On the Traces of a Marxist: A sketch for a film

In collaboration with Julia Hertäg and Henning Röhrborn, 2012-2014

In collaboration with Marko Krojač and Mileta Mijatović, 2010-2012



As a man, a worker and a citizen of this sunny homeland, with a lot of ores and wheat fields, good water and beautiful love, I will not bow down to all those who do not think well of my workers’ emancipation and happiness, until the grave. And I recommend every young person to Individually and through school, he/she educates well ideologically, Marxist, because that is the only way he will defend his worker’s and human dignity and the right to paid work as well as a dignified life, which historically belongs to him. “Silence is slavery”, says Marx.

Stanoje Ćebić

Archiv Photo, Henning Röhrborn, 2013 © Julia Hertäg / Dejan Marković / Henning Röhrborn

The ongoing documentary project has emerged from the autobiographical book “Why did I become an Ox?,” which served as a starting point. Following the traces of Stanoje Ćebić, a metal turner from the 1970s, who dedicated his entire life to searching for an ideal workplace, living a nomadic existence, and working in 150 factories across the SFR Yugoslavia and 30 in Western Europe, publishing two books with over 30,000 copies, and acting in the award-winning short film in the film festival in Oberhausen in 1971, the captures reveal the socio-cultural transformation from socialism to capitalism.

The documentary work incorporates multiple shoots of significant individuals and (post-)industrial landscapes in various locations across Germany, Serbia, and Bosnia, collected archival material, and diverse encounters to illuminate the story of this historical figure from the margins of society. Ćebić becomes a projection for artists and workers at the end of the 20th century and a provocation for them in the present moment. Through a fifty-year interweaving of factory work and art, encompassing historical continuities and discontinuities, this collective investigation aims to shed light on the current strategies of individual and collective resistance in a time of high unemployment, national politics, economic exploitation, and the absence of trade unions and state protection.

Borka Pavićević, CZKD Belgrade, Henning Röhrborn, 2014 © Julia Hertäg / Dejan Marković / Henning Röhrborn

With: Petar Aranđelović, Milisav Bojović, Franjo Corić, Zoran Ćebić, Toma Ćebić, Marina Ćirović, Bora Ćosić, Blagoje Dragutinović, Olivera Đurđević, Vladan Jeremić, Jovan Jovanović, Milosav Jovanović, Milan Milovanović Kalinovac, Ana Krstić, Nikola Lazarević, Branislav Markuš, Radiša Milisić, Zdenka Milković, Milan Mladenović, Branimir Nikolić, Borka Pavičević, Ljubo Protrka, Zoran Rađenović, Zdravko Ranković, Željko Simović, Momir Stepanović, Slobodan Stojanović, Tanja Tajsić, Milorad Toćić, Brana Veljković, and Rastko Zakić.

Director of photography: Henning Röhrborn
Sound recordist/mixer: Julia Hertäg
Producers: Julia Hertäg, Dejan Marković, Henning Röhrborn
Images © Julia Hertäg, Dejan Marković, Henning Röhrborn, 2014

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