What is the Creative Europe programme and what chances for regional and European cooperation does it offer to cultural institutions from Serbia? What are the experiences of Serbian institutions which participated in projects funded by this programme? How to participate, where to ask for help, where to get information?
These are some of the questions that were discussed on Friday 30th June in the National Library “Dušan Matić” in Ćuprija, member of the EUTEKA network of libraries, when representatives of the Creative Europe Desk Serbia held a presentation of the largest programme for funding content in culture functioning within European Union – Creative Europe.
The presentation in Ćuprija library was attended by representatives of cultural institutions from this municipality, and also municipalities of Jagodina and Paraćin, and what Creative Europe is and what are the experiences of users of this programme was spoken about by Dimitrije Tadić, Head of the Creative Europe Desk Serbia, the body implementing the Creative Europe programme, and Luka Kulić from the Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina, an institution that successfully participated in two programmes and which is currently realising the third project funded by this programme.
The message conveyed by both speakers was, in fact, an encouragement to domestic cultural institutions to dare to participate in this kind of competitions, to ask questions, to connect and overcome fear and prejudice prevalent here when it comes to participating in competitions for EU funds. Both speakers believe our space, history and culture are interesting to cultural professionals in Europe, and that we, on the other hand, have the ideas and diversity and that we can be a good partner in big cultural projects financed by this fund.
Dimitrije Tadić used this opportunity to briefly present to participants the basics of the Creative Europe programme and direct their attention to what its main goals are. “Europe wants to position itself on the global scene through culture and this programme is not only a funding programme, it also represents a functioning mechanism for culture on the European level”, he said. Until now, representatives of Serbia participated in approximately 40 projects funded by this programme, while we also had one institution which was the carrier of the project – the Institute for Balkanology. The position of project carrier is very complicated and demanding and it requires time and skills to master all procedures. Nevertheless, Tadić said, you should participate in competitions as partners to the main project carrier because every completed project raises the capacity of the participating organisation and makes it more prepared for the next participation.
Luka Kulić from the Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina advised his colleagues not to be victims of prejudice due to which they hesitate to get involved in applying processes. This Museum went to the first project in cooperation with the Museum of Contemporary Art from Zagreb, and now it is a part of a huge third European project where there are ten partners involved.
“We possess the freshness of ideas and we are, for people from cultural circles in Europe, still unchartered territory. Great interest in our socialist heritage is prevalent and many cultural institutions in Europe are working on projects including this element and they are seeking adequate partners from this region”, he emphasised.
Guests of the Ćuprija library, after the discussion with their colleagues, visited the Legacy of Dušan Matić, poet and a pioneer of Surrealism in Serbian literature, preserved in this library. The Legacy consists of a study room of the famous thinker, who lived in Ćuprija, together with his drawings, award and personal belongings and this is being kept in this library for over two decades.