23. ilb 06. – 16.09.2023
Portrait Samira Kentrić
© Jože Suhadolnik

Samira Kentrić

Samira Kentrić was born in Ljubljana in 1976. She is the daughter of Bosnian immigrants and grew up in Grosuplje. She started drawing as a child. Since her studies in Visual Communication, she has focused on politically motivated illustrations, visualizing, for example, news about international affairs, religious conflicts, and social issues. She also devotes her artistic work to the depiction of social realities, creating often surreal settings and situations that creatively highlight what is defining our time. She is particularly interested in the tension between the political and the private, the public and the intimate. She is also concerned with bringing attention to topics that are generally kept quiet.
In 2015, she published »Balkanalije« (Eng. »Balkanalia: Growing Up in Times of Transition«), an autobiographical graphic novel in which she tells of growing up in a Muslim working-class family in a Catholic country, the collapse of Yugoslavia, Slovenia’s independence, and the transition from socialism to capitalism. The sepia-toned images combine realistic detail with surrealist elements, deeply immersing readers in the history of the Balkans. The book won the MGIP International Book Award in 2015. It was followed by the graphic novel »Pismo Adni« (2016; tr: A Letter to Adna). Adna’s guardian Hasima has left her a farewell letter, which ends Adna’s already troubled childhood. Before she leaves Syria for Europe, she also discovers Hasima’s portfolio of sketches commenting on European countries’ double standards in dealing with refugees. Building on this volume, the graphic novel »Adna« (2020) was created between 2016 and 2020, in which the adult Adna reflects back on her experiences. Now in her early twenties, she appears to be getting on well from the outside. But she does not divulge her traumatic experiences as a refugee to anyone. Determined to keep up appearance and relations with other people, including sexual contacts, there is nevertheless a pain deep inside her that shapes her life. Samira Kentrić’s powerful images touch on current events and political realities as well as on social and art history. In the end, it is also a book that gives hope, as Adna finds her way to a meaningful life.
Samira Kentrić lives in Ljubljana.


Pismo Adni
Ljubljana, 2016

Mladinska Knjiga
Ljubljana, 2020

Jacoby & Stuart
Berlin, 2021
[Ü: Barbara Anderlič]