Censorship without censors. Vanished productions in former Yugoslavia

February 15, 2011 - 17:30 - 19:00
Nador u. 11
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Open to the Public
Center for Arts and Culture (CAC)
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by Aleksandra Jovicevic, Professor of Theater Studies, La Sapienza University, Rome

This lecture is an attempt to explore unfamiliar aspects of censorship in the postwar Yugoslav theatre, between 1945 until dissolution of Yugoslavia in 1991. The country had no institutionalized censorship and since power shifted back and forth between the communist party’s conservative and liberal factions, with frequent changes in the political climate, what was tolerated at one moment became prohibited the next. Furthermore, the federal structure of the country and increasing rivalry between the Party elites and their bureaucratic bodies in the six federal republics, led to varying standards: a publication banned in one republic could be published in another one, a banned production could be transferred to one of the other republics and could even win a prize at a festival there. But more than this, an informal political censorship had a greater power in restricting the intellectual and artistic freedom of Yugoslav theater artists. 


Eric Gordy, The Culture of Power in Serbia: Nationalism and the Destruction of Alternatives. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999: 105-164. 

The lecture is part of the course Countercultures in the'East Bloc' and former Yugoslavia, 1960-1990.