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Phil Collins / 'how to make a refugee’ & ‘why i don’t speak serbian (in serbian)’

Garnethill Multicultural Centre, 21 Rose Street, Glasgow G3 6RE

25 January 2014

In the lead up to artist Phil Collins’ major project for Queen’s Park and Festival 2014, The Common Guild presented the third, and final, screening event followed by a talk with the artist. This event provided an opportunity to view Collins’ previous work in advance of his project for Glasgow, 'Tomorrow Is Always Too Long', which took place on Saturday 19 July 2014.

In ‘how to make a refugee’ 1999 (12 mins), Collins follows a crew of journalists as they arrange a photo shoot with a Kosovan Albanian family in a refugee camp across the border in Macedonia. Eschewing the conventions of reportage, the film exposes a network of incongruity, complicity and shame implicated in the production of images for political and aesthetic consumption.

‘zašto ne govorim srpski (na srpskom)’ ‘[why i don't speak serbian (in serbian)]’ 2008 (35 mins) addresses the relationship between language and memory in ethnically divided Kosovo. Departing from the community’s complicated relationship with Serbo-Croatian as a reflection of its ambivalence towards its recent history and identity, the film collects testimonies of a number of contributors—from politicians, intellectuals and public figures to ‘ordinary’ people—recounting in Serbian the reasons of why they no longer speak the language.