SERBINALE: ABOUT THE INVISIBLE
Festival of New Serbian Arts and Culture, Berlin, 29. August – 1. September 2013
The first Festival of New Serbian Arts and Culture Serbinale is taking place in Berlin this summer. During the four-day festival, German audience gets to see a new and different face of Serbia – young, authentic artists who are fighting for their own visibility trying to emerge from the shadow of the political situation in their country and the shadow of cultural clichés about the Balkans.
SERBINALE seeks to assert the values of multi-culturalism through instigation of cultural exchange and partnership between Serbian and German cultural scene. Exchange focuses on young artists, but also on organizations that are active in the field of promotion, creation and support of arts and culture, both in Serbia and in Germany. Serbinale is based on a conviction that the trigger for social, political and economic change lies in arts and culture. Main goal of the project is to ascertain the idea of multiculturalism through incitement of active cultural exchange and partnership between German and Serbian art-scene.
In Berlin, as well as in other German cities there is no Serbian Cultural Center and the Embassy of the Republic of Serbia and its consulates don’t have budgets, capacity, nor interest to deal with this issue. Due to lack of finantial support from state bodies and sponsors, fully financed by private donations and it’s organized not as a low-budget event, but almost as an event with no budget at all. This is why Serbinale 2013 is starting in a humble scale, but with a tendency to grow and expand its program to a higher proportion.
The main framework of the first Serbinale – “About the Invisible” points to the fundamental problem of Serbian contemporary art, which is, as such, barely recognized, and almost invisible in the international arena, but also in the country. Most of the contemporary artists in Serbia are victims of the state cultural policy, which is not interested in promoting new art. Despite, or perhaps because of this, young artists create everyday extraordinary, engaged pieces of art and therefore valuable, but fragmentary cultural heritage.
As a country, Serbia hasn’t really mastered the techniques of building a positive image. On the other hand, even though Germany is one of the most important economic and political partner, the image of Serbia in Germany and in the rest of the world is very poor. Foreign media is mainly occupied with the controversial state politics, while there are almost no reports on other aspects of the society. With culture, it’s pretty much the same. Only a few names are known beyond borders of Serbia and the region, while a whole generation of artists is stays invisible at the international level. Serbinale calls for consideration of marginalized art groups, the role of the government in creation and presentation of art, the generation which is in the shadow and its emergence from the invisible.
The first edition of Serbinale includes four segments – film, fine and applied arts, music and scientific discussion, spanning 3 locations: Kino Babylon, General Public Gallery & Urban Spree. Details about the program can be found here.
Main Belgrade museums have been closed for years due to renovation, there are a very few private galleries and art spaces, state budget for arts projects has been extremly redused, and recent protest of cultural workers and creatives did not bring any constructive change. Exhibition BBB # 1 – BerlinBelgradBrücke, curated by Erik Herkrath represents a symbolic cultural bridge between the two cities and examines the dire state of art from the perspective of four artists: Goran Micevski, Ivan Petrovic, Slobodan Stosic and Saša Tkačenko.
Side effects exhibition is carefully designed collection of high quality graphics created by inspiring young authors intended for true lovers of contemporary art. Side effects gives voice to the new generation of Serbian artists who create works of great production quality and aesthetics, using modern tools to express their views. The official website of the exhibition will be launched at the opening. Authors: Biskoteka, Bratislav Milenković, Jovan Trkulja, Lazar Bodroža, Mane Radmanović, Milica Pantelić, Nenad Trifunović, Sretan Bor, Stefan Unković i Željko Lončar. Project was initated by Begrade design studio Metaklinika and Nova Iskra design Incubator.
In the “New Serbian Film” program, selected by director Ivan Ikić, some international award-winning pieces of new Serbian cinematography are presented: Clip (Maja Milos), Tilva Roche (Nikola Ležajić) The Box (Andrijana Stojkovic), Ordinary People (Vladimir Perisic), Cinema Komunisto (Mila Turajlić), Life and Death of a Porno Gang (Mladen Djordjevic).
In the clash of music cultures, Serbian and German artists meet: international jazz ensemble Damir Outloud, consisting of eight Berlin-based musicians from five different countries and led by Damir Backin, trumpet player from Serbia. A party connecting Belgrade and Berlin is hosting two performers: Tijana T, Serbian multi-talent living in Belgrade, locally and internationally recognized as a vocalist, DJ and TV presenter, alongside with Jenne Grabowski, Berlin-based DJ, one of the tour DJ’s of The Whitest Boy Alive and publisher of the German JB magazine.
Discussion “Ostfrauen: Life beyond the clichés ” deals with deconstruction of the dominant stereotype that Eastern European women want to get to Germany at any costs: they are feminine, sexy and blonde, they marry Germans because of the money, and Google entry for „eastern european women“ results in countless dating services. Interdisciplinary artist and cultural activist Tanja Ostojic and glam fashion blogger and jurnalist Danijela Pilić are discussing how and in what ways successful, happy and women from Eastern Europe living in Germany are struggling with this cliché.
Do these artists deserve to become visible? Will Serbia create and maintain the new cultural heritage? Will Serbia ever make a positive image? It must be a perfect way to discover through SERBINALE.
More information on http://serbinale.org/