Jovan Divjak 1937-2021
OSTALI.OSTALI / 2014
In colaboration with Magazine Gracija Sarajevo
OSTALI/OSTALI is a series of photographic portraits of the citizens of Sarajevo and personal friends of the author (+self-portrait), who do not imbed into the national classification anomaly in the Bosnian contemporary society.
Duplication in the name of this photographic series, of the surreal and utterly undefined Dayton Peace Agreement expression OSTALI (OTHERS) with the same word that means OSTALI (WHO STAYED) following the specific mythical Sarajevo dilemma, who stayed / who did not stay during the siege, leads to a completely different classification, which is above all possible classifications, and that is the human one.
This is about the people who during the siege remained (OSTALI) in their homes, in their city (regardless of whether they were born in the same), in its consistency as a habitat of their personal constancy. This constancy and persistence, continues in post-war and misshapen Dayton constitutional and institutional system of this country, in which also, portrayed persons proudly do not imbed, because the present unnatural and tribal divisions of "one and only" own nation, does not match to their civilizational understanding of society that surrounds them, and following their character and individuality, consciously they stayed (OSTALI) out of it.
"It is important to recall here the notion of borderline-type subjectivity and its symptoms that post-Yugoslav artists embraced strategically to counteract the dominant processes of identification based upon the willingness to be deceived into the illusion of totality as a way of protection against the national threat. For example, a series of photographic portraits titled Ostali/ostali [Others/stayed] (2014) by Bosnian artist Andrej Djerković consists of portraits of the citizens of Sarajevo and personal friends of the author who do not imbed into the national classification in Bosnian contemporary society. These are also portraits of the people who during the siege stayed in the city. The portrayed persons proudly do not accept the present division according to ethnicity and the oblivion of common antifascist past of multiethnic socialist Yugoslavia. In war and post-war reality this socio-political struggle against oblivion of past struggles and social experience was even more important than the military defense against the aggression. Nationalist on all sides were determined to remind Bosnians of their respective ethnic identities (the pressure that continues today: officially, to identify oneself as a “Bosnian” without accompanying ethnic qualification means to place oneself into the category of “others”). Many of the citizens who stayed in Sarajevo during the war later decided to leave the city, disillusioned and defeated not in a military but in a socio-cultural sense. The place they fought for no longer exists".
Aesthetics of Transgression and Its Strategies in Post-Yugoslav Art
Branka Vujanović, Faculty of Social Sciences and Cultural Studies of the Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, 2016/2017