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Re-establishment of social classes through lifestyle and taste under socialism: The case of Aleksandar Petrović’s film 'I Even Met Happy Gypsies'

Sudar, Vlastimir (2014) Re-establishment of social classes through lifestyle and taste under socialism: The case of Aleksandar Petrović’s film 'I Even Met Happy Gypsies'. In: Fashion and Politics, 4 June 2014, West Space; London College of Fashion; UAL.

Type of Research: Conference, Symposium or Workshop Item
Creators: Sudar, Vlastimir
Description:

Aleksandar Petrović’s seminal film 'I Even Met Happy Gypsies' has been widely revered as the first film ever spoken in the Romany language of the Roma community – a community scattered across Europe and better known as Gypsies. Made in 1967, the film portrayed authentic characters and locations and is praised in most film histories and encyclopaedias for its almost ethnographic veracity of detail. The film is hence known as one of the key documents of genuine Roma culture, especially their fashion and music. In this paper, I shall explore Petrović’s portrayal of the Roma community not just as a picturesque and exotic ethnic group, but as a social class in itself. As the film was made in what was then Socialist Yugoslavia, I intend to examine how Petrović explored Yugoslavia’s ostensibly classless society. Built on communist ideology, Yugoslavia’s socialism did its best to eradicate – if not iron out – social classes through the concept of ‘self-management’. This system was initially developed by Milovan Djilas, who later published the key dissident work, New Class, in 1957. In this book, he confronted his former revolutionary comrades for betraying the values of the revolution, through their adoption of petty-bourgeois values. While not himself, exactly a political dissident, in his film – as I will argue – Petrović sharply exposed the ossification of the social classes in Yugoslavia, particularly through its most obvious signifiers – lifestyle and fashion.

Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Fashion
Research Groups > Historical and Cultural Studies
Date: 4 June 2014
Event Location: West Space; London College of Fashion; UAL
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2014 13:56
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2019 13:30
Item ID: 6828
URI: http://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/6828

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