QAFF18: Skopje, Sarajevo and Salonika – A Post-Ottoman Trilogy

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Bosnia/ Macedonia/ Greece. 2017. English/ Bosnian/ Greek/ Turkish/ Albanian.

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A Post-Ottoman Trilogy captures the production of space, erasure and amnesia in three post-Ottoman cities Skopje, Sarajevo and Salonika. Defying Eurocentric and heteronormative configurations of time, the documentaries unearth silenced memories hidden under nationalist, socialist and post-socialist chronicles of progress.

The Metabolist Metropolis examines the post-earthquake remaking of Skopje as the city of non-aligned solidarity and socialist futurity. Confronting the post-socialist nostalgia of Yugoslav urban modernity, the documentary gives visibility to racialized hierarchies that inform socialist and post-socialist urban renewal projects.

The Muslim Metropolis narrates the history of Sarajevo through Melika Salihbeg Bosnawi, whose life illustrates Sarajevo as a center of Islamic praxis in the Balkans of the Cold War. Her transnational political activity, from Sarajevo to Paris and Teheran, illustrates the mobilization of decolonial Islam in socialist Yugoslavia in the larger context of the non-aligned world.

The Migrant Metropolis, tells the un-making of Salonika through ongoing Europeanization. Attending to the struggles of the city to maintain migrant hospitality and marginalized memory, the film reveals the displacement and death visited on racialized bodies in the face of austerity and intensified national and post-national European boundaries.

Bios: Piro Rexhepi and Ajkuna Tafa

Piro Rexhepi is a post-doctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Goettingen, Germany. His research focuses on the politics of religion, sexuality and coloniality in international relations, with a particular focus on the relationship between the Balkans and the Middle East.

Ajkuna Tafa is an adjunct lecturer at the John Jay College in New York, where she teaches public speaking classes on social justice. Trained as an anthropologist, her research interests include decoloniality and race within Socialist globalization during the Cold War, particularly the racial notions that informed the China- Albania relationship in the eve of the Cultural Revolution.