Based on professional standards as well as legal regulations, public service broadcasting of the Radio Television of Serbia should be an intermediary in realization of the public interest of all Serbian citizens. One of the main tasks of the Belgrade Television Program is to keep the whole nation informed – all citizens informed equally and in a balanced way. After recognizing the need of the viewers for a television show which would present cultural news from both Serbia and the world, the public broadcasting company started airing the “Culture News” in February 2014. In order to investigate the relationship that the “Culture News” had towards cultural events in Serbia, primarily in relation to cultural events organized outside Belgrade, our main research question was: Does the broadcast of the “Culture News” on Belgrade Television meet the standards prescribed by the Law on Public Service Broadcasting? Namely, a balanced representation of topics from all parts of Serbia should be not only a legal, but also the professional obligation of the Public Service Broadcasting channel. Therefore, another research question also was: Are other places in Serbia on the side-lines and neglected compared to Belgrade? For the purposes of this research, we have conducted an analysis of the “Culture News” television show broadcast between May 1 and May 31, 2018, which included a total of 23 television broadcasts, that is, 170 features. May was chosen for the analysis because this is a month when, in many Serbian cities and towns, a large number of cultural events are traditionally organized, which are not only of local but also of national significance, by events evaluation criteria. Based on the month-long analysis of this television show, the authors have identified a prominent marginalization of reporting on cultural events that are organized outside the country’s capital. Namely, 127 out of 170 features (74.71%) talked about the events that were organized in Belgrade; other Serbian cities and towns were represented with only 16 features (9.42%), while the remaining features were reserved for global events. Although genre-varied and of a high level of quality, the “Culture News” television show cannot satisfy neither the legal requirements nor the needs of all viewers in Serbia, since their reporting favours one city, leaving everyone else on the side-lines of culture and society.
Starting from the importance of the press in its role of a mediator in the design of cultural systems, the authors are searching for cultural values and identities imposed by the media, by analysing the front pages of Serbian daily newspapers issued in April and May 2018. Tabloidization, sensationalism and commercialization undermine the public interest and the true importance of art and cultural heritage. That is something that creates new consciousness of the audience. Because of that, dominating topics relate to reality television programs and stories about private life of public figures or some controversial personalities. Different segments of society are trivialized through images of scandal and corruption, as well. Cultural policy does not offer a qualitative answer to the problem of infiltrating market ideology and because of that it unconsciously helps the expansion of consumerism. So, in this case, the role of the press is reduced to the services of clientelism and marketing.
The National Museum of Valjevo is located in a municipality inhabited by about 59,000 people. Taking into account that at least one of its four thematic exhibitions has been visited by about 35,000 visitors, in groups or individually, and that accordingly, it has had about 100,000 visits annually, this museum is among the most successful museums in Serbia. The main focus of this study is based on the question: Do museum visitors generate economic gain for the wider local community? In order to answer this question, in 2013 and 2017 a research was conducted in order to analyse, in time series, the structure of visitors, sum of income, and the distribution of economic resources in the local community. The survey was conducted among representatives of visitor groups. Additionally, managers of accommodation facilities which provide services for visitors were interviewed. The research showed that the largest number of museum visitors were pupils (children) from various towns in Serbia, during their school excursions (over 74.5% in 2017). For most of them, visiting the museum was primal motivation and for 80% of them the only reason for visiting Valjevo municipality. In 2017, these visitors brought a total income to the museum of over nine million Serbian dinars, which allowed for the employment of additional workers (four permanent and several seasonal workers, in addition to the nineteen permanent staff financed from the state budget). On the other hand, some of the museum visitors spent additional 13 million dinars (based on over 4,000 half-board hotel services and about 6,000 additional meals organized in Valjevo). This supports the fact that the total visitor spending in the town (accounting museum income, hotel and restaurant services, with additional spending) has overcome the amount of public investments in the museum, allocated from the local administration. However, the research also indicated the problem of extreme participation of excursion pupils (elementary school children) with 75% share, compared to other visitor profiles (locals, students and adult groups). This can become serious economic threat, based on the fact that the excursion market in Serbia (tourism related) is rather turbulent.
The paper deals with analysis of economic freedom and cultural entrepreneurship in Serbia, as one of the principles of democracy. In the first part, terminology of economic freedom and entrepreneurship in culture is explained from the perspective of culture in relation to democracy. The paper also gives contextualization of those phenomena at the level of public policies. In the second part of the paper, historical analysis of institutional framework for development of cultural entrepreneurship is presented. Also, the achieved level of economic freedom in the field of culture is assessed. At the end of the paper, cultural policy recommendations at the national level are identified.
This article is exploring the influence of current priorities of European programmes for culture on decision making in Serbia – from participation and audience development, to introducing of the concept of creative industries (and everything encompassed by it: market development and market skills, new professions). Special attention is given to the question of varied attitudes that the current government, responsible ministry and the expert public take in relation to these ideas and priorities. The article starts from two standpoints: (1) that cultural projects must be of public interest and (2) that the sovereignty of the state, assuming the power and autonomy in decision making in accordance with the needs and interests of the citizens is key for its development and the development of its macro-environment. On the other hand, at the time of globalization and transnational changes, including various very intensive and turbulent processes of supranational connecting and development of transnational trends, countries are faced with a series of transitional dilemmas and confusions. In the process of European integrations, Serbia mostly abides by the recommendations promoted by the European Union, which also affect the domain of culture. The current strategic direction of Europe is leading to orientation of culture towards economic activities. However, all European countries have not equally adopted this direction: many stakeholders are resisting the commodification of culture, promotion of the concept and the development of cultural entrepreneurship. Proposition is to change the approach to defining current political decisions which can reflect on the entire system. Primarily, through pointing out the necessity of adopting a strategic approach to the development of creative industries, specifically through the method of cooperative planning. This is in accordance with the aims and results of a research conducted by the authors within their engagement at the Creative Europe Desk Serbia. The research included organizing seven expert working tables with the aim of offering development recommendations for European cultural cooperation through debating its directions. The initiative is listed as an important one, primarily due to the fact that it gathered various representatives of the cultural sector (prominent leaders and employees in public cultural institutions, civil society organizations and creative industries, and also independent experts, scientists and researchers). Either way, it can be said that results represent attitudes of the expert public in the domain of European cultural cooperation, also considering the situation in culture in general. To sum up, the entire situation in respect of the European cooperation development reflects deep problems of the transitional and financially underdeveloped Serbia facing the issue of the lack of explicitly formulated objectives and strategies of cultural policy, on all levels of cultural development management – starting from the national, followed by the city and municipality level and all the way down to the institutional level. In order for cultural institutions and local self-governments to be able to develop their own cultural policies in harmony with the national programme of cultural development, it is necessary to adopt a national programme and strategy of cultural development. Moreover, this programme would define general/public interests, and the strategy – short and long term priorities in the field of culture. The fact that these documents do not exist contributes to the creation of transitional confusion and significantly slows down the reform processes. Efforts should be invested in expanding the definition of culture and the activity scope of cultural projects (precisely in the way members of expert groups at the Creative Europe Forum 2016 have defined). For now, culture is only understood as a high standard of aesthetics, education, communication and living. The words cultured (meaning educated, having manners) and uncultured (meaning rough, not having manners, primitive) are still used in the wider public, which creates a significant divide in the society. Furthermore, it would be necessary to establish a strategy of developing creative industries within the existing strategy of cultural development and to define the measures and instruments managing the development of creative industries in Serbia. Most importantly, it would be necessary to secure support to non-profit activities, strengthening the sector of culture and inter-sectoral cooperation (culture, science, education) with the aim of meeting and strengthening of the public interest. Otherwise, the neoliberal trend can devastate the activity of cultural institutions and organizations in Serbia, as well as the entire sector. Cultural policy, especially when it comes to new directions and concepts, must be clearly based on the needs of the society. It is clear that the EU is influencing the development of cultural concepts by securing financial support. If the intention is to unburden the public budget of the financing cultural and artistic production by moving to self-sustainable models of creative industries (which is a trend recommended on the EU level), it is desirable to clarify all the questions about the current status and available resources. A desirable approach to creating a cultural policy, and thus also creative industries, would be collaborative planning which includes a dialogue between the state and various actors. If this approach is not present, tensions and confusions grow in the society, which prevents closing of the transitional cycle.
The text analyses influence of artistic space on community building processes. Collaborative art projects offer to the neighbours an opportunity to debate different visions, attitudes and suggestions that define their community. Community art projects provide not just any way of connectivity among community members, but a connectivity that strengthens their creative potentials, liberates their way of thinking and opens new perspectives. Besides this, through art, community members can communicate not only on a rational but also on an emotional level. They can learn about each other and define mutual visions through creative collaboration. Community engagement and gathering through art can be an effective tool for overcoming contemporary lack of vision, lack of faith and lack of willingness to act. Haas&Hahn’s work is a good example of how art can influence people’s values and beliefs, and how production of artistic space can influence the society. Haas&Hahn have brought new, more optimistic and more creative dimensions to the communities they had worked in. Through construction of artistic spaces, they have powered creative energies of the residents, and at the same time they have increased their faith that they can bring welfare to the community through joint work.
Over the past two centuries, culture – although one of the phenomena that define man in contrast to other species – has become a limiting factor, because a spiritual person must withdraw from cultural life in order to preserve his/her spirituality. In addition to the non-selectivity of culture, which is encompassed in its definitions, this phenomenon is explained here by contrasting the ways in which culture directs social interaction with the Relationship, which is a precondition for the existence of the Personality, as understood in the spirit of Eastern theology. In analogy to the term Personality, which is created only in a relationship, authentic artwork is perceived as a creation which primarily transforms reality, and then, through its impact, as the very reality of the recipient. The contrast between culture and theurgy is based on the distinction between the social meaning that a given cultural value acquires and the spiritual transformative forces that are recorded in an authentic artwork. This paper is based on a conviction that contrasts the generally accepted claims of the 20th century and later literary theories: the evaluation of literary and art works is based on clear and determined criteria, where an important position among them is held by the significance of the work, taken as the totality of its meanings, which aim to expand the knowledge of the secrets of human personality. We place the aesthetic and spiritual product opposite the artwork as a cultural object and then contemplate its place in culture, where spirituality is considered only as one of the potential, but not as a crucial quality of any piece of art. Culture and creativity differ in the very values that they achieve, but the fact that culture possesses an unquestionable attributing power (to assign value even to ephemeral works) makes culture primarily responsible for the state of the spirit that prevails in a given time and space.
This paper deals with the conceptual and historical relationship between culture and (non) democracy. The notion of culture is understood in the wider (way of the whole life of one nation) and narrower (artistic-creative) sense. As a system that does not prevent freedom of thought, creation and action, democracy represents the expansion of freedom in the artistic field of culture. In every system of public authorities and social relations, culture and art face certain challenges. The search for an art form, which by definition is an artistic gift, is often caught in grip of judicial obstacles. In non-democratic systems, the artist responds with his work to the external pressure of power. The political framework is a challenge for his/her creativity. In democratic societies and countries, the artist and his/her work face the mediators, which are cultural-market organizations and private and public institutions that do (or do not) open up a way to audiences. These brokers have the opportunity to accept or not accept artistic work for reasons of aesthetic judgement, market success or dislike towards the author. Also, the tastes of artistic audiences are different, so they can accept or protest against an artwork. The latest phenomenon is a democratization of culture in digital technology. The experience of cultural and artistic creativity in these two forms of public authority and social relations shows that art, as part of the cultural segment of a society, is not offered a safe haven but constant excitement, being caught in the relations among artist-work-audience-states. In that sense, one must always bear in mind that the democratization of culture can well take place in the institutional field, but not in the creative one. Great creators and their works do not produce any system of public authority, but offer their gift, talent, motivation, imagination and knowledge.
In Serbia, transition has implied a transformation of the entire social system in the spirit of democracy. On the road to developing democracy, strategic planning has been a key instrument of cultural policy. Although it used to be practiced in the self-management system, based on the method of cooperative planning, the start of transition introduced the concept of strategic planning as a complete novelty. This is why the implementation of long term planning can be observed as a new/old challenge on all levels of management. This paper deals with the implementation of strategic planning in Serbia on the local level, in the period 2000-2018. It gives a review of local strategic planning initiatives in culture and analyses their implementation on the local level. Since the start of transition, over ten years, we have had a Law on activities of public interest in the field of culture (1992) which was in conflict with the increase of autonomy of local self-governments and the processes of democratization and decentralization that started in Serbia after 2000. This incompatibility, as well as the lack of a national strategy for cultural development has also reflected on the absence of local strategical plans in the field of culture.
This paper deals with some important determining factors of influence in culture and the reached degree of democracy in Serbia. Understanding of the relationship between culture and democracy will assist in the fashioning of decisions that affects these areas. Democracy is a word we often hear and exploit, forgetting that democracy relies on the development of culture, so that, today, democracy indeed exists only formally and declaratively, as there can be no democracy without essential influence of culture. The basic problem of the underdeveloped culture in Serbia is not technological in nature: large quantity of carbon dioxide, global heating or waste materials are only the symptoms. The problem lies in the culture itself and in our mind mode. Efforts for the restoration of economic growth are essential, since they are replies to the questions like: what are really the future development targets; whether these are the goals of economic welfare, employment, environment protection and improvement of educational structure; and whether the cultural level in population is meeting new technological challenges. Investment in research, infrastructure and energetics, education and culture, would have multiple positive effect on the strengthening of competitiveness. The findings of this paper support the calls for a comprehensive reform, if we consider the fact that the market mechanisms operate in culture, that relativism is becoming the idea of culture, and that culture is identified with consumption, with an economic standpoint of value in culture. Maladjusted countries, under globalization conditions, would be the ones to fall behind evolutionally, technologically and culturally speaking, or the ones that do not have a development strategy and a social cohesion strategy, and particularly fail to sufficiently invest in education and culture. In the future, a competitive advantage will lie in development, knowledge, culture and technological progress. Societies must define their priorities and must relay a clear message what is important and what is not, what represents public interest, and what does not.