SERBIA MOBILE_Between two stands
The Project SERBIA MOBILE_Between two stands and the International Summer Academy (UN)Limited Identities, as the main project activity, open questions related to contemporary identity of Serbia, as the country attributed numerous negative connotations, the role and contribution of different socio-demographic groups and categories to its formation, as well as the ways of its identity communication within and outside its borders in order to incite change in country’s presentation and positioning on European and world cultural market.
The Summer Academy will encompass topics related to general concept of one country’s identity construction, concept of shared European identity and concepts of identity formation in countries undergoing socio-economic transition and their harmonization with raising European identity. Apart from this, in focus of the Academy will be contemporary identity of Serbia and factors that influence it, as well as different ways of its communication.
One-dimensional idea of Serbia’s cultures and heritage, as it was shaped abroad, has been underpinned by Serbian Diaspora associations which by the rule offer programmes having nothing in common with its modern life. Moreover, by the end of previous century these messages reflected negative cultural phenomena that emerged as a result of degenerated value system, powered by isolation of country and socio-economic crisis which Serbia has gone through during the last decade of 20th century. All these circumstances caused that diversity and richness of Serbia’s cultures and their belonging identities have become invisible.
Being that Serbia has already begin the process of EU integration and accepted position in which, among dozen of other countries, it strives to gain unique status within the European cultural space, it is necessary to initiate examination of its contemporary cultural identity and diverse socio-cultural factors that influence it. Moreover, it is also essential to start researching and identifying adequate methods and approach in communicating and presenting its identity at international level.
In that context, Serbian Diaspora is recognized as very important. Considering that it could significantly influence how Serbia is seen from abroad, and contribute to its appreciation, their role should be reconsidered. Negative image of Serbia could be changed if Diaspora is involved in more comprehensive way. That particularly becomes important in relation to raising European identity relating to still quite much contested Serbian identity.
Unfortunately, non existence of scrutinized and quality approach towards Diaspora on behalf of Serbian government is just one of the reasons why those people spend most of their lives without possibility to take active part in identity formation of their home country. Furthermore, they were and still are basing their identity on imaginary representations of Serbia, and the circumstance that they are alienated. It seems that the coaches between two destinations are the only realities for them, becoming part of their identity as well.
We believe that inciting active attitude of the country towards its own identity formation and gaining unique status within the European cultural space, through inclusion of migrants and Diaspora representatives in said processes, can become powerful tool contributing to the change of negative image Serbia still has abroad, its affirmation and presentation, as well as to establishment of the missing link with other countries. Furthermore, competent, multi-disciplinary and scrutinized approach towards cultural heritage presentation, or diffusion of contemporary arts’ production would help Diaspora to identify with and establish connection to their home country, take important role in the processes of Serbia’s contemporary identity formation, and finally, become its more active promoter.
The Project is supported by:
Ministry for Diaspora of the Republic of Serbia
ERSTE Bank a.d. Novi Sad
Austrian Cultural Forum Belgrade
French cultural centre in Belgrade