Shadow Citizens

Exhibition project featuring Želimir Žilnik

“Shadow Citizens” was the world’s first exhibition of the renowned Yugoslavian-Serbian filmmaker Želimir Žilnik. Žilnik is a well-known director of numerous feature, essay and television films, and is regarded as one of the founders of the docudrama. His films have accompanied the political transformation of Yugoslavia since the 1960s – from the socialist state to Tito’s death, the disintegration of the Republic of Yugoslavia and the Balkans War in the 1990s, to the current refugee-related problems. In recent years his films have focused on such subjects as the situation of the Roma in Europe and migration. His docudramas are characterised by fictional elements and direct political involvement. In this regard, Žilnik’s cinematic strategies are comparable to those of contemporary fine artists. This project was the first to present Žilnik’s diverse array of film productions in the form of an exhibition and to introduce his virulent themes into art discourse. The exhibition in Oldenburg has been supplemented by a group exhibition of Žilnik’s works, produced by the curator collective What, How & for Whom/WHW for the Galerija Nova in Zagreb. The exhibitions in Oldenburg and Zagreb have been accompanied by a curated film programme, designed for presentation on tour. Not only did it include a number of Žilnik’s films, but also other works by artists from his circle of acquaintances. A special part of the film programme featured Yugoslavian short films on guest workers in Germany – a chapter of German migration history told from a “foreigner’s” perspective.

Artistic directors: Edit Molnár & Marcel Schwierin
Curators: What, How & for Whom/WHW (HR)
Artist: Želimir Žilnik (RS)

Additional Venues:

TV broadcast of the interview with the artist, oeins tv, Oldenburg: 27 Apr. 2018;
Exhibition Galerija Nova, Zagreb: 22.11.2018 - 2.2.2019
Documentary film workshop, Edith-Russ-Haus, Oldenburg: 19–20 May 2018;
Film programme & book presentation, cine k, Oldenburg: 14–17 Jun. 2018;
Film programme & book presentation, Galerija Nova, Zagreb: 28 Jun. – 1 Jul. 2018;
Film programme & book presentation, tensta konsthall, Stockholm: 14–17 Sep. 2018


  • 19 April, 2018 to 17 June, 2018: Exhibition

    Edith-Russ-Haus, Oldenburg


Edith-Russ-Haus für Medienkunst

Katharinenstraße 23
26121 Oldenburg (external link, opens in a new window)