15.12.2015. – 23.01.2016.
шkart kvart
шkart kvart, Showroo m Galerije Nova, 2015.

шkartGallery Nova / Showroom, Teslina 7, Zagreb
15/12/2015 – 23/1/2015

It is not easy to put together exhibition шkart quarter, as many things could be included in it: exchange of sorrows; see-saws for four or even five; survival coupons (do you need a coupon for word, power, revolution, orgasm or fear?); cookeries that were embroidered by numerous male and female hands; several choirs; a booklet about miracles already happening, about key tree or about fog. In all of these projects by шkart a red line through is easy to find – they are interested in people, resistance and better future. This time, we chose two stories: one about refugees and one about poetry. We present Migrant maps, the book I remember, the initiative Pesničenje /Poetrying and we are giving away шkart’s new collection of poems  Not me, poems for jumping and yelling and revised edition of Selected poems. Welcome!
Шkart about the “Migrants maps”
In 2013 Group 484 invited several associates, artists, to work with asylum seekers in an asylum centre near the village Bogovađa, in the vicinity of Valjevo. Several years before Group 484 had in many ways collaborated with that and other asylum centre in Serbia. The idea was to expand cooperation and introduce different research methods in working with asylum seekers that would bring new contents in their everyday life.
At that time, the number of migrants in Serbia was not nearly as large as it is today, and that issue, except in the narrow circles of activists and individual organizations was neither visible nor topical. In Bogovadja we met people from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Eritrea, Guinea, Senegal, Syria … people were spending days in the centre resting from their difficult journey. They reached the centre near Bogovađa by reporting to the police station upon entering Serbia illegally and expressing their intention to seek asylum.
In our work with migrants we primarily did not want to perceive them as victims, through the prism of humanitarian paternalism, which is often the case in art projects, but as courageous people who, by the very fact that they had decided to set out for such a journey made a radical change in their life fleeing from wars, conflicts and poverty.
Therefore, we were interested when, how and where they had been travelling before we met them in the asylum centre. We asked 29 of them – why they had embarked on such a journey, what troubles they had survived, how they had crossed the borders, how much they had paid the smugglers, about their experience with the police, with people of the countries they had passed through.
Together with them, we sketched the answers in the form of maps, in order to piece together their routes, which in some cases lasted up to 7 years. Sometimes the maps lack details, sometimes they are unclear, and sometimes they would skip parts of the journey. We wanted to avoid pathos and the illustration of their sufferings. We wanted to show them their routs factually, by facts, and thus draw attention to the lack of humane asylum
policy in Europe, which has been especially evident in the last few months of extremely dramatic situation, when the amount of racism and ethno-nationalism of the “Christian Europe” has been increasingly present.
We also found the maps extremely helpful later, during our work with high school students in Serbia, where we talked about the topics of migration, asylum seekers and our attitude towards them.
Шkart about the book “I remember”
The year 1993/1994. War. War. Can we speak of Yugoslavia in a different way and preserve positive experiences of socialist coexistence for some future attempts at being together?
Refugee camps are appearing throughout the country. Refugees are coming from Bosnia, Croatia… Sickened by the war, manipulated by false promises and caught by lost past and uncertain future, women in camps are waiting for the news. Women in black, feminist peace group, immediately reacts. Visits, talks, encouragements, bringing together lost and banished families, education, direct work on economic emancipation, helping with visas for international education of students… From us, from шkart, they ask for help in the second stage – collection of stories based on trust formed by constant visits to the camps. This is how the work “I remember” came about, a collection of drawings and stories of women in refugee camps who, refusing to engage in hate speech  induced by realities of war, talk about their life in Yugoslavia.
Шkart about Pesničenje / Poetrying
Year 2007. Can poetry leave the safety of books and libraries and take the risk of critical dialogue in public space?
Invited to exhibit our design works at the exhibition New scenes at gallery Ozon, we decide to organize Pesničenje / Poetrying – a poetry evening with participants that were written off from the official scene. The unexpected number of audience and the support of participants initiated the forming of the real Pesničenje / Poetrying. Moved to CC REX and transformed into a monthly event, it brings together various experimental poetry and songwriting forms and audience ready to hear new poems by unknown or marginalized authors. Self-published edition Pesničenje / Poetrying presented more than 50 books by new authors, with the money collected from entrance fees. A new phase was initiated with children’s Pesničenje / Poetrying in physical education halls of village and town schools, followed by prison, pensioner and high-school Pesničenje / Poetrying. A ten people voluntary board isn’t giving up or losing motivation.
Шkart about the collection of poems: “Not me”
Year 2015. Can poetry, designed for singing, yelling and jumping, be a new tool in the fight for children’s rights?
NOT ME, poems for yelling and jumping have been sketched during long term collaboration of шkart with the Group 484 and voluntary, several month long stay at The home for children and youth Vera Radivojević in Bela Crkva, and finished in the summer of 2015 in Vienna, during residency for poets. Some of these poems have already been performed by new choirs and bands in schools, as a part of various shows, concerts, in garages and basements. The book of poems, published by WHW, will be distributed for free at children’s homes, schools and playgrounds.
шkart about шkart
Collective шkart was founded in 1990 in an abandoned graphic atelier of The Faculty of Architecture of University of Belgrade. With its many collaborators, it exists and endures as a collective which, through continuous mutual conflict, questions and brings together non-standard forms of poetry, graphic design and publishing, alternative education and social activism.
The first 10 years, 1990-2000, have been marked by self-publishing, self-distributing, self-giving actions through which the group comments on current political environment (Your shit- your responsibility, Survival coupons, Sadness, Accused/Not guilty).
During the next 10 years, 2000-2010, the group works on initiating and developing new collectives and networks. These are collectives Horkeškart and PRoba, children’s choirs Deca sa meseca and AprilZMAJun, and to a lesser extent youth-pensioner choir HOR-RUK and antifascist choir UHO (united choirs) which unfortunately didn’t manage to come together.
Apart from choirs, the group attempts at forming Women and Men Embroidery for New Cookeries, where women and men express their opinions through embroidered work.
In 2008, the collective initiates Pesničenje / Poetrying – exercises in active poetry, which had been taking place monthly over the period of five years and resulted in over 50 poetry collections. Ever since, poetry evenings are occasionally organized in village and town schools, prisons and school sports halls.
Since 2012, the group occasionally works with children from homes for abandoned children Vera Radivojević from Bela Crkva and Jovan Jovanović Zmaj from Belgrade and participates in children’s festivals and school and village performances.
Since 2013, the group works with asylum seekers in centres in Bogovađa, Banja Koviljača and Sjenica.
We thank the Musem of African Art in Belgrade for lending us the maps.

Gallery Nova working hours:
Tuesday – Friday 12 – 20h
Saturday 11 – 14h
Supported by:
Kultura Nova Foundation
Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia
National Foundation for the Development of Civil Society