Belgrade's Mikser Festival proves to be a regional creative output, bringing original ideas under one umbrella.
By Ivana Jovanovic for Southeast European Times in Belgrade -- 28/06/12
A party at the Mikser Fest. [Nada Bozic/SETimes]
Two years ago, the Mikser Festival -- a regional event highlighting creativity and innovation -- was established in Belgrade. From the start, its concept was multinational and multidisciplinary, with an aim to affirm the cultural industry of the Balkans.
This year's festival lasted nine days, showcasing architecture, town planning, visual arts and design. Its special segments were site-specific interventions, workshops and performances.
"[The] programme had more than 120 independent projects, designed by 100 curators, and almost 2,500 different creators. Not [just] artists are represented through these programmes," Maja Lalic, the festival founder and director, said.
The urban transformation competitive segment of the festival aimed to show that big urban master plans are not necessary to revive entire city areas, but that creativity is more important. Different competitions were the most interesting for visitors and competitors.
The competition for the best Urban Bundle was the latest innovation of the festival -- a competition to create a prototype of urban venues that serve for public gatherings.
James Stodgel from Mexico, who recently moved to the Balkans, created the best Urban Bundle. Stodgel named his creation the Culture Shack.
"I'm building a pedestrian crossing over the railroad track which thousands use every day … So, women with their babies have to care for the carriages, people have to care for the bicycles across the tracks… I notice there has to be some type of public architecture to solve these problems."