Loredana Bianconi: Do You Remember Revolution?

Still from Do You Remember Revolution?, 1997

27 January 2014 - 26 April 2015
Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, Ljubljana

In Italy, in the mid-1970s, Adriana, Barbara, Nadia and Susanna were 20 years old when they decided to join the armed struggle and leave behind their social life and their families in order to make the revolution the centre and the aim of their existence. Today they reappear, after many years in prison, and they try, each of them, to recount their own experiences. They speak about the political reasons which initially sustained them, the conflicts, the doubts, and the moments of being torn apart, which marked out their lives as women caught up in the vortex of war. A course of events which ended in the condemnation of the armed struggle and the pain of the lives that were destroyed - their victims' lives and their own.

Loredana Bianconi

In her documentary Do You Remember Revolution?, the Italian director Loredana Bianconi interviewed at length four women who actively participated in the leftist armed struggle in the Italy of the 1970s. All of them were leading figures in the Red Brigades. Bianconi has no intention to judge their actions, nor their lives. Instead she has decided to listen. So she stays manifestly absent from her film. We hear no sensational - and very few anecdotal - aspects of these women's revolutionary lives. Instead, we listen to answers to questions no judge ever asked them. Then Barbara, Nadia, Adriana and Susanna talk about their decision to join the armed struggle. A decision that was all-demanding. A radical choice that required not only giving up most of what they had, but also put at risk their very existence. Bianconi opens her film with a personal note, recalling the revolutionary years. Then she cuts to archival images shot by Italian State TV. We see the four protagonists at their trial.

The film shows us how four exceptional women look back at their common cause. This is not a mythic, sloganesque, nor apologetic discourse, but a personal one. We hear four different ways of remembering, and living with, a common past. A past that today everybody tells us to renounce, to reject, to forget. Loredana Bianconi and the four women in her film remind us to have the courage to remember. [Excerpted from Koen van Daele's text published in Časopis za kritiko znanosti, no. 190/191, 1998]

In addition to the film, the exhibition presents archival newspaper clippings on the events related to the Red Brigades and photographs by Italian photographer Tano D'Amico. The exhibition is curated by Bojana Piškur.

The project has been supported by

Special thanks to: Bojan Vasić, Teja Merhar, Andreja Bruss, Nadia Mantovani, Djordje Balmazović, Koen van Daele, Tano D'Amico, Matija Pavlovec, Dejan Habicht

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