Borders, Boundaries and Frontiers

During the ten days of dynamic program at the School of Visual Anthropology (July 10th-20th 2019), organized by Visual Anthropology Center (VAC) in cooperation with “Visanthrope” Collective from Belgrade, the participants worked on eight films and 4 photo essays and multimedia projects.


This year’s topic of the School was Borders, Boundaries and Frontiers. The most common associations for this topic stem from political as well as societal contexts, mostly pertaining to the migrant crisis and war conflicts in the Middle East, with significant consequences for Europe. The topic has also enticed interest of participants for histories and cultures of the Balkan region, so Yugoslavia is once again in focus of some of the participants of the School. This year there is also a slightly more intimate tendency within the topic choice, so the participants are interested both in so-called ontological, psychological and epistemological boundaries between the subject and the object and the topics with meta-methodological approach, addressing the issues of boundaries between the scientific representations and art.


This year the School gathered 25 participants from Pakistan, Latvia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Russia, Romania, Luxemburg, Switzerland, Greece, Great Britain, Netherlands, and France. The young professionals in fields of film arts, journalism, photography, anthropology, sociology and other humanistic disciplines gathered in Belgrade to improve their VA knowledge and skills through lectures, film exercises and making short films and photo-essays, as well as through socializing and exchange of experiences, while at the same time they offer Belgrade an opportunity to see itself through their eyes. During the 10 days of School sessions, the participants sat for presentations by Prof Slobodan Naumović from the Anthropology Department of Philosophy Faculty in Belgrade, Konstantinos Aivaliotis, Director of Ethno Fest in Athens and selector of the Athens International Film Festival, Thomas John from the Anthropology Department of Münster University in Germany, Sara Lunaček-Brumen from the Department of Cultural Anthropology at university in Ljubljana, Elizabeta Koneska, visual anthropologist from Macedonia working in field of film arts, Ivana Todorović, societally engaged film author, Igor Čoko, visual anthropologist from Serbia working in field of photography, and Camillo Pasquareli, street and fashion photographer from Italy. This year the mentors in the School are anthropologists Relja Pekić and Nina Mladenović, as well as Antonin Blanc from France, participant in the School in 2018, Daniel Szandtner, film cameraman from Hungary, and Miklos Barna-Lipkovski, author of documentary films and photographs. The realization of School’s programs also involves Marija Barna-Lipkovski and Ana Popović, theater directors and members of Visual Anthropology Center – VAC.



On April 24th 1999, the Radio and Television of Serbia in Belgrade was bombed by NATO. The film takes place at the remains of the RTS, the television and radio station building next to the Tašmajdan Park where the bomb fell. Near those remains, there is a memorial stone with the question “why” and the names of the people who died during the bombing. The filmmakers spend three days in the park close to the monument and remains of the building and asked passers by the simple question “why?”.


Not a cult

This movie explores the community inside the “Green Studio”, a small hostel in Belgrade. It shows people living together and creating a space of family, solidarity for them, friends and guests. As we follow Tamara, who runs this hostel, we see a glimpse into the life of this community which offers to its residents and visitors a “free place” where they recreate for themselves a sense of a family and belonging.



What's a day like in Belgrade’s transportation system?


Barber Queen

BARBER QUEEN is a synesthetic experience which takes the audience to the hypersensitive world of various delicate changes of the self, illuminating the intimate stories of five different individuals who are undergoing visual transformations. The stories are intertwined and therefore all the scenes are combined into a series of close-ups metaphorically implying the experiencing of various sensations, emotions, and feelings, creating a playful dialog between all participants.

The sensory journey through their lives starts with the beginning of their personal transformational routines, which are much closer to individual rituals than to random acts of solely putting on makeup or cutting one´s hair, and follows them until the end when their new look can be seen, and their new identity can be introduced.

BARBER QUEEN is not just a film but a visual exploration of the fluctuations of the contemporary identity.



The film explores the rhetorical performances of anthropological filmmaking and follows two groups conducting their research in a Downtown Hostel and the Blok 23. It joins them in instances of interacting in, filming of and reflecting on the field while as well throwing a glance at the anthropologists own approach on researching with the other groups.


Blok 23  

This film gathers personal stories of the residents of urban neighborhood Blok 23, tightly intertwined with the space of the block. How do people's stories and memories exist in this space and how do people shape the block?


A journey with Migo

Migo, a successful lawyer and artist, takes us on a surreal journey through his art and life in Belgrade.



In luggage, few travelers gathered in the same hostel for a common workshop are sharing what they carried with them for 10 days. But behind the words the luggage are also saying a lot about their owners.