Balkans Festivals meeting to start a Balkan Artists Hub

8 June 2020

ArtLink, Belgrade and the European Festivals Association (EFA), organised the 1st Balkans Festivals Talks, at the pilot ZOOM Meet up, on Thursday, 4 June at 12:00 PM.

The idea was to initiate open consultations in order to share views and seek possible solutions about what matters to all of us the most – our festivals, our artists, and the very survival of all of us together in the time of crises.

Improving regional links and cooperation will give cultural creators in Western Balkans (WB) the strength and more opportunities to act on different levels: national, regional and European. It really is up to us - the people from the sector - to create a common strategy towards governments, donors and stakeholders at all levels.

As for the WB Region in the process of integration into the EU, regional cooperation is crucial, there is strong need to follow the existing EU initiatives for the recovery of the cultural sector - those coming from the sector itself as well as those coming from different stakeholders at the EU level. 

The substantial, untapped creative potential, that WB region has, needs the right tools to be developed and promoted on the regional, European and global level, especially now at the onset of the post-pandemic crisis. 

The imitators of this new regional platform have the clear goal to set up a mechanism for building a recognizable artistic excellence platform in the Region, through mobility of the artists and festival people, their programmes, their cooperation and common productions, all in order to reach the audiences in the Region and in the EU through a valuable cultural brand.

Creating a Regional strategy and approach, and embarking on an advocacy endeavour on both the regional and the EU level, will also enable us all to develop better and more effective tools to achieve our individual projects at national levels. Creating a shared regional platform for cooperation in the cultural sector can also be used as more powerful lever and a tool to attract support at national and local levels.

The initiators and the members of the regional consortium of this new regional platform and new model for cooperation the Balkan Artists Hub – BAH are: 

  • Ms Jovanka Višekruna Janković, ArtLink Artistic and Managing Director 
  • Ms Kathrin Deventer, EFA Secretary General 
  • Mr Darko Brlek, Director, Ljubljana Festival 
  • Mr Djuro Blanuša, Director of Regional Youth Cooperation Office RYCO
  • Ms Marija Reljić, Director, Belgrade Fortress
  • Ms Herida Duro, Director for EU integration in culture, the  Ministry of Culture, Republic of Albania as well 
  • as the festivals from the region ArtLink festival, Belgrade, Multicultural festival, Berat, Albania, Sarajevo Winter festival, Dam festival, Priština, Ohrid Festival Macedonia, Montenegro Music Center.