This is the second blog from our blog series “Do I live now as much as THEY: LIVEd then?” regarding exhibition with the same title. The exhibition was a result of collaborative curatorial work of an international team, consisting of ten students from Serbia, Croatia, Spain, and Montenegro. It represents a selection of archival photos from private albums of former and current residents of student campuses in the period since the end of World War Two up to now, in Belgrade, Zagreb, Rijeka, Podgorica and Madrid, given from perspective of present-day students. The exhibition was opened simultaneously in all five cities on 28th October 2022.
We asked the following questions the curators of the exhibition “Do I live now as much as THEY: LIVEd then?” from each city. The second blog brings us answers from Milena Blagojević, student from the Faculty of Design and Multimedia, University of Donja Gorica, one of the curators of the exhibition opened at lobby of Technical faculties in Podgorica, Montenegro.
What are the similarities and differences between your current life and the lives of former students that this exhibition exposes?
This exhibition provides us with unique opportunity to witness the everyday life of students from different time. Most importantly, it emphasizes the similarities and differences between us and them. A dominant difference is the fact that students from before were more passionate and politically engaged. Their drive and enthusiasm can be seen through the photographs. The thread that connects all the cities represented in the exhibition is a sense of community and togetherness. Students’ life has gone through many changes, but the sense of community is a constant component.
What motivated you to come up with a subtitle in addition to the main title of the exhibition? What meanings of the exhibition did you want to highlight and what did you want to point out to the visitors with the subtitle?
The subtitle “Commonplace” is meant to highlight the connecting dots between us and the students from the past. We wanted to emphasize the similarities between us and give them the proper attention they deserve. The exhibition is the meeting place between five cities, five different perspectives, and also between the past and the present. We wanted visitors to be at the centre of that meeting place and get to understand that these two different time flows can co-exist in that same physical space.
What motives were the guiding principles for you when thinking of and realizing the interactive part of the exhibition?
In the process of curating this exhibition, we immediately understood how important it was for the students to record their life using a camera. This hasn’t lost its significance throughout the years. The exhibition represents a nice memory frozen in time and kept close to heart. This is the exact feeling that we wanted to actualize with our audience. Using a polaroid camera we took photos of members of our audience, and in doing so they were curating the archive along with us. They have become important members of the exhibition and the archives. The polaroid camera acted as a bridge that perfectly connected the past and the present.
In your opinion, what are the further possibilities of using photo and audio archival material about student life from Topoteka in the field of art and culture?
Photo and audio archival material is a very important channel through which we can further educate ourselves. Having an open archive about students’ lives gives us a valuable insight and important answers about our past.