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Short synopsis

 Words from Ashes is a documentary on the famous writer, diplomat and Nobel Prize winner in Literature Ivo Andrić, which will be reflecting on today’s perceptions of his life and work in the region of Southeastern Europe, focusing primarily on Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia. In addition, this film project will question the writer’s socio-political engagement by discussing his role in different ideological environments. By doing so, we would like to point out that today's interpretations have been neglecting his very active role in both Yugoslavias, while mostly they are being shaped and influenced by the national contexts in which they are appearing. We have envisioned this historical review as a sort of an introduction into the main focus in our film project, which is the perception of Andrić and his work within and between different national environments. 


plakatandriczaweb1 Before the Great War, Andrić was part/admirer of the movement Mlada Bosna, while in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia had a notable function as a diplomat in cities such as Rome, Graz, Trieste, Bucharest, Marseille, Madrid and Berlin, where he worked as the last Yugoslavian ambassador between 1939 and 1941. Later, in socialist Yugoslavia, he was involved in socio-political life, also becoming a member of the Communist party; he was teaching, had a very active public role, and as a member of different organisations travelled to the USSR, Bulgaria, Poland, China, etc. Between 1945 and 1950 he was a representative in the National Assembly of Yugoslavia on the behalf of Travnik County. He was a president of the Union of Writers and Vice-president of the association for Cultural Cooperation with the Soviet Union. We have to take into account that the new communist authorities in Yugoslavia had harshly criticised the former regime, which Andrić, through his diplomatic activities, had represented. It is, therefore, intriguing to find out and present how he managed to take an active socio-political role in socialist Yugoslavia, while avoiding marginalization by the new elites. By doing a historical review we would like to understand how he perceived the socio-political contexts in Yugoslavia and the relationship between people living there, and thus to see how this correlates (or not) with today's interpretations of his life and work.

 The post-Yugoslavian interpretations of Ivo Andrić seem to have been politically conditioned, revealing other, more complex relations within and between different national contexts. It is interesting that in Travnik, a small town in Bosnia-Hezegovina, in which he was born and represented in the parliament in Tito's Yugoslavia, there is no single street named after him, while in ViÅ¡egrad, a town in the entity of Republika Srpska in Bosnia-Herzegovina, an entire new district has been constructed, dubbed - “Andrićgrad”. In the same town, approximately 20 years ago, a monument to Ivo Andrić was demolished, while today, a brand-new area, bearing his name, has been founded. This is only one example showing how divergent the perspectives of Andrić in the Balkans might be. Therefore, we aim at presenting these various views of his life and work to the wider audience as well as to discuss what motives lay behind these contrasted opinions. For this purpose, we are going to consult experts in the field of literature and literary history, sociologists, journalists, political scientists, but we will also take peoples’ perceptions into account. So far, we have conducted several interviews with journalists, literates and students in Graz and Belgrade. What follows is the final realization and filming in several countries: Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia. 




Last modified on Saturday, 23 August 2014 11:02

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