Hana Ćurak

Fellow of the residency-mentorship program by Slavs and Tatars and co-curator of the Pickle Bar events in Sarajevo

Hana Ćurak is Fellow of the residency-mentorship program by Slavs and Tatars and co-curator of the Pickle Bar events in Sarajevo. She is a researcher, writer, and multimedia producer. Her interdisciplinary work deals with understanding performativities and temporalities in the post-Yugoslav intellectual space.

Hana Ćurak (b. 1994 in Sarajevo/BA) is a researcher, writer and producer. Her eclectic experience involves work in strategic communication, visual arts production, project management and advocacy in Germany and Bosnia and Herzegovina. She is a founder of Sve su to vještice (It's all Witches), an independent communication platform for the promotion of a feminist approach to security and radical democracy through digital tools and humour. Since its creation in 2015, this platform has established a new visual form of feminist communication that has been adopted by many activists across the region.

Hana Ćurak graduated from the Freie Universität Berlin with a degree in politics, sociology and diplomacy, and has worked in the Hertie School and German Parliament, as well as with various German foundations and UN agencies in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As a communications expert and writer, Hana collaborates with contemporary Bosnian artists and curators, including Šejla Kamerić, Bojan Stojčić, Selma Selman, Lala Raščić and Amila Ramović. She is a member of the board of the CRVENA Association for Culture and Arts.

For Sarajevo Slavs and Tatars and ifa have selected the young sociologist, producer, and writer Hana Ćurak as fellow of the residency-mentorship program Picke Bar. During her two-month residency in from April until June 2021 Ćurak has curated and realized the performance event Soaking Wet by the artist Bojan Stojcic in Berlin. She has also co-curated the entire Pickle Bar program, which will be realized in Sarajevo from June 25 until August 21 2021.

The artists’ collective Slavs and Tatars is showing its Pickle Bar in the EVROVIZION exhibition. This work, a Slavic interpretation of an Italian aperitivo bar, is also an invitation to engage with pickled delicacies and a Slavic aperitif in an intimate and relaxed atmosphere and explore the boundaries and possibilities of languages. Pickle Bar features several pieces from Slavs and Tatars’ Pickle Politics body of work. A two-headed horseradish, Pan Chrzan, acts as the collective’s mascot, a transnational root considered indigenous to Slavs and Tatars’ regional remit: between the Berlin Wall and the Great Wall of China. The scenography features one of two posters – Ogórek Trocki or Pickle Tits – tiled and multiplied as wallpaper. Ogórek Trocki shows two pickled cucumbers wound together like a Torah scroll, referencing a singular specimen of cucumber introduced by Crimean Karaites, a Turkic-speaking Jewish sect whose practices are surprisingly similar to those of Muslims. The Pickle Tits poster references the disintegration of civil society – if the maternalist state provides nourishment akin to mother’s milk, perhaps the social contract has soured – while Open Mic serves as a signal, an exclamation point, inviting us to loosen our tongues. Throughout the project tour, events developed in collaboration with Slavs and Tatars will take place involving local participants.

The Pickle Bar and the collective’s residency-mentorship program will be realized as part of the exhibition. Both initiatives offer a platform of exchange and participation for the broader public beyond the institutional framework of contemporary art. Both the residency mentorship program and the Pickle Bar are situated in Berlin's multicultural Moabit district, and reflect the diversity of the district and the artists’ studio where Russian, Polish, German, French, English and Turkish are among the languages spoken. The integration of Pickle Bar into the EVROVIZION project creates a space for local dialogues at every venue of this travelling exhibition. Before each exhibition opens, a young, local professional (be they artists, curators or researchers) from each venue of the exhibition will be chosen to participate in the mentorship program in Berlin. During these two months, they are integrated into the artists’ studio as well as mentored in their personal projects, some of which may eventually be presented as part of EVROVIZION.

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