Jelena Pavlovic KC Grad

In our new column Meet a local we present interesting individuals from different professional fields living in Belgrade. The idea is to get to know some locals and their favorite neighborhoods and venues in the city.

Please introduce yourself to our readers:

Hi, dear readers of Still in Belgrade! I’m Jelena Pavlovic. I studied Yugoslav literature. For several years now, I’ve been involved in the production and promotion of events and projects related to art and culture. Currently I’m working as a PR of Grad – the European centre for culture and debate (KC Grad).

Has there been a new project lately?

In the middle of the Corona pandemic, when the Internet was the only source of communication with our audience, we created an online platform #AloneTogether and we’ve been constantly working on it for over a month now. It’s a program dedicated to promoting the arts and culture, so through discussions with esteemed artists and creators, we’re trying to support cultural activities and take a look at our common future. Mirko Ilic, Rajko Grlic, Slavimir Stojanovic Futro, Sonja Loncar and Andrija Pavlovic from LP Duo, Maja Cvetkovic from E-PLay, Tommaso Bonaventura and many other artists have joined us and it has been very interesting to hear their views of the future and opinions about position of art in the post-crisis period.

We’ve reached artists from various fields and different cities, and some of them have also given us recommendations for books, movies, and music – Aleksandra Stratimirovic from Sweden, Vuk Vidor from Paris, Jack Dimich from New York, but also our local artists Daniel Kovac, Marko Milosevic MKDSL, Ksenija Marinkovic, Marija Sevic, Dejan Krstic, etc. On Saturdays, we always have DJ live streams and concerts. Some of our guests have been Ana Curcin, Kralj Cacka, Mile Hund from Rijeka, Curses from Berlin…but also young representatives of the new punk scene proto tip, Sitzpinker, sv. Pseta…

Iconic Berlin photographer and Berghain bouncer Sven Marquardt have made a short film “Isolation” sharing his thoughts on the situation and we’ll see it this Friday at 9 PM on our youtube channel.

Also, KC Grad is an initiator of the spread of engaged posters against the Coronavirus which are designed by Mirko Ilic from NY, so after New York, Zagreb and Ljubljana, we will see them in Belgrade streets and bars.

I think that in these turbulent times we all need to be truly in love with this job, to be brave and smart, with originality highly focused and to be very patient. We have been artistically uncompromising, we’ve put a lot of effort and will in this and I think it’s been inspirational for both sides, but also for the audience. It’s very important to draw attention to the independent art scene and the position of artists in these crazy circumstances, I hope we can succeed in it to the extent our possibilities and knowledge allow us. 

German artist Sven Marquardt

What do you like about Belgrade?

I love its liveliness and defiance and the fact that it is constantly changing its face so I never know what to expect, it is both worrying and interesting for me to live in it. Belgrade is cracked in so many ways, but for me it’s always arty, urban, and so charming and cool in its imperfections and mixture of past and modern.

Where do you go out?

Most of my weekends are at KC Grad, but I also like to go to Cetinjska or clubs with good jazz. For clubbing there is usually 20/44. It will be interesting to see in which direction nightlife will go after the coronavirus.

Name 3 of your favorite restaurants in the city?

Restaurant 3, Šumatovac, Grmeč, but also small restaurants with cooked food for takeaway such as Soul Food at Dusanova Street or Moja Salata, for healthy salads.

Where do you drink coffee?

Usually at home or in the office of KC Grad. Now, when it is reopened, it will be nice to spend time there in the garden in the greenery next to the river. I don’t like sitting in cafes for too long, so I often drink takeaway coffee.

KC GRAD garden in Savamala

Where do you spend your leisure time?

When I have free time, I try to meet and explore the local contemporary art scene as much as possible. I am forced into the benefits provided by social networks and modern communication but sometimes real connection and talking are irreplaceable. I also try to do some sports activities, I always prefer swimming and long walks. I am not a person for disciplined trainings at gyms but this quarantine has given me some good daily home workout routines 🙂

Name your 3 favorite locations in Belgrade and justify your choice.

Belgrade terraces, roofs, and balconies a great way to see Belgrade from other perspectives and to be above the city 🙂 Also, pay attention to sculptures, old facades, and reliefs on the pre-war Belgrade buildings – amazing architecture.

Rivers and streets, for long walks

Contemporary Art Museums and galleries, for escapes from reality, for exploring the local and international scene and for the importance of listening to artists’ messages

From the Exhibition “NEXT” by Sven Marquardt, Art Weekend Belgrade,

Message to Belgradians for the post-crisis time

We can all choose how we live and how and what we think regardless of the political, social and/or economic system we live in. Although you might be in some problems, poverty, impossibility or any kind of adversity, always be your own, be free and authentic, and you’ll win, sooner or later. And I think we need to observe every situation maturely and open-mindedly, starting always from ourselves. And try to find art somehow, even when you are faced with troubles and difficulties, art is usually a great way to articulate one’s thoughts, expectations and rebellion.