During the Cold War it seemed as if there was no other choice than taking the side of the capitalist West or the Soviet bloc. Yet Yugoslav President Tito sought allies in non-Western countries for an alternative political vision. In 1961, during a founding conference in Belgrade which gathered leaders of 25 countries and 17 liberation movements, the Non-Aligned Movement was officially created. Marking the era in raising its voice for decolonization, disarmament and opposition to racism, this movement is notably absent from Western history books.
Yugoslav-born documentary maker Mila Turajlić uncovered footage of this movement that was collecting dust in a vault in Belgrade. These images were digitized for Turajlić’s new documentary diptych “Scenes from the Labudović Reels” (screening at IDFA) which pieces together the story of their creation and role in the creation of the vision of a Third World project.
In De Balie, Turajlić brings this history to life together with a group of Dutch people with roots in various non-aligned countries. During this one-off performance they spontaneously engage with the archival footage providing new perspectives and personal insights into its political potential. What does the term “non-aligned” mean to them? And how did this history form their view of today’s world?
With contributions by e.a. feminist Francisca Pattipilohy (96, Indonesia), theater maker Hakim Traïdia (66, Algeria), performance artist Christian Guerematchi (41, Slovenia/Central African Republic), filmmaker Lidija Zelović (52, Yugoslavia) and historian Yulia Pattopang (40, Indonesia).