Novi Sad is the winner of the European Trend Brand of the Year 2021, within the European Cultural Brand Awards 2021, the competition held for the 16th time in Dresden.
Novi Sad became the first city in this part of Europe that bore the title, having in mind that the winners have been from Western Europe such as Paris, Munich, Berlin, Oslo and others so far. Thanks to Novi Sad, Serbia found itself in the company of four Western European countries which, since the awards were given, have had their representatives – Germany, France, Italy, Norway.
A hundred and ten organisations, institutions and cultural institutions from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Belarus, France, Israel, Lithuania, Russia, Serbia and the Netherlands competed for the most prestigious European award in the field of culture, while the project ‘Novi Sad – European Capital of Culture’ in the category ‘European Trend Brand of the Year’ in the final selection of the expert jury defeated the Berlin organisation ‘Stiftung Zukunft Berlin’ and the Swiss digital platform for culture ‘SpectYou’. Among other laureates are Eliad Moreh-Rosenberg, curator and director of the Museum of Holocaust Art in Yad Vashem, The Dresden Symphony Orchestra, German Beethoven anniversary project BTHVN2020 and others.
The citizens of Novi Sad are now the bearers of the European award that their city received because of the new brands of culture that were founded in previous years – ‘Doček’ and ‘Kaleidoscope of Culture’ and a network of cultural stations. Within the project ‘Novi Sad – European Capital of Culture’, ‘Doček’ and ‘Kaleidoscope of Culture’ have positioned themselves in the previous four years as Novi Sad brands that have set a new approach to culture, connecting different cultural actors and organising and implementing events. New brands have raised production capacities, while the network of cultural stations has expanded the spatial capacities and opened new possibilities for artists but also has encouraged the development of the audience in various parts of the city and its surroundings.
‘The key determinant of this victory is the culture of togetherness because rarely is any award the merit of an entire city. The citizens of Novi Sad got it because they believed, supported and worked together to create so much new, different and better quality in the field of culture that Europe recognised it again. Another European title for Novi Sad is not the only measure of success, but it is important because every big dream goes through doubts, refutations, of which the most dangerous is an implication. Thanks to the scene and the citizens of Novi Sad, Novi Sad has gained measurable value and immeasurable positive reputation with the title of the best European trend brand in the field of culture, not only for our city but for the whole of Serbia,’ said Nemanja Milenković, the CEO of the ‘Novi Sad – European Capital of Culture Foundation’.
Being the legacies that should remain in the city even after the title year of the European Capital of Culture, the programme arch ‘Doček’ turned the New Year’s Eve from a mere party to a celebration that includes two celebrations of New Year’s Eve, two ways of measuring time, two alphabets, two forms of art – visual and performing arts, celebrating the cultural diversity, as one of the main epithets of Novi Sad, while the ‘Kaleidoscope of Culture’ as a yearlong project set new cultural practices based on the culture of togetherness, which connect institutions, organisations, artists, volunteers and the public.
The network of cultural stations preserved and revitalised the cultural and industrial heritage of the city and put it in the service of culture and art, activated spaces in surrounding places and remote parts of Novi Sad and thus established new practices of cultural decentralisation that can be an example to other cities. The network of cultural stations currently includes eight spaces and one mobile cultural station – Caravan.
‘Doček’ and ‘Kaleidoscope of Culture’ are two of the eight programme arches that further develop the programme concept of the ‘Novi Sad – European Capital of Culture’ project for 2022. The opening ceremony of the European Capital of Culture on 13 January, i.e. the play ‘Zeniteum :: 2022’, will be organised as part of ‘Doček’, while the programme itself will be a kind of overture on 31 December, which will be a kind of homage to the great Serbian scientist Nikola Tesla, through performing and visual arts. The ‘Kaleidoscope of Culture’ is planned for the period 1 September – 7 October 2022.
You can find more information about the European Capital of Culture 2022 programme on the following link.
Foto: Jürgen Männel