The Center for Openness and Dialogue (COD) will be hosting the exhibition “Balkan Girls Power” from 11 to 28 of February 2019, this exhibition is the result of an initiative involving five civil society organizations from Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, led by the Institute for Social Contract (SCI). The girls from the five Balkan countries have been supported by the “Western Balkans Fund” and have documented their lives, their dreams and their perspective on their future through 57 photographs. From the very name the exhibition, aims to highlight femininity in all its glory, as well as all the darkest corners of its existence.
The motifs these pictures revolve around freedom; loneliness; high sensitivity in a world of savagery; opposing this savagery; alienation (in gender attitudes) as a way of protection and survival, seduction as survival or testimony of despair; the power to love life, all things new and beauty, exceptionally that of frustration and oppression. And finally, the greatest sympathy goes to what is missing in the exhibition and not only, lyricism. The variety in participation as far as the origin of authors is concerned, is accompanied by a variety of sensations followed by the respective creations, which are mostly in demand, created, but not driven by real circumstances, at least, they are witness to violence exerted by the opposite sex.
In an exhibition where there are colours, feminine figures are mainly represented through red (as a sign of life) on black and white. Strong, yet fragile; important, yet disregarding efforts towards her are not lacking; she makes the world go around, yet she is not alone in carrying life s weight on her shoulders. And all these thoughts are accomplished through the snaps of the “Balkan Girl Power “. The exhibition in astonishment ridicules the fact that in thousands of years of development, the happiness of women is rare and the man who himself was conceived in her body violates her forcefully; while she, along the path of life, needs to take on a masculine form to be seen with appreciation and be broadly accepted by society.
And her rebellion continues to be voiceless as a whole. In the presentation of the female generations along this exhibition, the continuous evanescence her smile, is quite evident, from the first to the last steps she takes in life; it is obvious how femininity disappears, leaving room for savagery; or under the umbrella of religious beliefs, submission is twice as much: towards the Creator of the Heavens and towards its creation, the male. The “Balkan Girl Power” exhibition, which culturally unites different Balkan countries, is curated by British-Albanian artist Lala Meredith-Vula.