The significant stepping stone in Danilo’s artistic journey was the Kültüř gemma! scholarship. In 2020, he was selected to be one of the five scholars for that year with the project “Stories about hugs”. It was an amazing and prestigious opportunity to enter Vienna cultural space and set a strong foundation for his future artistic development. 

Kültüř gemma! is a project aimed at  promotion of migrant* artistic work,awarding four free work grants and four fellowships to Viennese cultural institutions every year. In addition to the financial and non-material support of individual projects, kültüř gemma! sees itself as a cultural networking platform. The goal is to establish migrant positions in the predominantly white* cultural scene as a matter of course and to do justice to the plurality of the city in cultural life as well.

Kültüř gemma! celebrated its ten anniversary with a special edition of Parabol art magazine curated by Gürsoy Doğtaş. Danilo’s work was presented in this issue together with other Kültüř gemma! scholars and fellows.

“Stories about Hugs” (2020) was a physical theatre play that conveyed the stories of gay/queer migrant* men in Vienna. Through movement and spoken word, the play highlighted vulnerability and deconstructed the role of a “real man” and manhood. Stories and themes amongst the gay community which are less visible were presented through questioning stereotypes, racism, migration, social networks and online dating, sex, HIV etc. Two bodies on the stage flowed from softness and sensitivity til tension and anger. Intimacy and exposure in between two men. “Stories about Hugs” were saying that there are so many different ways to hug someone, to be there for the other. The piece was questioning migration from the point of home that was left behind.

How the fact that we migrated is affecting the ways of building relations with other men? What is the danger of a “single story”? 

“Our history, background, experiences are much more than what you’ve seen in the media or internet.” 

“Stories about Hugs” aim is to show that behind each sexualy objectifed male  body there’s a vulnerable, real and authentic being.

“Can I rest in your hug for a while?“ 

Direction and screenplay

Danilo Jovanović

Stage partners and content co-creators: 

Noël Iglessias and Danilo Jovanović


Flávia Mudesto

Light design: 

Flávia Mudesto


Iva Olo; 


Sound assistant: 

Flávia Mudesto

Visual identity: 

Vanja Lazić


Luiz Lima

Video production: 

Barbara Palomin, Miae Son & Ipek Hamzaoğlu

Supported by: Kültür Gemma!