In our 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:
My name is Neva Lukić. I am an art historian, curator, and writer – I published several poetry
and short story collections, two picture books for children, and a radio play. I also collaborate with other artists on artworks close to literary performances, dramatic texts, or short films. I
come from Zagreb but in the last twelve years I’ve been living in other places as well, such as
Leiden, Den Haag, Rijeka, and finally – currently I live in Belgrade and work part-time for Hestia
Art Gallery & Exhibitions Bureau
. Hestia was founded by Anja Obradović. It is an interesting mix
of a commercial art gallery, an exhibition space, and an art residency.

Presentation of literary work in National Book Centre, Tirana, July 2023. 

Has there been a new project lately?
I am working on two books that are connected to Belgrade. The first one is the collection of poetic short prose that juxtaposes life in Zagreb and life in Belgrade. More can be read here –

The second one is the poetry collection which arises from the “Walking with Water “ project initiated by Biljana Ćirić and supported and developed by Balkan projects. It is the poetry that delves into the history and underground topography of the city of Belgrade. The poetry was performed by Nevena Radulovic in the interior garden of the Museum of Contemporary Art Novi Sad. Later it was transformed into the podcast that can be listened to here:

Finally, in Hestia currently on display, we have the exhibition “The Past in the Present” by
Michael Pappas & Mihailo Vasiljević. It remains on view until September 17. The exhibition
brings the works of two photographers belonging to a related civilizational and religious circle –
Greece and Serbia. What connects them is their interest in tradition.

Photo credit: Nemanja Nikolic

What do you like about Belgrade?
I like its turbulent history and the fact that is situated on two rivers which are both the points of
connection and separation of cultures and civilizations. I find it so seductive that on the one
side of the river you are standing in the area which was once part of the Ottoman empire
(Kalemegdan fortress, for example), and on the other side of the river, there is Zemun which
was an Austro-Hungarian city.

Where do you like to go out?
I usually go to the Berlin Monroe bar in Cetinjska or attend poetry and literature events in KC

Name 3 of your favorite restaurants in the city.
Šaran in Zemun – the best trout with almonds, Proljeće – delicious pumpkin moussaka, Klub
–heavenly celery and hazelnut veloute.

Where do you drink coffee?
Cafe bar Pobednik – the most beautiful view from Kalemegdan fortress; small coffee place
Užitak – I usually go there after my training, they have a very kind waiter and waitress; Mestašce
a very good place to work while listening to jazz music; Espresso bar – a great place for a short
stay, having a fast zip of coffee in an Italian way.

Where do you spend your leisure time?
Walking around Kalemegdan, taking a walk next to the rivers, or riding a bike all way up to

Name your 3 favorite locations in Belgrade and justify your choice.
Dorćol streets – The sound of swallows during spring and summer. Wandering around the
streets, entering small shops. Drinking coffee and buying flowers at the corners of the streets…,
or choosing vegetables at Bajloni market.
Tašmajdan Park is like a small oasis of trees in the middle of noisy streets. Like many other
parts of Belgrade, it also has an interesting history – the name “Tašmajdan” is derived from the
The Turkish name for a quarry (Turkish: taş, stone, and Meydan, the place where the stone is extracted, mine), so since Roman times stone extraction was recorded here. There are also several caves in Tašmajdan which people used as a shelter during various bombings of Belgrade.

Kosančićev Venac – One can walk on cobblestones while looking at the river. And there is
always sun on that side.

Featured photo by Sandro Lendler