Serbia/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and debates  

4.2.1 Conceptual issues of policies for the arts

Due to the financial crisis and limited funds, the Ministry of Culture decided that the cultural policy focus should be on excellence and quality, but also that a new synergetic way of policy-making is needed. They tried to implement a new policy of "responsibility transfer" towards cities and municipalities, stimulating them to promote local artists and local artistic production. In this sense they stipulated co-productions for different cities.

Also, the Ministry decided to stimulate a positive social atmosphere for the development of arts and culture, by creating platforms, or conditions for production, and not direct subsidies. In this respect, a new reform of the internal structure of the Ministry of Culture produced a new position of officer for the creative industries.

The present Ministry considers the format of the "Year of" as the appropriate format for the promotion of a whole value chain in one art field, starting with creativity and production. So, this year the Year of the Books and Literature was created to focus attention on writers, publishers, libraries, language teaching etc. Within the scope of the year, a special programme was created: The month of World Literature in Serbia (March 21- April 21, 2011), aiming to present mostly European `transcultural` literature and different authors in Serbia. The project has two levels: a) presentation of the authors writing in their own language and b) presentation of their writing in their `other` language as the choice will focus on ex-patriate writers. The programme will be developed with help of EUNIC, showing "other", transcultural Europe to Serbian citizens. Each writer will have a "partner" writer from Serbia on their "tour" in Serbian provinces.

The third layer of the event is the live streaming of a 24 hour literary "marathon" from Belgrade so that the countries where the writers live can also see the event on the Internet. This event sits well within the tradition of Belgrade public literary (mostly poetry) readings – but it opens up new themes and horizons of interculturality and dialogue through the arts.

Chapter published: 24-01-2013