Video: HD, 30 minutes , 2021

Concept / Directing: Adnan Softić
With: Lidija Kordić, Adnan Softić, Pauline Jacob,
Dino Bajrović
Video editing: Nina Softić
Sound: Daniel Dominguez Teruel
Images: Les Archives de la Planète — Albert Kahn

Comissioned by ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen)

On the audio level the "Balkanisation of Europe" emerges as the credible threat scenario used by EU states to stir up populist fears of foreign infiltration. The Balkans are the negative image par excellence, a synonym for decay and disorderly conditions. But the Balkans failed not because of its diversity, but because of the rejection of diversity, of nationalism - a violent invention of the core states of Europe.
Is Europe looking at its own reflection when it looks at the Balkans?
On the visual level, the video examines the Balkan region in the early 20th century and focuses on the dress codes of the time, that served as cultural distinctions, as well as pointing to the complexity of the region. The images come from Alebert Khan's archive "Les Archives de la Planète" (The Archives of the Planet). Albert Kahn was a pioneer of color photography, a banker and one of the richest men in Europe. He used his fortune to set up, what was then, the largest ethnological photography and film archive project between 1908 and 1930. His idea was to create an understanding of other people and their culture, and thus a peaceful world, through the visual representation of everyday life from all parts of the world. At the same time, however, his archive also captured many cultures that have since perished, ways of life that increasingly disappeared in the years that followed as a result of the emerging technological revolution and flared nationalisms.