Prebaci na Hrvatski

the rite of spring


Halubian bellmen are a traditional cultural custom that is specific for Kvarner, which has its roots in paganistic rituals of southern slavs, and is still very much alive and present in a context of Rijeka’s cultural life through the carnival. During the pagan time, the ritual of dressing up in a zoomorphic costume, with a huge bell hanging above one’s ass was about chasing the evil spirits of winter away, and calling for the spring, fertility of land, and fertility of women.
From my mother's side, all of the men a couple of generations ago, have been a part of this performative practice. It’s a twice exclusionary practice – one can become a part of this community only if assigned male at birth and if one belongs to the blood lineage of Halubian bellmen. The role of female socialized people (such as myself) within this custom’s context is one of a servant’s one, where they are either mothers, wives or daughters – identities existing only within a frame of a traditional heteronormative family and in relation to the main patriarch in it.
I wasn’t so interested in telling a story of the bellmen, nor in doing a specific critique of their practice. Instead I used the concept of bellmen as a base storyline on top of which I layered, investigated, and eventually reinterpretated my relationship with my family who is still living back home, and an idea of a chosen queer family brought to life by my relationship with my best friend.
The nature is our anarchistic queer utopia, where the ultimate law is our cheeky mischevious tenderness towards each other and a naive and playful approach towards something considered very serious. We find our sense of belonging in each other’s presence.

Hana Stojaković (1997) is Berlin based dance and performance artist and visual designer. Holds BA in Visual Communication from School of Design Zagreb, currently enrolled in a BA Dance, Choreography, Context at Hochschuleübergreifendes Zentrum Tanz Berlin (HZT). Recent work include performing for...
Silvano Drpić (1996, Rijeka) holds a BA in Mechanical Engineering. With his multidisciplinary artistic approach he is actively creating within the fields of performance, acting, painting and poetry. Continuously collaborating and holding workshops with different amateur theatres in Rijeka and Cel...