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BEYOND BLOOD AND HONEY: RE-IMAGINING THE BALKANS THROUGH TRAVELLING EXHIBITIONS

Issue: 2018 N 4

Maria-Alina Asavei
Institute of International Studies (Charles University, Prague)

Abstract: From 2002 to 2015 a considerable number of large-scale, geopolitical bannered exhibitions have been dedicated to the ‘the Balkans.’ This article aims to analyze and compare two types of regional, large scale exhibitions from/on the Balkans: contemporary art exhibitions and interpretative (dedicated to historical and ethnographic themes) exhibitions. The pervasiveness of the stereotypical visual representations of ‘the Balkans’–called by the Bulgarian artist Luchezar Boyadjiev the ‘Balkan blue’ – as a region of everlasting conflicts and binary oppositions coincides with the birth of contemporary Balkan art. By attempting to overcome the stereotypical images of the Balkans (‘the Balkan ethos’) still prevalent in our days, the travelling exhibition ‘Imagining the Balkans: Identities and Memory in the Long 19th Century’ – opened in Ljubljana (Slovenia) at the National Museum of Slovenia, in April 2013 and then displayed in other national museums of history from the Balkan region–endeavors to place national histories in a perspective where they interact.

Keywords: Large-Scale Exhibitions, The Balkans, Shared Memory, Imagining The Balkans, Contemporary Balkan Art, Traveling Exhibitions From/On The Balkans