The Youth Biennale was one of the most renowned and prestigious art manifestations celebrated since the late 70-ies in the Yugoslav cultural context. The manifestation gathering the newest art production from all 6 former republics and transiting main national cultural venues had a decisive role in professional orientation and emancipation for the generations of emerging artists.
As a consequence of dismembering of the Yugoslavia Biennial of Young also ceased to exist, and the Republic art associations hugely lost connections they previously maintained, due to entering periods of decay of activities for the lack of substantial public funding.
The project Youth Biennale – Public Preparation will capacitate, challenge and empower young and future art professionals by giving them basic orientation in the field of professional activity, knowledge and skills, in order for them to take a leadership role in organizing their own manifestation – The Youth Biennale 2021.
The project involves collaboration with students and professors from 6 main art academic centers across Serbia, young generation of emerging artists, renown art professionals and cultural experts, centers of art production and representation belonging to the private, civil and public sector.
Basic aim of this project is to empower young creatives for self-organization and leadership in cultural production. Through various steps of project development selected groups of young artists are capacitated to take part in public and cultural life not only as audience or participants, but by taking decisive roles in its creation. In the following year, they will be able to organize the Youth Biennale relaying on their own managerial and creative skills, enabled by the support from senior artists (project coordinators). This kind of self-organized form of youth activity will be based on the use of art itself as a medium of communication, precisely because of its inherent potentials to stimulate the freedom of self-expression, critical thinking and imagination. Through the process of artistic engagement, young artists would become able to explore different and more egalitarian ways of social organization and the role of art in it; to set new horizons of emancipation and offer innovative visions of social change.
Related to the gender composition of individuals involved in the project it is interesting to note that a bigger part of artists, art students and invited experts are female. Also a variety of national and ethnic precedence is emphasized by the fact that we involve participants from different regions of Serbia, inhabited by different ethnic minorities. During the selection process special attention would be taken of balanced representation in terms of gender, class, religious and ethnic differences. Implementing the project that foresees the empowerment of young people to create stimulating environments for presenting their art production, in the context of state and media production of consumption ideology and prejudices towards youth, we would be able to stimulate creative individuals to act more freely related to economic and political issues. That would have a positive effect on the decreasing of hierarchical and authoritarian role models in our society and empowering the most vulnerable groups.
Being conducted through cooperation with 6 academic institutions spread across Serbian territory, from extreme south to north project involves diverse population regarding their cultural, religious and ethnic background (orthodox, catholic, protestant, Muslim, Serbs, Croats, Bosnians, Roma, etc). All those regions present rich ethnic and cultural environments, but systematically are neglected and considered periphery in the Serbian realm. In this sense, one of the important goals of this project consists in establishing cultural cooperation between center and periphery in order to build a unique and diverse cultural platform, regardless of artificially created social differences and policies of segregation.
Realization: August 2020 – February 2021