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This archive and the upcoming video-works inspired by my research deal with the repressed period from the (so-called) communism era in former Yugoslavia, namely the women's labor and prison camps for Informbiro adherents. Not enough was and is spoken about the labor camps that had been established during this regime. At first it was a public secret, later a taboo and kind of a sidelined, no ones’ issue.
After the abolition of the most well-known punishment camp on the desolated island Goli Otok in Croatia, men gradually dared to break the silence and talk about their experiences as prisoners. Hence their stories had been documented, films and theatre pieces had been written and made, associations had been founded, compensation money had been fought for.
However, the facts that Goli Otok also contained a women camp “Radilište 5” (R-V) and that right next to Goli Otok the female prison island Sveti Grgur was located, was and is as good as not mentioned at all. More then 860 women were imprisoned between 1949 and 1956. The female penal camps in Ramski rit (Serbia), Zabela (Serbia), Stolac (Bosnia and Herzegovicn) and on the island Sveti Grgur (Croatia) never became part of the mainstream history nor collective memory.
This collection of research materials focuses on the female discourse and on the prison island Sveti Grgur − desolated uninhabited island off the Adriatic coast in Croatia.
remains of the female internment camps on Sveti Grgur ©Simon Bučan
research funded by Claussen-Simon-Stiftung − Fonds »Was zählt!« and Hamburgische Kulturstiftung − Hilfsfonds »Kunst kennt keinen Shutdown«
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