On the History of Kino Clubs and the Politics of Amateurism in Socialist Yugoslavia

18 February 2020, 5:00pm

The Franke Institute for the Humanities
1100 East 57th Street

‘On the history of kino clubs and the politics of amateurism in Socialist Yugoslavia’
Greg de Cuir Jr (Independent Researcher / Writer, Belgrade)

This public lecture examines the unique history of kino clubs and kino club culture on the territory of the former Yugoslavia, from its roots in the interwar years in the early twentieth century to the postwar years in the mid-twentieth century and the golden age of Socialist Yugoslavia. Kino clubs were then institutional spaces where nonprofessionals could gather and exercise a common ‘kino-enthusiasm’ for the viewing and production of films. In the context of Socialist Yugoslavia, kino clubs were state-funded and properly supported, and were part of a larger official multidisciplinary initiative to spread technological cultures throughout the populace. Eventually these kino clubs birthed a new wave of filmmakers who transformed Yugoslav film culture and made a wider impact on European and international film culture as well. Some of the clubs are still active today, working with new media and new technologies, stitching together new creative and cooperative networks in postsocialist, neoliberal Europe. In this talk close attention will be paid to the ideological heritage of these clubs in addition to the emancipatory potential of amateurism. Film examples from the history of the kino clubs will be shown, and following the presentation a small reception will be hosted for informal continued discussion.


Greg de Cuir Jr is an independent curator, writer, and translator who lives and works in Belgrade, Serbia. He recently organized the retrospective Black Light at the 72nd Locarno Film Festival, the survey 21st Century Žilnik at Close-Up Film Centre and LUX in London, and other exhibition projects. De Cuir is managing editor of the journal NECSUS (Amsterdam University Press), editor of the book series Eastern European Screen Cultures (Amsterdam University Press), and member of the editorial board of the book series Experimental Film and Artists’ Moving Image (Palgrave Macmillan). The new edition of his monograph Yugoslav Black Wave was recently published by Film Center Serbia and is forthcoming in an English language edition with Amsterdam University Press. He has delivered lectures and talks at the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies at Stanford University; École de Recherche Graphique Bruxelles; Department of Modern Art History at University of Belgrade; Department of Theater, Film and Media Studies at University of Vienna; School of Media and Performing Arts at Coventry University, and other research institutions and art academies. De Cuir received his DPhil from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts at University of Arts Belgrade and his MA from the School of Cinematic Arts at University of Southern California.