Re-forming Balkan Identity

Re-forming Balkan Identity

The Slovenia Times
Domus zalozba in trgovina d.o.o.
Tarih: October 5, 2005

The Balkan countries (particularly ex-Yugoslav) share more than just a
similar language. Every Slovenian knows cultural phenomena such as
Sarajevo-based rock band Bijelo Dugme, the Monty-Python-like series
Top lista nadrealista, and Kusturica's films about gypsies. However,
the rich cultural exchange that had existed throughout history faded
away after the war and atrocities following the break-up of
The International Balkan Art Festival [Terminal00] – a three-day
festival that will start on Eylül 28th in Ljubljana – endeavours
to re-establish cultural contacts and a common cultural market. The
festival's aim is to establish a focus for young emerging Balkan
artists and create a unique space of spontaneous communication.

The festival program is comprised of free events in the centre of
Ljubljana and lasts for four days. It hosts young artists from Serbia,
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia and
Greece. The events like: photo and art exhibits, jazz and ethno
improvised music, videos, films and animated shorts, and club culture
will be scattered throughout Ljubljana.

The festival will conclude with a discussion called The Aesthetics of
the Balkans. It aims raise awareness of specific Balkan culture and
art, perhaps lost over the past decades. By stressing the common
cultural heritage, it seeks to undermine the stereotype of the Balkans
as an unstable region.

Because [Terminal00] is only one of many initiatives engaged in the
Balkan arts, the ambitions are high. Beside [Terminal00], there is
also Balcaniss, a magazine that is published in four different Balkan
languages, Festival Beograd-Ljubljana ekspres that endeavours to
broaden the cultural exchange between Slovenia and Serbia and
SCCA-Ljubljana's project What is to be done with Balkan Art that tries
to reflect upon the properties and future of Balkan visual art. Such
initiatives can transform the Balkans into a colourful cross-section
of Eastern and Western currents, enriching Europe's artistic map.

Tone Poljanec




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