This year, the Festival of Feminist Culture and Action ПРВО ПА ЖЕНСКО (FIRSTBORN GIRL) stands firmly behind the declaration: Women are Minority. With this political positioning, we aim to reconsider the meaning of the term “minority”, consciously avoiding its national, dominant assumption. We want to point out that in the meaning of this term, the power relations between the different social groups are much more relevant, as well as the relations between the dominant and the dominated ones. Such domination occurs daily through entrenched harmful political regimes and social norms, which imply discrimination of multitude of identities that do not fit into the ideal attributed to the hegemonic majority. That is why the issue of minorities is a feminist issue as well.
Whole festival program here.
The WoW Program is part of the activities carried out through the ‘Women on Women’ project, co-financed by Creative Europe programme of the European Commission, Frida | Young Feminist Fund, the Ministry of Culture and the City of Skopje and in partnership with City of Women – Ljubljana, Common Zone – Zagreb and Outlandish Theatre Platform – Dublin. The project focuses on gender equality through a feminist perspective, tracing the legacy of women* particularly from a diverse and intersectional perspective. Through new models of solidarity and knowledge exchange between different communities we are celebrating the achievements of women past and present with award nominations, portraits, collective performances, city mappings, and artistic interventions in public spaces as well as by developing artistic programmes that reflect the cultural diversity of contemporary societies.
This, as well as next year, part of the ПРВО ПА ЖЕНСКО (FIRSTBORN GIRL) program is realized within this Project and the Festival Team is strengthened with the WoW Group members – women of diverse social, economic, cultural, ethnic, racial, and generational backgrounds, who will be integral to the preparation and realization of the project’s activities and artistic programs. Together with them we make the Festival to inspire you and make you say wow!
*women, transgender and intersex people who identify as women
| WoW Program |
Dimitra is a solo artist that has produced, composed and performed three albums for the record label Sharla: ЖивотВоЖиво (2018), Come To The Danger Club (2018) и ПразниМуабети (2019). Throughout her career she has performed at many local events and festivals in the region. Her collaborations include plenty of local bands, producers, text writers, and other audio-visual artists. She is a true art lover, practicing multiple forms of art – she has performed as a poetess (including slam poetry events), as well as an actress in multiple theater plays. Dimitra is currently living and working in Bitola. She describes her work as a conversation between herself and life, as a reflection of her existence in the society she’s part of, making her style a postmodern mixture of multiple genres into one.
Concert | WoW Program |
Hana, Dolores and Joana
Hana Korneti is a singer, writer, reader, spectator, a wannabe witch, part time gardener and a failed leftist. She got her first ukulele after a few months of nagging and many unsubtle hints. She loves it because it is a relatively simple instrument and yet has a pleasant and specific sound. After all, it is a great companion in what Hana wants to do with her music – to tell stories.
Dolores Popovikj is an actress, educated vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, born in Skopje. She completed secondary school at the State Music and Ballet School Centre “Ilija Likolovski – Luj” in Skopje, where she acquired a formal education as a composer and flutist. She graduated acting at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Skopje in 2017, under the mentorship of PhD. Suzana Kirandziska. In March, 2020 she released her first two original songs Open Waters and King Catastrophe, which are part of the album scheduled to be released in 2021, while she played the third song The Greatest Battle for the first time at Beach Film Festival in Ohrid in July this year. She considers herself a drunken poet, a rebel and a zealous feminist.
JoanaRisteskais a solo artist and a graduate of the Faculty of Music in Skopje. During his studies she performed with chamber ensembles and solo-classical guitar. Her authorial sensibility covers a variety of styles: from contemporary-classical, cinematic, to experimental-rock music. She mainly composes music for classical and electric guitar and collaborates with musicians in the field of improvisation, as well as with visual artists. She is part of the improv collective “One, two, three”.
DJ Sets | WoW Program |
a possible soundtrack for the fall of patriarchy
A radio show, a DJ set or a music collage for a queer gathering, which sometimes includes original music by white cis men. A concept based on enjoying surfing in areas marginalized by large conglomerates of the commercial culture, and often the main source of our happiness, freedom, music, characters, politics and knowledge.
Margin = strength = music by girlfriends for girlfriends. Music identity project by Stefan Bogeski and IvanaDragsikj.
DIAH is an alias for DijanaDimitrievska, a DJ who has been part of the local club scene for 8 years. Her sets are an emotional session, from hypnotic techno, through levels of stellar self-reflection, dynamic bass-heavy gradation with acid culmination. In her career she has performed with UVB, Sugar Lobby, Dr.Rubinstein, Anetha, Saud, A//O, Claro Intelecto, Ellen Allien, Alexander Robotnick.
A Talk That Could (Have) Be (Been) A Performance | WoW Program |
Proximity in Crisis
in collaboration with MOT+
Proximity in Crisis proposes a quest for potentialities behind the limitations, rather than sinking in the frustration of being constrained. This talk that could (have) be (been) a performance gathers some of ПРВО ПА ЖЕНСКО (FIRSTBORN GIRL) closest associates and performance co-thinkers who, through their distinctive practices, are rethinking the traditional power dynamics and hierarchies in theatre and performance, now so brutally dismantled, enforced and contextualized by the pandemic.
Despite being separated in time and space, together we will try to reclaim the proximity inherent to performative practices, but now abolished by the measures that protect us from the puzzling virus.
Participants: JasminaVasileva, actress (MKD); Ana Dubljević, performer, dancer, choreographer and cultural worker (RS); Maud Hendricks and Bernadette O’Reilly – Outlandish Theatre Platform (IRL), BiljanaRadinoska, theatre director (MKD) and JasnaJasnaŽmak, writer and dramaturg (CRO).
JasminaVasilevagraduated acting at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Skopje in 2003. She holds a MA in cultural studies from the Institute for Macedonian Literature in Skopje. She has performed on the stages of macedonian institutional theatres, in independent theatre projects and international cooperations, as well as on TV and film. Since 2003, she has been a part of the ensemble of the Kumanovo Theatre and from 2019 she is employed at the Drama Theatre in Skopje. She holds several prizes for her acting won at national festivals in and abroad. Jasmina is women rights activist and a member of the informal feminist group Fight Like A Girl , dedicated to promotion of women rights through initiating public debate and of the initiative #СегаКажувам, the macedonian version of the #metoo movement.
Ana Dubljevićis a performer and author in dance, choreography and performance. She is an active member of Station – Service for contemporary dance Belgrade. She has obtained her BA in Fine Arts, University of Belgrade and MA in Choreography and Performance, studies at The Institute of Applied Theater Studies in Giessen, Germany. In her choreographic works, which are mainly collaborative authorship – Waste of time, Koreoerotikon, Only mine alone, STILL TO COME, a feminist pornscape– Ana deals with questions of artistic collaboration and is interested in exploring various ways of creating in non-hierarchical structures. Her performances were shown and awarded in various dance festivals.
Maud Hendricks and Bernadette O’Reilly are collaborative performance making artists and artists in residence at the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital who create experimental inter-media collaborative performances and projects as Outlandish Theatre Platform in Dublin 8, their primary Contact Zone, since 2010. OT Platform is committed to participatory modes of co-creation to reflect the lives and experiences of those living and working in Dublin 8. Bernie and Maud work to create conditions of exchange that develop new modes of making provocative performance projects, with both professional and community participants, whilst also building relationships with diverse new audiences.
BiljanaRadionoska is theatre director working in the cross section of the classical and experimental theatre, developing a complex theatre style in between the documentary and fiction. She has worked diligently both on the independent and institutional stages, learned about the political and economic structures in culture and their influence, and in response, together with the group Artopia developed the performance Say Hi and Blow Me which made a shift in her but also within the local theatrical landscape. In May 2018, she completed her education at the DAS Theatre – Academy of Theatre and Dance Amsterdam with the production of Chekhov’s Three sisters. Abroad she has directed the performances Youth at Grand Theatre Groningen (2018) and It’sgonna take a bit of work at Moha and Veem Theater (2019). In June, 2020, she took part in theSaariresidence in Finland with the curator Isobel Dryburgh where she explored the models of representation of women on stage and online.
Jasna Jasna Žmak is a freelance dramaturg and writer based in Zagreb, Croatia working in the fields of performance, dance, literature and film. She is assistant professor at the Department of Dramaturgy at the Academy of Dramatic Art in Zagreb where she has previously graduated. She holds a PhD from the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities of the University of Zagreb. Her research interests include different shades of performance dramaturgy, reflections of feminist perspectives and questions of queer possibilities. She has published several books, her latest being “Dirty words – essays on female sexuality” (One stvari. Eseji o ženskoj seksualnosti, Fraktura, 2020).
Mapping the Female Cultural Heritage with Ivana Dragshikj | WoW Program |
Skopje, 2020 (f.)
Skopje, 2020 (f.) is a city walking tour that tells another story about the origin, spatial planning, policies and life of/in the city of Skopje. A narrative burdened by the irrationality and harmfulness of the heteropatriarchy, but also in direct conflict with it. We meet at the intersection between the known geographical locations and the formal history, contemporary political experiences and women’s stories, to decide that the city, society and culture are not built by male political quasi-military figures and other authorities; but by skills, knowledge and policies created on the margins and under the (in)visible macho pressure. The tour will be guided by IvanaDragshkj, a sociologist and civil operator working in the area of urban commons and governance. Working with the colleagues from Freedom Square, they produce media projects, research and policy work, and write about city planning and public space, urban greenery, citizens’ participation, resource management, as well as other topics intertwining politics such as: feminism, environmentalism, culture and institutions. Dragsic is an amateur artist and performer, and plays music on the radio and in clubs as a DJ.
What is film?| WoW Program |
“Letters 1” and “Letters 2”
Denmark / 2018 / 67’, 28′
in collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Film & Video Programme
Original language: Serbian
Editor: Vladimir Tomić
Cinematographer: Ana Pavlović
Producer: Ana Pavlović
Contact: Ana Pavlovićanapavlovic.com
A personal diary constructed from the accounts of women migrants and the memories of their early days in Denmark, Letters 1 and Letters 2 central narrative are a series of letters and photographs exchanged between Ana Pavlovic in Copenhagen and her mother in Belgrade. By simultaneously showing other migrant women’s personal letters and photographs, Ana Pavlovic creates a memory collage of women in similar circumstances.
In Letters 1 Ana reads the letters different women have sent to their families back home from Denmark, while she cuts up the photographs with a pair of scissors and through a form of collage creates new contexts for the photos and narratives. Letters sent to the women from their families are read aloud in Letters 2, as we look at family photos women have received.
The correspondences reveal intimate thoughts and reflections of women who are confronted with difficult, and at times controversial, decisions. The letter and photo correspondence speak of au-pair work, undeclared labor, and marital migration for better or worse. The total experience becomes a kind of dialogue between the two films where the separation is both physical and mental. We see how both sides develop mechanisms and strategies for handling the dream and reality of life in the West.
Ana Pavlović is an artist working with a variety of media like installations, sound installations and film. She was born in Belgrade, Serbia in 1977, but has lived in Denmark since 1999. Pavlovic graduated from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen.
NO SPACE | WoW Program |
Selma Selman (BA)
The exhibition No Space, by Selma Selman, examines a very delicate and always present topic of space: personal, collective, physical, mental, emotional, political, feminine, irrational, creative, real, inner, space of empathy, space of requestioning and survival. On the stage in Hamburg, Selma and her family destroyed the symbol of capitalist society – the Mercedes Benz car, demonstrating, along with the aesthetics of matrix, the hard work of survival of her family as well as her artistic practice. For Selma, everyday life is the focus, such as constant re-examination of personal beliefs and shifting the boundaries. Selma’s No space! is her coming out on the line.
The scenes of Selma’s performance are monumental: the joint engagement of an experienced family group in breaking it down into something that in a capitalist society represents the production of the self-confidence of many, the meaning of accomplishment and proven values. By taking away these characteristics of a once established symbol, breaking it with physical work and power into the small parts which further trade provides their survival, Selma and her family members realize an alchemical process that connects them.
Selma’s artwork is very intimate, like a family approach. She is often a voice of her family, which follows her courageous steps of perceiving the system and stepping out of it. It’s really about teamwork and togetherness.
Intimacy, clarity and strength are characteristics of Selma’s engagement. The No Space functions and sets on these principles in the MoCa – Skopje. The space becomes a delicate cinema hall in which classic seats are replaced by old ones, torn from the bowels of Mercedes vehicles. The seats thus create a special installation that matches the projection of the Mercedes Matrix films. This precise and adequate intervention is at the same time film, performance and a stage that is extended in the physical space of the gallery which recreates Selma’s or our common reality. Even though the number of seats is limited, the way Selma approaches the audience from the stage of her life, she says that there will be space for everyone, at least for those who are brave and willing enough to meet them.
Selma Selman (*1991 in Bihac,/BA) earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Banja Luka University’s Department of Painting (2014) and graduated from Syracuse University with a Master of Fine Arts – Transmedia, Visual and Performing Arts, NYC/US (2018). Selman is of Roman origin. In her artworks, her ultimate aim is to protect and enable female bodies and enact across-scalar approach to collective self-emancipation of oppressed women. Her search for functional, contemporary political resistance stems from her personal experience with oppression from various directions and scales.
Selman is a founder of the organization Get The Heck To School whose aim is to empower Roma girls who faced ostracization from society and poverty. She lives in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the USA and across Europe. Selman’s works have been exhibited at: Kunsthalle Wien, AUT (2020); L’Onde Center for Art, Paris, FRA, (2020); 58th Venice Biennale, IT (2019); Queens museum, NY, USA (2019); Villa Romana, Firenze, IT (2019); The Creative Time Summit, Miami, USA (2018); 3. Berlin Herbstsalon, Maxim Gorki Theatre, Berlin, GER (2017); acb Gallery, Budapest, HUN (2017); agnès b. Galerie Boutique, New York, USA (2017); New Children Gallery, New Orleans, USA (2016); KunstquartierBethanien, Berlin, GER (2016); Museum of Contemporary Art, Banja Luka, (BH) 2014. This is her first exhibition in Skopje.
Ivana Ivkovic (1979), the curator of Selman’s exhibition No Space, has exhibited in solo and group shows in galleries, independent art spaces, cultural institutions and museums internationally since 2006. Her work is primarily based in the medium of drawing that she uses in a delicate and highly intuitive manner, overcoming the constraints of traditional objective representation in this discipline. The notion of identity and gendered experience are constantly present in Ivana’s works.
The illustration on the poster is by the interdisciplinary artist and architect Tamara Zabaznoska. Тhe graphic design of the catalog is made by Private Print.
Creative Europe Programme – European Commission / WoW Program, FRIDA – Young Feminist Fund, Ministry of Culture of North Macedonia, City of Skopje
Collaborators and Partners
Youth Cultural Centre, МОТ+, Museum of Contemporary Arts – Skopje, IskraTourbooking, Period Skopje, From zero-to zero, MestoŽensk – Ljubljana, K-zona – Zagreb-VoxFeminae, Outlandish Theatre Platform – Dublin