Film essay wins Đejmi Hadrović OHO Group Award

Ljubljana – A film essay about a woman’s situation in modern-day Bosnia and Herzegovina has won the author Đejmi Hadrović this year’s OHO Group Award for up-and-coming Slovenian visual artists. The judging panel described Nena as “a difficult yet magical, and local yet universal film essay”.

The panel says the essay discusses the things that are topical in all historical periods and which concern the marginal states of human in brutal conditions and the shattered lives of the little people.

“In concrete terms, we are talking about today’s war in Ukraine and the myriad wars and military conflicts currently taking place in the world,” reads the jury’s explanation.

The essay evokes the break-up of the former Yugoslavia and the horrors of the war that followed. “The images of the work are brutal, difficult and painful, but at the same time they tell an intimate and emotionally moving story of an individual who was pushed by the war into inhumane conditions.”

The judges appreciated that the work also shows faith in the people’s hope to overcome and survive even the most brutal situations.

Zahida witnessed World War II and the 1990s war in the former Yugoslavia. The short film essay depicts her situation in a neglected region in contemporary Bosnia-Herzegovina. The film relates directly to capitalism and the question of labour and capital structures of society. It shows how the political oligarchy devastated the country of its possessions, the release reads.

Born in 1988, Đejmi Hadrović has studied at the University of Primorska, the University of Art and Design in Linz, Austria and is a doctoral candidate at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. She has won several awards and has had solo and group exhibitions at home and abroad.

OHO Group Award is given out annually by the Ljubljana-based P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Institute in cooperation with the New York Foundation for a Civil Society and Trust for Mutual Understanding.

Established in 2006, the award is named after the influential Slovenian avant-garde artist group OHO, which was active in the second half of the 1960s and early 1970s.

The accolade is given out annually to artists up to 40 years of age, for works of art in the media of painting, photography, video, new media and performance.

The winner gets a two-month residency at the Residency Unlimited in New York and a solo exhibition organised by the P74 Gallery, which hosted the awards ceremony on Thursday.

The award is also part of the international network Young Visual Artist Award, which brings together similar awards from eleven European countries.