It's been thirty years that Nina Zivancevic has been offering us the wisdom of her thought and creative observation, be it through numerous analytical publishing, specialized art reviews, critical essay writing or through her poetry. Her words reach us in the form of laughter or cries or the tears of this world—at any rate, these are the intense words of the real which talk about the reality of the real. She writes the way she speaks in a lucid, forceful movement which is both sudden and surprising. She never fails to touch the innermost profundity of our being wherever she goes.
Stavroula Bellos, chair of anthropology, Université Paris
Nina Zivancevic’s SMRTi belongs to a hybrid genre of fictional poetics cum anthropological essays. These essays are somewhat included in a vast genre of travelogues but these journals are more akin to the explorations of Margaret Mead and Levi-Strauss who believed in the anthropology of the Big Other not the strictly geographical descriptions of the lands we visit. Nina Zivancevic’s anthropological essay is above all a DIALOGUE where the author and her own culture dialogue with the cultures she visits. The author here does not take the privileged stance of domineering thinker who observes a new or an unknown culture with haut disdain. She allows the newly observed to subtly influence her. Thus her trip to India where Zivancevic dialogues with Henry Michaux who traveled and lived in India 80 years before Zivancevic and who left an indelible literary trace on the history of literature regarding Asia.
David Graeber, anthropologist, political thinker, activist
Nina Zivancevic with Sylvere Lotringer in Paris, 2001
Nina Živančević published her first book in 1982 for which she won the National Award for poetry in Yugoslavia. From 1980 to 1981 she worked as a teaching assistant and secretary to Allen Ginsberg. She worked as a literary editor for East Village Eye and Theater X, as a freelance journalist for Politika, El Pais, L'Unita, Woman (Spain), and Nexus, and as a contributor to The New Yorker and New York Arts Magazine. Besides having performed with The Living Theater (1988-1992) and La Mama Experimental Theatre Club, she co-founded in 1988 the Odiyana Theatre. She is author of more than twenty books and has translated notable works of poetry into Serbian. In 2001 she completed her PhD in Comparative Literature and Slavic Studies at Université Nancy 2 with a thesis on the modernist literature of Serbian writer Miloš Crnjanski. That same year she contributed the text 'Pandora's Box' to the Semiotext(e) reader Hatred of Capitalism, in which she addresses the war in Yugoslavia, and in relation to which she worked in 1996 as an official Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian translator for the International Tribunal for War Crimes in the Hague. In 2002 she received a Special Grant from the American PEN association of writers presided by Robert Creeley. She presently serves on the editorial committee of the journal Au Sud de l'Est. She lives in Paris and teaches languages and the theatre of the avant-gardes at Paris University.