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Tandem Cultural Capitals: Connecting Novi Sad and European Cultural Scenes

‘Tandem is probably the best platform within which we can establish international cooperation. We easily connected with colleagues from other cities that were European Capitals of Culture or will hold this title, and with which we can exchange experience and launch projects’. That was the first impression of representatives of cultural institutions from Novi Sad and associations at the meeting held within the ‘Tandem Cultural Capitals’ international programme.

During the meeting in Rijeka, which is the first of phases of the programme, selected representatives of cultural institutions and organisations from seven former and future European Capitals of Culture met with colleagues, exchanged experience and formed partnerships within which they will work in projects with European dimension.

‘There were numerous interesting individuals and organisations, which was the reason why there wasn’t any problem to choose a partner, but somehow, we spontaneously connected. We managed to establish some basic principles of cooperation during the introductory meetings’, said Katarina Dajč from the ‘Scenatoria’ Association, with the Cultural Centre from Dudelange (Luxembourg), as a partner.

Having in mind that both organisations work on revitalisation and preservation of industrial heritage that turns into spaces for cultural-artistic contents, this will be the focus of their project. The ideas of the project will be applied on the selected object in Novi Sad in 2021, and in Dudelange in 2022.

Memorial Collection of Pavle Beljanski will work on the project with theatre from Esch-sur-Alzette (Luxembourg), which is a candidate city for the title of European Capital of Culture 2022. The project is aimed at development of interdisciplinary approach – how fine arts can be presented through theatre and vice versa, which will be presented in both ‘tandem’ cities.

‘It is very important that we joined the team within European Capital of Culture. We managed to connect with institutions in the region, and this is our chance to reach the whole Europe. We had significant examples that are related to team work, evaluations, team building and other useful information for planning. Another important thing is that at the moment, when we have database of organisations and institutions, we can establish partnerships with other colleagues that are part of the ‘Tandem’ programme, but were not present in Rijeka’, stressed Milana Kvas from the Memorial Collection of Pavle Beljanski.

In addition to the Memorial Collection and ‘Scenatoria’ Association, the ‘LAB Cultural Centre’ is being involved, and its representative, Stanislav Drča, established cooperation with ‘Kaunas Artists House’ organisation, which is being active in European Capital of Culture 2022 – Kaunas.

‘Organisation from Kaunas spontaneously has become partner because of the concept, idea and other values it shares with the LAB Cultural Centre. Numerous comparisons can be drawn, either between organisations, or between Novi Sad and Kaunas, which expanded wide range of possibilities regarding the direction of mutual cooperation. The plan of artistic exchanges with the focus on up and coming young artists, and one of the accompanying projects is the architectural mapping of cities with the special focus on contemporary architecture’, said Drča about ideas for joint project.

He added that the ‘Tandem’ programme offers better insight into work and functioning of European Capitals of Culture, and examples of good and bad practices.

‘Engagement and willingness for cooperation of all participants of the programmes will definitely bring interesting contents to Novi Sad and other European Capitals of Culture. We also have a chance to present tendencies of artistic and cultural scene of Novi Sad’, said Drča.

The ‘Tandem’ is the first programme of this type for the ‘Club of Students of Comparative Literature’, who strive to relocate literature from academic framework and bring it closer to wider audience, raising questions about art and culture, through debates, conferences and film nights. They established cooperation with the ‘Gomirje u Srcu’ organisation from Rijeka, with which they work on the idea for joint project.


‘This experience is important for us in order to see in which manner other organisations function and how we can apply their examples and experience in our work organisation. We have had different types of cooperation with organisations in the region so far, and now we could meet more potential partners at one place’. Those were the impressions of Ivana Perić from the Student Journalism Club.

During the second phase of the international programme, the ‘Tandem’ partners will host each other in their cities, i.e. European Capitals of Culture, in order to meet once again in Leeuwarden and present results of their visits, as well as ideas for new, joint projects from 19 until 22 November.

Progress in business, connecting with other colleagues, new ideas, launching joint cultural-artistic projects, are some of ideas of the ‘Tandem Cultural Capitals’ programme, partner projects of European Capitals of Culture: Leeuwarden (Netherlands), Galway (Ireland), Rijeka (Croatia), Eleusis (Greece), Kaunas (Lithuania), Veszprém (Hungary) and Novi Sad (Serbia), with the ‘Novi Sad 2021’ as the local project leader.

The ‘Tandem Cultrual Capitals’ programme from 2011 offers cultural contents, ideas and chance for cross-border cooperation in European projects in the field of culture, and 350 cultural managers from Europe, who work together on cultural-artistic projects and cooperate within the programme.


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