All cultural layers of a community can be found, like an open book, in front of readers of landscapes, wrote the geographer Peirce Lewis, i.e. in front of those who know how to observe a landscape and “read” all the symbolic meanings of physical space from it.
I will allow myself the freedom with this notion, with regards to the familiar definition of cultural heritage, to observe it primarily through the prism of spatial research, and say that for me cultural heritage is at the same time the product and the basis of comprehensive transformation of human environment, and that assumes the most valuable form of symbolic reflections of human space, through a series of temporal strata. European cultural heritage assumes the same, but of course, in the space of the entire continent, and due to historical circumstances, even beyond its borders.
Research I deal with in the field of history and the theory of architecture and urbanism, became focussed in time on the process of early urban modernisation, i.e. Europeanisation of Belgrade in XIX century, from the perspective of transforming the urban landscape, and thus also the numerous aspects of redefining spatial relations. Comprehensive changes of the cultural patterns in Serbia of XIX century, make up the historical and social framework where the Belgrade urban landscape was transformed and within which it gradually lost the characteristics determined by the Ottoman city culture, the influence of the history of traditional Christian village communities and the feudal social system. Studying the comprehensive transformation of Belgrade in the period from 1867-1914 opens a wide horizon of questions concerning the role and significance of cultural heritage of the Balkans, in the context of modernisation of the city and careful observation of the diversity of European cultural paradigms, which allows avoiding biased interpretation of currents of this process and opens the field for deeper contemplation of mutual influences.
By researching the ways in which human surroundings change throughout time we get familiar with its changeable and permanent traits, thus gaining a better understanding of the interconnectedness of all processes and actors in it. As the geographer David Cosgrove said, the new layer of urban landscape is created in cooperation of influences of all generally applicable and accepted manners in which a specific community manifests its culture. Urban landscape can be understood as a methodological framework of comprehensive studying of various influences on cultural heritage of the area and a comprehensive observation of spatial characteristics. There are numerous ways, from institutionalised professional education, to other forms of permanent education, organising seminars, public lectures, and the like, which help crystallise deep knowledge of surroundings. During the beginning of this year, ministers of culture of signatory countries of the European Cultural Convention, 1954 and members of the Council of Europe signed the Davos Declaration, (2018: https://davosdeclaration2018.ch/programme/), entitled: Towards a high-quality Baukultur for Europe. Apart from emphasising the dramatic challenges of contemporary world, this document also exposes the urgent need to develop new approaches “for the protection and improvement of cultural values of the developed European environment”, as opposed to obvious problems reflected, among others, in the “trivialisation of construction”, “lack of skilful designing”, “irresponsible utilisation of land”, “devastation of historic urban tissue”, which is something we are also witnessing in our own environment. This European initiative, whose 23 action points propagate the creation of high values and quality of the comprehensive concept of Baukultur, assumes, among other things, the totality of human milieu, i.e. “existing buildings, including monuments and other elements of cultural heritage, and also design and construction of modern buildings, infrastructure, public spaces and landscapes”. I believe this can be a shared platform for the development of cultural heritage awareness (and its contemporary reflection in physical space), as a process which should unite all educators, experts, scientists and researchers in the field of cultural heritage of a developed environment, and other related fields.
From July 2018 to January 2019, in the New York Museum of Modern Art, МоМА, the exhibition Toward a Concrete Utopia Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948–1980 is taking place, the curator of which is our colleague, architect, professor and architecture historian, Vladimir Kulić PhD (FAU – School of Architecture). This event was pointed out by professor Irina Subotić PhD in her text here, published in February 2018. Meanwhile, the exhibition was opened, and it achieved a resounding success, diverting attention to undoubtable qualities of heterogenous architectonic Modernism of Yugoslavia. What is also very important for me, are the initiatives and events sparked off by this exhibition, like, for example International Forum: Creation of a Concrete Utopia – Architecture of Yugoslavia 1848-1980, by the editor and author, architect Ljubica Slavković, that took place in the Centre for Cultural Decontamination in Belgrade in November 2018, with accompanying programme organised by the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Belgrade and Architectuul, online platform (Berlin).
Recently, the Museum of the City of Belgrade published the book of authors, colleagues Zlata Vuksanović Macura PhD, scientific associate of the Geographic Institute “Jovan Cvijić” SASA and Angelina Banković MA, Senior Curator of the Museum of the City of Belgrade, entitled: Measures of the City. Maps and Plans from the Collection of Papers for Architecture and Urbanism of the Museum of the City of Belgrade. This book received the second award, in the category of publications, on the 27th International Salon of Urbanism, in November 2018. The monography offers spatial and visual characteristics of plans and maps of Belgrade in the period from 1865-1969, revealing the richness of this unjustly neglected cultural heritage of the city.
I would like to emphasise one of the events at the Faculty of Forestry of the University of Belgrade belonging to the mentioned category. On the occasion of the International Day of Landscapes, on 20th October at the Faculty of Forestry, an exhibition was organised in cooperation with the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the Republic of Serbia, consisting of works created by students of the Department for Landscape Architecture and Horticulture entitled: Landscape and Education, which presented the results of work dedicated to gaining knowledge on planning and designing, protection and arranging landscapes. The exhibition was organised within IX Green Fest, International Festival of Green Culture, that took place in the Youth Centre of Belgrade in November 2018.
Architect Dragana Ćorović is a docent of the Faculty of Forestry of the University of Belgrade. She deals with scientific research in the fields of history and the theory of architecture, urbanism and landscapes and urban history of Belgrade. She has been gaining experience in higher education of architects since 2000 at the Faculty of Architecture UB, where she obtained an MA mentored by Ljiljana Blagojević PhD, 2008, on the topic of applying urbanist concept of a garden city in Belgrade between the two world wars. She obtained her PhD at the same faculty in 2015, also mentored by Ljiljane Blagojević PhD, on the topic of transformation of urban landscape of Belgrade in XIX century. She is the author of the book Garden City in Belgrade, 2009. She was elected a docent at the Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture of the Faculty of Forestry UB, in 2016, where she also teaches the subject Contemporary Landscape Architecture and Urban Landscape: Research and Understanding.
Dear colleagues, associates and friends,
We are ending the European Year of Cultural Heritage full of impressions from numerous events that followed this European initiative, but also new projects the participants of which included institutions and organisations from Serbia.
Publishing houses from our country are again among the best at the competition for literary translation – with as many as 5 successful projects worth 279,880.68 €! Great results were also achieved by domestic institutions and organisations in the competition for European cooperation projects – the total of 24 supported European cooperation projects!
Already at the beginning of the next year, in early spring, we have the next competition for translation of literary works, and until then we wish you that you get some rest and welcome the New Year, 2019, celebrating!
On the occasion of the successful 2018, and for a sweet beginning of the next year, we are sending you our best regards with the publication of Dessert Cookbook of the European Year of Cultural Heritage we edited in cooperation with the National Museum in Kruševac.
Your Team of the Creative Europe Desk Serbia
Štrik Publishing House
Grant awarded: 59,960.31 €
Štrik will translate, publish, promote and distribute 10 high quality works by female authors from 10 European countries (1 short story collection will be translated from Serbian into Spanish, 6 books from lesser used into lesser used language; 4 different genres).
The project will promote Creative Europe program and essential European values, contribute to the diversity of literature and languages, ensure wide accessibility of works through distribution and promotion strategy, and contribute to enlargement and renewal of reading audiences by using proven and innovative promotion practices and digital technologies. All selected top literary translators will be promoted with the books: we are the only publisher to put translators’ names on the front cover, include their biographies in each book; we will publish them on our website and in the project apps.
The project will achieve transnational mobility and circulation on several levels: geographically (10 countries), thematically (position and role of women in modern world, issues women from different European countries, of different age, social status, and professions encounter), linguistically (major and lesser used languages), temporally (spanning from the 20th to the 21st century), genre-wise (different genres) aiming to show how and if the position of women in Europe has changed through space and time, and how that change has influenced style and themes of women’s literature and its reception.
We will achieve: diversity of literary works; transnational connections and circulation; promotion of high quality literature, the Creative Europe Program, and translators; publication of books from a lesser used into a major language, reaching new audience for classical and modern female authors and different genres; cross-section of changes, development and reception of women’s literature; socially responsible behaviour and the improvement of diversity, equal opportunity gender equality and European values in Serbia.
Akademska knjiga Publishing House
Grant awarded: 51,860.52 €
This micro choice of European writers aims to represent the literatures of Western, Middle and North Europe. We are sure that we will make readers both in Serbia and the region closer to culture and literature which are not enough present in Serbia and in the region.
Our aim is to contribute to better transnational circulation of high-quality European literature and therefore we chose titles which were awarded eminent prizes (BNG Literature prize, Renaudot, The European Union Prize for Literature, Magnesia Litera). Polish work was nominated for the Nike and Angelus. Our package involves the work written by one of the most widely known Hungarian and Central European writers, Péter Esterházy, a leading figure of 20th century Hungarian literature. We chose to translate the poetry of Hungarian poet Ottó Tolnai whose one book of poetry has already been published by ourselves (“A kisinyovi rózsa”). We involved drama as a genre which is not enough represented in Serbia and in the region, written by the second most frequently performed dramatist in the world after Shakespeare – Henrik Ibsen.
We have secured excellent translators whose translations have been highly praised by both reviewers and the audience. Next step is proofreading and editing where our team strives for the best possible result by collaborating closely with the translators. The following step is the design of the page and the book covers. Once the book has been published we will focus on the marketing and distribution via distribution chains, social media and literary evenings. We will pay attention to promotional materials such as bookmarkers, special informative brochure, roll-up and posters in order to our package be visibly as much as possible. The strategy of distribution works in format of e-book would be new and it will help our project to reach as much readers as possible not only in Serbia but also in the region and among people in foreign countries who are familiar with Serbian language.
Grant Awarded: 57297.25 €
Kontrast’s project „Literary Translation ̶ Two-way Street” has couple major tasks: to translate 5 works of Serbian acclaimed authors into English, German and Spanish/Castilian, language, as well works of 4 awarded European authors into Serbian; to publish (printed, audio and e-books), promote and disseminate those 9 titles; to contribute to a wider circulation of literature from lesser used languages into more used languages; to promote high quality European literary works to Serbian audience, but also to present some of best contemporary Serbian authors to European audience.
That is way we use the expression “two-way street” in the project title. Selected books represent the highest literary values: novels by Magda Szabó and Mircea Cărtărescu are among finest achievements in contemporary literature. They are certainly one of most important European authors in last couple decades. Novels by Darko Tuševljaković and Undinė Radzevičiūtė are claiming toward international success: both won European Prize for Literature. Multiple awarded novel by Dejan Tiago-Stanković is among best contemporary Serbian titles and winner of acclaimed “Branko Ćopić” literary award of Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts.
Four books from the project are written in less represented genres: Odysseas Elytis is Nobel Prize winner and one of the greatest poets in XX century. Collection of short stories by Jelena Lengold is awarded with European Prize for Literature, and collection of short stories by Vladan Matijević, prominent Serbian writer and NIN Award laureate, considers as modern classic. Dejan Aleksić is leading writer of children and YA fiction and poetry in Serbia and his works are already included in schoolbooks. He is one of most awarded living authors in Serbia today as well as most popular children poet.
Areté Publishing House
Grant Awarded: 51,983.30 €
The project “Literary Migration: Spatial, Temporal, and Spiritual Dislocation” problematizes the relationship between the estrangement and re-birth of literary heroes, but also of the authors who create/live in the environment to which they arrived and which has been transformed into another cultural context.
With frequent change of borders during its turbulent history, the Old Continent went through many migrations of people – from European to other world countries, and from different continents to Europe – which gave a fertile ground for artistic creation that deals with the issue of identity in the surrounding that cannot be called a birthplace, whether because the boundaries of nations had changed or because the personal stance of the author or the protagonist towards the environment where they grew up had changed. Other countries and Serbia itself was the scene of such events and this unstable historical heritage motivated the authors to write about their personal migrations and inability to precisely determine their own motherland. We believe that the actuality of this issue in our country has sparked a significant interest in those subjects, and that the readers will certainly be curious and sympathetic about similar situations from the European literary production that can be comparatively traced through the whole 20th and 21st century.
Every book chosen for the project speaks about the spatial, temporal, and spiritual dislocation conditioned by political events as well as by personal tragedies. The project is consisted of books of seven authors from seven different countries of the European Union. The author of the book “Gogoli disko” won a prestigious EUPL award. There are four novels, a collection of poems, and two collections of short stories in the project. All selected authors are winners of distinguished cultural awards in their respective countries, and their work has been translated to many languages.
Heliks Publishing House
Grant awarded: 58,779.30 €
Literary translation project “Creative Voyage: Destination Europe” is focused on translation, distribution and promotion of high quality works of fiction written by contemporary authors from ten European countries. The main objective of the project is establishing connection between various European cultural coordinates using the creative potential of translated literature. Linguistic and stylistic diversification and variety of genres reflect our intention to present comprehensive and multifaceted view on contemporary European literature, introduce new literary perspectives and help create tomorrow’s readers. Selection of books shows prevalence of lesser used languages (Greek, Norwegian, Bulgarian, Swedish, Polish, Slovenian, Hungarian, Icelandic), under-represented genres (poetry, short stories, young adult novels), and authors new to our reading audience. The project is an opportunity to refresh our literary environment with literature stemming from different cultures with which reading public in Serbia has rarely been connected through world of letters.
Heliks team is well prepared for such demanding publishing endeavours which will be realized in full accord with high industry standards throughout all production phases. Prominent translators and language experts will join our in-house team and considerably add up to the overall quality of the project. To further engage our reading audience, flexible and customized distribution campaign is planned with strong reliance on digital and online sphere and with retaining traditional channels as important components of distribution strategy.
Promotion activities are custom-made in order to ensure maximum visibility of the works, authors, and cultures. Also significant for this project is continuity in promoting principle ideas from Creative Europe programme, which beneficiary we have been several times, and EUPL awarded books – almost twenty in our backlist.