Outside of Memories, I Belong – Sculpture by Ivana Mancic

The Heroines Among Us

Ivana Mancic is a woman of strength, a sculptor, and a survivor of the Serbia bombings of 1999. Come reverently as you view her incredible piece that depicts the experience of this dark time and honors the lives lost.

Artist Statement:

Memories of a Yugoslav Woman

Dark times and rainy days. Sometimes it rains in a different way and it is peaceful and solemn, the rain that purifies. But those days were simply gloomy. That rain had nothing in common with simple pleasures of childhood, when one rejoices just by seeing the merry dance of the raindrops on the concrete and the surrounding nature breathing together with the soaking soil. This rain could not wash off the dark days. It did not bring any good, but gloomier and gloomier news from the war zone. Yes. They did really wage wars only an hour away. I did not know about it as I was only 11, and on the other hand it was there, in the air and we all sensed it. The dark days of our childhoods. The days in which we were to forget that we should be equal. The days in which brotherhood and equality were condemned by men who wanted to play war. The days in which we were so poor and some of them suddenly so rich. Those days were heavy, with lead skies that do not promise anything good. At the edge of my childhood there it was, the foresight of horror. The irony of it all is that it did not really happen to us, we did not get killed but parts of us died. There, at the edge of my childhood were worried faces of my parents trying to make some sense in madness.

I remember the bombing of Serbia by NATO in a 1999 operation “Merciful Angel”.  I was 19. All the bridges that connected Serbia and the northern province of Vojvodina were already destroyed. There was fire and smoke everywhere. Novi Sad, the capital of Vojvodina was covered in flames. I can’t explain how it felt, as if you are turning grey from the inside. As if someone took all the colours away. As if all the sense disappeared. We, the ordinary people, could not face it. The psychological strain, the burden was too much. And it was grey, grey, everything grey. When I look back to those days, they simply have no colour. They feel like someone has stripped them of every meaning. 

I remember looking at my country burn through the windowpane. I remember the factories burning in the distance. The effort of so many communist workers disappearing. The dream disappearing. Their hopes and beliefs disappearing in flames. Thick black smoke elevating towards the sky. I was aware that that bomb could hit any second. I was aware of all the senselessness of my friends hiding. But human beings are miraculous in their willingness to prevail against all odds. I travelled through flames and became resilient. I sometimes think that this is how I travel through life, in smoke, always through smoke and I think that this is how we survived. We became resilient, resilient to sorrow and pain, to hunger, to humiliation, to misery. We became rough and we endured. In these days I lost fear. In these days you realize the frailty of your own existence. And you prevail, through flames and smoke.

That is also how women during Yugoslavia and the conflicts surrounding it prevailed and even today, in the era of the migrant crises, with the migrants being stuck in Serbia in their attempts to cross the borders with EU countries, women are remembered again, in frequent narratives about the refugee men who are raping “our women”. It is this hypocritical relationship and understanding what marked the treatment of women in ex-Yugoslavia. They are and have always been involved in political discourses and used for media purposes. Therefore, women were misused by every single political system and betrayed by it. Nevertheless, through the constant clashes and conflicts, women did not only endure, they supported each other, grouped and fought for their rights.

The sculptural installation “Outside of Memories, I Belong” is dedicated to all the women from ex- Yugoslavia and from all the other war torn countries who survived horrors of war and displacement, for they are the true heroines of our times and the true heroines among us.


Ivana Mancic was born on 16th December in Ruma,Serbia. 

At the moment she is a PhD student in Fine Art, School of Art and Design at Nottingham Trent  University, UK. 

The research she is undergoing in its focus has art practice and it is aimed at the production of  multi-disciplinary artworks, videos and installations the purpose of which is to display the  personal narrative. This narrative will address the issues of war, loss and belonging, related to  the specificity of the ex-Yugoslav context in order to contribute to developing of the female  voice of artists and pacifists in contemporary art. The personal narrative is presented in the  written form through texts, essays and reflections on war experiences and current world crises  through intersections between the present and the past. 

She graduated MA at the Academy of Art, University of Novi Sad in 2011 at the department of  fine art-drawing and in 2009 a BA in sculpture at the same Academy, as well as a BA in English  language and literature at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Novi Sad, Serbia. 

She participated in many solo and group exhibitions, residences such as The Summer Lodge in  Nottingham, UK and The Feminist Art Colony in Sicevo, Serbia. Conferences such as the Roots  and Reach Conference, Manchester Metropolitan University, The Global Heritage Conference at  Nottingham Trent University and Art Festivals such as The PitchWise in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Festival de Arte Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, Canary Islands. 

She is a published author:

2020. Art Therapy: Trauma and Ways of Dealing with it, in Uterus Effect, publication supported  by the Cultural Department of the City of Vienna (MA7) and the Association Kunstentropie,  Vienna, Austria. 

2020. The Order of Labour with Silver Wreath and the Plaquette of Yugoslav Trade Union of  Industry and Mining Workers, Journal of the Society of Medals and Orders Research, England. 



Where Is Your Hero – Sculptures by Li Chao

Still Shining

Li Chao is a sculptor from Guangzhou, China! Below are the fantastic pieces he has been working on since the lockdown. I loved being able to see an inside look into his perspective. Take a look below to be inspired and uplifted by his work and his take on the current events!

Li Chao’s description during the quarantine period:
In 2020, the release of a dark aura. The worldwide disaster and has cost us countless losses and suffering. What lies between the truth and the lies? Would ideas of individual and social media collide into sublimity or destruction? What behind it? What don’t we know?
As a human being who with no medical knowledge, I have quarantined strictly in accordance with the relevant precautions. Because my studio is 20 kilometers from home,and all the restaurant were closed. I could only stay at home most of the time, learning how to cook all kinds of delicious food for my family and children, staying home spending times with my children is the happiest thing for me.
But the truth is that, while giving me a pause and respite from the hustle and bustle, this situation also reshaping the structure of the world. The Internet has become an indispensable part of people’s lives, people are rapidly replacing physical objects with technology, and many people’s lives were getting off track.
Who can image that an invisible virus caused the collapse of the whole real life, which made me feel the insignificance of human beings and the dilemma of reality. Will the world get any better? We all full of unknown and lost.
All the things that I can do is try my best to cherish everything around me, love my art, love my family and also love the earth.


Li Chao’s personal statement

Since graduating from the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, China in 2004, I am actively engaged in the Sculpture fields, and started to teach at the Affiliated High School of Guangzhou Academy of Find Arts. I am good at sculpting with wood, stone, etc.

I believe that there are two kinds of scars, one is inherent, and the other is by acquire causes. Wood and stone are things of their own nature. They may be loose, skew, crisp, stable, constant and large. The shortcoming can’t be remove as well, it can only be restored. Wood, Rock, restore, and me, all of which compose my work.

The human and natural originally are one, coexistence. But both of their mission, there are some other opposition, human willingness to put some things confuse the essence.

The most beautiful things in the world is that people or the stuff that helping us to restore our insufficients & hurts.

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