Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) has, along with production of Party, Communism and Socialism, produced many movies. Queer Zagreb poses the question which of those movies could be placed under the queer umbrella today – a term which established itself in academia in the 90s of the 20th century – after the break up of Yugoslavia. By being aware of the conceptual boundaries of translating queer from today’s perspective into times of SFRY, this month’s edition of “Queer Saturdays on Fridays (and Saturdays)” tries to show you and prove to you that there was queer even if it was not called that. Forty five years of history of one country in the mountainous Balkans was not made out only of national but gender and sexual minorities.
Although the dominant norm was definitely determined with the slogan Tito – Party – Youth – Army it still remains to be researched whether (and in what ways) was this norm challenged by sexual freedoms. We all had the chance during the recent wars to witness the ways in which democracy challenged SFRY. As Queer Zagreb defines queer as a term that is subversive but definitely not dangerous for others, this month’s selection left out movies which would characterize queer as destruction.
We like to believe this edition of SFRY-Queer Saturdays on Fridays (and Saturdays) is an invitation to new generations to look into achievements of Yugoslavian artists dealing with sexual and gender minorities. History of queers is largely unknown in this region. Queers did not lose their history with the demise of Yugoslavia. They actually never officially had one. Our modest selection of movies may be the first step into an important project of finding one.
Death to fascism, freedom to queer!