The Non-Aligned World exhibition at the Museum of African Art in Belgrade is opened to the public on the occasion of marking six decades since the First Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement held in Belgrade on September 1, 1961. The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Culture and Information, Maja Gojković, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikola Selaković gave opening speeches for the exhibition which is the first in a series of events marking this important jubilee.
Globally, the Non-Aligned Movement was focused on the people's struggle for freedom and their emancipation from external control and economic exploitation, as well as the mutual support that all member states provided each other through the idea of decolonisation. Although the Non-Aligned Movement emerged at a time pronounced Cold War relations in a world divided into two blocs (Eastern and Western), the First Conference itself was held in the spirit of nurturing a proactive relationship among the so-called “non-engaged” to create a new alternative – a new world. The First Conference is important because it laid the foundations for some of the key ideas that will be elaborated and supplemented in the coming years and conferences that, after Belgrade, were held throughout the non-aligned world.
The Non-Aligned World exhibition looks at the weight, significance and pathos that concepts such as: anti-colonialism, emancipation, equality, peace, cooperation, solidarity continue to carry. Whether they are reduced to protest slogans, or approached analytically as socio-historical and cultural categories, these terms resonate strongly today. The exhibition points to the way they were once instrumentalised by the official media and how they were deployed to move individuals and society as a whole to action and the self-realisation of one’s wider global role and position. These terms are slogans for individual and group identity positions. They encourage agency among individuals and nations directing, therefore, engagement towards realisation itself, simultaneously as a condition and a form of defence against nominal reductionism and automated repetition. We can experience them as the pillars for building a world, profoundly forethought, but also imagined, materialised in both monuments and memories, one that is ever-elusive, but to which – due to its universal structuring – it is possible to strive unreservedly.
The Non-Aligned World exhibition is complemented with an online digital map (www.nesvrstani.rs), which was made available to the public imminently before the opening of the exhibition. This heritage plug-in of the exhibition maps non-aligned heritage and the heritage of the non-aligned, which was found in several archives and which have been (to a certain extent) classified as the legacy of the First (1961) and Ninth (1989) conferences of the Non-Aligned Movement held in Belgrade. The map also includes derivatives of these two Belgrade Conferences such as various actions, periods, memorials, anniversaries, landmarks and similar signs by the roadside which are the basis for reading the (dis)continuity of non-alignment in Belgrade today.
The Non-Aligned World exhibition was conceived by the Museum of African Art curatorial team consisting of Emilia Epštajn, Ana Knežević and Milica Naumov, and Dr. Nemanja Radonjić, research associate at the Institute for Recent History of Serbia. Documentary materials for the exhibition and digital map were provided by the Historical Archive of Belgrade, the Archives of Yugoslavia, the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of the City of Belgrade, the Museum of the City of Belgrade, the Museum of Yugoslavia, Radio Belgrade and Radio Television of Serbia.
A public meeting of experts titled NAMTalks was held at the Museum of African Art (MAA), one day after the opening of the exhibition Non-Aligned World on 2 September 2021. The guests of the Museum were local and experts from countries in the region and further abroad who in their theoretical and research work, but also as witnesses of the times and participants in these historical events, address some of the key issues, topics, tangible and intangible heritage, history and representations of the Non-Aligned Movement.
Photos from the exhibition opening:
Forum – NAMTalks
THE HISTORY, CULTURE & ECONOMY OF NON-ALIGNED YUGOSLAVIA
Moderator: Nеmаnjа Rаdоnjić, PhD (INIS)
- Prof. Тvrtkо Јаkоvinа, Faculty of Philosophy, Zаgrеb
- Prof. Radina Vučetić, Faculty of Philosophy, Belgrade
- Јurе Rаmšаk, PhD, research associate, ZRS Kоpаr
A video recording of this panel discussion is available here (timestamp: 00:04:24-01:43:05).
Afro-Asian Conference, Guinee (Conakry), 1960. MAA Documentation
DIPLOMACY IN NON-ALIGNED YUGOSLAVIA
Moderator: Nеmаnjа Rаdоnjić (INIS)
- Čеdоmir Štrbаc, PhD, historian, IМPR director, Ambassador to Gabon & India
- Živadin Jovanović, advisor to the Presidency of the SFRЈ for foreign politics, 1978–1988, Ambassador to Angola, Namibia, São Tomé e Príncipe
- Dragan Bisenić, foreign policy journalist, Ambassador to Egypt
A video recording of this panel discussion is available here (timestamp: 02:07:19-03:50:59).
The Belgrade Conference. MAA documentation
INVISIBLE NON-ALIGNED: OMITTED HISTORIES
Moderator: Еmiliа Еpštајn (МАA)
- Bojana Piškur, PhD, MG+MSUM, Ljublјаnа
- Ana Sladojević, PhD, independent curator/art & media theorist
- Lina Džuverović, PhD, Birkbeck University, Lоndоn
A video recording of this panel discussion is available here (timestamp: 04:40:03-06:09:22).
Đorđe Balmazović: “The Museum of African Art"
from the series Non-Aligned Cross-Cultural Pollination,
color drawings, digital print, 2020/21
“MEMORY CULTURE & THE NATURE OF FORGETTING” NON-ALIGNED YUGOSLAVIA
Moderator: Аnа Knеžеvić (MAA)
- Olga Manojlović Pintar, PhD, senior research associate, INIS
- Vladana Putnik Prica, PhD, Faculty of Philosophy, Belgrade
- Jelica Jovanović, PhD student, Vienna University of Technology
A video recording of this panel discussion is available here (timestamp: 06:31:19-08:13:40).
Cinema "Slavica". Photo: Vladana Putnik Prica