DIDARJA, 2023 - Autostrada Biennale


Artist: Darinka Pop-Mitić

Venue: Along the Streets

Sometimes I wish to take a walk in the streets of Prizren, even secretly, hidden behind a veil, like before, so that nobody can see me. But I quickly came back. I know that this is not possible. I have replaced Prizren Castle with Belgrade’s Kalemegdan, and this is not bad—it is not the same, but nothing is the same.
—Didarja Dukagjini in Miroslava Malešević, Didarja: Rrëfimi jetësor i një prizrenaseje
Like an amateur archaeologist, Darinka Pop-Mitić investigates artifacts and events that can elaborate new meanings around the collapse of Yugoslavia in relation to gender, class, and ethnicity. For this newly commissioned work, Pop-Mitić seeks to fulfil the wish expressed by Didarja Dukagjini, a Prizren- born Yugoslav heroine, a symbol of women’s emancipation, to walk freely through her hometown, where her struggle for freedom began. Dukagjini was an Albanian teacher and political activist who left Prizren to escape an arranged marriage and enroll in the Yugoslav Women’s Antifascist Front in Belgrade. Her biography, Didarja: Rrëfimi jetësor i një prizrenaseje (Didarja: The biography of a woman from Prizren), written by anthropologist Miroslava Malešević, is a rare testimony of Yugoslav women’s emancipation in the aftermath of World War II that has resisted the forgetfulness of time. Referring to Didarja’s biography, the artist translates salient moments of Dukagjini’s early life into a series of small and large paintings installed on Rruga Kosova, Rruga Tahir Meha, and Rruga Mehmet Pasha in Prizren. The paintings design a path that leads visitors from Motrat Qiriazi primary school to Dukagjini’s family home. A libretto completes the project and is distributed in three languages (Albanian, Turkish, and English) at Pykë.

Darinka Pop-Mitić (1975) was born in Belgrade and lives and works in Belgrade.


Supported by HBS

Text by Giulia Menegale

Photo credits Tuğhan Anıt

Other Exhibitions

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive news, cool free stuff updates and new released products (no spam!)