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Director and visual artist Ivan Sijak (1969) is considered as some kind of local hero of the creative scene in Serbia. On a lot of people that were young in the nineties his music videos had a big impact. Artists that grew up with seeing his stuff on tv can still relate to his visual language today.

Sijak took us around the old town of Belgrade, pointing out the remains of the 'real' city: building blocks that are not renovated as if they are the setting of a historic movie like it is the case in most European cities. Sijak prefers to see the 'fingerprint of time' on the houses and he likes to use the aesthetics of eroded textures in his visual work.

In 1999 he cooperated with Otpor, the famous youth movement that rebelled against, and led the overthrow of president Slobodan Milosevic, who was later trialled for crimes against humanity. Nowadays Sijak rather focuses on the new generations than on old political issues. Young artist, with their enthusiasm and creative talents can give colour to life in Serbia, shaping an new identity for his troubled nation. Not as an activist, but as a committed teacher he wants to take part in this process.

Pretty Cool Crew: Interview & sound: Jessie van Vreden, Camera: Pierre Rezus, Editing: Jessie van Vreden, Axel Skovdal Roelofs.

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