40+ events in Serbia for European Year of Cultural Heritage
Over 40 events throughout Serbia are bringing cultural heritage sites and intangible heritage closer to the people as part of the European Year of Cultural Heritage (EYCH). Marina Rakić from the EU Info Centre in Belgrade and Tamara Butigan Vučaj from the National Library of Serbia tell us more.
At a launch event on 16 March, the head of the EU Delegation to the Republic of Serbia, Ambassador Sem Fabrizi, stressed the importance of the EYCH, pointing out that by cherishing cultural heritage, Europeans celebrate ‘the sense of belonging to the common space, values and principles that provide the foundation of Europe.’
‘Not only do we celebrate our rich past, but we have an excellent opportunity to give new impetus to creative industries and the information society and thus foster economic development. Above all, however, this is an opportunity to remind ourselves about what makes up our European identity,’ Fabrizi said.
A national aggregator for Serbia
The National Library of Serbia joined the launch of the EYCH campaign by promoting a new national aggregator for Europeana, set up at the end of February.
The national aggregator is made possible by Slovenian IT company Semantika and supported by the Ministry of Culture and Information, as part of national digital infrastructure, DARIAH Serbia. It is an important milestone for Serbia and has been recognised as such by the EU Delegation to the Republic of Serbia, which provided a small but valuable grant for the aggregator.
Assistant Minister of Culture, Dejan Masliković, said the process of digitisation of cultural heritage and contemporary art in Serbia had been ‘being conducted in a random manner.’ But, ‘many institutions have moved this process forward’ and as a result, Serbian libraries are now keeping pace with their EU counterparts when it comes to digitisation, he said.
Serbia is finally in a position to take a more active role in Europeana’s vision of transforming the world with culture by enriching Europeana Collections with more Serbian content. This national aggregator is the first from a non-EU part of Europe, setting an example that others could follow.
Exhibitions and events
A new photo exhibition - A journey through cultural heritage - showcases European and Serbian cultural heritage, using mostly items featured in Europeana Collections. Conceived as a ‘travelling exhibition,’ it will tour various cultural institutions in Belgrade before continuing its journey to other parts of Serbia.
Numerous other activities promoting cultural heritage are being implemented throughout Serbia, aimed at people of all ages, from creative workshops for kids on the topic of European art and history and guided tours of places of collective memory, to academic lectures on cultural relations between Serbia and Europe.
And in September 2018, the National Library of Serbia will organise Collection Days for Europeana Migration - asking the people of Serbia to share objects and documents that tell their family’s stories of migration.
A meeting of the EU Info Centre and Europeana in Serbia, March of 2018. Copyright EU Info Centre, CC BY-SA
This series of events is organised by the EU Delegation to Serbia and the EU Info Network - made up of the EU Info Centre in Belgrade and EU Info Points in Novi Sad (north Serbia) and Nis (south Serbia) - in cooperation with national partners.
Take a look at the lovely 2018 calendar that the EU Info Centre and the EU Delegation to Serbia made in collaboration with Europeana for the European Year for Cultural Heritage!