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Branislav Dimitrijevic
Turbo Folk and Its Global Identity

Branislav Dimitrijevic's text addresses the Serbian pop cultural phenomenon of Turbo-Folk music and its use on the wider political stage. This hybrid musical creation combining Serbian and Roma brass bands, Arabic rhythms, Turkish and Greek pop, and electronic European dance
music has now become imbued with highly charged and contradictory political meanings. Beyond its original associations as an arena for political actors such as the late war criminal Arkan, whose wife Ceca is one of the most famous turbo-folk divas, Dimitrijevic argues that these same conservative forces in Serbia now decry Turbo-folk as degenerate in order to promote their own brand of cultural racism. Turbo-Folk is a flash point of hotly-contested meanings exposing Belgrade's grand indecision about its identity and the scramble for political power through popular imagery that accompanies transition.


Branislav Dimitrijevic is an art historian, art-writer and curator working at the Museum for Contemporary Arts in Belgrade. He teaches Art History and Theory of Contemporary Culture. In collaboration with Branislava Andjelkovic and Branimir Stojanovic, he founded the School for History and Theory of Images (1999), an independent educational project coordinated by Centre for Contemporary Art. He has published numerous essays on contemporary art and theory, film and visual culture. He has edited the book Pop Vision (1996), and numerous exhibition catalogues. He has curated contemporary individual artists’ and group exhibitions with Branislava Andjelkovic, including Map Room (1995), Murder1 (1997), Overground (1998), and most recently, Konverzacija (2001).

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