Queerness in (Post-)Yugoslavia
Prof. Dr. Marina Gržinić, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
Dr. Saša Kesić, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
Markiza de Sada / Vladimir Bjeličić, Ephemeral Confessions, independent curator/performer
Aleksandar Ranković and Miranda Jakiša, University of Vienna
This event brings together different experiences and perspectives on the history of queerness and contemporary issues of queer activism in the post-Yugoslav space. The panelists will unfold, each in their own practice, the many ways of resisting and creating alternatives to heteronormative ideals of identity and society. Drawing from critical research and artistic practice, the panel aims at providing an opportunity to engage with a variety of different topics – ranging from intersectionality to queer liberation, from performance to the disruption of gender binaries. At the same time, the panel will create a specific possibility for engaging with topics across the timeline of queer activism starting in the Yugoslav 1980s and stretching well into present debates on EuroPride Belgrade.
Prof. Dr. Marina Gržinić holds a PhD in philosophy, is an artist with a career spanning forty years, and a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.
Dr. Saša Kesić is an art teacher and independent researcher from Belgrade, Serbia. He received his PhD from the Department of Theory of Arts and Media at the University of Arts in Belgrade. His book Tako se kalio kvir… u savremenoj istočnoevropskoj umetnosti i kulturi was published in 2020 and deals with queerness, performativity, and presentation. In 2022, he has been awarded a one-year Post-Doc scholarship by Austria’s Agency for Education and Internationalization (OeAD) for his research project Conviviality of the Queer Community Austria–Serbia: Learning from the Austrian Practice which he currently conducts in the Post-Conceptual Art Studio of Prof. Marina Gržinić at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.
Markiza de Sada is a drag alter ego of Vladimir Bjeličić, an independent curator/performer. Throughout a decade of her presence, she has written dozens of texts, including a radio drama, hosted numerous public events such as Boiler Room Belgrade and Dragoslavia, and even did a major fashion multi-brand campaign. Markiza is a founding member of the Ephemeral Confessions collective, co-creator of the Queer Respirator project, and often collaborates with her peer Dekadenca with whom she organizes an influential Belgrade-based show, The Last Chance. / Vladimir Bjeličić (1983, Belgrade) is active in the field of independent curatorial and artistic practice. His practice is based on the representation of corporeality in the digital era, translation of curatorial practice through performance, and ongoing articulation of the ideas of collectiveness and equal (re)distribution of commons in regards to interspecies communication (man and machine/ man and plant). Bjeličić is one of the founding members of the post-curatorial formation Vocal Curatorial Syndrome and the drag collective Ephemeral Confession, and a permanent collaborator on the ongoing project #SERGINA, by British artist Elly Clarke.
Aleksandar Ranković is a PhD student at the Department of Contemporary History, University of Vienna. He graduated in Political Science and East European Studies from Sciences Po Paris and University College London. His research focus lies at the intersection of the histories of societal transformation, sexuality, and gender in Yugoslavia and the post-Yugoslav space. His doctoral thesis covers the debates surrounding military service, conscientious objection, and civil service in the Yugoslav People’s Army with a particular focus on gay–lesbian and queer activism of the late 1980s and early 1990s.