The Cross Border Experience conference evenings belong to arts! However, invited visual artists, film makers, musicians, writers and poets, all coming from the Balkans and Turkey, will not offer a certain false reconciliatory enjoyment and put a lute like full stop to the panel discussions related to the contemporary situation in Europe and the European unification. Not at all!

In Europe (and globally) we are currently facing not only an economical but also a moral crisis, which is actually a crisis of the political. On the European periphery, where the Cross Border Experience artists are coming from, is this crisis far more intensified than it is at the centre. It is obvious that politicians failed in their primary task (as defined already by Aristoteles), which is, on one hand, the distribution of wealth, and on the other hand the distribution of various powers. In a situation of unemployment, precarious work and growing masses of those with no means (aporoi) it is becoming more and more difficult to legitimize the social and political division for the small number of those who have means as well as various political powers (euporoi). The political is therefore changing its place. It is crossing the border from the centre and moving to the ‘shores’. The aporoi and with them also the arts are becoming political. The Cross Border Experience Art Programme will present some of the arti(vi)stic positions towards different aspects of social and political life in the Balkan region as well as in broader Europe. By doing so it will remind us how essential is to maintain the tension between art and politics – as politics of art and poetics of politics can’t come together without a mutual oppression of each other (cf. Jacques Rancière).

Within the framework of the exhibition If you’re trapped in the dream of the other, you’re fucked, named after a quote by Gilles Deleuze and on display between 26. and 28. October in Škuc Gallery, invited visual artists and film makers resist against being an object of the imposed “European dream” and articulate clear positions towards European migration policy, new economic order and other pertinent issues of the environments they are coming from. The exhibition includes works by: Milijana Babić (Croatia), Ozana Brković (Montenegro), Enisa Cenaliaj (Albania), Nemanja Cvijanović (Croatia), Lana Čmajčanin and Igor Grubić (Bosnia and Herzegovina/Croatia), Biljana Garvanlieva (Macedonia), Gözde Ilkin (Turkey), Sebastjan Leban and Staš Keindienst (Slovenia), Kristina Leko (Croatia/Germany), Ivana Marjanović and Eduard Freudmann (Serbia/Austria), Alban Muja (Kosovo) and Damir Nikšić (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Rena Rädle and Vladan Jeremić (Serbia/Germany). At the opening of the exhibition on 26. October the artists Rena Rädle and Vladan Jeremić will hold a lecture entitled Expanded Scopes of Action – Politics and Art.

The feature film White, White World (Beli, beli svet, Serbia/Germany, 2010) by the director Oleg Novković and the screenplay author Milena Marković, screened on 27. October in Slovene Cinemateque, is a contemporary tragedy taking place in a Serbian province. In front of growing unemployment, social inequality and violence we follow the tragic destiny of transitional protagonists: workers, ‘gastarbeiters’, drug addicts and other ordinary people striving for love and a decent living. Whether too much or too little of self-determination seems to be their tragic hybris in this world occupied by new Gods.

AKC Metelkova Mesto, for twenty years a squatted independent cultural location in Ljubljana centre, will host on 28. October in Menza pri koritu some of the independent and critical voices of the literary scene from Bosnia and Herzegovina – Bekim Sejranović, Croatia – Olja Savičević Ivančević, Kosovo – Jeton Neziraj, and Macedonia – Elizabeta Bakovska, followed by DJ BASIC (Slovenia).

At the opening night (25. October in the Atrium of the City Museum of Ljubljana) Muha Blackstazy (Serbia) will with his hip-hop report on an everyday life of Roma community, followed by the welcome party with DJ duo Brat&Sestra (Slovenia). In addition, at three concerts we could assure us that a self-determined local-global dialectics is possible: the experimental noise of Reverie Falls on All (Turkey) on 27. October at Defonija: Klub Gromka, AKC Metelkova Mesto as well as the rock noise Cripple and Casino (Croatia) and the Anatolian avant-rock Replikas (Turkey) followed by DJ Chaspa (Bosnia and Herzegovina/Germany) at the closing party on 29. October at Kino Šiška.


Katja Kobolt, Coordinator of Conference Art Programme