Mila Turajlić is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and archival artist from Belgrade, Serbia (formerly Yugoslavia).

Her archive-heavy work examines representations of history at the intersection of the personal and the political, seeking to reactivate forgotten histories. Beyond the documentary form, her work also includes lecture performances, video art and analytical essays.

At the end of May, we’re delighted to welcome Mila to Bertha DocHouse to present her live documentary performance, as well as one of her latest projects, a documentary diptych that delves into the Non-Aligned movement, through the work of Serbian cameraman, Stevan Labudović.

Non-Aligned Newsreels: Fragments #4

Live performance on Thu 23 May, 18:30

Mila Turajlić invites the audience to confront archival material which has fallen out of political narratives, starting with a trove of reels kept in the vaults of the Yugoslav Newsreels in Belgrade.

Footage filmed by Yugoslav cameramen starting from the 1950s takes us from within the ranks of the Algerian Liberation Movement to newly-independent countries such as Mali and Tanzania. Layering this ‘resurfaced’ footage with oral histories, sound recordings and personal archives, Turajlić performs a live ‘excavation’ that, along with the audience, gives voice to unfulfilled political projects.

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Scenes From the Labudović Reels
Using a trove of unseen archives from 1954-1962 and the perspective of Stevan Labudović, the cameraman who filmed them, this documentary diptych reveals how the filmed image became a weapon of political struggle against colonialism.

Non-Aligned: Scenes from the Labudović Reels

Sat 25 May, 14:00

This film delves into the archive of Stevan Labudović, a cameraman from Belgrade who travelled the world with Yugoslav President Josep Broz Tito. Labudović’s work documented the birth of the Non-Aligned Movement in 1961 – a bloc including many decolonizing nations that stood apart from both East and West during the Cold War.

What begins as an exploration of newsreel footage of the 1961 Non-Aligned summit in Belgrade becomes a love letter to a vanished country and its hopes for the future, a history of the early days of the Non-Aligned Movement, and a document of the affinity between two filmmakers—Turajlić, in her forties, and Labudović, nearing 90.

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Ciné-Guerrillas: Scenes from the Labudović Reels

Sat 25 May, 16:30. Followed by a Q&A with Mila Turajlić

Labudović was handpicked by Yugoslav President Josep Broz Tito to support the Algerian anti-colonial effort by making films that countered French propaganda. He lived with the Algerian fighters, filming them as they travelled through the mountains.

Through intimate interviews with Labudović and his Algerian revolutionary contemporaries, along with his rediscovered newsreels, Ciné-Guerrillas plunges us into the media battle that played out during the Algerian war for independence, where cinema was mobilised as a weapon of political struggle against colonialism.

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