What if history belonged to us? Feminist Microhistories: The Oppositional Gaze and the Absent Other
What might a feminist past traced by and with the others, look like? Can we pluralize history? Can we break linearity and propose narratives focused on coexistences and microhistories?
The archives of cinema Lumbardhi (former Bistrica) in Prizren reveals meticulous work in showcasing cinema since 1952. Its three cinema venues brought to the screen from historical epics, musicals, Bollywood spectacles, spaghetti westerns, Yugoslav Partisan films to French New Wave authors, even Brazilian Cinema Novo, Yugoslav Black Wave, and contemporary erotic cinema. From 1952 to the late 1990ies its records archive thirty to fifty screenings per week, with hundreds of citizens visiting the cinemas daily.
What we cannot find in the archives are the images of women: almost no films directed by women have been included in half a century of cinema programming.
The oppositional gaze, the counter-visualizing is absent.
The exhibition What if… history belonged to us? intervenes through and with the past conceived as the singular past. It imagines a new present as a continuation of a past that could have been, growing from the missing archival frames of Lumbardhi and elsewhere, the frames of and by the absent other, their missing images, missing stories, missing experiences.
What might a feminist past traced by and with the others, look like?
Can we pluralize history?
Can we break linearity and propose narratives focused on coexistences and microhistories?
Can we grow (new) presents from the many other pasts?
What might have been and what could still be?
What if history belonged to us? is a space that sprouts from these possibilities and nurtures different and diverse subjectivities.
We enter an exercise of worldmaking, a playground for speculative histories and projected futures by imagining the past as “what if...”: as in “what if national histories were feminist?”, “what if others were not erased from world-making”, and “what if others were written into our culture”.Parallel to the newly commissioned work by Diana Toucedo, the exhibition builds through the still invisible works of art from the peripheries, as an act of counter-history to the Western feminist monoculture. Artists such as Azra Aksamija, Delphine Seyrig, Doplgenger, belit sag, and Norika Sefa will be shown.
What if history belonged to us? is curated by Kumjana Novakova, and is part of the LXX programme of Foundation Lumbardhi celebrating 70 years of showcasing cinema in Prizren. The exhibition opens on August 8, 2022 (Monday) and it is on view until September 30, 2022, at the historical Shani Efendi House. Admission is open, all are welcome.
ARTISTS: Azra Aksamija, belit sag, Delphine Seyrig, Diana Toucedo, Doplgenger, Norika Sefa.
Curator of the exhibition: Kumjana Novakova.
Key programmes and events
Aug 09, 17h - Curatorial tour with Kumjana Novakova, and artist talks with belit sağ and Norika Sefa
Aug 10, 16h - RE: VIZIJA #4, Performative Lecture, Doplgenger
LUMBARDHI Cinema Hall