On the 7th October 2020, Red Thread looked at the use of disinformation as a means of propaganda, both in terms of how recent technological developments have enabled new approaches and in terms of how these have been applied in contemporary Serbian politics.
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About the discussion:
In the first in a new series of Red Thread discussions with contributing authors, Zeyno Pekünlü talks to Jelena Vesić and Vladimir Jerić Vlidi on the current global media context, highlighting specific geopolitical positions in Serbia and providing connections with the texts selected for Red Thread 5.
This discussion focuses in particular on two topics. In the first half of the discussion, Vladimir Jerić Vlidi analyses the parallels between Russian governance and the Serbian government’s use of disinformation and more heavy-handed means of suppression to counter the damaging political fallout to the spread of the coronavirus. And, Jelena Vesić assesses the protests emerging from the political handling of the crisis in Serbia, commentating on their apolitical nature and asking “what is the logic of the demand for change today?”.
In the second half of the discussion, the participants turn their attention to the general manipulation of public opinion and the growth in the use of mass scale propaganda, looking at how the media revolution of the last 20 years has impacted upon the scope, scale and precision of the dissemination of political ideas.
Jelena Vesić – Curator & Editor
Jelena Vesić is a Belgrade-based writer, editor, lecturer and independent curator. She was a co-editor of Prelom – Journal of Images and Politics (Belgrade) from 2001–2009 and co-founded and worked for the independent Prelom Collective (Belgrade) on publishing, research and exhibition practice that intertwined political theory and contemporary art from 2005–2010. Currently, she is a member of the editorial board of ARTMargins (MIT Press) and a co-editor of Red Thread; a platform and a journal for social theory, contemporary art and activism.
In her research, Vesić explores experimental art and exhibition practices of the 1960s and 1970s in former Yugoslavia and Eastern Europe; the relationships between art and ideology in the fields of geopolitical art history writing; and practices of self-organisation and self-management in contemporary cognitive capitalism. Vesić's curatorial practice often experiments with frameworks, methodologies and contextual and collaborative aspects of art.
Some of Vesić's most recent curatorial projects were Political Practices of (Post-) Yugoslav Art: RETROSPECTIVE 01 in The Museum of Yugoslav History in Belgrade (2009), Against Art: Goran Đorđević, Copies 1979-1985 in Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade and the Mestna Galerija in Ljubljana (2012/13) and October XXX: Exhibition –Symposium – Performance in the Cultural Centre in Pančevo (2012).
Vladimir Jerić Vlidi – Artist, Musician & Producer
Vladimir Jerić Vlidi holds an MA in Communicology from the Singidunum University in Belgrade. He is a founding member of Darkwood Dub (Musician, 1988-2008), Creative Commons Serbia (Public Lead, 2007-2013), Slobodnakultura (2005-2010), TEDx Belgrade (Board Member & Event Moderator, 2010-present), Druga Scena (2008–present) and Prelom Kolektiv (2005-2010).
Vlidi has also worked as a teaching assistant at the Singidunum University's Faculty of Media And Communication (2009-2012), as a field producer for Swedish National Television (SVT) for the region of the Western Balkans (1999-2012), as a screenplay writer for educational TV series on art and technology (Radio-Televizija Srbije, 2006-2008) and as a web & social media editor for MTV Adria (VIMN) (2009-2015).
Zeyno Pekünlü – Artist & Lecturer
Zeyno Pekünlü holds master's degrees in painting from the Mimar Sinan University and artistic production and research from the University of Barcelona. She also holds a doctorate in painting, gained from the Mimar Sinan University in 2010.
Currently, Pekünlü works as a lecturer at the Istanbul Kültür University. She is, however, also an active artis in her own right and has held many solo exhibitions and participated in various group exhibitions in Turkey and abroad. In her art work, Pekünlü investigates the different meanings of identity in society, including, for example, notions of patriarchy, nationalism and being an artist.
Recent exhibitions and projects that Pekünlü has been involved in include How to Properly Touch a Girl So You Don’t Creep Her Out?, Artists' Film International, Istanbul Modern (2016), At the Edge of All Possibles, School of Kyiv, Vienna (2016) and Stay with Me, WOW Venue at the Kunstraum MOM, Hamburg (2016).
Zeyno Pekünlü is also a member of Red Thread's editorial board.
You can find a full-length video of this discussion at the top of the page.
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Red Thread is a platform for collaboration and knowledge sharing in social and cultural theory. The project is envisioned as an active network and platform for exchange of knowledge and collaboration of artists, curators, social scientists, theorists and cultural operators from the Balkans, the Middle East, the Caucasus, North Africa and beyond. It aims to create and widely disseminate new knowledge about paradigmatic socially engaged art practices in a wide geopolitical context, thus challenging the predominance of Western narratives in official art histories and exhibition making. Through initiating research, meetings, panel discussions and an active online site for exploring both historical and contemporary approaches that deepen and challenge broader relations of art and society, Red Thread intends to reopen the issues of joint modernist legacies and histories between various so-called “marginal” regions, and attempts to create new approaches to deal with questions of auto-histories, self-positioning and the reinterpretation of art history.
Red Thread is a project of Anadolu Kültür (Turkey), DEPO (Turkey), the Maxim Gorki Theatre (Germany), springerin (Austria), tranzit (Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary & Slovakia) and what, how and for whom (Croatia).