Photography is the most historically complex and problematic genre to ever appropriate the Roma subject. Will Roma ever be able to dissociate themselves from the traumatizing – sexualizing, feminizing, and criminalizing – practices of photographic representation used throughout the history of anthropology and ethnography? And has it become definitively impossible to turn and re-turn the photographic gaze?
Since his first exhibition in Sarajevo (1988), the questions sketched out above have been central to the work of the artist and photographer Nino Nihad Pusija. He continues to offer new ways to create and perceive authentic images while dealing with anti-Roma prejudices and their political consequences, such as deportation and assimilation. In doing so, he contributes to the contemporary European art scene’s on-going critical analysis of the role that pictures of so-called ‘others’ play in the self-image of those portrayed.
His series of portraits of internationally known Romani artists and activists, will be shown for the first time in 2020 at the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC).
Nihad Nino Pušija born in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Hercegovina is an art photographer. His work focuses on documentary and portrait photography and aims at capturing Roma identity in Europe, especially in Berlin, where he has been based for the past twenty-eight years. Since 1992 Pušija has been working on different art projects and photo studies supported by the nGbK Berlin (New Society for Visual Arts), Museum of European Cultures and Allianz Cultural Foundation. His main topics are the politics of recognition, minority positions in contemporary artistic and curatorial practice, Southeast Europe, refugees, conflict resolution, integration and Roma in Europe. He was part of the 1st and 2nd Roma Pavilion at the Biennale Arte in Venice in 2007 and 2011.