Alternative History of Europe: The First Artistic Residence Held in Novi Sad

The first artistic residence within the ‘Alternative History of Europe’ project was held in Novi Sad in the Svilara Cultural Station from 11 to 15 December. A team of 16 artists worked on defining the concept and narrative of SLET, as well as on defining the methodology of the work.

As part of the residence, Jovana Karaulić, college assistant at the Department of Management and Production in Theatre, Radio and Culture at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade, presented her doctoral dissertation ‘Slet as a Cultural Performance of Yugoslavia’, and Dutch historian Guido van Hengel gave an interactive lecture on the topic of European colonialism. During the residence, all artists had a chance to present their work and their creative ideas, as well as to get to know the city because most of them visited Novi Sad for the first time.

‘The Alternative History of Europe’ project intends to critically re-examine historical narratives and totalitarian ideologies and create new interpretations of SLET as a specific cultural and artistic form, thus to open a debate on European history and values ​​and on the possible futures of Europe.

In 2022, when Novi Sad will become the European Capital of Culture, it is planned to perform the play at one of Novi Sad’s stadiums. The premiere of the play, in which 500 young performers from Novi Sad will participate, is planned within the opening of the Kaleidoscope of Culture programme arch. 

The project is being implemented by an international art team composed of playwrights, directors, choreographers, visual artists and musicians from Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and Serbia.

An open call for young people who wish to participate in this specific and unique project will be announced by the end of the year, and rehearsals will start in early February 2022.

The project leader is the Youth Theatre from Novi Sad in cooperation with the  ‘Novi Sad – European Capital of Culture’ Foundation, and the partners are the ZID Theatre and the Snowapple ensemble from Amsterdam, Odin Theatre from Holstebro, Fundus Theatre from Hamburg, Kosztolányi Dezső Theatre from Subotica, music festivals RingRing and Todomundo from Belgrade, as well as several local partners from Novi Sad.

Photo: Marko Pudić