Counterpoints Arts from London, Mensch Raum Land from Berlin,
and OU Podum from Lika, Croatia,
created in a joint action the first edition of Refugee Week in Podum
at the former villages old school, destroyed in the war

We continued our engagement with Refugee Week after Berlin, as it can be seen here, with a new edition in Croatia. On one of the frontlines of the war 1992, 30 years ago, there are still standing the remains of the old school for the whole village. Cleared from the ever overgrowing nature, searched for mines wich are still present in some areas, connected to electricity for lights and tools, the ruins became a space for an international group of young artists and activists from Croatia, France, Germany, Serbia, and Bosnia, as well as for a team of local and international collaborators from interdisciplinary fields of art and activism.
Our goal is to find a framework for future actions, we seek an artistic language and a humane practice to create a dialogue between the past and present in this area. We want to activate the discourse about migration and highlight the positive contributions of migrants to the societies they come to, many people from Podum, Lika, Croatia, know a lot about migration, too many of them scattered across the world.

Here is a short collection of the highlights:


08.08.23 Exhibition opening 18:00
Other cartographies: between and beyond the scars
Isadora Canela (Brazil)

In the historical scars that draw landscapes, similarities are sewn between continents, memories and people. Isadora Canela comes from a small town in the interior of Brazil marked by events of pain, and finds in Otocac, across the ocean, a strangely familiar architecture of abandonment. Embracing similarities, understanding the foundations of the structures that sustain us, so that together we can challenge them and make room for singularities to flourish. Art, which does not respond to the laws of physics, wars, oppressions, becomes a seed and invites a reoccupation of life.

Film Day 20:30

The film program has been realized in cooperation with the Migrant Film Festival, Ljubljana.

Directed by: ReSara Del Dot
Short Documentary I Italy, Slovenia 2021, 33’

There’s a city which is not a place. And in the centre of it, there’s a square that is a place instead. It’s called Piazza della Libertà. Every evening, in this place, a lot of tired souls and exhausted bodies come together, after a long journey along the Balkan route. Here, in the square, migrants in transit sit down and wait until Lorena comes, holding her green little cart. Next, her husband Gian Andrea arrives, some women giving away their home-made food, Beatrice and Umar. For all of them, going to Piazza della Libertà means taking a pause from geographic borders, and a safe space in which the only dividing line is the one marked by the humanity of people who choose not to turn away.

Not Go Gentle 
Directed by: Sasha Ihnatovich
Short Documentary I Slovenia 2022, 5’

Idyllic villages hide traces of sorrow and suffering inflicted to humans by each other. One needs to be ready to witness the darkness guarded by the dreams and hopes and to not get lost in the mist. The short film is based on the stories of people who cross the borders in search of safety and peace and who find humiliation and torture instead. Despite everything they are not giving up.

Umar – 15’
Directed by: Francesco Cibati
Short Documentary I Italija, 2021 I 15’

After an exhausting, five years long journey, a 24 years old Umar arrived in Trieste on foot from Pakistan. On his way to Italy, he witnessed the death of his best friend, he was tortured by the Croatian police, risked his leg being amputated and was finally saved by Lorena. She is the president of Linea d’Ombra, an association that welcomes migrants arriving to Italy via the Balkan route. For him, the encounter with people like her represents a new beginning of life and hope.

Go, friend, go 
Directed by: Gabriele Licchelli, Francesco Lorusso, Andrea Settembrini
Short Documentary I Italija, Njemačka, UK, 2022 I 68’

Every year thousands of people try to reach Europe by land, journeying on foot across the mountains, rivers and fields of the Balkan route. Those with some money mostly rely on human smugglers to cross the borders while everyone else faces “the Game”. They attempt repeatedly to cross the borders and avoid being caught and pushed back by the border police. The film brings together different stories told on the route, from the ports of Patras in Greece to the arrival point which is Trieste’s public square.

09.09.23  15:00 – 18:00
Poslijepodne razgovora, radionica i umrežavanja –
moderacija Dr. Natasha Davis

Artists and Activists:
Isadora Canela (Brazil) 
Antonio Kiselic (Hrvatska)
U fokusu ovog preformativnog izlaganja je približavanje osnovnih makrobiotičkih učenja okupljenim sudionicama i sudionicima kroz pripremu jednostavnih veganskih jela kontinentalnih i otočkih kultura Svijeta. Stimulacijom osnovnih osjetila potičemo energetski i fizički transgres lokacije i okupljenih s ciljem koheziranja energije grupe, čime akt kuhanja i jedenja postaje praksom zajednice odn. suvremena umjetnička praksa.

Amir Husak (New York, Bihać) 
Peaks of Plješevica: Documenting the Border-Industrial Complex
Over the past ten years, we are witnessing an intensified movement of people, fortification of borders and the rise of digital infrastructures of control. Escaping wars, persecution, famine, and climate-induced catastrophes, tens of millions of people are on the move around the globe, often embarking on long journeys fraught with danger and uncertainty. The image of this plight has become increasingly complicated, elusive, and obscure; often serving the political systems that aggressively seek to control and contain migration flows. Using examples from a project/research on the border region in the vicinity of Bihać, this talk looks at challenges of conducting documentary fieldwork at a site of an emergent border-industrial complex on the EU periphery, i.e. in Northwest Bosnia-Herzegovina. Topics will include, but are not limited to: border regimes, documentary methods, news media, cross-border activism, necropolitics, surveillance, and environmental concerns.

Organisations and Institutions
Domen Žalac – Centar za prostorsku sociologiju (Ljubljana, Slovenija)
Counterpoint Art (London)
Mensch Raum Land (Berlin) 
Festival Migrantskega Filma Slovenija

Book Promotion „The Returnee“-LJUBIŠA ŠLJIVIĆ 19:30 – 20:30
Koncert – LA FOLEE – 21:30 -23:00

La Folee is a mix of musicians/friends revolving around Ivanka Mazurkijević, Sanja, and Mario Fister who started their ska/punk/rock adventure back in the exciting Berlin of the 90s. Inspired by fierce and melodic music, they produced an album on vinyl and CD – „The Way Up“ with works that show how the members have changed course but essentially remained the same. In 2022, old friends Ivan and Tin Gabrić joined as permanent members of the band on guitar and keyboard. At the concert in Stara Škola Podum, friend Amir Husak also guests on guitar and keyboard. @Youtube La Folee – Queen Of The Ballroom