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Symphony of the Steamboat “Župa”: Una

Exhibition, Performance

The Symphony of Savamala Project


The first generation of Goethe-Guerilla had already focused on abandoned ships on the Sava promenade as early as 2010. This “graveyard of ships”, as it was often called, resembled a neglected museum exhibition but includes some incredibly valuable pieces – shipwrecks burdened with rich history. They served as an inspiration for the “Virtual Museum of Yugoslav Ships”, whose primary aim was to turn attention to these largely forgotten witnesses of our tumultuous history. One of these shipwrecks was the steam tugboat “Župa”, originally named “Una”. She was constructed in 1913 in Budapest for navy warfare spurposes. In the First World War, she served as a warship during attacks on Belgrade. Belgrade defense forces managed to sink her and after several years, she was recovered and sent to Budapest for repair. In the Second World War she was captured by Soviet troops and turned her into a minesweeper. Several years later she hit a mine at Stari Slankamen on the Danube and sank. The Yugoslav River Shipping (YRS) took her out of the water in 1945. Since then, the ship has born the name of “Župa”, and after the war it was declared a cultural monument.  For the 100th anniversary of this ship, a series of activities were organized on Župa and Guerilla participated as well. One of these activities was the “Župa Sounds”, an international project led by Marijetica Potrč (Design for the Living World, HFBK), within which a number of workshops and performances took place in collaboration with Johan Romme and Akash Bhatt.   Goethe-Guerilla used the access to this boat in order to explore the ship’s acoustics, as a part of the Symphony project. The Župa turned out to be an amazing instrument, whose space below deck and the deck itself offered many acoustic possibilities. The recorded material was presented for the first time during the big summer exhibition of the Guerilla held in the Spanish House. These material was also used for other projects and research later on.