"Pokači documents the ritual performance of whipcracking, in the local Slovenian Tradition of the Pokači of Tržec. This custom is traditionally performed as part of carnival and other celebrations at the turning of the seasons. The huge sonic boom that is created by the four metre long hemp whips are variously said to scare away ghosts, dark and cold seasons and give notice of one’s presence.

The film was made during the springtime at the empty swimming complex on the Island of Mariborski Otok on the river Drava. The film edits together a rhythmic sequence of the performance of the Pokači, utilising the sound of the whip cracking in the natural ambience of the island. This film was made as part of the European Capital of Culture project ‘guestroom Maribor’ based at PEKARNA Magdalenske Mreže in the city of Maribor, Slovenia. 

Note: Audience are requested to stand for the screening of this work." - Artist Statement


Director: Matthew Cowan with the Pokači of Tržec
Produced with the assistance of guestroom Maribor, A European Capital of Culture project