The project "Sevdah – the art of freedom" will consist of an exhibition that portrays the “freedom-seeking” character of the traditional art of Sevdah, a traditional genre of folk music from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
While Sevdah has been increasingly exploited by politics and academia to canonise a conservative and nationalistic narrative, the project aims at revealing the inclusive character of Sevdah as a vehicle for dialogue and social change. The group of artists, including one of the most popular contemporary artists in the genre, Damir Imamović, want to re-inject authenticity into the Sevdah subculture.
Based on passionate research, Imamović’s Sevdah demonstrates the absence of gender and social hierarchical stereotypes, thereby opening up the genre to feminist, activist and LGBT readings. Through this, he has created a liberating approach that includes all Bosnian-Herzegovinian people and enhances the emancipation of women, Roma, non-Muslims, the LGBTQ community and Bosnian, ex-Yugoslavian and Balkan diasporas around the world. The exhibition aims at attracting a wide audience for educational purposes, to stimulate a new consciousness and to provoke a social dialogue on the meaning of Sevdah for the Bosnian identity.
In the post-conflict society of Bosnia-Herzegovina, exposing the unheard stories of Sevdah will bring social conversation and new ideas of challenging and liberating practices. By including different perspectives on social change into this popular music genre, Sevdah – the art of freedom will explore the tradition in a valuable and meaningful way for the Bosnian society.
November 27th – December 31st 2015
Multimedia exhibition “Sevdah, the art of freedom”
National gallery of BIH
Author: Damir Imamović
(in cooperation with Imrana Kapetanović, Edita Gazibarom, Amer Kapetanović,
Ahmed Burić, Sandin Međedović, Asja Čengić Kasumović, Almin Zrno)
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