28This weekend, Novi Sad will be marked by the ninth art since the Comic Book City will revive comic book heroes through numerous exhibitions, workshops, and conferences in the finale of the European Capital of Culture, through Other? Europe programme arch, lasting until 27 November.
For the first time in Novi Sad, the famous comic book heroes, Mirko and Slavko, will welcome you along Despot Stefan Boulevard at the entrance of the District. The first Yugoslav national comic book about two boys, partisan couriers, will be presented for the first time at the exhibition ‘Mirko and Slavko – Never a Slave’, which is a product of the two biggest cities in Serbia, Belgrade and Novi Sad, i.e., the European Capital of Culture project and ‘DADOV’ Youth Theatre. As Nataša Mihailović Vacić, Secretary for Culture of The City of Belgrade, says, the essential role of culture is to network and unite people, and in that way, we interpret and understand different cultures and accept diversity.
‘I am pleased that the ‘Mirko and Slavko’ exhibition was included in the programme of the Comic Book City because they symbolise togetherness and the phenomenon that has survived. This exhibition in Novi Sad is a good reason to stress the importance of cultural exchange between Novi Sad and Belgrade. Now we also have the ‘Soko’ train that takes you to Belgrade and Novi Sad in half an hour, so that all cultural events and happenings are available to both citizens of Belgrade and Novi Sad. The citizens of Belgrade are already coming and talking about the Novi Sad District and everything that Novi Sad has to offer in the cultural sense,’ said Nataša Mihailović Vacić, Secretary for Culture of The City of Belgrade.
Dalibor Rožić, a member of the City Council in Charge of Culture of the City of Novi Sad, agreed with this. He also expressed satisfaction regarding the cooperation between the two cities, that is, the involvement of figures in the creation of quality cultural content, because, as he says, this is precisely the essence of the European Capital of Culture.
‘This interesting exhibition offers such content, and I am glad that the famous Mirko and Slavko are presented in a new way and are in the service of art and culture. We positioned culture in the significant place it belongs to and created an open space for communication, both with cultural institutions and the non-governmental sector. Let that ‘other’ Europe be the one that unites us and gathers around good projects and ideas,’ said Dalibor Rožić, a member of the City Council in Charge of Culture of the City of Novi Sad.
The upcoming weekend will also be marked by the most significant comics conference in the region, ‘Comics, Heritage and Contemporary Art’, which will gather world-famous authors such as comic book author Ulli Lust from Austria, Akinori Oishi from Japan, Aleksandar Zograf from Serbia, art critic Canan Marasligil from Turkey, Boris Stanić from Serbia, and the ‘Kuš!’ collective from Latvia, scientific researchers Yasco Horsman and Mathijs Peters from the Netherlands, editor of the visual journalism platform ‘Drawing the Times’ Eva Hilhorst, and drama artists and performers Karolina Spaić and Sebo Baker, and many others. The conference ‘Comics, Heritage and Contemporary Art’ is held as part of the Remix Comix project, supported by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union, within which visitors will have a chance to see the spatial installation ‘May the Children on the Street Play with Your Eyes’.
The ‘Film Front’ festival, which affirms the short original films and provides support to a new generation of filmmakers, also lasts until 30 October. As part of the festival, the first Novi Sad ‘zombie walk’ will be held, during which the participants’ make-up will be done by a team led by the special effects expert Miroslav Lakobrija.
‘The Diary of Max von Fafner’ exhibition opened in the Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina, including a cross-section of the works of author Saša Jovanović, will be an overture to the 16th Novi Sad Comics Weekend, taking place in Fabrika.
The Comic Book City also offers a music programme of contemporary alternative bands from Serbia and the region in the Novi Sad District. Therefore, we can expect concerts by Straight Mickey and the Boyz, Činčila, Lufthanza, Consecration, Stray Dogg, Keckec and Severtransi and many others.
A workshop, ‘Predić as a Comic Book Hero’, will be organised within the ‘Uroš Predić for Everyone’ project at the Liman Cultural Station in District, while all interested participants can apply via this link.
The Other? Europe programme arch presents the grand finale of the European Capital of Culture, and from 7 October to 27 November, with numerous programmes, it raises issues of dominant values in European culture and art and leads to the discovery of different, alternative, marginalised, minority and rebellious expressions.
Photo: Promo, V. Veličković