Title: YU: The Lost Country
Director of Study: Professor Mark Durden
Supervisor 1: Dr Ian Walker
Dragana Jurisic is a Croatian born, Dublin based photographer. Since receiving a distinction for her MFA (University of Wales, Newport) in 2008, Dragana Jurisic was selected as an Axis MAstar in 2009, “An annual selection of the most promising artist from the UK’s leading MA courses”. In 2010 she was selected as a finalist in The Julia Margaret Cameron Award (a worldwide competition for women photographers), shortlisted for The European Women's Lobby Photography Prize and received the Arts Council of Ireland Travel and Training Award. In 2011, Dragana won the Royal Hibernian Academy's Emerging Photographic Artist Award, Arts Council's Travel and Training Award and Culture Ireland funding, as well as the Graduate Student Prize from The International Rebecca West Society. She exhibited widely internationally and her work is part of the Irish State Art Collection and the University of Michigan collection, amongst others.
Blood Flows, and Life Goes On: Representations of Yugoslavia
“There proceeds steadily from that place a stream of events which are a source of danger to me,” wrote the Anglo-Irish writer, Rebecca West in 1937. “That place” was Yugoslavia, the country in which I was born. Realizing that to know nothing of an area “which threatened her safety” was “a calamity”, she embarked on a journey through Yugoslavia. The result was Black Lamb and Grey Falcon. Initially intended as “a snap book” it spiraled into half a million words, a portrait not just of Yugoslavia, but also of Europe on the brink of the Second World War, and widely regarded as one of the masterpieces of the 20th century.
In Easter 2011, I started retracing Westʼs journey and re-interpreting her masterpiece by using photography and text, in order to produce a body of work that aims to develop the understanding of the historical, socio-economical and political issues affecting the Balkan Peninsula, and their effects on the history of Europe and its future.
The main focus of my research project is the representation of Yugoslavia in Rebecca West's Black Lamb and Grey Falcon. In order to provide a contextual grounding to my practice led research, I will be also looking at works of two other Yugoslav born artists living in self-exile; performance artist Marina Abramovic and writer Slavenka Drakulic.