Milutin Jovanović, Migration, 2011, video, color, sound, 18 min., courtesy the artist
The semi-staged documentary Migration addresses artist Milutin Jovanović’s interest in the lives of the displaced inhabitants from the former Roma settlement that used to reside under Belgrade’s Gazela Bridge. We are invited to follow the story line as it evolves through the eyes of the artist’s friend Gagi, one of the residents of the new Roma settlement where some of the evicted Roma families were forced to move after the settlement’s destruction. Gagi’s genuine aspirations to shoot a documentary about his neighbors’ unfulfilled expectations make him an active and compassionate witness of the everyday struggles of the inhabitants. Trailed by Jovanović’s own camera, Gagi borrows a video camera and starts to shoot his film in the labyrinth of narrow streets and tinny container-homes. However his search for “witnesses” who would testify about the tough living conditions in the new settlement turns out to be difficult and often futile: the potential witnesses have been silenced by a warning not to speak publicly about their difficulties coping with the challenges of daily survival. (Suzana Milevska)
MILUTIN JOVANOVIĆ (born 1970) is a film director who graduated from the TV Directing Department at BK University, Academy of Arts, Belgrade. In addition to his commercial work, Jovanović directed several documentaries dealing with the Roma community in Serbia. Jovanović is the founder of NeVO, a NGO that strives to improve the social inclusion and acceptance of the Roma communities by using media campaigns to propose a shift in their public image. He is also executive director of the Belgrade-based video production company Golden Touch and works for the Serbian National Public Media Service RTS. Jovanović lives and works in Belgrade and Budapest.
Milutin Jovanović, artist statement, Call the Witness, Roma Pavilion, 03.06.2011, Venice