Anja Medved

Spovednica tihotapcev/ Smuggler`s confessional

Slovenia/Italia, 2010

A customs office building on the border between two towns, two countries, two social systems, two worlds, the Romanic and the Slavic, 65 years after the end of the war. On 20th of December with the entry of Slovenia into the Schengen area, Nova Gorica for the first time in its short history finds itself without border fences. The same night, this traumatic space transforms into a meeting place. Inside is placed a camera and people from both sides of the border start streaming in, bringing their stories and images, donating their contributions to the common archive of memory. Donated memories and fragments of family and archive films tell how can two different realities find themselves simultaneously on the same place. 

Anja Medved is the author of documentaries, inter-media projects and theater plays. She graduated in theater and radio direction at the Academy for Theatre, Radio, Film and Television at the University of Ljubljana. In the documentaries she mostly filmed in collaboration with Nadja Velušček (The Birds Did Not Fly (Niso letele ptice); 2000, My Border (Moja meja); 2002, The City on the Meadow (Mesto na travniku); 2004, The Memory Sewing Shop (Sešivalnica spomina); 2006, The Moment of the River (Trenutek reke); 2010) she explores the relationship between personal and collective memory of the border area. Through conceptualizing and realizing public memory-donation actions (Smugglers’ Confession Booth (Spovednica tihotapcev); 2007, Memory Clinic (Ordinacija spomina); 2009, City Album (Album mesta); 2011) she is developing an original documentary approach and exploring the influences of new audio-visual technologies on the processes of recording memories and history. Her projects were presented both at film festivals and as part of contemporary art exhibitions. She is a contributing artist in the trans-border film organization Kinoatelje, operating in Nova Gorica (SLO) and Gorizia (I).

Found portraits

Action in the public domain, Nova Gorica / Gorica, 2013
production: Kinoatelje

This is the fourth in a series of trans-border memory collecting actions, taking place biannually at the border crossing on Erjavčeva ulica street, between Nova Gorica and Gorizia since the physical removal of the border in December 2007. Once again, an abandoned customs booth will be converted into a recording studio and office for collection, digitalization and archival of photographs contributed by the population of both towns of Gorica/Gorizia. The goal of the project spanning several years is to collect an audio-visual archive of both cities, which reflects the processes of forming perceptions about the past. The border zone is an excellent laboratory for observing those minimal differences which emerge in the portrayal of the past. It teaches us to observe perception and walk the thin line separating two seemingly different realities. Once again, attention will be focused on those memories that, although very intimate, echo through into the collective memory and speak to us in the present tense despite the chronological distance.