East by KONNTRA | 5 songs and 1 movie that tune you to the Eastern European sense of life

East by KONNTRA | 5 songs and 1 movie that tune you to the Eastern European sense of life

You can listen to one of the defining songs of the Macedonian alternative music scene, a hit from the eighties but still popular today, as well as a very special compilation by three Slovenian DJs in our article today, and get to know better a movie by Emir Kusturica. Here comes the music and movie recommendation of KONNTRA.

In our new series we focus on the presentation of a city, but one of the strengths of the KONNTRA architecture studio is that the founding members all have different cultural backgrounds and are always enriched with new experiences and impressions through their projects in different cities—that is why we can get to know several cities from their point of view in an unusual way this time. Now they present the most important songs and a movie for them.


TBF: Uvik kontra
We first heard this song in Zagreb at Bar Botaničar after our exhibition “77 living frames”. Ivica, the founder of this wonderful space, said, “Listen, guys, are you sure you don’t know the song of TBF?” When we listened to it later, we learned that it was the song of a Croatian band that was given the title Uvik kontra. Coincidentally or not, the band had a big concert in the city center in the days when we met in Split at the architecture workshop. Incidentally, the term “uvik” in the Dalmatian dialect means “always”.

Nina Spirova: Zboruvaj za Skopje
This song connects us from the beginning with the time we met again in Skopje after two years. It recalls the time when we worked on our first competition, with which we later also won first place. This gave motivation to start KONNTRA. An evergreen song that always reminds us of Skopje wherever we are.

This song represents the Macedonian alternative music scene. The band’s first concerts at the Macedonian Youth Cultural Center showed a different, new direction in the field of musical self-expression: they represented a new Balkan rhythm and uniqueness.

Tetkine Radosti: jugo beat, funk & swing sample collage (Dj Woo, Dj Borka i Dj Bakto)
It’s really not just a song, but a compilation of three Slovenian DJs. It was made up of various songs from the sixties and seventies of the last century, made by different Yugoslav artists, so the language of singing also changes during the compilation. It is a bit like our own work process: at one moment we speak Macedonian, at another we speak Slovenian or Croatian, or even a few words in Serbian.

Denis & Denis: Soba 23
The song is one of the biggest hits on ex-Yugoslav radio stations that can’t be avoided, even though it dates back to the eighties. The well-known Denis & Denis was formed in the former Yugoslavia and still exists. You can often listen to it in KONNTRA’s studio as well. We have a lot of memories, projects, parties and excursions connected to this song.


Underground (Podzemlje)
Underground is a compressed version of a five-hour series broadcast on Serbian television in the 1990s. The story takes place in Yugoslavia, showing the events of the country from the beginning of the Second World War to the Yugoslav Wars. This theatrical version was directed by Emir Kusturica and operates with strong symbolic elements: to understand it requires a deep knowledge of the story. The piece ends with a memorable finale: the characters dance on a floating island that separates them from the continent. There are also some memorable words at the end: “Once upon a time there was a country.” Underground is actually a series of memorable events that condense our history, past events and traditions into one movie.

Make sure you check out the previous episodes of our East by KONNTRA series, in which the architecture studio collected inspiring books and Eastern European buildings, as well as places related to the studio’s milestones.


KONNTRA is an architectural studio operating in Slovenia, Macedonia and Croatia, founded in 2018 by Erik Jurišević, Mirjana Lozanovska and Silvija Shaleva. In connection with the presentation of their architectural projects, they have become known for their contemporary, characterful and colorful approach: their architectural collages involve the spatial experience related to the given space by involving all our senses. Symbolic associations, as a kind of graphic manifesto, provide an opportunity to understand the stories behind the spaces.

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In our newly launched East by series, we present Eastern European cities from the point of creatives. We gathered books, buildings, places and other creative content that offer a new perspective for exploring cities. In the series, we ask the architecture studios participating in Othernity, the exhibition of the Hungarian Pavilion of the 2021 Venice Biennale.

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