Experimental documentary “Yugoslavia, how ideology moved our collective body” by Marta Popivoda will premiere at the 63rd International Film Festival – Berlin, in the Forum Expanded section.


Avant garde, experimental works, essays, long-term observations, political reportage and yet-to-be-discovered cinematic landscapes: the International Forum of New CinemaForum in short, is the most daring section of the Berlinale.

[Serbia/France/Germany, 2013]

This research-based essay film is a very personal perspective on the history of socialist Yugoslavia, its dramatic end, and its recent transformation into a few democratic nation states. Experience of the dissolution of the state, and today’s “wild” capitalist reestablishment of the class system in Serbia are my reasons for going back through the media images and tracing the way one social system changed by performing itself in public space. (Marta Popivoda)

The film deals with the question of how ideology performed itself in public space through mass performances. The author collected and analyzed film and video footage from the period of Yugoslavia (1945 – 2000), focusing on state performances (youth work actions, May Day parades, celebrations of the Youth Day, etc.) as well as counter-demonstrations (’68, student and civic demonstrations in the ‘90s, 5th October revolution, etc.). Going back through the images, the film traces how communist ideology was gradually exhausted through the changing relations between the people, ideology, and the state. The film ends at the doors of contemporary Serbian democracy and neoliberal capitalism, demanding that we reflect on why citizens so easily abandoned the ideas of socialist collectivism, brotherhood and unity, workers rights, and free education, replacing them, firstly, with nationalism and war, and then with a promise of freedom and democracy which instead turned out to be individualism and “wild” capitalism. In dramaturgical terms, the film combines the theoretical concepts of social choreography and social drama, transposing them into film language. Through this directorial gesture, Popivoda explores a genesis from Richard Sennett’s thesis – when ideology becomes a belief, it has the power to activate the people and their social behavior – to the thesis of Renata Salecl – at some point people in Yugoslavia had only a belief in belief: they didn’t believe in communist ideology anymore, but believed others did.

Directed by Marta Popivoda
Written by Ana Vujanović, Marta Popivoda
Edited by Nataša Damnjanović
Executive Producer Dragana Jovović
Sound design Jakov Munižaba
Colorist Maja Radošević
Producers Marta Popivoda, Alice Chauchat
Co-Producer Ann Carolin Renninger

Produced by
TkH [Walking Theory], Belgrade
Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers, Paris
Universität der Künste Berlin, Berlin
joon film, Berlin

Supported by
Program Archive of Television Belgrade
Périphérie – Centre de création cinématographique
Dart film

Marta Popivoda, born in 1982 in Belgrade, is a film and video maker and a cultural worker based in Berlin and Belgrade. She graduated Film and TV Directing from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade. She is currently doing postgraduate program in experimental film in the Art and Media Department at the Berlin University of the Arts with prof. Heinz Emigholz. For her studies in Germany, she received a DAAD scholarship. She has been a member of the editorial collective TkH [Walking Theory], a theoretical-artistic platform from Belgrade within which she initiated and participated in many local and international artistic and cultural projects (such as illegal_cinema). Her work has been presented internationally at film festivals and exhibitions of photography, installation art, and video.

*The film is a part of the two-year-long research project Performance and the Public, carried out by Ana Vujanović, Bojana Cvejić, and Marta Popivoda of the Belgrade theoretical-artistic collective TkH [Walking Theory] at Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers in Paris.


Deschooling Video Classroom

Deschooling Video Classroom is a research-based artistic work of a group of artists and cultural workers participating in the project Deschooling Classroom by TkH [Walking Theory] – theoretical-artistic platform.

All video interviews and other documentation you can find here: http://videoclassroom.tkh-generator.net

The work comprises a series of video-interviews that we conducted in the course of the exhibition October Salon with the artists and guests of the exhibition, as well as with the actors of the local cultural-artistic scene. However, the interviewees are here not asked to talk about their artistic work; instead, as prominent actors of the international cultural-artistic scene, they are invited to speak about this scene, and their positions and stakes in it. According to this concern, the thematic framework of the interviews includes the issues of cultural policies and independent scenes and the artivist practices, which tie art and activism, open up the questions of social critique, intellectual property, accessibility of video art, etc. Deschooling Video Classroom is at the same time a part of our research on the independent cultural-artistic scene and on collective self-education procedures, and an artwork that tries to attract public attention to the key issues of today’s art scene structuration.

So far, you can watch the following interviews:
Rosa Barba, visual artist
Tim Etchells, theatre and visual artist, artistic director of the group Forced Entertainment
Julieta Aranda, visual artist and founder of the international platform e-flux
Jelena Vesić, freelance curator, editor of the journal Prelom
Mia David, director of the KCB, editor of the magazine Kvart
Vladimir Palibrk, curator of Elektrika gallery, Pačevo

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Talk to Him, excerpts

‘Talk to Him’, 2011
Marta Popivoda

Running time: 21’ 39’’
Director: Marta Popivoda
Choreography: Jennifer Lacey, Audrey Gaisan, Barbara Manzetti
Performers: Nicolas Couturier, Jennifer Lacey, Audrey Gaisan, Barbara Manzetti
Production: Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers

The video-work is produced within ‘I heart Lygia Clark’ project by Jennifer Lacey.


This film has unusual collaboration and copyright policy. It is a result of an accidental encounter of two artists, ungrounded on prescribed plans and expectations from the shooting. Marta Popivoda, the filmmaker ‘had received’ the dance piece “I Heart Lygia Clark” by Jennifer Lacey, and immediately after, she shot the next performance in return. Raw material from this shooting is in possession of both authors and can end in very different films.

The film “Talk to Him” by Marta Popivoda amplifies the multilayer performance – the performance for and with the spectator who doesn’t see it; the ‘backstage’ performance between the three performers who – apart from executing the tasks that produce the sensorial event for the blind / dead spectator – perform their roles for one another; and the cinematic performance constructed by the camera eye. How to locate here the spectator’s eye, the point in which the set of actions, micro-events, and audio-visual sensations become performance? Is it about trust and confidence? In the search of the missing and shifting spectator’s eye the film looses the sovereignty over its ‘object’ and becomes a fragile affective experience, thus transmitting the sensuality of the performance to the film spectators.

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THE GUARD / ČUVAR, trailer

Bata’s understanding of life changes when from a bouncer in a nightclub he becomes guard in a museum of contemporary art. Touched by a controversial artwork, he makes excursion from his class milieu.

Batino shvatanje života menja se kad od izbacivača u noćnom klubu postaje čuvar u muzeju savremene umetnosti. Taknut kontroverznom slikom “SM Isus”, pravi izlet iz svog konteksta i klasnog miljea.

Čuvar (2011) 26′ 21”
Režija: Marta Popivoda

Scenario i adaptacija: Milena Bogavac i Marta Popivoda
Produkcija: Dragana Jovović
Direktorka fotografije: Tatjana Krstevski
Montaža: Nataša Damnjanović
Muzika: Draško Adžić
Dizajn zvuka: Jakov Munižaba

Uloge: Miloš Timotijević, Milena Moravčević, Slobodan Pavelkić , Nataša Marković, Vladislava Đorđević
Produkcija: TkH, FDU, DART film
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VIDEO KOSOV@:opinions, where are they coming from?

kosov@:opinions, where are they coming from?
2007, 5 chanels video installation

The work was exhibited at 49th Octobar Salon, Belgrade
Curated by: Bojana Pejić

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AMAZONS WITHOUT BODY: image and consequences

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Orfeo and Eurydice, excerpt 2

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