Bosnians Out! (Workers without Frontiers)


The pro­ject war­ns abo­ut the living and wor­king con­di­ti­ons of cons­truc­ti­on wor­kers from Bosnia in Slovenia

in situ pro­ject, 23 September – 19 October 2008
Moderna gale­ri­ja, Ljubljana, Slovenia


In col­la­bo­ra­ti­on with: OSMAN PEZIĆ, SAID MUJIĆ, IBRAHIM ČURIĆ // Design: Dejan Dragosavac-Ruta / Photo: Dejan Habitcht


Bosnians Out! was cre­ated at the invi­ta­ti­on of the Modern Gallery / Museum of Contemporary Art of Ljubljana which orga­ni­sed the exhi­bi­ti­on  Museum Road Show whi­le buil­ding wor­ks were being exe­cu­ted on the buil­ding to the Museum.  The artis­ts were sup­po­sed to res­pond to the cura­tors’ the­me “Urban mar­gins: paral­lel stra­te­gi­es of sur­vi­val, self-orga­ni­sa­ti­on, migrants, wor­kers’ hos­tels, pri­sons…” Andreja Kulunčić thus pro­du­ced her work in col­la­bo­ra­ti­on with the very gro­up named in the con­cept of the exhi­bi­ti­on, a gro­up of three frin­ge-dwel­lers: three buil­ding wor­kers from Bosnia who were at that time wor­king on the reno­va­ti­on of the buil­ding of the Modern Gallery, living in Slovenia whi­le moving from accom­mo­da­ti­on to accom­mo­da­ti­on at the will of the­ir boss, on whom the­ir resi­den­ce per­mits depen­ded, wit­ho­ut any ins­ti­tu­ti­onal pro­tec­ti­on for the­ir rights.


Engaging them on the pro­ject, Andreja Kulunčić invol­ved them in the cre­ati­on of the con­tents of the Museum on the reno­va­ti­on of which they were wor­king and at the same time ope­ned up for them a chan­nel for com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on with the public abo­ut the con­di­ti­ons of life of immi­grant workers.


All four of them (the three wor­king men and the woman artist) sig­ned an author’s con­tract with the Museum, with equ­al con­di­ti­ons, and toget­her wor­ked in the rooms of the relo­ca­ted Museum on devi­sing and pro­du­cing the project.



The four basic points aro­und which the cam­pa­ign was cen­tred – con­di­ti­ons of work, life in the sin­gles’ hos­tel, the poor food and the sepa­ra­ti­on from the­ir fami­li­es, the direct and self-iro­ni­cal tone and the use of the­ir pho­to­grap­hs in the cam­pa­ign were the cho­ices of the wor­kers.  These the­mes were com­mu­ni­ca­ted on city-lig­ht pos­ters juxta­po­sing the flats that they were buil­ding, repre­sen­ted in a pho­to­graph of an ide­al designer’s inte­ri­or, and the­ir own sub­s­tan­dard living environment.


While the exhi­bi­ti­on was still on, the city aut­ho­ri­ti­es remo­ved the pos­ters from the city stre­ets, but, at the insis­ten­ce of the Museum, res­to­red them.


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