Photo Exhibit: The High Stakes of Macedonia’s Colorful Revolution

Thursday, November 9 - Sunday, November 12, 2017

At the ASEEES Convention, Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile Clark Foyer (4th floor)

This exhibition is sponsored by the University of Chicago Center for East European and Russian?Eurasian Studies CEERES.

Several years ago, the government of the Republic of Macedonia, led by the conservative party VMRO-DPMNE, embarked on a "beautification" of the capital city, Skopje. For the most part, this project consisted of hastily erected monuments to various "historical" figures and new, quasi-classical facades applied over old buildings. In addition to its divisive nationalist agenda, this project was hugely expensive. From the initial estimates of 100 million Euros, its cost has increased to around 600 million Euros - and it is still unfinished. Growing evidence suggests that this project was a lucrative money-laundering scheme for leading figures within this party.

In 2016, these monuments and buildings came under attack as various groups of citizens rose together in street protests against the wide-spread perception of the government's corruption and disregard for the rule of law. Using paint as their ammunition, protesters defaced these buildings and monuments in an expression of their revolt. For the government and its supporters, they are hooligans who should be prosecuted. For opponents, they are art activists and heroes of a grass-roots movement, which has become known as the "Colorful Revolution." This exhibition tells their story through the works of three photographers who have been documenting this movement.

Organizer: Forum for Democratic Macedonia
Curator: Aneta Georgievska-Shine
Graphic design: Zoran Cardula