It has always been known that the culture permeated every corner of Novi Sad, but in the light of the European Capital of Culture title, Novi Sad stands out as a large city-stage for months even more. The European Capital of Culture 2022 programme, divided into eight programme arches, has hosted numerous renowned local, regional and foreign artists so far and after we have successfully taken two thirds of the artistically paved road in the year of the title, the famous, fifth in a row Kaleidoscope of Culture, is ahead of us. During five weeks, from 1 September to 7 October, it will present five types of art and five major programmes at five iconic places and connect the local and European art scene with the Novi Sad guests and our fellow citizens, thus creating a kaleidoscope city through a unique culture of togetherness.
Culture in the Palm of Your Hand
During the five weeks, architecture, literature, performing arts, and visual and applied arts intertwine, and each week, one of them is in the limelight. In this way, diverse, unique programmes find their way to all citizens of Novi Sad and its visitors and mark the end of the summer in the European Capital of Culture, promoting the culture of togetherness. The Kaleidoscope of Culture is specific because it takes place not only at famous locations but also in the streets, squares, parks, yards, and other somewhat forgotten parts of the city. One of the locations is the famous Korzo, the former promenade and a meeting place on one of the busiest Novi Sad boulevards, which will, for the fifth time in a row, attract several thousands of visitors to the concert of classical music under the clear skies.
European Trend Brand
The Kaleidoscope of Culture, together with Doček and cultural stations, is the holder of the European award for the European Trend Brand in the field of culture for 2021, which was awarded to the ‘Novi Sad – European Capital of Culture’ Foundation in Dresden and made the citizens of Novi Sad proud. The significant award went to all citizens of Novi Sad, while the Serbian Athens became the first city in this part of Europe to gain this prestigious recognition. A hundred and ten organisations, institutions and cultural institutions from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Belarus, France, Israel, Lithuania, Russia, Serbia and the Netherlands competed for the most prestigious European award in the field of culture.
Kaleidoscope of Culture as the Novi Sad Tradition
The fact that fellow citizens evaluate it as an excellent manifestation and a programme that they would gladly recommend to others undeniably shows that the Kaleidoscope of Culture establishes a culture of togetherness and enriches the cultural summer in the city of art, promoting a unique image of diversity. The Kaleidoscope of Culture once again puts Novi Sad in the limelight of the European scene and, giving a new recognisable identity to the city, it has been increasing its production capacities for five years in a row with world-famous artistic manifestations, which the citizens recognise, cherish, support and what they believe in.
Numerous local artists from all over Serbia will raise the value of the Kaleidoscope of Culture by presenting their projects, which have been recently selected within the ‘Artists. Now’ call, in cultural stations as part of the fifth manifestation, taking place from 1 September until 7 October.
While we wait for next month’s Kaleidoscope of Culture, let’s remember some moments that have marked this manifestation through the years.
More than 16,000 people visited the last year’s Kaleidoscope of Culture, while the programmes during the opening days of the manifestation, which were held in the renovated District, and the Korzo concert, were the most visited within the five weeks.
This manifestation is distinguished by a specific concept, i.e., an open-air concert, while the last year, Novi Sad hosted world-famous artists, violin virtuoso Stefan Milenković and maestro Aleksandar Marković, a renowned conductor with a glittering European career, in the role of chief conductor, accompanied by the Vojvodina Symphony Orchestra. The famous Rambo Amadeus enriched the traditional ‘Suburbium Booktown’ festival with his presence.
Exhibitions, plays, performances, which reminded us of the history of this part of the city and introduced new cultural spaces, were held in the area of the former industrial zone of the city, i.e., the Great Liman, for four opening days of the Kaleidoscope of Culture. Despite the pandemic, the Kaleidoscope of Culture stood out with the fantastic performance of Verdi’s opera ‘Rigoletto’ under the clear skies, with the video projections on the façade of the Czech Magazine. The audience described the event as a rarely seen spectacle.
The second Kaleidoscope of Culture included four hundred programmes at 80 locations, and it ended with the placement of the ‘Q’ sculpture at the plateau of the Svilara Cultural Station. That time, the manifestation was marked by Literature Morning at Najlon market, confirming the idea of the project to activate all parts of the city for the sake of culture. All passers-by who were at the market that Saturday morning had the opportunity to participate in literary conversations with local authors. Two large applied art exhibitions within the second Kaleidoscope of Culture also left an impression on the audience. Swiss Style Now, the exhibition by the Swiss designer opened by Slavimir Futro, was held at the Railway station.
The Egység visitors learned about the minimalist Finnish design, while another a much talked about attraction was the unique concert by the Zagreb Philharmonic in the Unification Park, which marked the 130th anniversary of the birth of the famous Charlie Chaplin.
The Kaleidoscope of Culture presented for the first time a concept that stood out on the map of cultural events, both in its scope, content and the number of artists and tourists who visited this city. As part of the manifestation, an open-air concert was held on the famous former Korzo promenade. The concept of moving classical music concerts from concert halls to an open space pushed the boundaries and thrilled the audience. The Korzo, which evoked nostalgia for past times, was a completely logical choice and the future traditional meeting point at the Kaleidoscope of Culture. Bizet’s overture to Carmen was performed by the Vojvodina Symphony Orchestra and started a new tradition in front of almost 10,000 people. The opening of the Egység Cultural Station, a new cultural space, and a spectacular performance by the Spanish pianist David Moreno, who connected music, theatre, dance, film and other types of art, also marked the first Kaleidoscope of Culture.
The Kaleidoscope of Culture is a legacy project planned to continue even after the title year in 2022, permanently attracting a local audience and increasing the capacities of the city’s tourist offer. That is why this manifestation is one of the best indicators that Novi Sad is a city that lives and breathes culture.
Author: Marina Marić
Photo: Vladimir Veličković, Jelena Ivanović