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DAYS OF EUROPEAN HERITAGE

from September 23 until October 2

The “Days of European Heritage” event take place each September in Belgrade.

Through educational and art programs, European heritage is presented as the culture, tradition and customs of all citizens of Europe. This year’s theme of the Days of European Heritage is: “Cultural heritage and community: living with legacy”.

During 10 days (September 23 - October 2) the Museum of African Art will present student guided tours through the permanent display, guided tour trough the current exhibition, creative workshops for kids and happyning by Serbian poet Kolja Mićević.

 

PROGRAM

Friday, 23.09. 2016, 6 p.m.

Practicum - thematic guided tours through permanent exhibition:
“Hunting for Objects: the Pečar Couple as Collect,
by Aleksandra Todorović, ethnology and anthropology student

The Pečar Couple – founders of the Museum of African Art in Belgrade, spent about twenty years in West Africa. Their residence on the continent inspired them, as did the ingenuity and creativity of the African artist. With a desire to share “among their own people” part of their love of the continent and collector’s passion, a collection of objects was acquired that makes today's permanent collection of the Museum. Even today, the permanent exhibition inspires us today and calls for a deeper understanding of the art and cultures of the West African nation.

 

Saturday, 24.09.2016, 1 p.m.

Practicum - thematic guided tours through permanent exhibition:
“Creating Art – the Artist in West-African Society”,
by Olgica Lukanović, history student

If you want to learn more about the origin of traditional African ceramics and fabrics, or if you are interested in how an artist lives, then you are welcome to visit this tour. Through the story about techniques and materials used to make traditional African objects we will learn more about the status of the creator-artist. We will try to dispel some of the prejudices which are still largely present (for example, that their African art is primitive and religious, and that the artists are unknown). Finally, we'll consider the motivation of the “African” artists today.

 

Sunday, 25.09.2016, 11 a.m.

Guided tour through the latest MAA exhibition “When You‘ve Stopped Combing Me, I’ll Stop Hating You“ (for adults) & Creative workshop for kids “Message in the hair – African hairstyles and headdresses” (for children age 4 to 12)

In the series of photographs made in a hair salon in Saint Louis, Senegal, Belgrade artist Katarina Radović shows women and girls in moments of perseverance and endurance during the painful and unpleasant processes of making a hairstyle, which would be a response to the ideals of beauty construed in their environment. The clients never abandon their intention to walk out of the salon looking prettier than when they came in, and they patiently endure the hours of sitting, pulling, even sewing and torching the locks of their hair. Curator Ivana Vojt will guide Museum visitors through the exhibition and in the same time a special program will be organized for children: creative workshop “Message in the hair – African hairstyles and headdresses”. At the creative workshop kids will learn about the variety and the meanings of different hairstyles and headdresses in traditional African cultures.

 

Monday, 26.09.2016, 6 p.m.

Practicum - thematic guided tours through permanent exhibition:
“Secret Knowledge and Rites of Passage among the Peoples of West Africa”,
by Ivana Zatežić, master student of art history

Religion and tradition are deeply rooted in traditional African life, which becomes apparent in all aspects of individual and community life – birth, death, agriculture, respect of ancestors, etc. All these moments are marked by certain rituals led by particular members of the community who have been initiated, through rites of passage. To be initiated, means to have earned a new, special rank in society, which carries with it certain obligations and responsibilities regarding the transmittal of the knowledge acquired, to younger generations. By observing the masks and sculptures on the permanent display, we can learn something about these masked keepers of knowledge, their rituals and why are certain associations within the community called “secret” societies?

 

Tuesday, 27.09.2016, 6 p.m.

Practicum - thematic guided tours through permanent exhibition:
„Religion or Magic? Traditional Beliefs among the Peoples of West Africa“,
by Sara Lazić, PhD student of History

Old prejudices about African peoples have long been blurring the true picture of the achievements and philosophy of the many peoples of this continent. With the 20th century and by adopting an objective approach in the study of non-European cultures, African art, religion and mythology finally receive their rightful place in science – their uniqueness, excellence, originality, and in certain areas even exceptional advancement, have been recognized. Namely, among the Dogon, a West African population that lives in Mali, knowledge of the movement of celestial bodies was far ahead of modern science and telescopes, and certain astrological knowledge which is part of Dogon mythology has been confirmed in the second half of the 20th century with the help of modern technology and advanced scientific method. If this and similar information stimulate your interest and curiosity, visit the Museum of African Art and find interesting things about the traditional beliefs of the Dogon, Bambara, Senufo and others.

 

Wednesday, 28.09.2016, 6 p.m.

Practicum - thematic guided tours through permanent exhibition:
“If you can walk you can dance, if you can talk you can sing” (Zimbabwean & Sudanese Proverb),
by Jelena Vesković, master student of art history

The first association to the African continent on a global level is a deep sense of rhythm and a secret connection with music. What is behind the term “African dance”? Why do we link a mystical rhythmic sensibility to the whole continent and what is it like when music is the building block of everyday life? Using different examples we will try to decipher and understand traditional African ritual dance and its influence on contemporary dancing styles.

 

Thursday, 29.09.2016, 6 p.m.

Practicum - thematic guided tours through permanent exhibition:
”The Social Status of West African Peoples”,
by Uroš Nikolić, ethnology and anthropology student

How much is an artist appreciated? What is the role of woman? What kind of initiations do children have to go through to earn the status of an adult? How do the head of a village or king express their social position, power, superiority and exclusivity? How are ancestors and death understood? Based on the material culture of West African peoples such as the Dogon, Senufo, Bambara and others, find out in which ways these artefacts have symbolised and affirmed the social statuses of certain individuals in society, and how those objects met individual needs, but also the cultural ideals and the notions of a community.

 

Thursday, 29.09.2016, 8 p.m.

Happyning: „African Legend“, perforemed by: Kolja Mićević.

The genre of "The African Legend" (Prosveta, 1982) is a vague, however challenging and beautifully written essayistic work of prose in which Kolja Mićević, prominent Serbian poet and translator, interweaves spiritual, intellectual, and stories based on life experiences gathered in his workroom and on his trip to France and Africa, with adventures in which the writer is trying to translate a poetic statement from a foreign language into his mother tongue. The story about the Malian ruler Abubakar Second is subtly and significantly transformed into a legend (based on reviews by Svetlana Velmar-Janković).

In a kind of musical and theatrical happyning (as Kolja Mićević refers to this unusual artistic encounter), which will be organised at the MAA, visitors will experience the continuous interweaving of different incidents and adventures. through this, Kolja Mićević is able to merge the private and non-private, personal and literary. According to the author, happyning is a form of classical lecture which allowes the freedom of the narator/performer’s flight of imagination, inventiveness and on-the-spot improvisation; happyning is also happiness – joy; an activity that allowes those who are listenning and those who are “narating”, singing, to reach a point of shared and instructive satisfaction.

 

Friday, 30.09.2016, 6 p.m.

Practicum - thematic guided tours through permanent exhibition:
“The Visual Identity of the Museum of African Art: Architecture, Design and the Permanent Display”,
by Ana Knežević, master student of art history

The tour through the Museum of African Art and considerations about its visual identity, which creates its architecture, design and the permanent display, requires a very special guided tour. Namely, the focus of the tour are not the objects displayed and safeguarded by the Museum, but the building, its architecture, opened to the public in 1977. The design of the interior and permanent display, in its original and authentic form (evident today) were commissioned, conceptualised and realised with attention to the overall architecture and surroundings of the Museum of African Art as a conceptual whole. Following the multilayered and interesting visual identity of the MAA, the guided tour will lead visitors through both the exterior and interior, later additions and murals, as well as the newest layers that contribute to the making of a different MAA visual identity.

 

Saturday, 01.10.2016, 1 p.m.

Practicum - thematic guided tours through permanent exhibition:
“The Encounter of Two Worlds – Africa through Travellwriting”,
by Jovana Tešić, master student of history

National elements of African art have lured the attention of the West for centuries, but political, ideological and social occasions of the societies to whom the observers belonged have influenced the way these elements were interpreted. Hence, travel literature is a very valuable source for the observation ideas, attitudes and prisms through which travellers were looking at the “new” art they were encountering. By considering medieval sources, across colonial literature, to modern writings, this guided tour enables the audience to experience the development and changes that travel literature was going through in throughout the centuries, and also to interpret, in a relevant way, the characteristics of African art that of the travellers, presented in their characteristic writing style. The comparison of the modern, scientific interpretations with what the travellers presented will make the audience understand how, particularly the European civilisation, throughout time, formed and changed its attitudes and relations toward African culture and art.

 

Sunday, 02.10.2016, 11 a.m.

Guided tour through the latest MAA exhibition “When You‘ve Stopped Combing Me, I’ll Stop Hating You“ (for adults) & Creative workshop for kids “Message in the hair – African hairstyles and headdresses” (for children age 4 to 12)

In the series of photographs made in a hair salon in Saint Louis, Senegal, Belgrade artist Katarina Radović shows women and girls in moments of perseverance and endurance during the painful and unpleasant processes of making a hairstyle, which would be a response to the ideals of beauty construed in their environment. The clients never abandon their intention to walk out of the salon looking prettier than when they came in, and they patiently endure the hours of sitting, pulling, even sewing and torching the locks of their hair. Curator Ivana Vojt will guide Museum visitors through the exhibition and in the same time a special program will be organized for children: creative workshop “Message in the hair – African hairstyles and headdresses”. At the creative workshop kids will learn about the variety and the meanings of different hairstyles and headdresses in traditional African cultures.

 

Thursday, 06. 10.2016, 10 a.m.

"MAA for all, all to the MAA" - a special program for elderly (55+):
"The costumes and textiles of West Africa"

Every first Thursday of each month between 10 a.m. and noon, the curators of the Museum of African Art present the permanent exhibition, thematic exhibitions, different aspects of African art and culture, as well as the history of the museum and its role in our city through various free programs. The elderly are able to enjoy: presentations, lectures, interviews, playing mancala board game, they are offered an introduction to African musical instruments, as well as creative workshops and film screenings. On Thursday, October 6, the workshops for elderly titled "Ccostumes and Textiles in West Africa" will be organised. In foucs are African costumes and textiles with their symbolism, usually closely related to reverence and oral tradition. Also to be organised is an introductory presentation: colors and designs as decorations and symbols on fabrics. Activities include fabric decoration, embroidery and the applique technique of decorating pieces of textiles.

 

* Free admission to the program.
**All programs are available only in Serbian.

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