APHASIA is developed at the intersection of music, film, storytelling and dance. Together with musicians Alen and Nenad Sinkauz and performers Ivana Jozić, visual artist and filmmaker Jelena Jureša questions the dynamics of polarisation, compliance with authority and the lure of group violence.
In medical terms ‘aphasia’ refers to a condition that robs you of the ability to speak or to find the words to form a complete sentence. Immersed in the atmosphere of a nightclub, in a post-war region, the audience participates in an intimate investigation of violence, the world of perpetrators, bystanders, and individual responsibility. What does it mean to be a witness? To participate tacitly in violence?
The audience’s attention gradually shifts 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”. The point of departure is an anecdote about DJ Max. A pioneer of electronic music in Belgrade, and protagonist in one of the most infamous photos of the war in Bosnia – where he is seen kicking in the head a dead Muslim woman previously killed by Serbian paramilitary forces.
Jelena Jureša brings us face-to-face with the ambigïty of the collective silence that so often surrounds crime. Whispers, rumours on perpetration and standing by, complicity and violence; every revolution, every genocide, has its soundtrack.