Non-Aligned Countries”.

Ana Knežević (1993) is an art historian, curator of the Museum of African Art – Collection of Veda and Dr. Zdravko Pečar, and a doctoral student in museology and heritology at the Department of Art History of the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade. She is a member of  the curatorial teams dealing with exhibition interventions in permanent museum settings, heritage of the Non-Aligned Movement and contemporary art. She is also one of the editors of websites, and In her doctoral dissertation, she deals with the issue of cultural memory in cyberspace and analyzes online models of museumization through regional internet memes as a case study. She is interested in memory culture, film, architecture, popular culture, and contemporary art.

Nataša Kovačević is a full professor of postcolonial literature at Eastern Michigan University. She has published two books, “Narrating Post/Communism: Colonial Discourse and Europe’s Borderline Civilization” (Routledge, 2008) and “Uncommon Alliances: Cultural Narratives of Migration in the New Europe” (Edinburgh University Press, 2018). In her research she examines the interaction of the cultural heritage of (post)colonialism and (post)communism; literature and

cinematography about the migration to the European Union; and literary diplomacy in the non-aligned world. Currently, she is preparing a new publication “Nonaligned Imagination: Yugoslavia, the Global South, and Literary Solidarities beyond the Cold War Blocs”.

Aleksandra Perišić graduated in comparative literature and mathematics from Columbia University in New York, USA. She received her doctorate in 2014 at the Department of Comparative Literature at Columbia University, where she defended her doctoral thesis “Contesting Globalization in the Atlantic World Economy”. From 2014 to 2021, she taught at the University of Miami, first as an assistant professor and then as an associate professor. Since 2021, she has been teaching at the Faculty of Media and Communication in Belgrade, where she is also the vice dean for teaching. In 2019, she published the book “Precarious Crossings: Immigration, Neoliberalism and the Atlantic” (Ohio State University Press).  She is the author of numerous academic papers in the field of postcolonial theory and literature, cultural studies, and education.

Bojana Piškur works as a curator of the Modern Gallery in Ljubljana. Most of her works are related to the Yugoslav and post-Yugoslav context, the Non-Aligned Movement, and the question of the “East”, especially in relation to art and culture. Since 2019, she has curated and co-curated the “Southern Constellations” exhibition series, which was shown in the Modern Gallery in Ljubljana (2019), Kwangju in South Korea, (2020), the “Filodrammatica ” Gallery in Rijeka (2021), the Center of contemporary art in Podgorica (2022); The National Opera and Ballet in Skopje, organized by ” Faculty of things that can’t be learned” (2022); The Mosaic Rooms gallery in London (2023). The last exhibition in the series is called “Constellations of Multiple Wishes: Along the Eastern Horizon”, and it was presented in the Modern Gallery in Ljubljana in 2024.

Nemanja Radonjić is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Belgrade, where he teaches Contemporary European History, Colonialism and Anticolonialism, and Imagology, and is a research associate at the Institute for Recent History of Serbia. He completed his undergraduate, master, and doctoral studies in Belgrade, at the Department of General Contemporary History, mentored by Prof. Radina Vučetić. He participated in several international projects of the European universities of Humboldt, Exeter and Maynooth. In 2021, he was one of the organizers of the international forum and exhibition on the occasion of 60 years since Belgrade NAM conference – NAM Talks. He was a visiting scholar at the Faculty of Political Sciences, Belgrade; Faculty of Philosophy, Pula; Global Studies Program, Bologna. He has just published his first book, “Image of Africa in Yugoslavia”, based on his doctoral dissertation and many years of research.

Mila Turajlić is a Belgrade-born award-winning film director and visual artist whose documentary films combine oral testimonies and film archive research. She has won numerous awards for the films “Cinema Komunisto” and “The Other Side of Everything”, and the documentary diptych “Ciné-Guerrillas/Non-Aligned: Scenes from the Labudović Reels”. Video-works and “live documentary performance” resulting from her long-term artistic research project “Non-aligned Newsreels” have been shown at international exhibitions (MoMA) and art biennials (Berlin, Sharjah). In 2020, she was invited to the membership of the American Film Academy (Oscars). In 2022, she was awarded a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French government.

  • Day: 04.06-09.06.2024

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