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News 08 Oct 13

Switzerland Puts Balkan Culture in Focus

This year’s Culturescapes festival will take art, music, films, theatre, dance and literature from the Balkans to Switzerland and also bring Swiss culture to the region.

Nemanja Cabric
Culturescapes 2013 press conference at KC Grad in Belgrade | Photo by Nemanja Cabric

The Balkans are of special interest because many people from the region now live in Switzerland, said Jurriaan Cooiman, director of the Culturescapes festival, which from October 19 to December 12 will bring Balkan arts and culture to a series of Swiss cities.

“For the first time the festival is not focusing solely on one country but instead on a whole region. We are interested not only in cultural products but also in the culture of remembrance that Swiss citizens that come from this region nurture,” said Cooiman at a press conference in Belgrade.

The 11th annual Culturescapes festival will include more than 300 separate cultural events in Aarau, Bellinzona, Bern, Boswil, Bieal, Chur, Genf, Luzern, Moutier, Scual, Thun, Winterthun and Zurich.

Artists from Switzerland will in turn take part in events in cities across Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia.

Swiss theatre audiences will have the chance to watch some of the most striking plays produced in the region such as ‘Oni Zive’ (‘They Live’) by Maja Pelevic and Milan Markovic from Serbia and ‘Hypermnesia’ by Selma Spahic from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Regional writers will present their work at special editions of Belgrade’s Krokodil literature festival that will take place in Basel and Zurich.

Balkan musicians such as S.A.R.S. and The Black Panthers from Serbia, Damir Imamovic and Dubioza Kolektiv from Bosnia, Rambo Amadeus from Montenegro and many more will have a chance to play in Switzerland's concert halls and clubs.

At the same time, cinemas will screen the latest films from the Balkans, while universities in Basel and Zurich will organise lectures and conferences.

Meanwhile prominent artists from Switzerland will take up artist-in-residence positions in the Balkans during the festival: Mats Staub will be in Belgrade, Matthies Liechti in Cetinje, Sebastien Verdon in BanjaLuka, Peter Schpillmann and Susanne Schar in Tirana, Almut Rembges in Bitola and Michaela Muller in Zagreb.

From October 11 to 19, a festival called Swiss Music Days will also take place in Belgrade, Zagreb, Ljubljana, Novi Sad, Skopje and Tirana, featuring performances by Swiss bands Kocher-Badrutt, Stefan Thut, Diatribes and many more, supported by bands from local scenes.

Culturescapes Balkans 2013 will open on October 19 in Basel and close on December 12 in Bern. More information about all the events can be found on its website: http://www.culturescapes.ch.


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