Activist, artist, independent scholar and former asylum seeker, Vukašin Nedeljković will exhibit elements from their multidisciplinary testimonial project Asylum Archive, at the RHA Ashford Gallery from 26 November – 19 December. Having studied photography at Belgrade’s Academy of Arts, and with a MA in Visual Arts from IADT, Institute of Art, Design and technology, Nedeljković has dedicated almost 14 years to creating their archive of “asylum”, direct provision and emergency accommodation in Ireland, providing an insight into the treatment of people who have come to Ireland, to seek protection.
Concerned with the reality of life for asylum seekers, Nedeljković objective for the project Asylum Archive is to collaborate with asylum seekers, artists, academics, civil society activists and others, to create an interactive, documentary, cross-platform, online resource which critically foregrounds accounts of exile, displacement, trauma and memory.
In Nedeljković’s photographic testimony, no bodies of asylum seekers are presented; instead, they focus on the architecture of confinement, traces, remnants and ghosts. Their latest work includes a focus on emergency accommodation centers. The exhibition also references the latest white paper on ending direct provision, and commemorates the unknown numbers of people who have died within the system.
A second edition of Nedeljković’s book Asylum Archive featuring both photographs and essays will be launched during the exhibition.
Nedeljković says of the forthcoming exhibition, “The exhibition in RHA will offer an awareness of the inhumane direct provision and emergency accommodation dispersal system in Ireland. I know that the exhibition in RHA will attract new and diverse audiences.”
Vukašin Nedeljković is an artist, activist and independent scholar. Having completed a BA in Photography at the Academy of Arts, Belgrade, former Yougoslavia, Nedeljković then graduated from IADT, Institute of Art, Design and Technology with an MA in Visual Arts. They have initiated the multidisciplinary platforms Asylum Archive, a work in progress since 2007 and Fortress Europe, a work in progress since 2020.
As the work develops, forms of Asylum Archive have been exhibited a Source Arts Centre, Thurles, 2019, Triskel Arts Centre, Cork 2019, NCAD, 2016, Galway Arts Centre, 2015. Nedeljković has exhibited in numerous group exhibitions including: The Narrow Gate of the Here – and – Now: Queer Embodiment, curated by Sean Kissane, IMMA, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, 2021, Refuge, Green on Red gallery, Dublin, 2021, TULCA, curated by Sarah Browne, Galway, 2020, 21st Century Ireland in 21 Artworks, curated by Cristin Leach, Glebe House and Gallery, Donegal, 2019, The Parted Veil: Commemoration in Photographic Practices, curated by Chris Clarke and Fiona Kearney, Glucksman , University College Cork, 2019. Nedeljković has spoken at numerous conferences representing the lived experience of Asylum seekers from 2007 to present date and has given many lectures.
Awards include; The Arts Council/ An Chomhairle Ealaíon Project Award, 2021 and the Arts and Disability Award, New Work, Arts and Disability Ireland, 2020, 2018 and Artist Residency in CCI, Paris, 2020 and 2021 saw the book Disavowing Asylum: Documenting Ireland’s Asylum Industrial Complex, Ronit Lentin and Vukasin Nedeljkovic – published by Rowman and Littlefield. This exhibition, Asylum Archive will be accompanied by the second edition of Asylum Archive, the publication.
Image: Vukašin Nedeljković, Caislean Mara, Moville, 2018, Photography, Image courtesy of the artist.