The presentation of the results of the “Long Heavy Road” workshop (CZKD, September 15th and 16th), by  Darinka Pop-Mitić, Nalan Yırtmaç and feat. Svebor Midžić will take place at CZKD on Thursday, September 19th at 8pm, within the Borderline Offensive Tour.

About the work:

A participatory writing and drawing room, in which migrants of all ages and walks of life are invited by the artists/editors to create and narrate the different, mostly humorous events that happened on their way to Fortress Europe.

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Artistic statement

There’s an old Jewish joke about a guy, a Jew of course, travelling across Eastern Europe by train, during the time of emperors. Our hero was bobbling along, minding his own business when all of a sudden the door of his compartment bursts open and standing there is a huge, bearded, wild-eyed thug.

– ARE THERE ANY JEWS HERE – he bellows like a rhino.

Our hero lowers his head, eyes to the floor, nervously rubbing his fingers.

– IS THERE A JEW HERE – even louder this time!

Our hero’s neck disappears into his shoulders, like a turtle retreating into its shell, haunted by images of pogrom Cossacks and enraged masses.

– ARE THERE JEWS HERE – the entire compartment rattles from the boom of his voice.

Suddenly our hero snaps out of it, realizing that he’s had enough. He stands up, looks the bully straight in the eye like David with his slingshot looking at Goliath, and says:

– I’m a Jew, what of it?

The thug’s face lights up, he gives him a warm pat on the back and says:

– Come with me. We’re missing one more for prayer!

What’s the moral of this story? Sometimes when we travel in fear every stranger’s face seems terrifying, but things can change in an instant and make our life better, if only for a moment, with friendship.

That is why we collect stories, events, postcards, instructions for refugee yoga classes, survival tips, idioms and phrases, images and maps, anecdotes and made-up tales from this long and heavy road that doesn’t end at the finish line, so that we may turn a bully into a friend.

About the artists

Darinka Pop-Mitić. Born, lives and works in Belgrade, Serbia; Attended University of Belgrade Faculty of Political Sciences before going to the Belgrade Art School. Winner of the October Salon in 2008 and 2009. Deals with history in fine arts. Part of the ad hoc artistic collective “The Joke and its relation to…” with Svebor Midžic, within which the following professions have been performed (you guess which by who): freelance artist, translator, dog-walking (in NYC, no less), kosher catering (real deal, Brooklyn Hasidic one), journalism (gossip page in defunct mob-related tabloid), artist’s assistant, curator (of a small exhibition and unaccredited), editor, screenplay writer, street vendor…

Darinka Pop-Mitić is currently the editor-artist-in-chief of the Long Heavy Road fanzine.

Darinka Pop-Mitić and Nalan Yırtmaç were part of the Borderline Offensive artistic residency in Belgrade, RS in 2018, within the CZKD – Centre for Cultural Decontamination’s programme, and the first step in the creation of “The Long Heavy Road”.

Nalan Yırtmaç was born in Istanbul in 1969. She graduated from the Painting Department in the Faculty of Fine Arts at Mimar Sinan University in 1994. She was an active member of a group of young artists who manages to enunciate a post-punk scene in Istanbul in the first half of nineties. Nalan Yırtmaç has had several solo exhibitions, and has participated in numerous group exhibitions and biennials in Turkey and abroad including Austria, France, Germany and Denmark. As an artist and a teacher, Nalan works with young communities, does art workshops with young people and runs a humour club which publishes a humour fanzine.

Nalan Yırtmaç is one of the creators of The Long Heavy Road, and was part of the editorial team for the Belgrade and Istanbul issues, but is no longer actively engaged in the artwork.

Photo: Röda Sten Konsthall detail from the Mural by Darinka Pop-Mitić

Read more about the Borderline Offensive project

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