During the Cold War it seemed as if there was no other choice than taking the side of the capitalist West or the Soviet Bloc. Yet Yugoslav President Tito sought allies in non-Western countries for an alternative political vision. In 1961, during a founding conference in Belgrade which gathered leaders of 25 countries and 17 liberation movements, the Non-Aligned Movement was officially created. Marking the era by speaking up about decolonization, disarmament, and opposition to racism, this movement is notably absent from Western history books.
Yugoslav-born documentary filmmaker Mila Turajlić uncovered footage of this movement that was collecting dust in a vault in Belgrade. These images were digitized for Turajlić’s new documentary diptych Scenes from the Labudović Reels (screening at IDFA), which pieces together the story of their creation and role in propelling the vision of a Third World project.
During a one-off performance at De Balie, Turajlić and other special guests with roots in non-aligned countries will bring this history to life. Through spontaneous engagement with the archival footage, they'll seek to provide new perspectives and personal insights into its political potential. What does the term “non-aligned” mean to them? And how did this history form their view of today’s world?
With contributions by, among others, feminist Francisca Pattipilohy (96, Indonesia), theater maker Hakim Traïdia (66, Algeria), filmmaker Lidija Zelović (52, Yugoslavia), and historian Yulia Pattopang (40, Indonesia).