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An Introduction to the Problem
Boris Buden | Želimir Žilnik | Olivera Jokić

Who can know what is in the past? Is it what historians can tell us? Should we also trust what we can remember?


Past: An Introduction to the Problem proposes that the problem of the past now concerns everyone. Visions of a different, brighter future defeated in the Cold War and its heated afterlives, we are being offered the past as the only horizon of possibility.


And what are we supposed to find in that past?


Philosopher Boris Buden considers these questions in a series of essays and conversations with filmmaker Želimir Žilnik, one of the most prominent filmmakers of the "Black Wave" of 1960s socialist Yugoslavia—a child of communists and an internationally successful artist using resources available to all in the socialist state, Žilnik remains a constant critic of political systems that seek to curb artists' reflections on the world being built. Treating Žilnik as a rare witness of a past for which his work is uncommon documentation, Past: An Introduction to the Problem asks crucial questions about ways we can know the past, how the past informs our experience, and how it defines our sense of possibility.

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