Exhibition: Trio from Sarajevo

The design studio Trio was formed in 1985 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was founded by three students of the Academy of Fine Arts – Bojan Hadžihalilović, Dalida Duraković and Lejla Mulabegović. They describe themselves as “typical representatives of the generation which grew up on punk and pop-art”, influences which are still visible in their work today. By the end of the 1980s Trio had become the most famous group of designers in Yugoslavia, the first time that this kind of art became truly popular in the socialist federation.

Those were times of change, the beginning of the end of socialism, the beginning of the end of Yugoslavia. Trio succeeded in capturing these tempestuous moments in the posters, record covers and media which they designed. At the same time their works were a picture of the young people in the country, of a generation open for change, of a time in which there was no more self-censorship, in which one was free to play with old idols, flirt with politics.

They first rose to fame with the record cover of the an album of the band Plavi Orkestrar which was conceived as a Yugoslav take on the Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. In the foreground the four band members stood surrounded by symbols of Yugoslavia of the 1980s – from Lepa Brena and Vuk Draškovic to the characters of Partisan films… Trio began working for a range of notable musicians of that era – Bijelo Dugme, Zdravko Čolić, Dino Merlin – as well as collaborations with numerous theatres, festivals and media outlets like Globus (Zagreb), Vreme (Belgrade) and Naši Dani (Sarajevo). In that period they were engaged in Subotica as designers for the cultural/political project KPGT (kazalište, pozorište, gledališće, teatar) where they teamed up with Rade Šerbedžija for one of the most lauded cultural projects in Yugoslavia.

With the beginning of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bojan and Dalida remained in besieged Sarajevo where they continued to design in spite of the wartime conditions. Between grenades and snipers’ bullets, without sufficient food or water, they created an ironic series of postcards titled “Greetings from Sarajevo” which quickly made their way beyond the besieged city. The first of them were produced by hand with children’s paints without the intention for them to ever be mass produced. In 1994 they escaped from Sarajevo and came to Slovenia where they collaborated with the magazine Mladina.

In an interview, speaking about what Trio is, Bojan says how their works evolved “not in some romantic time, but during the period of the collapse of Yugoslavia” travelling from Sarajevo through Belgrade, Zagreb and Ljubljana visually representing what they saw, felt and heard.

Bojan and Dalida continue to work with numerous artists and media outlets in the former Yugoslavia but for them their centre remains Sarajevo where they are affiliated with the Fabrika design team.

The collection which is exhibited during the conference “Debating the End of Yugoslavia” is the first retrospective of their work to date.

See picture gallery of some posters from e-novine

More details about the exhibition from the website of the University Museum


Photo Gallery

Portraits taken during the Conference by Robert Pichler

© Robert Pichler. No reproduction without authorization of the photographer


Download interviews conducted by Nidzara Ahmetasevic during the conference “Debating the End of Yugoslavia”. The interviews may be downloaded, but may not be disseminated without the authorization of the conference organizers. For inquiries write to florian.bieber@uni-graz.at.

Interview with Neven Anđelić

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Press Coverage

Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 11.1.2012, Jugoslawien ohne Krieg

Oslobodjenje, 25.11.2011, Jugoslavija – dva deset godina poslije

Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso, 23.11.2011, Sulla fine della Jugoslavia

Berlin goes Balkan, 13.11.2011, In Austria for the End of Yugoslavia

Gracija, 11.2001, Trio u Grazu

Radio Fro, 9.11.2011

Radio Sarajevo, 9.11.2011, Zaključci sa konferencije o raspadu Jugoslavije

Infoglobi, 7.11.2011, Fundi i Jugosllavisë, njëzet vjet pas

Kleine Zeitung, 6.11.2011, Zeitzeugenkonferenz in Graz: “Das Ende Jugoslawiens”

Kleine Zeitung, 4.11.2011, “Zweifel kamen angesichts Tito-Personenkults”

ORF, 4.11.2011, Zeitzeugen diskutieren das Ende Jugoslawiens

Nezavisne Novine, 3.11.2011, Konferencija o raspadu Jugoslavije u Gracu

Der Standard, 3.11.2011, “Das Ende Jugoslawiens”

E Novine, 3.11.2011, Kraj Jugoslavije

Buka, 2.11.2011, Konferencija o raspadu Jugoslavije

Reports from Conference

From the Evening News of RTRS, 5.11.2011

From the Evening News of RTRS, 6.11.2011


Kosovo: The Beginning and the End of the Disintegration of Yugoslavia?

Chair: Karl Kaser, Unversity of Graz

Azem Vllasi, Chairman of the League of Communists of Kosovo (1986-88)

 Discussant: Robert Pichler, University of Graz

Podcast on Mixcloud

The Crisis of Yugoslav Federalism and Slovene Independence

Chair: Marie-Janine Calic, University of Munich

Ciril Ribičič, President of the Party of Democratic Renewal, Slovenia (1990-1993)

Discussant: Sabrina Ramet, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Podcast on Mixcloud

Were there Yugoslav Alternatives?

Chair: Armina Galijaš, University of Graz

Vasil Tupurkovski, Macedonian member of the Yugoslav Presidency (1989-1991)

Rasim Kadic, President of the Liberal Democratic Party (1990-2005)

Discussant: Dejan Jović, University of Zagreb

Podcast on Mixcloud

Keynote speech “The end of the cold war and the dissolution of Yugoslavia”

Chair: Wolfgang Benedek, University of Graz

Budimir Lončar, Foreign policy advisor to the President of Croatia, Foreign Minister of Yugoslavia (1987-1991)

Podcast on Mixcloud

The Media Background to the Dissolution

Chair: Nidžara Ahmetašević, University of Graz

Gordana Knežević, Deputy Editor of Oslobodjenje (1992-1994)

Discussant: Christopher Bennett, Office of the High Representative, Sarajevo

Podcast on Mixcloud

Sport and Culture and the End of Yugoslavia

Chair: Dejan Djokić, Goldsmiths

Bojan Hadzihalilovic, co-founder of the designer group Trio, Sarajevo

Discussant: Vjekoslav Perica, University of Rijeka, Neven Andjelic, Regent’s College

Podcast on Mixcloud

What is the state of the art? (Part 1)

Chair: Stef Jansen, University of Manchester

Nebojša Vladislavljević, University of Belgrade

Neven Andjelić, Regent’s College London

Vjeran Pavlaković, University of Rijeka

Podcast on Mixcloud

What is the state of the art? (Part 2)

Chair: Jasna Dragović-Soso, Goldsmiths, University of London

Vesna Bojičić-Dželilović, London School of Economics

V.P. Gagnon, Ithaca College

Reana Senjković, University of Zagreb

Podcast on Mixcloud

Photos from the Conference