Ursula Plassnik, Austrian Federal Minister for European and International Affairs.
Flow was created as an independent platform that enabled eighty young and upcoming creative artists and scientists from ten Danube countries to collaborate on developing projects. Planned as a nomadic festival of conversation, flow looked at how to facilitate a dialogue that could result in innovative and more efficient forms of communication across the borders in a multidisciplinary way.
The format of the forum was structured and open at the same time. We wanted to abolish the usual frontier between actors and spectators; everything should be created in situ by the collaboration and discussion of all the participants. It was an open-ended, sustainable process in order to establish the basis for long term, multilateral connections and cooperation between the participants. The most beautiful aspect from the conversations was that the participants were extremely heterogeneous in terms of profession, nationality and background but similar when it came to their engagement and interest in fostering cooperation and progress, respecting and not ignoring cultural and ideological differences.
On the first day of the festival, after an introductory session in the form of a flow café, the interdisciplinary performance “Mislim Reku” (I Think River) was staged in the courtyard of the Museum of Vojvodina, commissioned for the festival and produced by Milan Vračar.
Day two was fully devoted to the central element of the festival: the conversations. Thanks to the use of Open Space Technology (OTS), participants were changing between large and small groups formulating projects together and developing visions for future collaborations.
On the third day we explored Novi Sad’s most exciting artistic and scientific institutions such as the media centre kuda.org, the Youth Social Centre CK13 that promotes public, opinion-forming events; the artists’ project ART KLINIKA; the gallery quarter, where the oldest Serbian culture institution Matica Srpska can be found; the Serbian National Theatre and the radio station 021, which made a name for itself due to its political independence at the end of Milosevic’s regime.
The participating artists and scientists were nominated by the distinguished members of the flow Advisory Board:
· Dimiter Dimov (Bulgaria) – Faculty of Philosophy, Sofia University
· Alexander Dumreicher-Ivanceanu (Austria) – Producer, AMOUR FOU
· Nicoleta Esinencu (Moldova) – Writer
· Sándor Finta (Hungary) – Architect, Sporaarchitects, KÉK
· Šejla Kamerić (Bosnia & Herzegovina) – Artist
· Mira Keratová (Slovakia) – Curator, lecturer, editor, writer
· Dragomira Majhen (Croatia) – Molecular biologist, Ruđer Bošković Institute
· Zoran Pantelić (Serbia) – Artist, producer, educator, researcher
· Rarita Szakáts (Romania) – Artist, activist, teacher
· Yuliya Vaganova (Ukraine) – Director of the Center for Contemporary Art in Kiev
· Milan Vračar (Serbia) – Curator, producer, actor, performing artist
The first flow festival was an initiative of the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs in cooperation with ERSTE Foundation and was conceived and directed by Art&Idea. The second edition of the flow took part in in Chisinau, republic of Moldova in September 2010. The goal still is to bring “flow” every two years to a different city in the Danube Region. For more information about the festival, its programme and participants, please visit www.flow-festival.com
Photos © Rainer Fehringer