From the Award for the Best European Capital of Culture to the Sixth Doček
Serbian Athens has become one of the most successful European Capitals of Culture. Novi Sad has successfully brought 2022, the most important year in the 21st century for the history of the city’s cultural development, to an end. Thanks to the Melina Mercouri International Prize, which the European Commission awards to the most successful European Capitals of Culture, Novi Sad will once again celebrate its authentic interculturality through Doček.
‘Summarising the results of the largest European project in culture, we can only proudly conclude that the effects of the undertaken activities are permanent. We managed to solve very important long-standing issues. Novi Sad received a new building of the Music and Ballet School and the first real concert hall, a new face of the Suburbium of the Petrovaradin Fortress, the District and cultural stations that achieved the goal of cultural decentralisation through active work. In our work, we included figures from different spheres of the social communities and together with them, we created a cultural policy, as well as programmes that were recognised and evaluated as the best at the European level. With Doček that we are announcing today, we are entering the final stage of the European Capital of Culture project. This, however, does not mean that there will be less culture in our city, we will continue to develop it,’ said the member of the City Council for Culture, Dalibor Rožić.
‘Although Doček has already positioned itself as a unique artistic celebration of two New Years in Europe, it continues to improve,’ said the CEO of the Novi Sad – European Capital of Culture Foundation, Nemanja Milenković. ‘Doček successfully started the title year, that’s how we want to round it off too. We dedicated a memorable performance to Mileva Marić Einstein, Milutin Milanković and Nikola Tesla at the opening of the European Capital of Culture. This time, we are dedicating three unforgettable new media exhibitions to the giants of Serbian and world science, hitherto unseen in this area. In addition, Doček continues to nurture Novi Sad’s duality which connects two-time measurements, two calendars, two alphabets etc. In two days — two arts. Combining visual and performing arts, local artists and artists from all over the world will give us unforgettable experiences on 31 December in the Suburbium of the Petrovaradin Fortress and on 13 January throughout the city, at numerous locations,’ he added.
On Saturday, 31 December, we can expect the famous British trio Kosheen, followed by the winners of the BRIT Award – the group Stereo MC’s, a favourite of Berlin clubs, DJ Biesmans, one of the biggest and most popular vocal groups in the world – Perpetuum Jazzile, as well as famous local alternative bands Repetitor, Obojeni Program, Monohrom, and others.
Friday, 13 January, will be marked by, among others, one of the greatest contemporary jazz pianists, Tigran Hamasyan, the Dutch musical diva of Iranian origin, Sevdaliza, this year’s representative of Serbia at Eurovision and winner of the Elle Style Awards recognition for the year 2022, Konstrakta, indie rock stars Shortparis, one from the most recognised European world music violinists Lajkó Félix, classical music virtuosos Ke Ma and Shihan Wang, African R’n’B princess Nneka, the legendary YU Grupa with an unplugged session, the world-famous band Divanhana and the new star of the alternative scene Sana Garić.
While the brilliant minds of Mileva and Milutin will shine through the visual work of artist Dušan Jovović, PhD, in the City Museum of Novi Sad and Studio M, Tesla Light Gallery will enliven the Suburbium through the work of independent artists, including Chida Yasuhiro from Japan, one of Artdex’s 9 Brilliant Light Artists You Need to Know, Pavla Beranova from the Czech Republic, winner of the awards for interactive installations and the best lighting design, and Dorijan Kolundžija, who runs the ‘Galerija 12’ Future Media Studio, associated with the Museum of the Future in Dubai, as well as The Union of Associations of Fine Artists of Vojvodina (SULUV) and others. On 13 January, together with the performers, renowned artists including director Aleksandar Nikolić, artist Dejan Stojkov, two professors from the Faculty of Technical Sciences, Mia David and Tanja Milovanović, and institutions such as the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad and many others, will all work to turn the concerts into experiences.
The European Capital of Culture year was marked by more than 4,000 events, 6,000 artists from more than 35 world and European countries, as well as close to 500 partners from various fields, whose support was a key factor in the viability of legacy projects such as Doček. One such partner is Erste Bank, which is now the exclusive partner of the ‘Mileva’ exhibition.
‘We are proud and happy that our bank has been recognised as a strategic partner of programmes and projects in the field of culture and art in our country. Nurturing tradition, but also opening the door to new forms and content makes our lives more beautiful and fulfilling. Together with the residents of Novi Sad and their guests, we enjoyed numerous, extremely interesting, innovative and inspiring content. It was this exact idea of an exhibition dedicated to the life and work of Mileva Marić Einstein that inspired us and encouraged us to immediately support the Novi Sad – European Capital of Culture Foundation. The power of female work, knowledge, perseverance, talent and creativity is present throughout our history, and yet too little is known about it. We believe that such an inspiring exhibition will tell and convey how challenging it was to be different, ahead of one’s time, and to fight for one’s beliefs and ideas,’ said Aleksandra Kosanović Strižak, Erste Bank’s Director of Marketing and Communications.
Admission to the programmes on 31 December, in the Suburbium of the Petrovaradin Fortress, is free, while tickets at a promotional price for the programmes on 13 January will be available from 9 December over Gigs Tix both in-store and online.
Photo: Vladimir Veličković, Marko Ristic, Marie Staggat, Rein Kooyman, Promo