When historians come to write the definitive cultural history of the 2010s, it could well be that the selfie will play a leading role. Very much an invention of that decade, the phenomenon looks set to remain an integral part of human culture for decades to come.
Indeed, so ubiquitous have selfies become and so integral to daily life, that there are now 20 cities around the world hosting ‘selfie museums’ dedicated to the simple act of taking photos of ourselves.
The Serbian capital Belgrade recently became one of those cities, only the second in emerging Europe (there is another selfie museum in Budapest).
Created by Jelena Obrenović Damnjanović, the museum in the Novi Beograd district of the city offers a variety of installations in a unique exhibition where visitors can go from room to room to take selfies in 20 different places including a dark prison cell with bars, a white bathtub with golden balls, a mermaid’s tail, a large pool full of pink balls, a room with colourful ice cream and several other installations designed to resemble the bottom of the sea, clouds, the top of a building. Optical illusions play a key role in the museum.
Imaginative and interactive, the rooms are arranged to be visually attractive, well lit and full of colours, serving as the perfect set for capturing photographs whose authors hope they trend the second they are posted to social media.
Ms Damnjanović says that she was lucky to have the example and experience of such museums in other countries, noting that she had many inspirations since “we already live in a world of innovation.”
All you need to bring when visiting the museum is your smartphone, enthusiasm and creative energy. And your (smaller) pet since the place is animal-friendly.
If you’re one of those people who prefers photos to be taken the old way, the museum’s assistants can, of course, help you with that.
“At the museum, people of all generations can make their own art, take funny photos and video clips, display their creativity and have fun,” says the museum’s PR manager, Sanja Radan, adding that the exhibition is adapted to Instagram and its users.
The Selfie Museum is located in Novi Beograd, Belgrade, and open for visitors from 1pm to 10pm on weekdays and from 10am to 10pm on weekends, with entry until 9pm. You can find at 155 Jurija Gagarina Street in the Novi Beograd district. Entry costs 300 dinars.
Photo: Selfie Museum Belgrade