Program: Special Focus 

Grants awarded – June 2019

Number of grants: 7

1. Children`s Center, Zaječar

  • RSD: 110.000
  • Project title:  “Radojka Has No Card ” – Women in transition and theatre 

Activist performance “Radojka Has No Card” by youth theatre group of the Children`s Center, Zaječar, tells the story of women in transition. Radojka has no social identity since she has no card to identify her labor, health, political party status. Radojka symbolizes Balkan working women – humiliated, turned into hostages of the system, of their families, imposed roles, ruthless exploitation and their own illusions of helplessness, guilt, sacrifice and suffering. Unemployed, middle-aged, unneeded, humiliated – is each of us at Balkans, or is about to become, if we do not raise our voices. Secondary school pupils are actors in this performance that tells the story of all those deprived of all the labor rights and of the right to labor itself. The performance aims to wake up working women, women fighters, and bring the historical class perspective back to the stage.


2.  Push-Back-Mapping Collective

  • RSD: 300.000
  • Project title:  Push-Back-Mapping

Push-Back Mapping is a transnational project which uncovers and documents systematic violence and push-backs at internal, external and externalized borders of European Union. The platform will offer cartographic visualization of where and how a push-back occurred, provide a complete report, including number of victims, and enable support in future asylum related and judicial procedures. Objective of the map is to increase visibility of systematic violations of human rights, practices of illegal expulsions and disabling access to asylum procedures and international protection, as well as of subjecting migrants to psychological and physical violence and death. Even though the public gets scandalized from time to time by individual push-back cases, this project aims to show that violence is inherent to the regime of borders – the visual data-base will document that push-backs are no individual incidents, but ever-present normality caused by racism. This map addresses civil society, media and broad public, and can be used in research, reporting, advocacy, filing cases and activist actions, in order to put an end to such practices and provide support to migrating people. The project also includes development of an application that would make possible for victims of violence to join the project and document themselves (first hand) the violence they have endured.


3Horkestar – Alternative Choir and Orchestra 

  • RSD: 50.000
  • Project title:  75thAnniversary of Liberation from Fascism – Korčula

At the manifestation of “75thAnniversary of Liberation from Fascism – Korčula“, Horkestar will play songs from its repertoire about labor rights, solidarity, resistance to repression, antifascism, homophobia, ecology and all those pointing at inconsistencies and negative phenomena in society. Horkestar wishes to use this activity for the promotion of antifascism and to express resistance to politics of discrimination, intolerance, hostility toward neighbors and abolishment of state secularism. Joint history of struggle against fascism of Croatia and Serbia within former Yugoslavia is a powerful and empowering foundation to support solidarity and struggle against growing fascism today, bearing in mind that contemporary social and political circumstances are similar, at least when it comes to human rights, including women human rights which we used to fight for together, and which we need to defend together.


4Workers Commune Links

  • RSD: 300.000
  • Project title:  COUNTER-STRIKE: Restricted freedom of speech and political media manipulation in Serbia – the Ugričić example 

Campaign for presidential elections 2012 was marked by the affair fabricated around the intellectual Sreten Ugričić, director of the National Library of Serbia at the time. Removing the superficial sensationalistic layer from this event will enable deeper understanding of its significance, from many angles and with pluralism of methods and approaches by the team of experts in the fields of political science, culturology, media studies, literature, contemporary art, sociology, history and law, who will describe and offer critical account of the role and position of a public intellectual figure in the transitional society with unresolved issues from the war-time past that burden not only politics, but society in general. The project will give a comprehensive description and critical analysis of crucial events at the cultural and public map of Serbia in the last 18 years, including political and media methods of preventing structural social and cultural transformation and emancipation, for the purpose of breeding the society and culture of fear and servitude. It will explore the historical legacy of 1990s, through gestures of Serbian political leadership (making peace with the Slobodan Milošević’s party, cooperation with the right wing, attitude toward Bosnia and Herzegovina). It will be a useful lesson in the time determined by public retributions and intimidations, manipulations with freedoms due to accumulated political power and media control, deterioration of autonomy of institutions and sanctioning of criticism in public sphere.

5. Art Group Hop.La!

  •  RSD: 222.000
  • Project title:  Rural Theatre

Through work with children and mobilization of rural local community, “Rural Theatre” works on deconstruction of patriarchal values and matrices of behavior, making art accessible to everyone and creating space for future artistic activities in the community through transformation of an old household into cultural center of the village. After getting to know the habits and issues of primary school children in the village of Markovac, in cooperation with pedagogues from a local primary school, we focused on empowerment, education and animation of children and community in the rural environment, since they perceive art as something out of their everyday life, something distant and hard to reach, reserved for city life and better financial situation. Feminist pedagogy works against oppressive social phenomena such as hierarchy, authoritarianism, and uniformity, while it also decentralizes the position of pedagogues, values participative learning, underlines the importance of personal experience, stimulates understanding of social processes and activism, as well as development of critical thinking. Through activities of repairing conventional toys and games (for age group 6 – 10) and reconstruction of an ideal community (for age group 10 – 14), the project animates and empowers children from the village, encouraging and motivating them to understand, through art and artistic researches, what are the principles of functioning of a community – both existing and potential, i.e. to recognize oppressive matrices in everyday life, and look for / suggest alternatives.


6. NENA – Informal Group for Peace and Rights of Women, Leskovac

  •  RSD: 190.000
  • Project title:  Our Labor Rights

The project is intended to create a space for women and men to speak openly of the labor exploitation, to get rid of fear, to build mutual support and solidarity in order to overcome hopelessness due to continual blackmails, precarious circumstances and vulnerability in the realm of labor. The space run by this group will be a strategic point of gathering at the south of Serbia for providing mutual support in the processes of struggle against violation of labor rights. Previous experience of work with women whose labor rights were violated showed that they require continuous support in order to overcome fear and to speak up against discrimination and exploitation at work, and not to give up when blackmailed and threatened. Project activities aim to provide support to women in situation of violations of labor rights, to get to know the legal framework, monitor court proceedings, create opportunities to network, learn about the experiences of collective actions and organizing in the field.


7. Free Zone Film Festival 

  •  RSD: 190.000
  • Project title:  15thFree Zone Film Festival 2019  

The  jubilee of 15thanniversary of Film Festival Free Zone in Belgrade, Novi Sad and Niš will include best achievements of the contemporary engaged cinematography. Growing nationalism, as a prevailing ideological matrix of our society, especially in the light of deteriorating diplomatic relations with Croatia and Kosovo, and of narratives of jeopardized safety of the nation and accompanying media propaganda, made Free Zone project team focus on the movies that deconstruct these social phenomena. Festival program will shed some light on current social issues, exploring their local, global, economic, political and cultural context, and inspiring audience to criticism toward its own community. Movies dealing with marginalized groups and growing nationalism, racism and militarism will be shown within the traditional „Women’s Line“. Program line dedicated to the diversity of Balkans and building new ways of communication between audiences from the region, titled „Balkan Horizons“, uses the movie language as a path towards reconciliation in post-conflict societies of the Balkan region. Through the selected movies within the program line “14+/Junior Zone”, and in cooperation with civil education teachers, we will raise the issues of militarism in circles incorporating it within the matters of pride, strong spirit and so called protective, manly values.