University of Jyväskylä

Dissertation: 13.12 Towards a Theory of Political: Art Cultural Politics of 'Black Wave' Film in Yugoslavia, 1963-1972 (Boynik)

Start date: Dec 13, 2014 12:00 AM

End date: Dec 13, 2014 03:00 PM

Location: Mattilanniemi, Agora Alfa

Sezgin Boynik. Kuvaaja: Minna HenrikssonMA Sezgin Boynik defends his doctoral dissertation in Political Science/Cultural Policy. Opponent Professor Milena Dragicevic Sesic (University of Arts Belgrade) and custos Professor Kia Lindroos (University of Jyväskylä). The event is in English.

In my dissertation I am dealing with the problematic issue of relation between art and politics. Namely, in which way art is related to the social and political changes. My focus is Yugoslavian film from sixties and early seventies. By looking at the contradictions of how artistic films (so called ‘Black Wave’films) were realized in socialist Yugoslavia I am analyzing the ways how financial support of films, and their dependence on state apparatuses have been incorporated in the artistic form. Thus, the methodology of my research is based on formal approach, which shows how the language of political art is constructed. Results of my research shows that art was particularly engaged with the contradictions of the socialist state in Yugoslavia. My thesis is that this involvement with the state contradictions has contributed to richness of artistic forms. Attentively looking at films of  Dusan Makavejev, whose films are much appreciated internationally and in Finland, I am demonstrating that his involvement in debates and activities in the field of cultural policy contributed to the language and expression of his films. Another important feature of my research is concept of ideology. My dissertation is particularly focusing on how ideological norms are reflected in the film making process and in films themselves. I suggest, following theories of Louis Althusser and others, that if ideology is related to concrete and materially detectable effects of the state institutions, then the manifestation of its properties should be detectable in art expressions as well.

My research would be beneficial for any none who is interested in ideological complexities involved in artistic formations. Especially it would be interesting for researchers and artists dealing with the properties of ideology in experimental and avant-garde arts. This topic is currently very much debated in contemporary art field, as a question regarding the ways how cultural policy is related to the artistic expressions? Also researchers interested in ideological and artistic contradictions of socialism, and particularly of Yugoslavian socialism could benefit from my research; it is addressing this issue from usually neglected or underestimated context. In my research I have used new materials in order to strengthen my thesis on effect of ideology to the art. They are transcripts of debates and panels where film makers, sociologist and activist discuss the issue of cultural policy.

Those who are interested in reasons of Yugoslavian break-up and nationalist conflict also could find challenging interpretation of the existing interpretations.

The dissertation is published in the series Jyväskylä Studies in Education, Psychology and Social Research, 511, Jyväskylä 2014, 87 s. ISSN 0075-4625, ISBN 978-951-39-5979-1 (nid.), ISBN 978-951-39-5980-7 (PDF). It is available at the University Library’s Publications Unit, tel. +358 40 805 3825,

  • Further information:

Sezgin Boynik,

Communications intern Birgitta Kemppainen,, tel. +358 40 805 4483