Do I live now as much as THEY: LIVEd then? – BELGRADE

Do I live now as much as THEY: LIVEd then? – BELGRADE

This is the third 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 third blog brings us answers from Svetlana Ilić, from Teacher Education Faculty and Željko Petrović, student of the Faculty for Media and Communication from Belgrade, curators of the exhibition opened at Reeding Room A, Students’ City Cultural Center Library, Belgrade.

What are the similarities and differences between your current life and the lives of former students that this exhibition exposes?

It seems that students from the past had a more active social life. Living in dorms, they have had more encounters on daily basis. Today, we guess that we have the same troubles about studying and life in general as they have had.

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?

We don’t have an official subtitle, but we have categories in which visitors place photos: nostalgia, activism, culture, apathy, togetherness, and art. These were the themes that came up during our workshops. Each photo can be placed in a number of different categories, depending on what each of us puts in focus when watching the photographs.

What motives were the guiding principles for you when thinking of and realizing the interactive part of the exhibition?

We wanted the visitors to also become curators by putting photos into categories. The idea was that these photos could be easily placed on the walls of students’ dorm rooms. Also, each visitor can express their own thoughts and feelings while looking at the photos, and can hear audio interviews with former students. We wanted visitors to experience a similar process that we went through while participating in workshops and curating this exhibition.

In your opinion, what are the further possibilities of using photo and audio archival material about student life from Topoteka collections in the field of art and culture?

Photos are an important medium. Perhaps it would be interesting to try to make a story and map the life of one or more of the students, using photos for a profile or account on social media (Instagram, Facebook) and see how the interaction might go with this historically made profiles and people and students from today. Through this process, we wanted to learn more about the lives then, so maybe making a book, or written interviews with former students would be a good idea.



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