Hristina Ivanoska

DOCUMENT MISSING: The intricate sense of truth in oral histories

Story telling and the notion of oral transfer of data is a tradition on which we rest the case of most of the official historical narratives. The oral/immaterial transfer carries the weight of a document, unscientific and prone to manipulation, but not the less a form of a document. Political currency of certain documents lies in the potential of unlocking a change or a paradigmatic shift in how something is perceived. In the process of critically examining the selection of particulars from the authentic materials we find that synthesis of particulars lead into a narrative and, as a result, history becomes a contested field where the linearity of stories is challenged. But what happens when the documents are missing?

The aspect of researching oral histories in relation to women’s history has recently broth me back to the story of Rosa Plaveva (aka Deli Rosa, 1878-1970), a social-democrat and women’s rights activist has been one of the main subject I have researched over the years. What distinguished her work at the time are also the forms of resistance that she had chosen to apply that echo contemporary means of resistance and activism. In this context is very interesting to study her work via contemporary means of political organization and action, feminist theory and aspects of post-colonialism, especially the aspects of hegemony and identity politics. The corresponding ideas between Rosa Plaveva and Rosa Luxemburg, the possible link to other women active in Macedonia at the turn of the 20th century (including Nakie Bajram and others) will form the core context of my research that I hope to broaden and develop further.

I have build my artistic research practice by discovering forms of individual action that are directed against the established roles and norms defined by conventional social and political systems. My work goes beyond the studio including cultural activism and organizational work within the independent cultural sector.

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