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The Monument Group
The Working group Four Faces of Omarska

Tuesday 2nd July 2013, 7pm, £3 students, members, unemployed / £5 employed
Public event as part of the Forcible Frames: no.w.here's Summer School
£3 students, members, unemployed / £5 employed

This public event is staged as a collective process of art production that politically engages and affects a sociality around difficult questions. Building on the earlier staged one-day session with participants of the no.w.here summer school, this session traces the ‘invisibility’ of shifting in-between individual and collective editing and montage process. Building on strategies from Kino Beleške (Film Notes) by Lutz Becker, the ambition is to initiate the common practice of creating the Film bulletin "Four Faces of Omarska". Proposing the Film bulletin as a paradigmatic form of collective and politically engaged art practice, the wider Working group Four Faces of Omarska aims to raise the social and political questions of subjugated knowledge, to problematize the arbitrary interpretations of war, the ideology of reconciliation and human rights, scientific and administrative management of trauma, and finally to make visible the relation between the ‘local’ and the permanent global war and, current socioeconomic crisis.

About the Film bulletin Four Faces of Omarska

Film Bulletin is a 10-20 minute sound/video/text form that investigates key issues and themes (subjects) on Omarska. The Working group Four Faces of Omarska tries to build a long-standing cinema production platform through an open structure that draws a continuity of political engagement and subjectification processes. It is also a way to structure and organize the Four Faces of Omarska Archive.

The Four Faces of Omarska Archive (2010-2013) contains text/photo/video/audio material of jurisdictional and legal documentation of Omarska (Ljubija mine complex), Omarska concentration camp (1992), ArcelorMittal Omarska (2004-2013), interviews, commemoration at Omarska (2010-2013), Public Working Meetings, Public screenings of the raw material, and open/closed Working Gatherings of the Working group, archival and media material, library of relevant publications and texts, articles and lectures etc. Film/video and audio material was produced by the Working Group, Forensic Architecture team, and film authors (Nika Autor, Stanislav Tomic, Armin Linke etc.) in Omarska, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Banja Luka, Kozarac, Belgrade, Sarajevo, Ljubljana and London.

About the Monument Group and the Working Group Four Faces of Omarska

The Monument Group is an art-theory group gathered around the problem of the impossibility of constructing and naming monuments of the war(s) of the 1990s in Yugoslavia. During the last ten years, The Monument Group has initiated reading and discussion groups, staged lecture-performances and was engaged in the process of self-education through encounters and discussions with victims, perpetrators, and witnesses of the extreme terror, genocide, and ethnical cleansing in the wars of the 1990s in Yugoslavia. The Monument Group considers that the system of representation and display of art are implicated in the mechanisms of producing war, violence, and terror, but also in the ideology of producing social memory – through its narratives and objects.

The Working group Four Faces of Omarska explores the strategies of memorial production from the position of those whose experience and knowledge have been subjugated, rejected, and excluded from the public memory and history. The name Four Faces of Omarska comes from four constitutive layers in the history of this mining complex in northern Bosnia. It was established in socialist Yugoslavia as an iron ore mine (Prijedor, Omarska); at the beginning of the 1990s wars, Bosnian Serb forces and local authorities transformed the mine into a concentration camp for ethnic Muslims and Croats; after the war, in 2004, ArcelorMittal, one of today’s largest multinational companies, assumed majority ownership of Omarska mine and resumed commercial mining operations; finally, in 2007 it was used as a film shooting location for Saint George Slays the Dragon, the historical ethno-blockbuster (First World War) co-produced by film companies from Serbia and Republika Srpska. The basic motive and the frame of the work of the Working group Four faces of Omarska is the critic of recent cultural production in Serbia and refers to the question: Which politics stand behind the cultural and artistic praxis and what is the role of the ethics and politics of the visual?


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