July 2014 - Kick-off: Serbian Creative Europe Desk  

The conference Creative Europe Programme 2014-2020: Serbia and the Prospects of European Cooperation, June 30 till July 2, marked the first activity organised by the Serbian Creative Europe Desk, directedby the Ministry of Culture and Information. This desk will launch a series of activities that will take place from 2014 through to 2020, during which time the Creative Europe Programme will be implemented.

Palata Srbija, New Belgrade. In this impressive (historical) environment, we spent the first day of the conference.The building is used by the government of Serbia and currently houses several cabinet level ministries and agencies. It was formerly known as the Federal Executive Council of Yugoslavia.

While the first day of the conference introduced the Creative Europe grant scheme and gave local/regional voices of experience the floor, the second day of the conference was dedicated to key issues of the Creative Europe Programme: audience development, mobility and creative industries.

In this context, Res Artis was invited to contribute to a panel on how change in place creates change in awareness, and to inform about the current challenges of mobility into/out of and within Europe for the residency field. We were flanked on the panel by On the Move and smart Belgium.

Left to right: Lillian Fellmann, Res Artis, discussion moderated by Jovan Cekic, professor and artist, Marie Le Sourd, On the Move, and Julek Jurowicz, smartbe.be.

Res Artis’ main point during the panel discussion was to raise awareness towards the fact that when funding moves up from the national or local level to the supra-national level (the EU funding scheme), a gap or funding vacuum is being created with regard to local or national needs. How can the local translate into the supranational in a meaningful way? How can the role that local and regional funding schemes play - to overview and balance the cultural life they see develop - be replaced, and by whom?

Res Artis cited the case of Kultura Nova in Croatia (part of the EU since 2013) as a possible solution.

This foundation was established by the Croatian Government as an arm’s-length body with the mission to support civil society organizations in the field of contemporary arts and culture. It receives its funds from the lottery - it is public money, but does not directly from the national budget as it is the case with tax money. Although it is a governmental institution, the foundation is the result of the lobbing of the Croatian independent scene and it is also run by them.

This is an inspiring example of the public and cultural sector working together using the expertise of the cultural professionals to fill the gaps where needed – in this case, handing out local and regional grants. In time, the effect of such a body for the Croatian residency field can be that through (the otherwise missing) opportunity of regional networking,  residences might succeed to not just host residents from the richer countries of Europe and elsewhere but to also support the artistic and cultural production in their own and neighbouring countries.

The governmental venue we worked in on the second day at the Klub poslanika allowed for a slightly more intimate exchange between speakers and the audience.

The conference ends, people leave Klub poslanika after two days of encouraging and critical comments regarding the Creative Europe grant and the European collaboration it demands and offers.

In general doubts were raised at the conference whether smaller local and regional initiatives ever have the capacity and expertise to lift an EU grant application off the ground, and if they do and they get the funding, can they actually realize what they have promised and with what financial, organisational and personal risks or percussions? 

The Serbian Create Europe Desk, or the Ministry of Culture, is planning to advice and support grant writing and execution issues.

It was important to meet up again with residency programmes we know, and to talk to younger residency initiatives, like Krokodil and Nova iskra, in Serbia. Res Artis is in close contact with the Ministry of Culture and Information in Serbia to further monitor the development of the residency field, and to negotiate projects and cooperation. We are grateful for the MoC to have made it possible for the cultural space GRAD in Belgrade to join our network in 2012, and we hope to welcome many more in time. Maybe thanks to a Creative Europe grant.  

Other invited panellists were:

Vladimir Čajkovac, freelance curator, Zagreb, Croatia; The Deutsche Hygiene Museum, Dresden, Germany
Alma Selimović, Bunker, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Charlotte Tardy, Arty Farty (European Lab), Lyon, France
Per Voetman, Kulturkontakt Nord, Kopenhagen, Denmark
Emina Višnić, Pogon, Zagreb, Croatia
Violeta Simjanovska, Performing Arts Centre Multimedia, Skopje, Macedonia
Rita Heinama, Finnish Institute in Estonia, Finland
Laurence Barone, Relais culture Europe, Paris, France
Kristina Kujundžić, project manager, Joint Program of the Council of Europe and the European Commission on Cultural Routes
Stéphane Bauer, Kunstraum Kreuzberg/ Bethanien, Berlin, Germany
Anne Wiederhold, Brunnenpassage, Vienna, Austria
Steve Austen, permanent fellow Felix Meritis, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Marko Radenković, Nova iskra, Belgrade, Serbia
Vincent Carry, Arty Farty (Nuits sonores / European Lab), La Gaîté Lyrique, Lyon, Paris, France
Davor Bruketa, Bruketa&Žinić, Zagreb, Croatia

Ministry of Culture and Information



 For more questions about this event:

Please contact office@resartis.org