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Tito in Africa - Picturing Solidarity

Event date Event time Event location
13/11/2017 - 08/04/2018 12:00 pm - 4:30 pm Pitt Rivers Museum, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PP


The exhibition is a public outcome of the major research project 'Socialism Goes Global' based at the University of Exeter, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. It draws on the collections of the Museum of Yugoslavia, Belgrade, which holds photographs produced by the Cabinet of the President of the Republic between 1947 and 1980.

The narrative of the exhibition Tito in Africa

'Picturing Solidarity is based on a changing relation between two main components: one comprising the social values of solidarity and anti-colonialism and the other the formal representations of international meetings at the highest level. The values of solidarity and anti-colonialism were held in common by the Third World countries with which Yugoslavia had shared beliefs and goals in the 1960s and the 1970s. These values dominated the official discourse, memoranda, reports, and other documents of that time. Visual representations of this rhetoric, however, are more complex.

Tito in Africa poster
Tito in Africa. Copyright: Pitt Rivers Museum, Unversity of Oxford

Photo and film footages of heads of state meetings reflect strict rules and norms of world diplomacy, inherited from previous - colonial - systems of representation. The legacy of anti-colonialism - a conceptual framework that transcends the actual ending of colonial regimes - is not readily evident on the international level. Despite the strong presence at the time of bilateral relations between socialist Yugoslavia and African countries, modern-day post-Yugoslav spaces betray a conspicuous lack of awareness and knowledge of anti-colonialism. More worrying, however, is the lack of knowledge about colonialism, as its legacy continues to be perpetuated through cultural and educational representations. Without claiming to present the totality of international contacts of Yugoslavia and African countries - or to make definitive assessment regarding the meaning of their cultural, economic or political co-operation - the curators of this exhibition endeavour to integrate these mentioned narrative components. By juxtaposing them - all the while acutely aware that neither the photographs nor their selection are neutral, and that there may be many, even opposing, interpretations - the curators wish to underline the significance of the context in interpreting an “image”.’ - from Dr Ana Sladojević and Mirjana Slavković (Museum of Yugoslavia). Other narratives about the exhibition are available, please see the link below.

How to attend

Free admission. Opening hours for the exhibition are: 12:00 to 16.30 on Monday and 10:00 to 16.30 from Tuesday to Sunday. Entrance is through the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

For more information visit: www.prm.ox.ac.uk/Tito_in_Africa.

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