In his testimony, Žilnik discusses his experience filming the Kenedi Trilogy, which includes the documentary films Kenedi se vraca kuci [Kenedi Goes Back Home] (2003); Gde je dve godine bio Kenedi [Kenedi, Lost and Found] (2005); and Kenedi se ženi [Kenedi is Getting Married] (2007). The films follow Kenedi Hasani, a young Roma from Kosovo, after he is coercively repatriated from Germany to Serbia. With little more than an ethnic link to Serbia, Kenedi starts his struggle for survival in a place where the Roma are forced to live in conditions of deprivation, both socially and economically. This policy of repatriation—the result of agreements between Germany and Serbia as part of the European Union’s integration plans—allows Germany to undertake abrupt and unannounced deportations of refugees, asylum seekers, and “illegal immigrants” originating from Serbia (or those who have entered the EU via Serbia). Through the films, Žilnik points to the paradox of the EU’s often harsh treatment of people living on the social and legal fringes of its territory, particularly given its claims to support democracy and human rights. In this way, the Trilogy functions as a critique of Europe’s neoliberal migration and immigration regime, and by extension the global biopolitical conditions that work to maintain it. At the conclusion of his testimony, Žilnik “leaves behind” the Kenedi Trilogy in the Roma Pavilion, adding the work to the exhibition. (Gwen Parry)
ŽELIMIR ŽILNIK (born 1942) is a film director. He has written and directed numerous feature and documentary films, which have been screened and received awards at many domestic and international film festivals. Žilnik’s films focus on contemporary issues, featuring social, political, and economic assessments of everyday life. The breakdown of the system of values in post-transitional Central and Eastern European countries and the problems facing refugees and immigrants within the new circumstances of an extended Europe are the focus of his most recent films, which include: Stara škola kapitalizma [The Old School of Capitalism] (2009); and the Kenedi Trilogy: Kenedi se ženi [Kenedi is Getting Married] (2007); Gde je dve godine bio Kenedi [Kenedi, Lost and Found] (2005); and Kenedi se vraca kuci [Kenedi Goes Back Home] (2003). Žilnik lives and works in Novi Sad.