Islands of Kinship: A Collective Manual for Sustainable and Inclusive Art Institutions
Острови на сродство: Колективно упатство за одржливи и инклузивни уметнички институции 

Носител на проектот. Project leader: Jindrich Chalupecky Society (JCHS, Prague) / Партнери. Partners: Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art (LCCA, Riga); Frame Contemporary Art Finland (FF, Helsinki); Julius Koller Society (JKS, Bratislava); CCA Temporary Gallery (TG, Cologne); Faculty of things that can’t be learned (FRU, Skopje)/ Соработник партнер. Associate partner: Stroom den Haag (SDH, The Hague).

Проектот „Острови на сродство“ меѓусебно го поврзува и трансформира практичното функционирање на седум, средни по обем, визуелни уметнички институции низ различни региони во Европа (Прага, Братислава, Битола/Скопје, Келн, Хелсинки, Рига, Хаг) во иновативен модел на соработка кој се занимава со прашања како инклузија, сродство и заедништво, демократска размена и етика, емотивни и практични решенија за еколошко институционално работење. Главната цел е да се создаде долготрајна професионална платформа за заедничко создавање, споделување и размена, и во однос на програмирањето и во однос на внатрешните механизми. Ние би сакале да поттикнеме меѓународна дискусија со вклучување уметници и уметнички професионалци, културни институции, невладини организации од областа на социјалната и еколошката правда, јавни тела, засегнати страни и разновидна публика, надминувајќи ја регуларната уметничка публика. За таа цел, ќе користиме уметнички стратегии, со повеќе од триесет самостојни и групни изложби, вклучувајќи осум новонарачани уметнички дела и бројни поврзани дискурзивни програми, работилници и друго, дизајнирани со поглед кон (пост)пандемиска ситуација. Бараме имагинативни модели и практични решенија кои ќе ни помогнат да примениме нови стратегии на заедништво, праведност, одговорност и љубезност, одговарајќи на сегашните глобални еколошки, политички и социо-економски предизвици преку специфични уметнички визии. Проектот вклучува недоволно застапени групи како посетители, организатори и креатори и комуницира со актери и институции надвор од визуелната уметничка сфера. Покрај јавната програма, проектот се фокусира на градење капацитети во институциите – организирање симпозиуми и собири, едукација, споделување know-how и развивање на нови системи, методологии и практики дисеминирани преку серија на подкасти, прирачници и темелна публикација. Проектот ја воведува потребата од (уметничките) институции на иднината да ја приоретизираат позицијата на народните омбуц*маж/жена кои се фокусираат на одржливост и инклузија.

The project Islands of Kinship interconnects and transforms the practical functioning of seven midscale visual art institutions across diverse regions in Europe (Prague, Bratislava, Bitola/Skopje, Cologne, Helsinki, Riga, The Hague) in an innovative collaboration model addressing issues of inclusion, kinship and togetherness, democratic exchange and the ethics, emotions and practical solutions for environment-friendly institutional operation. The main objective is to create a long-lasting professional platform for joint creation, sharing and exchange regarding both programming and inner mechanisms. We would like to foster international discussion engaging artists and art professionals, cultural institutions, NGOs in the fields of social and environmental justice, public bodies, stakeholders
and diverse publics, going beyond the regular art audience. To this end, we will use artistic strategies, with more than thirty solo and group exhibitions, including eight newly commissioned artworks and a number of related discursive programs, workshops, and more, designed with a view to the (post)pandemic situation. We are seeking both imaginative models and practical solutions to help us
employ new strategies of togetherness, fairness, responsibility and kindness, responding to the current global environmental, political and socio-economic challenges through specific artistic visions. The project includes underrepresented groups as visitors, organizers and creators and communicates with actors and institutions outside of the visual art sphere. In addition to public programming, the project
focuses on building capacity in institutions – organizing symposia and gatherings, education, sharing know-how and developing new systems, methodologies and practices disseminated through a series of podcasts, manuals and a profound publication. It introduces the need for the (art) institutions of the future to prioritize a position of ombudswo*men focusing on sustainability and inclusion.

The international project Islands of Kinship : A Collective Manual for Sustainable and Inclusive Art Institutions is co-funded by the European Union and the Ministry of Culture of the the Republic of North Macedonia.


ФРУ ПРОЕКТИ 2022-2023/ FRU PROJECTS 2022-2023


Main organizer: FRU

Date: 29.10.2022/ Saturday

Place: Museum of Contemporary Art – Skopje (12h) and Makka Bar (21h)

List of artists and participants: Book Promoters: Elizabeta Sheleva, Vladimir Janchevski, Biljana Tanurovska – Kjulavkovski; Visual and Audio Installation “Husin’s Miner (My Past is Your Future)” by Branko Šimić; Music artists: Marija Kaeva LIVE, Dimitra LIVE, Mirko Popov Quartet LIVE

Curatorial concept: The publication AKTO SPEAKING! 2006 – 2020 is not the ultimate AKTO archive. It is not AKTO’s final outlook. This publication is simply an archive that was obviously missing from the scene, an archive of not only the festival, but also all the accompanying social and political developments over recent years. It is an outlook, a particularly meticulous and serious one, but also a discursive standpoint that needs to give way to new fields for various discussions. This publication is a visual, personal and political essay of what AKTO is, as well as the circumstances that AKTO was shaped in. It constitutes some sort of a document/artefact that needs to remind us of the significance of keeping an archive, and that would later be buried in the yard of the Officers’ House, so that some years later, when the time comes for this building to be renovated again, someone else would dig it up. We are under the impression that the issues that AKTO raised during the past 15 years need to be additionally processed for another decade, starting from scratch. On the other hand, the breaking out of the COVID pandemic gave us the chance to devote ourselves fully to archiving, something that we previously never had the funds, or time for. The pandemic that raged around the world has led to a symbolic, but also physical break from our presence in public spaces, in streets, galleries, squares, theatres. Yet, it did transport us to a different plane, partially online, but also to a new process of creating relationships, links and connections that would most likely give a completely new impetus to redefine what constitutes the public nowadays and what public space is today. Maybe this publication is just another public space for AKTO to act in.


AKTO SPEAKING! 2006 – 2020

Editors: Filip Jovanovski, Ivana Vaseva

AKTO archive and editorial support: Aleksandar Jovanovski

Publication coordinator and editorial support: Vladimir Janchevski

Visual identity of the project AKTO SPEAKING 2006-2020: Filip Jovanovski, Ivan Durgutovski, Aleksandar Jovanovski

Graphic design of the AKTO online campaign: Ivan Durgutovski

Visual concept and graphic design of the publication: Marko Kovachevski, Filip Jovanovski

Publisher: Faculty of things that can’t be learned – FRU, Friedrich Ebert Foundation – Skopje office

Proofreading: Dejan Vasilevski

Correction: Evgenija Stojanova

Translation into English: Ana Vasileva

Translation from Croatian and Serbian (interviews originally conducted in these languages: Safet Ahmeti



Author: Branko Šimić // Statue making: Marc Einsiedel // Music: Mirza Rahmanović-Indigo // Actor: Dražen Pavlović // Assistant author: Alen Šimic // Producer: Ljubiša Veljković // Marketing: Darko Marković // Technical realisation: Dalibor Brkić // Photo and video: Mario Ilić & Mario Stjepić

Husin’s miner, the symbol of the 1920 workers’ rebellion, is reincarnated in the form of disco culture and delivers us a speech on past morality, solidarity, readiness to fight for human and workers’ rights; but also on lostness in the post-socialist transition, the emigration of the young workforce to the west and the arrival of large capitalist corporations in the east; and lastly the power of theatre and the power of art as the only possibility and the only constant of the 21st century. Nostalgia for “better times” or a “better version” of us all is a “disease” suffered by most of those who surround us. Postmodernism and deconstructivism have challenged the hierarchy, symbols and established values, including bunt. However, those of us who believe in the power of art will not be discouraged. That is how we decided to combine the two symbols and thus announce the future of optimism, prosperity and entry into a new fight for basic workers’ and human rights, but this time with arguments, creativity, pop art and in general: the power of art and artwork. The first symbol is the monument of Husin’s miner — monolithic and exalted with a rifle in his hand, he is obvious even to those who do not know in whose name he was built. The second is a disco ball that refers to past simpler and undisturbed times. Merged, the two represent a new symbol that differs from the others because it faces the future.

WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON? On the non-aligned decolonial constellation

Main organizer: FRU

Dates: 24. November – 12. December 2022

Place: National Opera and Ballet, Skopje and SCS Center – Jadro

List of artists and participants: Dan Acostioaei, NAM Archival Materials, Đorđe Balmazović, Džuverović, Emilia Epštajn and Ana Knežević, Museum of African Art, Belgrade, Jovan Ivanovski, Ana Ivanovska Deskova, Vladimir Deskov, Siniša Ilić, “Cartography of SFR Yugoslavia’s International Collaborations in Culture with Developing Countries” (Teja Merhar), KURS, The Non-Aligned Art Collection Laboratory (Marina Čelebić, Anita Ćulafić, Nada Baković, Natalija Vujošević), Podgorica, Borko Lazeski, Museo de la Solidridad Salvador Allende, Santiago, Darinka Pop Mitić, Dubravka Sekulić, Ivana Sidjimovska, Hyun Suk Seo, World Gallery of Cartoons, Skopje, Mila Turajlić

List of participants in Public Program: Daniela Berger Prado; Nick Aikens; Grace Samboh; Ljubica Spaskovska; Lina Džuverović; The Non-Aligned Art Collection Laboratory (Marina Čelebić, Anita Ćulafić, Nada Baković, Natalija Vujošević); Đorđe Balmazović; Siniša Ilić; Jovan Ivanovski, Ana Ivanovska Deskova, Vladimir Deskov; Emilia Epštajn, Ana Knežević; KURS; Darinka Pop Mitić; Ivana Sidjimovska; World Gallery of Cartoons, Skopje; Bojana Piškur; Ivana Vaseva.

List of co-production team:

Curator(s): Bojana Piškur and Ivana Vaseva

Production: Denis Saraginovski, Nenad Tonkin, Filip Jovanovski, Ivancho Velkov, Marjan Gjorgjiev, Antonio Gjorgjiev, Boris Vasileski, Ivana Samandova

PR: Martina Petreska

Accessibility coordinator: Jana Brsakoska

Organizers: Faculty of things that can’t be learned – FRU, Skopje as part of 17. AKTO festival for contemporary arts

Partners: Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana, Centre for Contemporary Art of Montenegro, Podgorica.

Curatorial concept:

Тhe exhibition “WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON: On the non-aligned decolonial constellation” broadly talks about the presence of anticolonial ideas and actions in non-aligned Yugoslavia in the very processes of decolonization, and how that legacy and knowledge of (anti)colonialism and anticolonial solidarity is neglected or even erased from today’s memory. Furthermore, through the included artworks and public program, it wishes to create a vibrant and imaginative space for speculation of what would the new anticolonial and anti-imperialist non-aligned be, politically and artistically, and how would that lay out a different prospect for the future. It is also a space for joint effort in reinventing transnational solidarity in the current line of political events through rediscovering NAM’s paradigm of solidarity.

CITY AS A STAGE: Lost modernistic utopias

Main organizer: FRU

Dates: 19. November 2022

Place: MZ (former local community center)Tavtalidze

List of authors/ artists: Filip Jovanovski, Miodrag Kuch

List of participants/researchers/performers in the process so far (2021-2022): Miodrag Kuch, Filip Jovanovski, Jana Brsakoska, Ljubisa Arsić, Simona Dimkovska, Kristijan Karadjoski, Boris Bakal, Kulturno EHO, City Scope, Luna Shalamon, Deniz Ajdarevic, Denica Stojkovska as and students from the Faculty of Architecture Skopje: Tamara Dzerkov, Dimitar Milev, Sandra Nikolovska, Bojana Isijanin, Stefan Tankov and students from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts Skopje: Aleksandar Jovanovski, Martina Danailovska, Marija Taleska, Martina Petreska, Ivan Vrtev, Bojana Isijanin, Stefan Tankov, Martina Danailovska.

List of co-production team:

Boris Vasileski, Aleksandar Jovanovski, Deniz Ajdarevikj, Luna Shalamun

Curatorial support:

Curatorial support: Ivana Vaseva

Production: FRU/AKTO festival for contemporary arts www.akto-fru.org/en/

Center for Art and Urbanism (Berlin) www.zku-berlin.org/

Shadow Casters (Zagreb) www.bacaci-sjenki.hr/en/about/


DOMCHE, an object/sculpture/monument with clean and clear abstract forms, was cast in concrete, immersed in the middle, below, between the trees, in the community, close to the street, on the ground floor, almost invisible, but important. In Skopje, concrete was an expression of optimism, light, freedom of expression of the city of solidarity that had yet to be built. In 1926, the brick monument of Mies was demolished by the Nazis, today (1990s), the “monument” of Kiril Muratovski, DOMCHE, is occupied (privatized) by the “capitalists”. These are those historical analogies of nausea. The “text” in the form of twelve stories entitled DOMCHE (perhaps) the smallest brutalist building in the world, was written as part of the long-term artistic interdisciplinary project entitled THE CITY AS A STAGE – Lost modernist utopias. The project through the methodology of reading the object, using different approaches of research and involvement of the community and experts from different fields, using stage means, transforms the public space into a stage on which the problems of the community are “performed”. The stories are written through a research process, work meetings, workshops as well as the use of archives, libraries, video and audio interviews with users of the space, conversations, archival private videos and photos of citizens who were part of life in DOMCHE.”

Продуцирано од организацијата „Факултет за работи што не се учат – ФРУ“

Поддржано од: Министерство за култура на Република Северна Македонија; Европска унија – проект „Острови на сродност“; ГЕТЕ институт – Скопје; Фондација „Хајнрих Бoл“

Produced by Faculty of Things That Can’t Be Learned

Supported byMinistry of Culture of the Republic of North Macedonia; EU-funded project Islands of Kinship; Goethe-Institut Skopje; Heinrich Böll Foundation.




Exhibition by the winners of the 2023 DENES Award – Gjorgji Despodov, Klelija Zhivkovikj, Burju Musli; documentary exhibition on the Denes Award; ceremony on the anniversary

14 September 2023 (Thursday)

National Gallery of the Republic of North Macedonia – Chifte Hammam

1 pm – presentation by Gjorgji Despodov, Klelija Zhivkovikj, Burju Musli and conversation with the jury panel

8 pm – opening of the exhibition and ceremony on the anniversary

The celebration of the 20th anniversary of the DENES Award began in April 2023 with a five-day educational and discursive program for young artists “The Perfect Artist” at the National Gallery – Mala Stanica, where young artists acquired practical and theoretical skills in contemporary art and critical insight into their practice, as well as into the local context seen from an international perspective. It then continued with the exhibition “Preacrity has a chance: Public spaces in movement (toward)” at the Structura Gallery in Sofia, where 20 artists from the country, some of whom winners, participants or finalists of the DENES Award, presented their recent practice before the audience in Sofia. The celebration peaks with an exhibition by the three winners of the 2023 DENES Award – Gjorgji Despodov, Klelija Zhivkovikj, Burju Musli; a documentary exhibition about the DENES Award and a ceremony on the anniversary accompanied by a musical and discursive program.

The 20th anniversary of the DENES Award celebrates the rare occurrences in art that encouraged different directions of artistic thinking and made room for a different framework for history that differs from the linear historical narrative and requires a different educational epistemological discourse and production infrastructure. Equality, anti-racism, anti-nationalism, sustainability are the key trends in reformulating contemporary society and art, and thus the DENES Award. In a way, it reinstates the same parameters from its conception – it will be awarded annually to three artistic practices that imply a critical and aesthetic reflection of the social and cultural conditions, while this “new agora” should remind us of the necessary equal opportunities that are at the base of democracy. The celebration of this anniversary also encourages space to remember the necessary joint efforts in highlighting the importance of creating new polemical and critical agoras through new operating models in cultural and institutional life by creating, trying, performing and experimenting within the reformed educational processes and institutions, constant training and practice in updated curricula and sessions and new models of institutions, various opportunities for public presentations and (creative) interaction with the audience, as well as critical support and reflection from colleagues and analytical and consolidated learning and contextual understanding.