Jelena Jureša is a visual artist, born and raised in Yugoslavia, with current address in Belgium. Her latest (and ongoing) project APHASIA refers in medical terms to the inability to speak or to find the right words. Through this lens, Jureša is focusing on the collective silence surrounding violence and the compartmentalisation of historical events.

APHASIA (2019) is an unsettling inquiry into the representation of violence and the violence of representation. This documentary gesture explores how collective crimes keep being repeated and reflects on social and political constellations, unfolding constructions behind nation-states and national identities. Weaving an intricate web of connections across time and space from Belgian colonialism in the first act, Austrian race experiments, and Heimat films in the second, the third act brings to life the well-known photograph, taken at the beginning of the war in Bosnia.

Produced by Argos, centre for audiovisual arts, Brussels
Co-produced by Contour – kunstcentrum nona in the context of Contour Biennial 9, KASK School of Arts/HOGENT, Zagreb Youth Theatre (ZKM).
With the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF).

APHASIA premiered at Kunstenfestivaldesarts in 2022. The performance is developed at the intersection of music, film, storytelling, and dance. Immersed in the atmosphere of a (post-war-zone)nightclub, the audience physically participates in an intimate investigation of violence, the world of perpetrators, bystanders, and individual responsibility. One can imagine the audience’s attention gradually shifting from an archival film, to a DJ set, to a dance solo, to an integrated concert, intersected by the interventions of the female narrator who ponders about the “monsters and us”. Whispers, rumours on perpetration and standing by, complicity and violence; every revolution, every genocide, has its soundtrack.

Produced by KAAP in collaboration with ROBIN.
Co-produced by Kunstenfestivaldesarts, ROBIN, De Singel, Workspacebrussels, Hannah Arendt Institute.
Developed in Co-laBo.
Supported by Vlaamse Overheid, Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK) / HoGent, MOUSSEM – Nomadic Art Centre.