Exhibition / Document Missing: On Methodology (text, voice and body)

Document Missing is an ongoing research-based art project that I started developing in 2014, which deals with the forms, narratives, and aesthetics of women’s resistance strategies and political actions in Macedonia in the first half of the 20th century and their linking with today’s forms of resistance. As a main source of information, I use the transcribed and archived oral testimonies of eyewitnesses and participants involved in the liberation and emancipatory movements in Macedonia that were collected and institutionally preserved after World War II.

The idea for this exhibition began to be formed in dialogue with the historian Ivana Hadzievska and the ethnologist and activist Jana Kocevska, who invited me to be part of the research team focusing on the forgotten magazine for women “Makedonka” published in the Macedonian language in the period 1944-1952 as an Organ of the Women’s Antifascists Front of Macedonia, as part of Women’s Antifascists Front of Yugoslavia that was established on December 6, 1942.

My research was focused on the first number of “Makedonka” issued under extremely difficult conditions on November 7, 1944. It provoked me to think about what it means to create and edit emancipatory content, and what will be the key terms when one thinks about this process. Starting from there, I focused on my work methodology from where I extracted the three essential elements related to my understanding of performance and performativity: the text, the voice, and the body.

The text was created from the need for narration in a situation where the facts are based not on documents but on oral interpretations of events. In that “hopelessness,” the text becomes a space where the factual and fictional intervene and are equally important.

It is the voice that comes out of our body and determines us in relation to the other votes. It expresses our thoughts and feelings through the language it feels most comfortable with.

The body is what performs oral imagination wrapped in its femininity. It knows the secrets of the sacral and the secular, the magical and the healing. The body is home to the votes from the past that can speaks through it.

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