This woman is called Jasna – a sketch for a historical novel in cinematic form
… is a long term hybrid project and exists in the form of text, image, performance and video.
The project deals with a twenty year period of a woman from Vukovar, a town under siege during the war in former Yugoslavia, who at the beginning of the war was 21 and now, 25 years later, works in The Hague at ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia) as an administrator and witness support worker. Jasna is a fictional character based on my close friend, myself and other women who were in their twenties at the outbreak of war in the former Yugoslavia and are now in their late forties.
The project is written through multiple voices, characters, it explores different registers of language and meanders around the themes of war, history, evidence and the voicelessness of women. It takes the form of a montage of fiction, historical fact, using the ICTY archives and court transcripts, job applications and descriptions, as well as an accumulation of detail from various protagonists, interpreters, linguists, cleaners, drivers and various displaced persons, investigators, ballistic experts, silviculturalists, forensic anthropologists, technicians, and characters from Jasna’s prewar youth — musicians, journalists, students and punks.
The project weaves a tentative narrative between official and personal histories, questioning the processes of visibility and invisibility in the media and in the archive, the translation and transfer of collective perceptions, and the inscription or non inscription into collective memory of the content and messages of images, films and theories.
Somewhere between these various encounters and transmissions float the traces of an invisible woman. This woman is called Jasna.
Using Jasna’s own memories, my memories, the discourses that framed us as subjects and/or artists, the migrations that marked us as displaced and never in synch with our own histories, this project takes as its starting point from a documentary approach, but implies a narrativisation and fictionalisation of discontinuous histories.
The project consists of ten episodes, each sees Jasna pondering a form of representation: analogue and digital photography, still life, the life of objects, forensic evidence, language and lies. I look at theories of international law, historiography, art history, political history, forensics and object analysis to try and probe regimes of evidence, representations of memory, historical documents, material remains, material cultures and the invisible woman.
The project continued until the closure of the tribunal ….
This woman is called Jasna online archive