Artist Tanja Ostojić’s ongoing interdisciplinary project Naked Life (2004–2011) investigates issues of discrimination of Roma and Sinti, the largest minorities in Europe. The project deals with bare life, social and political exclusion, deportation, racism, state racism, biopolitics, xenophobia, and diverse cultural identities. For Call the Witness, Ostojić develops a new version of her Naked Life video performance (2004/2008), which is based on the proceedings of the "Written Comments of the European Roma Rights Centre Concerning Germany For Consideration by the United Nations Human Rights Committee at its 80th Session, 2004." During the performance, the artist reads out the fates of different Roma families taken from the report’s segment on deportations. While reading, she strips her clothing from her body, remaining naked in the end and symbolically vulnerable as bare life. This new iteration of the performance focuses on the most recent cases of forced migration imposed on Roma in the European Union and south-eastern Europe, as well as cases of violence, discrimination, and racism that they are facing on a daily basis. Ostojić considers how it is possible that in contemporary Europe certain ethnic groups are constantly exposed and stripped of their political, social, and human rights. (Tanja Ostojić)
TANJA OSTOJIĆ (born 1972) is a performance artist who studied art in Belgrade and Nantes. Ostojić includes herself as a character in her performances, making use of explicit political positioning, humor, and at times her own body to activate the audience. She works in a variety of media as well as through artistic research, examining social configurations and relations of power, often with reference to the concept of “bare life.” Recent exhibitions include: Gateways. Art and Networked Culture, Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn, 2011; Estéticas Decoloniales, ASAB (Academia Superior de Artes de Bogotá), Bogota, 2010; and Arts Homo Erotica, National Museum, Warsaw, 2010. She recently published Integration Impossible? The politics of Migration in the Artwork of Tanja Ostojić (2009). Ostojić lives and works in Berlin.