The eighth Mikser Festival, the largest regional festival of creativity and innovation, will be held for the fifth time in the Savamala neighborhood of Belgrade, from the 8th to 12th June 2016 at more than 40 locations with the participation of some 1,000 creators. This year’s Mikser Festival comes under the slogan “Sensitive Society”, and will be characterized by themes of gender equality and female creativity, social equality, open dialogue, multiculturalism and more efficient conflict resolution.
The focus of this year’s Mikser Festival is threefold. In the limelight right there under the umbrella of issues of “sensitive society“ are female creativity and gender equality, as well as the refugee crisis and possible directions for integration into European society, and, lastly, the opening of a platform for the exchange of knowledge and ideas.
With these three underlying tenets, Mikser Festival aims to explore the social concepts by way of which citizens and creative professionals can influence current social processes to improve the quality of everyday life, pave the way for more hands on cooperation with sensitive and vulnerable groups, and promote humane values, empathy and love.
Female creativity and equality between male and female principles, which are different in character but of equal value, are topics that will take up the majority of the program of this year’s Mikser Festival. A number of exhibitions, presentations, debates, performances, and films will present the visionary ideas of female authors to the public, especially in the fields of architecture and design. Whilst these seem to have contributed considerably to the improvement of our everyday lives, their contribution remains insufficient or completely unappreciated.
Female creativity will also be presented via the media of film, a music program dedicated to female artists as well as through the Mikser Talks, in that the discussion will cover topics such as the role of women in modern society and the obstacles they face in everyday life.
The program will be divided into several segments, including Mikser Talks, exhibitions, workshops, lectures, debates, performances, music, children and youth programs, Mikser Cinema, with the common denominator of all programme being the removal of boundaries based on gender, age, racial, ethnic, religious or cultural differences that people face.
Guided by the principles of “ingenuity”, humanity and empathy, the Mikser Festival program will draw attention to other sensitive groups of the modern world in addition to women. The Festival is dedicated to “Sensitive Society” in order to try to uncover, develop and promote different approaches to the development of a society that more often than not integrates the views and opinions of marginalized groups .
Following on from the efforts that began in August 2015 to run Refugee Aid Miksalište, the 2016 Mikser Festival will be looking at topics of integrating the refugees into the European society and humanizing the refugee crisis. Through various programs and competitions for the design of concepts for humanity in exile, the Festival will present ways in which design can influence the crisis resolution. Through workshops, the first steps in the integration process will be presented, while the exhibition program will endeavour to bring the audience closer to the personal stories of the people who pass through our city on a regular daily basis. Also, Mikser Talks this year will be dedicated to sensitive cities, continuing to spread the idea of citizen participation in the processes of city development and solving urgent problems through an open dialogue between citizens, organizations and public authorities.
The creativity by talents from across the region will be presented by Mikser’s platforms such as the “Young Balkan Designers” competition that was announced by the Balkan Design Network to be held this year under the slogan “New Analogue,” as well as the international competition “Ghost Project”, a call for young women’s bands in cooperation with Mascom Records entitled the “Female Element”, and the “Black Box” exhibition under the title “Erasing the Past” which will be implemented this year in cooperation with the Faculty of Applied Arts after it was successfully introduced for the first time at the last year’s Mikser Festival.
Dragana Kostica is the Belgrade-based editor in chief and founder of Still in Belgrade art, culture and club scene magazine. She holds a Master of Arts in Cultural Policy and Management in Arts (MA of Arts) and a Bachelor degree in Archaeology.