After Loznica, Vranje and Subotica, our documentary exhibition about the journey and experience of migrants and asylum seekers “The Border is Closed” was in Sombor, in a small gallery of the “Laza Kostic” Cultural Centre. Since the creation of the exhibition, the idea has been for the works and the stories they tell to be used for educational purposes in local communities, especially when working with high school students. We have wanted to revive the activist role of the museum, and the exhibition itself not to be a material passively received by the audience, but an event that involves interaction, exchange, active participation of the audience. The exhibition is the result of cooperation of migrants and asylum seekers in Serbia with artists Luka Knezevic-Strika, Snezana Skoko, Ivana Bogićević-Leko, “Škart” Art Collective, Group 484, and the Museum of African Art (curators Ivana Vojt and Emilia Epštajn).
During its existence, the exhibition “The Border is Closed” has entered different premises and invited teachers, students, citizens to join and participate in the conversation, discussing the issues: image of the others, discrimination, migration; interpret what they see and hear and engage their voice and work in the story about the exhibition.
In Sombor, we were putting up the exhibition with the help of “Veljko Petrovic” High School students. With them we were talking, painting, hanging out. Prepared through the workshop with Ivana Bogićević-Leko – “Me as a curator”, they opened the exhibition and presented the works to the audience. They told what they had heard from us, but also what their personal impression of the exhibition was. They also participated in the art workshop with Snezana Skoko. Their works, like the works of Vranje and Subotica students, sent a clear message against discrimination and discussed the issue of freedom. Selection of similar motives with students from different towns in the works inspired by the exhibition for us is a sign that the exhibition sends an unambiguous message when it comes to general human values.
At the opening ceremony of the exhibition, on May 24, the audience was welcomed by the authors: Snežana Skoko, Ivana Bogicevic – Leko and Luka Knezevic-Strika, as well as Tatjana Dimitrijevic, editor of the art program of the CC “Laza Kostic” and Robert Kozma from Group 484. The exhibition will last until mid-June.
More details on the origins of the exhibition can be found on the website of the Museum of African Art.
Photographs: Luka Knežević-Strika
PROJECT: PROACTION – Protection against Discrimination of Asylum Seekers and Unaccompanied Child Migrants; Our new Neighbours – improvement of migration policy in Serbia and the Western Balkans; Our Neighbours – Inclusive communities on the path towards a sensitive society without discrimination
OBJECTIVE: Build trust and sensitise the local community for understanding the situation of asylum seekers and migrants; strengthen support of local CSOs to asylum seekers and unaccompanied child migrants by building their capacity for the prevention and protection from discrimination and human rights violations and through networking with national and local institutions; Contribution to the development of an open and tolerant society in which everyone is welcome and where diversity is considered wealth
IMPLEMENTERS: Group 484 (educational program “We and the Others”, Centre for Migration)
SUPPORT: European Union Delegation in Serbia, Office for Cooperation with Civil Society of the RS, Open Foundation Society – Serbia, CCFD – Terre Solidaire