“Niko, niko kao ja” (Nobody, nobody like me) were the lyrics sung by Milan Mladenović in the 1980s accompanied by the base player Dušan Kojić Koja and drummer Ivica Vidović Vid. Their band Šarlo Akrobata existed for only a year but, nevertheless, shook the Yugoslav music scene at the time. Besides Šarlo, bands such as Ekatarina Velika, Idoli, Električni Orgazam, Pekinška Patka, Via Talas, Bezobrazno Zeleno, Bulevar, U Škripcu, and Radnička Kontrola, among others, belonged to the new wave in music and are now perceived as cult bands of the time. The exhibition focused on the time before these bands signed contracts with record labels and became part of mainstream.
In spite of the fact that the New Wave was a music genre first and foremost and that it sprang from punk rock as a reaction to the popular music of the 1970s, it was a much wider movement in Yugoslavia and produced work that was a hybrid of popular music, painting, theatre, film, fashion, photography, design, experimental TV programmes, and club life.
One of the phenomena was the emergence of “rock photography” by the famous Belgrade-based photographer Goranka Matić. Her photographs of cult personalities and events of the period are also included in the exhibition.
Right up to mid-1970s young people in Yugoslavia were consumers rather than active creators of cultural trends. Nevertheless, as is pointed out in the exhibition catalogue, “Young authors, encouraged by the liberties won by the world punk movement in 1970s, adopted new forms of cultural and artistic expression which found its watering hole at Studentski Kulturni Centar (SKC, Student Cultural Centre) in Belgrade.” At the time, SKC was a small institution but extremely open toward new and different approaches to culture and non-standard ways of employing classical artistic media.
Besides the exhibits from the collection of the Museum of Yugoslav History (25. May Museum), the exhibition also incorporates parts of programmes from the archives of Television Belgrade (now known as Radio Television Belgrade), the Student Cultural Centre, and material from private collections.