Nadja Velušček is the author of numerous documentary films that explore and bind together the memories of the divided Goriška region. In tandem with their daughter Anja Medved, they made twelve documentary films in which people remember the fateful chapters of history, which was particularly cruel in this area. From their stories emerges a surprising, never-before-heard past that transcends national and ideological divisions, highlighting in particular those moments of the past that have united people despite established borders. Their documentary opus is the result of many years of collecting memories where the same date is often marked by conflicting memories. With her work, Velušček connects and at the same time respects the richness of diversity with the awareness that peace has never been and unfortunately still is not self-evident.
She is impressed by the spoken word because it is unpredictable and surprising. She approaches the storytellers with great curiosity and anticipation, listening to them attentively. When he least expects it, a thought, a truth, poetry happens in front of the camera.
Nadja Velušček was born when they started building Nova Gorica. As the city grew, so did she. Due to her close contact with her nonna and aunts, who remained on the Italian side after the Second World War, she always perceived this place differently than the maps indicated, on which there was nothing beyond the border. Perhaps that is why she always wanted to connect Nova Gorica and Gorica, these two very different cities, and reveal their stories from the past through the medium of film.
»It's interesting to film people who have never written their memoirs and never will, even though their stories could be a novel or a film. These precious people taught me to grasp the terrible truth of war, which as a post-war generation I never felt enough due to the pleonastic school approach. I simply sit down in front of someone who has lived a long life and ask him to tell me what he has seen. Memories are a part of us, we cannot avoid them, we can only face them and respectfully tell them to each other. Then we might be better people.«
As a professor of Slovenian and Italian languages, she taught at secondary schools in Nova Gorica and Gorica, fostering students' interest in the world from the other side. Together with the founders of film culture in Nova Gorica, Naško Križnar, Silvan Furlan, and Jože Dolmark, she organized film evenings as part of her first employment at the Association of Cultural Organizations. She directed experimental youth plays, inspired students to act on stage, and taught them film education. She created radio shows about film and for almost three decades co-created the Kinoatelje program, from the Film video monitor festivals to the Darko Bratina Award - a tribute to the vision of documentary films.
With her open-air screenings, she always liked to return to her witnesses, to remote and often forgotten places along the border. It is to them that she erected a monument with her films, which testifies that despite political violence of all kinds, there has always been a special identity of the border that always existed there.
At the ceremony of the DOCUMENTARY NAME 2022 award to Nadja Velušček, there will be a public screening of her film My Border from 2002 as part of the DOKUDOC festival. Throughout the narration, Velušček also tells her story from her childhood in the post-war period.
“The strangest thing in my life was probably the border, which I didn't realize until one day it was completely closed for a short time. And so the film My Border was created, actually mine, because I allow myself a personal narrative in order to talk more convincingly about all of us in Goriško.«
- Nadja Velušček
Photo: Tomaž Skale
Burnt in Memories, 2017, watch movie online for free (15. 9. - 25. 9. 2022)
Trapped Water, 2015
Timeless River, 2010, watch movie online for free (15. 9. - 25. 9. 2022)
Binding Memories, 2006, watch movie online for free (15. 9. - 25. 9. 2022)
From The Earth to the Image, 2006
Town in a Meadow, 2004, watch movie online for free (15. 9. - 25. 9. 2022)
Salt and sand, 2003
Nora Gregor - The Rules of the Game, 2003
My Border, 2002, watch movie online for free (20. 9. - 25. 9. 2022)
The Birds Did Not Fly, 1999, watch movie online for free (15. 9. - 25. 9. 2022)
Blooming Hills, 1998