Special issue :Under the Banner of Pathé: Cinema in the Balkans in its Formative Years (1896-1912)

The French film company Pathé dominated the emerging international film market until the beginning of WWI. This analysis will concentrate on the relatively short time between the first film screenings in the region in 1896 and the outbreak of the First Balkan War in fall of 1912. Concretely, it will shed light on mobile and permanent cinema in the Balkans in a European context in the initial two subsections. The third part investigates, using the example of the Serbian capital Belgrade, whether and to what extent its population was prepared for this new visual adventure cinema. The fourth subsection, finally, analyses how the European film industry under the banner of Pathé developed and which role the cinema balkanica played in it. The weak economic development of the region as well as cultural-religious concerns were responsible for the minor role the Balkans played in international cinema.

Karl Kaser

Karl Kaser

Karl Kaser is a full professor of Southeastern European history and anthropology at the University of Graz, Austria, since 1996. His research focuses on historical-anthropological issues and encompasses topics such as the history of family, kinship, and clientelism, gender relations and historical visual cultures of the Balkans. His most recent monograph is: “Hollywood auf dem Balkan. Die visuelle Moderne an der europäischen Peripherie (1900–1970)” (2018). Currently he is working on the monographic book project “Conflicting Femininities and Masculinities in the Digital Age: Realia and Utopia in the Balkans and South Caucasus”. He has conducted numerous research projects. Currently, he is coordinator of the research and exchange project “Knowledge Exchange and Academic Cultures in the Humanities: Europe and the Black Sea Region, late 18th – 21st Centuries”, funded by the European Commission. The author is doctor h. c. of the Universities of Batumi (Georgia) and Blagoevgrad (Bulgaria), honorary professor of University of Shkodra (Albania), and honorary member of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences (ZRC SAZU).


Southeastern Europe