Provocative, rebellious, free, versatile, insolent – exhibitions, plays, debates, literature, poetry, music, as well as the women who create them are all that and much more. A woman is more than a variety of epithets. A woman is not a mould. A woman is not a stereotype.
The multi-faceted personality of every woman, breaking down stereotypes and prejudices, through diverse artistic expression, will be presented in this year’s European Capital of Culture, in Novi Sad, as part of the new Heroines programme arch. In the next month, from modernised tradition to activism, Serbian Athens will show the development and influences of women’s emancipation throughout Europe.
Mileva Marić Einstein, Milica Stojadinović Srpkinja, Marija Trandafil, Milica Tomić, Nadežda Petrović and Isidora Žebeljan are just some of the heroines of Serbian and European creativity, who are the inspiration for today’s heroines – visual artists, actresses, playwrights, directors, journalists, musicians, activists, and many others.
From the heroine on the accordion Neža Torkar, who will premiere the work of the prominent Iranian composer Arshia Samsaminia entitled ‘Matica’ on 18 May at the Synagogue, to the legendary heroine of the performance Katalin Ladik, who will promote her autobiography ‘Can I Live on Your Face?’ on 20 May, and the premiere of the play ‘Mileva’ on 26 May, whose author is one of the most influential regional directors, Anica Tomić. Incredible six domestic and regional playwrights joined their creative forces in this work – Tijana Grumić, Vedrana Klepica, Olga Dimitrijević, Minja Bogavac, Vedrana Božinović and Jelena Kovačić.
The Fairy of Fruška Gora (‘Vila’)
Some of the most important European heroines of art will gather at the first festival called ‘Vila’ (English fairy), in the heart of the oldest national park, Fruška Gora, in Vrdnik, from 3 to 5 June. Gothic fairy Tarja Turunen, classical music fairies – violinist Simone Lamsma and violist Tabea Zimmermann, four fairies that make up the band Warpaint, as well as the regional fairies Natali Dizdar and Kaliopi, the fairy of Yugoslav theatre Anica Dobra and many others will be part of the unique experience this festival will offer in a magical ambience through various contents – plays, concerts, dance performances, poetry, film, gastronomy, rock camp for girls, as well as programmes for the youngest. Admission is free.
Who is a Woman in the 21st Century?
Singer Ida Prester, illustrator Andrijana Vešović better known as Zombijana, actresses Nataša Ninković, Jasna Đuričić, Gordana Đurđević Dimić, Emina Elor, authors Tanja Stupar Trifunović, Ivana Bulatović and Ivana Maksić, are just some of the heroines who will, through various programmes, such as The Autonomous Festival of Women and the ‘ARS E FEMMINA’ project, raise the issue of the position of women in the 21st century. The literary festival ‘Heroines at the Zenith’ and the multimedia exhibition ‘European Women’s Memory’ about the history of the Women’s Liberation Movement in Europe will also contribute to Novi Sad becoming the capital of women’s activism in June.
Six Exhibitions in Four Days
From 18 to 21 May, as many as six exhibitions will be opened, showing the multi-faceted nature of every woman, in key cultural institutions of visual art in Novi Sad – ‘The Partisan and Fragonard. Collection of Jovanka Broz’ in the Gallery of Matica Srpska, ‘Heroines of the Pavle Beljanski Memorial Collection’, ‘Feminist Avant-Garde’ in the Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina, ‘The Shawl as a Cultural Signifier’ in the Museum of Vojvodina, ‘Female Thread’ Atelier 61 in the Creative District, as well as the exhibition ‘From a Woman’s Perspective’ in Sremski Karlovci.
Erste Bank is the partner of the Heroines programme arch.
Photo: Jelena Ivanović, Otto van den Toorn, Vladimir Veličković, Promo