Bosnian War exhibit at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

This road sign from Bosnia once stood along the main road linking Sarajevo and the city’s airport. The road—Vojvode Putnika—was known as “Sniper Alley” during the 1992-95 conflict. As the scores of holes from small-arms and tank-cannon fire attest, the area was under constant fire from Bosnian Serb forces and was one of the most dangerous parts of the city. The sign directed drivers to cities in the former Yugoslavia. (Loan, David Rust, CNN) — The pick-up truck, I’m told by the Newseum staff, was used by TIME Magazine during the wars of the 90s in the former Yugoslavia.

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AUDIO: My review of documentary ‘Seeking Truth in the Balkans’ – screening at the 2015 BHFF

Link:

Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival – New York City

Trailer for Seeking Truth in the Balkans documentary

Facebook page for the film

The 12th annual Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival is fast approaching and is just 7 days away.

It will take place Thursday, May 21st through Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 at Tribeca Cinemas in New York City. Doors open at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 21st.

The film ‘Seeking Truth in the Balkans’ by June Vutrano and Erin Lovall will screen on Saturday, May 23rd at 5 p.m.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A and discussion led by Vutrano and Lovall.

The panelists and discussants will include:
– Richard Dicker – Director, International Justice Program for Human Rights Watch
– Professor Jennifer Trahan – Associate Clinical Professor of Global Affairs at NYU
– Professor Belinda Cooper, Senior Fellow World Policy Institute.

The festival is also excited to announce other guests:
– Muamer Čelik, director of “Toy Car”
– Aleksandar Hemon, co-writer of “Love Island”
– Rialda Zukic, director of “Bad Blood”
– Darko Herič, director of photography for “Dear Lastan!”
– Jadranka Negodić, Bosnian-Herzegovinian Ambasador to the U.S.
– Adnan Hadrović, Minister-Counselor & Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Bosnia-Herzegovina

A total of 14 films will screen Thursday through Saturday, May 21-23 at Tribeca Cinemas in New York City. They include four feature films, four short films, and six documentaries.

The complete PROGRAM and TICKETS are AVAILABLE NOW at our Program page at www.bhffnyc.org. Tickets for each film block are $15. They can be purchased NOW until Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 3 p.m. ET. All films have English subtitles.

We hope to see you at this exciting cultural event!

Traditional Vocal Group ‘ROSA’ aims to preserve, nurture and celebrate the authentic form of traditional singing from Serbia

February 12, 2015

by Zlatko Filipović@zfilipov

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – Marija Stojnic is a co-founder of ‘ROSA’ – a New York City-based, all-female vocal ensemble that unites singers from three continents with a mission to preserve and nurture the authentic form of traditional singing from Serbia. The group was formed in 2014. You can see them perform on Sunday, March 1st, 2015 at Gallery MC in New York City during a benefit event for flood victims in Macedonia. The following is a Q&A I recently conducted with Stojnic:

‘ROSA’ - a New York City-based, all female vocal ensemble that unites singers from three continents with a mission to preserve and nurture the authentic form of traditional singing from Serbia. The group was formed in 2014. Note: all still images in this article are provided by / courtesy of Marija Stojnic and/or ROSA.

‘ROSA’ – a New York City-based, all female vocal ensemble that unites singers from three continents with a mission to preserve and nurture the authentic form of traditional singing from Serbia. The group was formed in 2014. Note: all still images in this article are provided by / courtesy of Marija Stojnic and/or ROSA.

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Zlatko Filipovic: Tell us about your background, where you come from, where your family is from?

Marija Stojnic: My family settled down in a small town in western Serbia where I spent my childhood. I left home at the age of 15 to pursue my artistic dreams and entered the Music School ‘Mokranjac’ in Belgrade, department of Ethnomusicology, where I studied traditional singing for three years. My mentor was professor Sanja Rankovic, PhD, today a good friend and one of my closest associates on the projects we will talk about. Still, film was another big passion of mine so I ended up getting a degree from the Department for Film and TV directing at the Academy of Arts in Belgrade, and I continued pursuing my career in documentary film and TV. 
In 2011, I moved to New York City, and entered MA (Media Studies) at The New School for Public Engagement. That’s when I continued my research in the field of Traditional Serbian Music and Art. The idea for the project ‘Girl Who Opposed the Sun’ was conceived during my first year of studies at the Media Studies department.

Marija Stojnic.

Marija Stojnic. Note: all still images in this article are provided by / courtesy of Marija Stojnic and/or ROSA.

Zlatko Filipovic: Tell us about the group ‘ROSA’? How did it get its start? What are you hoping to achieve?

Marija Stojnic: Shortly before ‘ROSA’ was founded, I was finishing my thesis and working on a documentary about traditional Serbian singing. I was preparing a lecture about cultural and social aspects of traditional female singing from Serbia for the ‘200 years of Serbs in America’ event in Philadelphia, when my friend Aleksandra Denda, an incredibly talented singer/songwriter and a graduate of Boston’s Berklee College of Music, approached me with a proposal to form a group that will perform this kind of music. Together, we founded a multi-national, all-female Traditional Vocal Ensemble ‘ROSA’ – which further supported the mission of ‘Girl Who Opposed the Sun’ project. The idea behind ‘ROSA’ is that it’s an open-type female ensemble that serves to preserve and nurture the authentic form of traditional, non-tempered singing from Serbia and educate new singers regardless of their ethnic or cultural background. Also, we plan on bringing the most relevant Serbian experts and singers to teach workshops in the U.S.
 We want these songs to be heard so we gladly accept every invitation that comes our way. You can see us and hear us next at the upcoming benefit at Gallery MC in New York City on March 1st, 2015 for flood relief in Macedonia. It’s a great humanitarian cause and we want to support it in any way we can.

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‘ROSA’ – a New York City-based, all female vocal ensemble that unites singers from three continents with a mission to preserve and nurture the authentic form of traditional singing from Serbia. The group was formed in 2014. Note: all still images in this article are provided by / courtesy of Marija Stojnic and/or ROSA.

Zlatko Filipovic: Tell us about the film you’re working on.

Marija Stojnic: ‘Girl Who Opposed the Sun’ is a feature-length musical-documentary about folk art and vanishing musical tradition from Serbia that was created and passed along by women through centuries of our turbulent history. Irreducible to the Western tonal system, these songs are impossible to write down and can be carried on only as an oral tradition. In the film, three generations of women reveal the mesmerizing power of this heritage that embodies folklore and myth, and a desire to explore the value of an intergenerational memory. The film blends in two worlds – of darkness and wonder, both equal in weight: the contemporary life in Serbia and the fantastic mythical world of the region’s folk art preserved in songs, fairy tales, poetry, painting, etc. Through this film, I wanted to explore all those unspoken cultural factors that shaped me into the individual I am today as well as to play with the non-linear narrative and postmodern history genre as it redefines our notions of “truth.” Unfortunately, the production is on hold while we are attempting to raise funds sufficient to continue filming in Serbia, hopefully by the end of this year.

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On the set of film ‘Girl Who Opposed the Sun’ in Serbia. Note: all still images in this article are provided by / courtesy of Marija Stojnic and/or ROSA.

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Links:

‘ROSA’ Facebook page

Girl Who Opposed the Sun – website

Aleksandra Denda – singer/songwriter / co-founder of ‘ROSA’

Gallery MC – New York, NY

Benefit in NYC on March 1st, 2015 for flood victims in Macedonia

‘200 years of Serbs in America’ event in Philadelphia, PA

Music School ‘Mokranjac’ – Belgrade, Serbia

The Academy of Arts in Belgrade

Berklee College of Music – Boston, MA

The New School for Public Engagement – New York, NY

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Note: all still images in this article are provided by / courtesy of Marija Stojnic and/or ROSA.

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© 2015 Zlatko Filipović. All rights reserved. This material may not be republished, rebroadcast, rewritten or redistributed without author’s permission.