Opened in 1977, the Museum of African Art: the Veda and Dr. Zdravko Pečar Collection in Belgrade, was announced as the only European anticolonial museum. This statement was rooted in the values of solidarity, anticolonialism and anti-racism that were present within the public discourse, tied firmly together in the foreign policy of the Socialist Yugoslavia, and its role in the Non-aligned Movement.
However, the decade of 1990s that contributed to distancing of post-Yugoslav societies from the values of the Socialist Yugoslavia, almost completely erased this discourse from the Museum’s public presentation. From different positions, as a former in-house curator at this Museum in the 2000s, then a PhD researcher, and finally an independent curator and theorist, Ana will pinpoint the moments in its institutional life that brought forward some of the most important questions and problems regarding museum representation of “African art”.
Ana Sladohević is an independent curator and art and media theorist. She studied museums as complex objects, whose previous discourses, often inscribed within different unrecognized or “invisible” elements, such as “surplus” of museum production in form of archives, documentation, or study materials, bear influence on how a meaning is formed.
She researched these questions particularly within the context of the Museum of African Art – the Veda and Dr. Zdravko Pečar collection, and the Museum of Yugoslavia, with emphasis on certain aspects of these institutions that are related to historical non-alignment.
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