Anđela Rončević

I Will Swim

The audiovisual installation, I Will Swim, positioned in the empty swimming pool, invites the participants to listen to the stories of women who do not know how to swim. The experience is reduced to the voices of women and to the play of water, so that the questions of privilege, access, comfort, and (ex)(i)nclusion emerge.

Art in Public Spheres (MAPS)
My mother Snježana and grandmother Ljubica, who taught me to swim, and shared the love for for the sea. Thank you René Gisler, Sabine Gebhardt Fink, Milenko Lazić, Katharine Turok, Dru Colbert, and Augustin Martz. @andela_crta

There is something uncanny about the empty swimming pool. Such space presents the void that does not serve its expected purpose anymore. Pools are usually seen as spaces of regulation, superintendence, and an anthropocentric imitation of nature. The audiovisual installation I Will Swim is another step in my exploration of what does swimming mean to women, and why is swimming (as a human right) often inaccesible for women around the world. The installation is a physical manfiestation of my Master thesis book I Will Swim; and My Daughter Will Swim Too, published by the Amsel Verlag (2021). The book contains 20 oral histories of women, from various socioeconomical and political backgrounds, who share their stories about not knowing how to swim. The inability to swim is used as a lense to observe the obstacles, injustices, and inequalities that women encounter when trying to acquire this skill. Women speak about the lack of attention and patience they experienced as children, which now resulted in aquaphobia and/or trauma. They talk about swimming in their respective contexts; where the questions of femininity, traditions, expectations, and body-related issues emerge. The installation situates the viewer in this void, where women’s voices carry stories that society often overlooks.