Novi Sad will remember the historic year behind us for the most significant European title in the field of culture – ECoC title, which refreshed the art scene in the city and brought new and renewed spaces for culture, a new audience, new processes that took root in the cultural strategy of the city, new programmes, as well as new artistic practices.
More than 6,000 artists from over 50 countries have gone through 4,000 events of the European Capital of Culture!
During the year 2022, culture was everywhere and reached everyone, and the programmes were implemented in 8 programme arches (Doček, Migrations, Future of Europe, Heroines, Fortress of Peace, The Danube Sea, Kaleidoscope of Culture and Other? Europe) through which, we talked about different topics: migrations, children and youth issues, feminism, peace, ecology, minorities, avant-garde, etc.
As the title year also passed through eight programme arches, we also single out eight of the most beautiful and structurally different events that marked the year 2022.
With the Zeniteum 2022 stage show directed by the Slovenian avant-garde artist Dragan Živadinov, on the main city boulevard next to the Banovina building, Novi Sad entered the ECoC title year. The show brought together many art lovers who saw an unusual combination of art and science, with more than 60 artists on the stage. The main roles went to Anita Mančić, who brought to life the character of Mileva Marić Einstein, while Boris Isaković played the role of Milutin Milanković.
A Caravan of the Most Beautiful Flavours of Europe
Four days of musical and culinary programmes in Novi Sad’s cultural stations marked the end of the Migrations programme arch, with the ‘Caravan’ event, which took all those present on a unique journey through the regions of Eastern, Western, Northern and Southern Europe. We had the opportunity to enjoy the international specialties prepared for the visitors of the cultural stations around the city by culinary superstars from different European regions, among whom was the chef of the Loft restaurant, Filip Milovanović, who gained culinary experience in restaurants with three Michelin stars. The evening hours during the Caravan of tastes were filled not only with food, but also with world music genres.
One of the most production-intensive events during the ECoC title took place in June this year, when the Belgrade and Dortmund Philharmonic Orchestras, as part of the Beethoven Marathon, alternately performed eight Beethoven symphonies throughout the day in the City Concert Hall. The culmination of the Beethoven Marathon was the ‘Ninth Symphony’ and the famous ‘Ode to Joy’ performed under a clear sky at the Petrovaradin Fortress, on the biggest stage that the Novi Sad audience has seen. Several thousand lovers of supreme classical music attended an unforgettable event implemented by musicians from Germany, Serbia and Slovakia under the baton of Gabriel Feltz.
Another great artistic and production venture, Korzo, which took place during the Performing Arts Week of the Kaleidoscope of Culture, once again displaced classical music from concert halls, thus bringing this type of art closer to all fellow citizens. Under a clear sky on Mihaila Pupina Boulevard, everyone present had the opportunity to listen to one of the most famous artists of our time, Julian Rachlin, and the Vojvodina Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Aleksandar Marković.
For the first time in Novi Sad, a three-day family festival was held on Fruška Gora, which gathered a large number of people in the oldest national park. It is this fairy-tale environment of the green slopes of Fruška Gora that made this unique attraction stay in the memory of all visitors. The Vila Festival through music, theatre, film, literature, dance, gastronomy and children’s programme gathered some of the most significant European heroines in the heart of this national park.
In the European Capital of Culture title year, Novi Sad also received its first film saga about Novi Sad – ‘Liberta – The Birth of A City’, directed by Gvozden Đurić and director and screenwriter Žanko Tomić. The citizens of Novi Sad enjoyed a true story about which little was known until the premiere of the film at the Petrovaradin Fortress.
Time and Universe
The title year was marked by several exceptional exhibitions of national importance, one of them being the spectacular multimedia exhibition Time and Universe, which throughout 2022 attracted great public attention. Through a multimedia blend of digital and analogue artistic expression, the exhibition celebrated the great mind and creativity of Milutin Milanković. The exhibition, authored by Dušan Jovović, PhD, marked the beginning of the year of the European Capital of Culture , and was one of the most visited exhibitions in Serbia this year.
The title year started with Doček, the unique and best European Trend Brand in the field of culture, and that is how we ended it. Doček remains in Novi Sad as a legacy project that will delight tourists and fellow citizens in the years ahead, bringing them together where Novi Sad was born – in the Suburbium.
Photo: Vladimir Veličković