The „Migration“ program is held in Novi Sad from February 1 to March 20 and includes more than 300 events and performances by over 100 artists from 42 countries. This program presents migration of the population as an inspiration in art and shows the positive angle of the consequences of migration and their impact on us and our culture. One of the main events of „Migration of Souls“, a unique pavilion of literature, combines visual and performing arts and represents the impact of migration on the individual.
The creation of Novi Sad through migration is the topic of exhibitions in the field of cultural heritage. The concept implies that the past is viewed from the angle of the present so that we can imagine a new future. Prejudices about migration are presented in a humorous way and greet those who have returned to their home town to contribute to society.
Famous artists and new hopes of the European art scene through the theme of migration, an inseparable part of European identity, present different types of art e.g. contemporary art. Art and cultural programs will deal with the topic of departures and arrivals, wandering and finding onself, but also existential issues and understanding of migration.
Some of the best world and domestic names are performing in Novi Sad, this year's European Capital of Culture.
Original Enigma Voices, one of the most famous German music projects, then Anthropoceno, project of members of the French-Argentine band Gotan Project, Barcelona Gipsy balKan Orchestra, Japanese guitarist and singer-songwriter Miyavi, composer and pianist Vasil Hadžimanov, best sevdalinka representative Božo Vrećo, representative of traditional and ethno music scenes Bilja Krstić and Bistrik Orchestra and many other quality performers.
All these artists have a common theme - migrations and their positive impact on inspiration, which is reflected in all performances.
Watching these inspiring artistic performances, I realized that we are all united and that we and our culture cannot be separated by thousands of kilometers. Migrations help us gain experience and get to know another culture and customs, and that also builds our identity, but the whole identity is also what we carry within us. That is the image that actually represents us. We leave all the values we adopt during migrations to our country when we return permanently or just stay for a while.
One has to wander sometimes in order to know oneself and to find oneself in an environment. It is not important where we are, but what we have to offer someone and what we are like as people and as personalities. Anyone who has a desire to move away, or has already moved away, has probably encountered resentment from the environment, and it is this manifestation of "Migration" that gave me hope and support that we should follow our goals and carry the „home“ within us. „Home“ represents everything that makes us ourselves and what we always come back to, without the need to go somewhere physically.
A special program that left a strong impression on me is the play „B(j)egunci“ (Fugitives).
„B(j)egunci“ is an optimistic theater project which, through examples of migrations of young people, explains the reasons and circumstances of these migrations. „Refugees are a world offered to dive into.“
Characters from the displaced community on the border of Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia are mostly returnees from abroad with different backgrounds. Viewers themselves choose whose story to follow. The stage is shown as a village of 7 houses, with the main square, streets and the nearby forest. Viewers are free to change positions, go outside, go home, return, stay in one position and follow the story of one character from start to finish. They can also follow the stories of different characters.
What is special and specific about this play is that we can identify with real stories of young people and hear how they coped with problems during migration. These stories offered me answers to questions and dilemmas when I needed it most. In periods of nostalgia and identity crisis, when we find it difficult to cope in a new environment, we just need to hear that there is always a solution. The most important thing is to accept our personality and strive to be the best possible version of ourselves and always consistent with ourselves, wherever we are. Being a „citizen of the world“ is what I want to achieve when I move away and when I return to contribute to the society that raised me ... to show that everything was worth the effort.
Novi Sad is the European Capital of Culture in 2022, and various cultural and educational events and exhibitions are held throughout the year. You can find out more about all the events on the novisad2022.rs website