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Latest Culture and Lifestyle News from the Balkans

montenegro-s-eurovision-contestant-sparks-controversy-04-20-2017
21 Apr 17

Montenegro Eurovision Singer Hits Wrong Note Back Home

Slavko Kalezic, Montenegro's entry for the Eurovision song contest, may have wowed some international audiences with his provocative appearance - but it has appalled many people at home who deem it an insult to traditional values. 

albanian-alps-draw-outdoor-sports-enthusiasts-to-western-kosovo-04-15-2017
18 Apr 17

‘Albanian Alps’ Draw Outdoor Sports Enthusiasts to Western Kosovo

The scenic Prokletije mountain range draws hikers, climbers and other mountain sports enthusiasts, with the Alpine Club Pristina organising tours in the region every weekend, led by experienced guides.

albanian-pensioner-finds-new-life-in-endless-marathons-04-13-2017
17 Apr 17

Albanian Pensioner Finds New Life in Endless Marathons

Sotir Qiriaqi found salvation from life’s disappointments in running marathons - and now, aged 71, has clocked up more than 20,000 kilometers and won legions of fans.

albanian-famous-writer-seeks-opeing-of-his-secret-files-under-communism-04-12-2017
12 Apr 17

Kadare Demands to See Albanian Communist Police File

One of Albania’s best-known writers, Ismail Kadare, said that he wants to see his secret police file to find out who spied on him during the Communist era.

belgrade-film-festival-going-strong-03-25-2017
31 Mar 17

Belgrade Film Festival Going Strong

The 64th annual Belgrade Documentary and Short Film Festival once again showcases some of the country's brightest young cinematic talents.

protected-status-of-bulgarian-historical-town-questioned-03-30-2017
31 Mar 17

Town's Move to Lose 'Protected' Status Shocks Bulgarians

An attempt by the authorities in the 'museum town' of Koprivshtitsa to do away with its 'protected' status has horrified many Bulgarians, starting with the country's President.

dance-festival-brings-russian-ballet-legend-to-belgrade-03-23-2017
24 Mar 17

Dance Festival Brings Russian Ballet Legend to Belgrade

The 14th installment of Belgrade’s prestigious and popular Dance Festival is already slated to be the biggest and most widely-attended iteration to date.

initiative-to-ban-albanian-communist-movies-couse-backlash-03-15-2017
16 Mar 17

Proposed Ban on Albanian Communist Films Sparks Backlash

The Institute for Communist Crimes argues that banning Communist-era films from television would reduce nostalgia for the old regime, but movie buffs say it’s an attack on the country’s cinematic heritage.

croatia-art-historians-claiming-robin-hood-ruining-dubrovnik-03-10-2017
10 Mar 17

'Robin Hood' Filmmakers Accused of Damaging Dubrovnik

Croatian art historians accuse authorities in Dubrovnik of allowing filmers of the Hollywood blockbuster Robin Hood: Origins to damage the heritage of world-famous city.

bosnia-approves-military-equipment-for-film-on-controversial-croatian-wartime-general-03-07-2017
08 Mar 17

Bosnian Army’s Role in Croatian General Movie Criticised

Serb war veterans condemned the Bosnian Army’s decision to allow a production company to use its tanks and military equipment to shoot a film about the life of controversial Croatian general Ante Gotovina.

enfant-terrible-of-croatian-theatre-continues-to-shock-02-27-2017
27 Feb 17

Enfant Terrible of Croatian Theatre Continues To Shock

A decade on, Oliver Frljic is still challenging theatre audiences across Europe, as well as in the Balkans, using plays to confront the nationalist mythology of post-Yugoslav societies.

fest-remains-serbia-s-most-vital-and-provocative-film-festival-02-15-2017
23 Feb 17

FEST Remains Serbia's Most Vital and Provocative Film Festival

Easily the most popular and substantial Serbian festival for many years running, the 45th instalment of FEST will surely not disappoint its fans this year either.

croatian-filmmakers-had-enough-of-politics-02-17-2017
20 Feb 17

Croatian Film-Makers Campaign Against Political Interference

Croatian directors and actors are launching a campaign urging the authorities not to change the current system of state movie financing in order to impose political influence on the country’s film industry.

bosnian-stolen-artworks-database-to-fight-art-trafficking-02-13-2017
14 Feb 17

Bosnian Stolen Artworks Database to Combat Art Trafficking

Bosnian authorities do not have a central database of lost and stolen artworks from the country, so an NGO has made one for them.

classic-music-brings-more-listeners-to-bulgaria-s-public-radio-02-13-2017
13 Feb 17

Classical Music Boosts Bulgaria’s Public Radio

The audience of Bulgarian National Radio has enjoyed a 20 per cent boost in audience figures since a bitter dispute with the Bulgarian copyright society forced it to play only music produced before 1945. 

Culture Policy Focus

vanished-mural-sparks-protests-in-novi-sad-03-22-2017
22 Mar 17

Vanished Mural Sparks Protests in Novi Sad

Artist Guillaume Alby aka Remed says Serbia’s authorities are trying to ‘keep people blind’ after his striking mural in the city of Novi Sad was suddenly painted over.

28 Dec 16

Ringing in 2017, Balkan-style

20 Dec 16

Hidden Treasures of Belgrade’s Museum Scene

24 Oct 16

Traces of Empire: Serbia’s Roman Heritage

29 Aug 16

Hidden Treasures of Belgrade’s Kalemegdan

26 Aug 16

Belgrade’s Ancient Crafts Guardians

Politics and Society

serbian-holocaust-survivors-recall-escape-from-nazis-04-22-2017-1
22 Apr 17

Serbian Holocaust Survivors Recall Escape from Nazis

As Serbia marks Holocaust Remembrance Day, two Serbian Jews who survived the Nazi occupation of the country as children told BIRN how they managed to avoid death.

Business

bulgaria-stands-to-gain-from-eu-gazprom-deal-04-19-2017

Bulgaria Stands to Gain from EU-Gazprom Deal

Deal easing restrictions on gas sales between EU member states and offering better prices could be a big win for Bulgaria - though some fear the country will not make the most of the changes.