'Post Memory from a Lost Country'

‘‘Post memory describes the relationship that the ‘generation after’ bears to the personal, collective and cultural trauma of those who came before – to experience they ‘remember’ only by means of the stories, images and behaviours among which they grew up. But these experiences were transmitted to them so deeply and affectively as to seem to constitute memories in their own right’’ (Hirsch, 2008)
The stories which we are told make us fabricate our realms of imagination, creating utopians of a place never before visited by us personally. Through gathering memories of those who have lived in Yugoslavia, I am interested in the juxtaposition of contemporary filmmaking and post memory. These images contained within a forest, a universal and relatable space, create a utopia of a country that may now only exist through memory.
Yugoslavia separated in 1992, and with that the disappearance of a country along with the identity of its inhabitants. Subsequently, in learning of others stories of the country I am delving into my own exploration of the self and an affinity with a country which no longer exists. In being of Macedonian descent, possessing what may be interpreted as real picture memories of a place and a time in which I have never been before. Through means of being told stories as a child of this place has this been imprinted in my mind, a memory of another life.
The first part of the film is based in a house with objects placed within it, a map of Yugoslavia in a broken frame, a Balkan rug. The house gradually begins to burn down, a metaphor for the disappearance of Yugoslavia.
The final section in the triptych of films is shot in foggy, cold weather, interspersed with scenes of smoke bombs and an uprooted tree stump. This exemplifies the sense of missing cultural identity and confusion as to where you are. The uprooted tree represents a generation uprooted from their homeland. However, the majority of trees in the video are alive, one of which was a sapling which was uprooted and then replanted before filming, which acts as a representation of growth and adaptation.
The soundtrack was produced by the artist, an intentionally slow piece created with a violin bow on an electric guitar. The underlying sound of fire crackling throughout the film is carrying on from the burning of the house in the first piece.

  • Emma Zukovic
  • Emma Zukovic
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Short, Student, Other
  • Runtime:
    13 minutes 16 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 22, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    1,000 EUR
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  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Emma Zukovic

Emma Zukovic was born in Lymington, England in 1993. Her mother is of Irish nationality and her father is from Macedonia. Being of Macedonian descent, the artist is concerned with the theory of 'Post Memory' and its relevance to the lost country of Yugoslavia.

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