Room 22 | Tamara Tomić-Vajagić in collaboration with Lena Melentijević and Arabella Stanger | Come into our room: a soft oral history of the Hotel Beograd
The Hotel’s socialist-era transition into a nationalised lodging, managed by the Jugoslovenske Železnice, intersects with the history of its surrounding area locally known as “Štajga”—socialist Belgrade’s seedy part of the city, with the sole openly erotic cinema (Partizan). But, what part did the Hotel Beograd play in Štajga’s and the city’s history?
Aiming to find out more about the Hotel’s [un]official history we place our hopes in the bodies and memories of AWB visitors. In the room 22 we will collect and display your stories, real [or misremembered] anecdotes, and gossip about the Hotel and its Štajga neighbourhood history.
Hotel Belgrade has a long and checkered history, one that is difficult to uncover. There are few surviving official documents, and we know mostly the fragments— the Hotel’s opening was likely in 1938. It was built by Vladimir Djordjević who wanted to contribute with a prestigious, urban hotel for the pre-WWII Yugoslavian modern rail travellers.
Tamara Tomić-Vajagić’s works across dance and visuality. She holds degrees in Fine Arts (Belgrade, FLU) and Dance Studies (Toronto, York and London, Roehampton). She teaches in School of Arts, Roehampton University, London, where she received her doctorate. Her recent publications include book chapters in _Art and Dance in Dialogue_(Palgrave, 2020) and _Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Ballet _(OUP, 2021). She published visual essays and podcast performances in _Still Life Zine_London.
Lena Melentijević is a student of Liberal Arts at New York University (NYU). Lena graduated from International School Belgrade, where she created fashion and journalism projects, and explored relationships between the two.