Archive of Student Cultural Center
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Name of collection
- Archive of Student Cultural Center
Provenance and cultural activities
The SKC Archive was formed as the Information and Documentary Center (IDC) with the mission to "collect as much material and data as possible on contemporary art production in Yugoslavia and the world, in the field of fine arts, film and television, theater, music, architecture, design, printing and photographs, [and to] catalogue certain documentary materials relating to magazines, catalogs, slides, films, photographs, newspapers, microfilms, video tapes, audio recordings, records, original documents, etc. " (1972 organizational document, SKC Archive)
What distinguished the SKC from other institutions, archives and libraries is the idea that SKC collects “material linked to certain art phenomena and domains which had been, until then, not documented in great detail, so it would serve as a specialized research center with a developed work profile regarding the documentation and theoretical processing of material, as well as regarding the active practice of [providing] information and [fostering] communication.” (1972 organizational document, SKC Archive).
"The work and thematic realm of the SKC was extremely innovative and modern, not only for the territory of Yugoslavia, but even compared to the whole of Western Europe," claims Ljubinka Gavran, director of the SKC archive. As a particularly important event in SKC's history, she mentions the ‘April Meetings’, the first feminist conference ‘Drug-ca, [Comrade Women]’ in 1978, the Performance ‘Meeting’, OPUS 4, and the Kugla glumište [The Globe Act] amongst others.
"There was plenty of freedom of speech and no repression was felt," Gavran said in an interview with COURAGE. As proof of this claim, she states that a lot of panel discussions were held that were not always in the taste of the ruling party. She emphasized that there was no ban, except in a few cases. She recalled two cases, most importantly the prohibition of the theatre play Golubnjača [Pigeon lofts?] (1982) by Jovan Radulović, directed by Dejan Mijač "that usurped the ruling ideology".
She noted that one of the center’s special qualities was that it was a home for artists who had their own, different perception of reality: "Most artists strove to be on the opposite side of the ruling ideological concept." She emphasizes that they did this not only for the purpose of opposition, but that they were always had a "good reason for it" in terms of the theoretical concepts on which they built their criticism towards the social reality that surrounded them. Another important event she stressed is the organization of Young Polish Culture series with panel discussions, music and film performances organized in 1981 in support of the Solidarity movement. Present at the time, she recalls crowds of visitors, that the interest of the young people was large, and that there were no problems with the authorities.
"This country [Yugoslavia] has helped different revolutionary movements in the world - Nicaragua, Palestine, throughout Africa. It has given support to all who are fighting for freedom and against repression." This ideological approach was in line with the Center's policy, said Gavran. "Politics did not have much influence on our work," concluded Ljubinka Gavran.
Description of content
The Archives of the Student Cultural Center is extremely comprehensive and rich. It is classified into several collections:
1. Collection of written and printed documentation (containing catalogs, invitations, etc.).
2. Collection of posters (over 6000, a smaller part is digitized).
3. Collection press clipping (partially digitized).
4. Photo archive (partially digitized but not classified).
5. Audio and video materials (partially digitized and partially deciphered); this collection was handed over to Kinoteka where it is now.
6. Lexicographical collection (over 1800 titles).
7. Collection of magazines; this collection of domestic and international journals was enviable, but due to the lack of space to store archival material, it had to be broken into several parts and transferred to different institutions, mostly libraries.
- publications (books, newspapers, articles, press clippings): 1000-
Geographical scope of recent operation
Date of founding
Place of founding
Beograd, Belgrade, Serbia
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Important events in the history of the collection
- completely open to the public
Author(s) of this page
- Radović, Sanja
Djurić, Dubravka & Miško Šuvaković. 2006. Impossible Histories. Historical Avant-Gardes, Neo-Avant Gardes, and Post-Avant-Gardes in Yugoslavia, 1918 - 1991. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Dragićević Šešić, Milena. (1992) 2012. Umetnost i alternative [Art and Alternatives]. Belgrade: Institut za pozorište, film, radio i televiziju FDU & Clio.
Dragićević Šešić, Milena. 2018. Umetnost i kultura otpora [Art and Culture of Resistance]. Belgrade: Institut za pozorište, film, radio i televiziju FDU & Clio.
Spaskovska, Ljubica. 2017. The Last Yugoslav Generation: the Rethinking of Youth Politics and Cultures in Late Socialism. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Gavran, Ljubinka, interview by Radović, Sanja , March 30, 2018, August 29, 2018, April 04, 2018. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection