Conference and Workshop on 'Non-Aligned Modernity'

Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade (MoCAB)

The conference - whose primary focus was 'Energoprojekt', one of the world's leading construction companies, founded in 1951 and still operating globally - encompassed presentations by Marijana Vasic on the history of the company, and a study by Dubravka Sekulic of the International (Trade) Fair site in Lagos, Nigeria, which was designed in the 1970s by Zoran Bojovic, who also joined in the discussion. There followed a presentation by Ljiljana and Dragoljub Bakic about a project they undertook on behalf of Energoprojekt in the 1980s, namely to design and build the Conference Centre and Sheraton Hotel in Harare, Zimbabwe. The presentations and discussions provided an interesting insight into Energoprojekt's operations, and situated these in the broader context of Yugoslavia's role in the Non-Aligned Movement.

At the subsequent workshop, the 'Non-Aligned Modernity' project's future prospects were discussed with the Belgrade scholars presently investigating various examples of Yugoslav institutional policy - that of the Museum of African Art, for instance - in the light of Non-Alignment policy. The 'Non-Aligned Modernity' working group - represented at the workshop by Zoran Eric (MoCAB), Manuela Bojadzijev (Humboldt University), Jochen Becker (metroZones), Kai Vöckler (Archis Interventions) - and its collaborators - the artistic duo Sabine Bitter and Helmut Weber and architect Dubravka Sekulic - pinpointed the questions that need to be answered in the course of its members' on-going research, in order to make an effective contribution to global discourse on contemporary urban and socio-political developments. The group plans ultimately to compile its research findings in a joint publication.