Saturday, August 29, 2009

International Student Week

By Jelica Tapuskovic
Belgrade,Aug.9 2009 ,(Serbia Today) - International students week in Belgrade (ISWIB) will be held from August 9th till 16th with a slogan “Challenge of changes“. This manifestation is organized for the third time, and about 200 students from 42 countries all over Europe will take part in it.
The aim of ISWIB is to take down prejudice about Serbia and Belgrade, and to make them popular in the world. Also, aim is connection of students, exchange of ideas, experiences, knowledge, and making an international cooperation. ISWIB is part of international SorCE Network, which plans European festivals.
President of World youth wave organization, which is an organizer of ISWIB, Pedja Ljubojevic, said for Serbia Today that ISWIB will have two parts – educative and cultural. Educative part consists of 10 workshops - Art and Culture, Environmental Protection, Economics, Health, Human Rights, Media, Society, Youth Activism, Photography and Filmmaking. In those workshops only students that participate in ISWIB will have a chance to take a part. Besides those, two open classes of Discussion will be organized, on which everyone can discuss about society, identity, children and women violence. Also, experts from political, cultural and social Serbian scene will have panel discussion about youth and world economy crises.
Ljubojevic announced the main event of this manifestation as the “Fair of Countries”, which will be held on August 12 in the yard of Belgrade’s University. On the “Fair of countries”, students will have presentations of their native countries, their culture and traditions. As he said, it will be very interesting because of many different customs, foods, music, traditional costumes, dance, etc.
The official opening of ISWIB will be in City Hall on August 10th, and closing in House of youth on August 15th, on which will be represented the results of students’ works in the workshops.
The interesting thing about this manifestation is that all participants are from European Universities, and students from countries out of Europe, who are studying on some of European Universities.
The patron of ISWIB, this year will be The General Secretary of Council of Europe Mr. Terry Davis. Beside World youth wave, organizers of ISWIB are City Hall and Ministry of youth and sport.

The Comeback of Housekeeping Studies in Primary Schools

By Jelena Jovanovic

Belgrade, Aug. 12 2009 (Serbia Today) - Housekeeping Studies is the new subject on the list of elective subjects in the seventh grade program in Serbian Primary schools. The system of Primary schools in Serbia is from 1st to 8th grade, after which kids take four years of the secondary schools, which could be High School or trade schools.
This September, children will be able to choose one of seven elective subjects- Everyday life in the past, Painting, drawing and sculpturing, Chorus and orchestra, Mother-tounge with the elements of the national culture, Informatics and Computer Sciences, Chess and, from this year Housekeeping Studies.
Housekeeping Studies was regular subject in Primary Schools in Serbia until the end of 90th. It was removed, together with the First Aid, and the reason was disburdening of the teaching program and making a free space for new programs and activities, more up to date.
Today, the reason of bringing back the Housekeeping Studies into Primary Schools is new school democratization- giving the children wider choice of subjects and ability to learn things they might be interested in. Elective subjects are also ability for developing (and discovering) certain skills and crafts.
Gordana Mitrović, Councilor in the Center for improving and developing of the Education, explained that the reform of primary education in Serbia started 6 years ago. The first sixth grades have already been reformed and the new program for the seventh grade will start in the approaching school year. The reform will be completed next year with an introduction of the new program for the eight grade, and probably, new system of qualification exams for the Secondary Schools.
The part of this big reform is the selection of elective subjects that pupils can choose according to their own wishes and affinities. Every school has an obligation to offer, at least, 4 elective subjects ( the number of subjects that one school can offer depends on teaching stuff and school equipment).
Housekeeping Studies, new on this list, have program which consists of four thematic parts- contemporary household and family, culture of living, clothing culture, culture of behavior. Children will have lessons once per week and be able to learn not just how to cook, but how to maintain a home, use various technical household appliances, be eco friendly... They will also learn about relations, needs and obligations in one family and living culture will include lessons about comfortable living, practical details, interior decorating... Interesting part of the program might be clothing culture and lessons about various fabrics, colors, clothes for different occasions... New thematic part of the program of Housekeeping Studies includes lessons about family budget and financial organization, about planning holidays and journeys, using modern communication means...
“We wanted to enable children that, through this subject, form certain behavior culture and habits, integrate their knowledge, make stronger connection with their families. The essence of this subject is getting the practical knowledge about housekeeping and life in the family. – added Gordana Mitrović.
The textbook for the Housekeeping Studies subject will be the old one, already used in Primary Schools.
Mirjana Đorđevic from the Belgrade Institute for Textbooks and Teaching resources explained that using this old textbook ( with one added part- part about home budget) was temporary solution. The new book, with new design and more practical exercises, will be prepared and issued by the next school year.
“ I think that Housekeeping Studies is necessary school subject. ( Maybe some parts of it could have been incorporated in other subjects). I think that Housekeeping Studies could be very useful for children and their future lives –learning about living, about clothes, colors, learning about home budget and financial organization...
Mirjana Djordjevic also told that her opinion was that the subject Housekeeping Studies might change its name, in order to sound more contemporary and more attractive (especially for boys).
Ana Manojlovic who will be in the seventh grade this September , in Primary School Josif Pančić in Belgrade, told that the majority of elective subjects seemed interesting. – “I will not choose Housekeeping Studies . I’ll choose Informatics and Computer Sciences.
Her mother, Nada Manojlović, thinks all elective subjects, including the new one, Housekeeping Studies might be interesting and useful.“Everything depends on teachers and their knowledge and approach and ability to make lectures interesting. Very important thing is that these elective subjects are not marked and are not the part of the final score, at the end of school year.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Guests from Mexico, Israel, and Russia in Kragujevac

Kragujevac, July 31, ( Serbia Today) - City of Kragujevac will be the host of the 8th International Chamber Choir Festival from August 16 – 22.
Besides Serbian Choirs, like „Liceuma“ from Kragujevac or „Pro Musica“ from Subotica, among participating choirs will be several foreign Choirs from Macedonia, Mexico, Russia, and Israel.The director of Festival Miloja Nikolic told reporters that this year’s Festival will have some unusual and attractive performances which will be organized on several different locations in Kragujevac. The organizers of this years Festival is Chamber Choir Liceuma from Kragujevac, with the support of the Serbian Ministry of Culture, City Council, and Municipality of Krusevac. Co- organizers are Association of Jewish Communities in Serbia, Municipality of Surčin, Russian House from Belgrade, Church Choir Society „Branko“, Music Youth Association Novi Sad, City Council of Subotica and Cultural Center Pljevlja.
Participating Choirs are Liceum from Kragujevac, Pro Musica from Subotica, Womens Chamber Choir Menada from Tetova ( Macedonia), Women’s Choir Naama from Israel, Choir Normalista from Mexico, and Choir Ansamble „Tebe Pojem“ from Krasnojarska ( Russia).Festival’s Artistic Jury will consists of Ivan Mudi, composer from London, conductor Vladimir Kranjevic from Zagreb, and music historian Zorica Premate from Belgrade.

Business Engagement of Persons with special needs

Li Novak

Belgrade, July 30 ( Serbia Today) - According to the established Law on professional rehabilitation and employment of persons with developmental disabilities, disabled people could not be full-time employees. But the integration of individuals with special needs into working and social environment is a great possibility for full inclusion and participation in the community.
Social-humanitarian organization which deals with this issue is KEC MNRO – The Creative Education Center for people with Developmental Disabilities. It is supported by the Ministry for Social Welfare and the Fund for Social innovation. One of the Center’s primary goals has been to introduce a program for the integration of people with developmental disabilities into society, through assisted and full employment in public places, the local community and in social and private organizations. It is the best form of rehabilitation and therapy and at the same time the most successful form of integration into a social environment. Margareta Kecman told Serbia Today that companies and institutions which give their contribution to the work engagement of people with mental difficulties are: Home Center, Clinical Center Belgrade, Parking service, the Jewish Community of Belgrade, McDonald’s restaurants, Roggenart bakeries and Delta Holding. The ultimate goal is for each beneficiary to be contributing members of society. Collaboration between KEC MNRO and McDonald’s restaurants began in 2004 and in this time more than 40 young people with developmental disabilities have taken part in the assisted employment program and 2 are employed full-time. From 2006, 9 of KEC MNRO’s beneficiaries have been carrying out various tasks at the Parking Service Belgrade including: courier, making coffee, photocopying, housekeeping and washing cars. In the Jewish municipality they work as assistants in the kitchen, in the Clinical Center they are engaged into maintaining hygiene, transport of patients in the clinic and ordering of documentation. In Home Center and Delta Holding stores they are assistants in the sales.
According to Ms. Kecman, 7 people are fully employed because they have so-called "business ability" and the opportunity to sign a work contract. But most of them, 80 people, are engaged in the process of work socialization and inclusion, because of the limitation of established law.
In our country, we expect a lot more effort on creating a better environment for marginalized minorities and creating a more humane society. KEC MNRO’s mission is to create partnerships with the immediate and wider community in order to help every person recognize their own potential, talents and strength so that they can contribute to a better life in their own community.

Unemployment in Serbia

By Rina Mihajlovic,

Novi Sad, July 31, ( Serbia Today) - Unemployment in Serbia has become a major problem. Up to 31,000 Serbian workers lost their jobs since October 2008 because of the economic crisis according to the National Employment Service reports.
The business sectors most affected by layoffs are commerce, the processing industry, real estate, vehicle manufacture, health and education.
Even some foreign companies had to lay off workers such as cigarette manufactures DIV majority owned by British American Tobacco, BAT. They had to lay off 166 employees out of 319 while US Steel Serbia is going to cut 210 administrative jobs in September.
Reports tell us that there are 763,062 registered unemployed people looking for a job in Belgrade, Nis, Kragujevac, Leskovac and Novi Pazar. The highest unemployment rate is in Belgrade.
The head of the Employment service Agency said that at least there were no mass firings and that the government has taken measures to decrease the effects of the crisis by hiring 20,000 young people last month. The government is also planning to fund 3,000 new work positions and 756 are available so far.
The problem is that the numbers are high and we already have almost a million unemployed people. The country’s average salary is 250 EUR per month and life expenses are far much higher. A large number of employees are working “off books” and therefore cannot get health and social insurance either. Most people cannot even afford to get a mortgage to buy a car or an apartment. Salary is often barely enough to pay the bills and buy food. Of course, not everyone is poor and there are rich people and even growing middle class of young and ambitious professionals.
So, right now we have 15,6 % unemployment rate, 5000 unemployed people more than in April. Unfortunately, this fact is not only due to the economic crisis. The crisis is in the market, the number of unemployed is increasing but that increase is not dramatic according to Vladimir Ilic, director of National employment service. He added that it is hard to calculate how many people lost their jobs due to the economic crisis.
The exact amount is hard to get because people who are not constantly looking for a job are being deleted from the unemployment list later on.

The Results of the Research on Serbian Media

By: Jelena Jovanovic

Belgrade, July 30, (Serbia Today)- B 92, Radio S, and Radio Belgrade 1, are the most popular radio stations in Serbia.
The media research about radio stations in Serbia and local TV stations presented this week in Belgrade, is a part of the program of a media support in Serbia, organized by USAID - United States Agency for International Development, and Media Support program and its partner in Serbia- IREX. IREX is international nonprofit organization providing leadership and innovative programs to improve the quality of education, strengthen independent media, and foster pluralistic civil society development. The research was done by Strategic Marketing Research Agency from Belgrade.
At the press conference in Belgrade, Media Center Richard McClear from IREX reminded that IREX had supported independent media in Serbia since 1997, and that Media researches in Serbia have been organized since 1999. The main goals were researching media trends in Serbia, and developing the market of independent media.
Srdjan Bogosavljevic from Strategic Marketing Research Agency presented the results of the latest media research, done in May this year.
Results show that favorite radio stations in Serbia are Radio S, B 92 and Radio Belgrade I. After them, on the list are Roadstar radio and Radio Index. In numbers- B 92 has 18% of listeners, Radio S also 18% and Radio Belgrade I -11%. Roadstar Radio and Radio Index follow, both with 6%.
Srdjan Bogosavljevic explained that the category favorite does not have the meaning- most listened. It is about the power of the brand and loyalty to certain radio program.
B 92 and Radio Belgrade I have the best sport and info programs, while Radio S has the best entertainment and music programs. ( Bogosavljevic noticed that Radio S had the biggest progress in the last several years, only because of the music). The result of share of the most listened radio stations in the whole auditorium (number of people multiply with time spent by listening to the radio) is the estimate which shows that the most listened radio stations in Serbia are Radio S, Radio B 92, and Radio Belgrade I.
In details- the result of share in regions shows that the most listened radio stations in Belgrade are Radio B 92, Radio S and Radio Belgrade I, in Vojvodina – Radio S, Radio B 92 and Roadstar Radio and in Central Serbia- Radio S, Radio B 92 and Radio Belgrade.
The first radio station on the reach list ( number of people who listen to only one radio station during one week and average daily listening) is Radio B 92, followed by Radio S, Radio Belgrade I and Roadstar Radio.
This media research was done in one week (from May 18th to May 24th) and included 6 134 participants from Serbia (without Kosovo) who were making evidence about their daily listening to the radio. Participants were people of various education levels, ages, genders, and from different parts of Serbia. According to the research, every household in Serbia has 1.5 radio set , and 64% of the population has a radio in the car (64% households own a car). 63% employees have the opportunity to listen to the radio in the office. Only 11% people listen to the radio on the Internet. This number is a significant potential for radio stations- experts from Strategic Marketing Agency concluded.
Statistics also show that radio stations are mostly listened in the morning – the peak is between 9 and 10 am. In significantly smaller percentage radio is listened in the afternoon and in the evening - TV is a dominated media in the prime time. People usually listen only one radio station at home and have habit to choose one among several radio stations memorized on their radio set in the car. Music is the most often choice of listeners (86%), the news (30%) and sports programs (12%). Smaller percentage goes to the political broadcasts (7%), programs about health (7%), live talk shows (7%), economy, science and art programs (3% each).
The research showed that the most frequent choice of people in Central Serbia was folk music, while in Belgrade and Vojvodina people preferred pop music.
Srdjan Bogosovaljevic who presented results of the research told that all collected facts showed global media picture in Serbia. People still trust certain radio stations and in the biggest percentage choose music and light programs.
Presentation in Belgrade Media center also revealed some facts about local TV stations ( in various parts of Serbia) but concrete data about the most viewed and the most popular TV stations were not announced.
Every household in Serbia has one or two TV sets and research showed that local TV stations are not more viewed and popular than other cable, foreign TV stations. (The reason of their popularity is the program scheme with many films and TV series).
Since 2004 there has been noticed an obvious decreasing trend of local TV stations.
The main conclusion was that national TV stations have the opportunity to develop, grow, to change and adjust their programs. They have more financial means and possibilities to make daily researches of the program, and audience- their needs and habits. Local TV stations in Serbia, nearly 180 of them, do not have such possibilities, chances and financial means.

Crisis of Economy as a subject of Art

By Li Novak

Belgrade, July 29 ( Serbia Today ) - Theatrical art is often closely related to the current reality, unlike film and other art forms. Theater authors want to be quick and actual. They respond to what is now happening around us.
This particularly applies to a theater festival of new tendencies - BITEF, an annual event happening each fall in Belgrade. The 43rd BITEF will be held from 15th till 25th September, and it is called The crisis of capital - the art of crisis. The festival itself, as the other cultural events, will happen in the circumstances of the world economic crisis.
This is reflected in the number of theatre plays - there are less of them than previous years. According to festival selector Jovan Cirilov – they chose quality instead of quantity. He also pointed out that this festival is rich in various theatrical tendencies; each play brings a new tendency.
The quality is not depreciated, and we owe that to the city government’s financial support, as well as sponsors. In the main program will be shown 7 foreign and 2 domestic plays, and Bitef also retained programs that are known from previous festivals: Bitef on the film, Bitef polyphony and Symposium. Our festival has become a part of the European Organization Enparts. Program The Showcase will not be present on this Bitef, which is a consequence of the world economic crisis.Is it imminence that the social and economic crisis has negative effect to the artistic inspiration and production? On the other hand, is it the fact that in turbulent times masterpieces arise? Festival selectors, Jovan Cirilov and Anja Susa, with this year's choice are trying to respond to these questions.
Director Susa explained that a crisis of corporal capitalism, as a basic theme, is understood in the widest context. Some of the selected stage plays are talking about the Chinese economic boom, some about the consequences of the modern capitalist system, and the play which absolutely fits in the main theme is Karl Marx, Capital, Volume 1.
A provocative promotional poster, by desiner Slavisa Savic (New Moment agency), also fits in the main theme. On the poster, we can see a human brain with ears of Mickey Mouse.
Some of the most interesting plays are the following:
“Sutra” - the British show, which opens the festival. It explores the wisdom of Buddhist sutras, by using kung-fu and modern dance.
The Blue Dragon - about the fate of the Chinese Canadian. The author is a famous theatrical director Robert Lepage, who was expected on Bitef for a long time.
Airport kids - the phenomenon of capitalism is a new profession, and it requires constant journey. The theme of this theatrical piece is the new nomad’s children, who live on airports – the children without the country.
Vacation from history - an unusual performance ’one actor - one viewer’. This is not a theatre play with the traditional approach, it puts the audience in a state of fantasy and sleepy condition. A message is that we need a rest from the reality.Camp – a play which deals with the difficult topic – Auschwitz. In this piece 2000 dolls are used.
Karl Marx, Capital, Volume 1 - in the crisis, many people are searching for the salvation from capitalism. Some even turn to Marx’s famous book, and it becomes the subject of economic and artistic researches.
According to the announced program, it seems that the organizers of the 43th BITEF are successfully dealing with the world economic crisis, by using the art and, once again, we are looking forward to enjoy in an interesting theatrical autumn.

Private Detectives in Serbia

By Miodrag Stosic

Belgrade, July 29, ( Serbia Today ) - A few weeks ago, Serbia hosted Rob Stewart, an actor who became widely famous for his role of Nick Slaughter in a popular serial ''Tropical heat''. His visit caused interest in private detectives, heroes of pulp-fiction novels, but of wide screen also. How does Serbian society treat this profession? Are there appropriate legal regulations? Can one live off this job? To these and numerous other questions, Serbia Today went for answers to Stevan Đokić, private detective from Belgrade.
Mister Đokić, what influenced your choice of profession? Was it Ilija Čvorović, Nick Slaughter, or something else?
STEVAN ĐOKIĆ: In general, both Ilija Čvorović and Nick Slaughter had some impact. However, I was mostly influenced by my previous working experience. Fo several years, I have been working in special police units. Simply, everything connected to security was close to me.
You are often present in media. Is it smart for someone in your profession to expose himself in public? Or, maybe an element of publicity also plays its role?
STEVAN ĐOKIĆ: I appear in media mostly because people like to hear stories about work of private detectives. Is it smart? Well, it has its good and bad side. The good side is that people who have problems, and the police cannot help them, always can ask us for help. My identity, of course, is not a secret. My job is exclusively coordination and control, while the detectives who are not exposed work in field. I would just add that, among detetives, there are people who have their standard jobs, normal life, while their engagement in agency brings them additional incomes.
How could you describe a job of a private detective in Serbia?
STEVAN ĐOKIĆ: We do everything that the police does: various investigations, searches, descovering perpetrators, solving crimes... We also have our team of lawyers, with whom we look for extenuating circumstances – lawyers in courts, us in the field. We are among the best in investigating adultery and checking faithfullness of marital partners. We've got a bodyguard service, as well as a classic protection service. We perform electronic espionage and counter-espionage, and system protection. We are also specialized in cults and drug addiction – pulling out from cults, helping drug addicts to clean themselves, and helping their families.
What kind of cases are the most common, and which cases are the most difficult for you?
STEVAN ĐOKIĆ: Most often, it happens to us that parents hire us to track their children, to see who they are in contact with, do they use drugs... We also engage much on discovering adultery and checking faithfullness of partners... There are cases of robberies, where police cannot do much, searching for missing persons... You wouldn't believe, but checking faithfullness is most difficult to perform.
Is it true that detective use many technological inovations?
STEVAN ĐOKIĆ: Well, it isn't quite true... at least here. Detectives abroad have extraordinary equipment. Here we still work with simple tools, but what is important is that it also works.
Do you work alone, or do you have an organization?
STEVAN ĐOKIĆ: We've got properly registrated agency at APR. We pay taxes on time. You cannot work without it. Our Professional Security obeys law on advertisment, and we also have our internet site
Cooperation with the police?
STEVAN ĐOKIĆ: It does exist, but is voluntarily based. It isn't regulated by law.
Cooperation with the detectives from neighboring countries?
STEVAN ĐOKIĆ: Of course, our agency has developed cooperation with many agencies all over the world. It often happens to us that when we work on some case abroad, we contact our colleagues in that country, and they help us. The same goes when they work here.
Are the operations and existance of detective agencies in Serbia regulated by law, and how?
STEVAN ĐOKIĆ: There is no law for years. We work under previous law which has been annuled.
What if you and the police work on the same case? Who has an advantage?
STEVAN ĐOKIĆ: It often happens that we and the police work on the same case. Sometimes our work is undercover, and the police doesn't have information about our investigation. But in most of cases we cooperate in an exchange of information. Sometimes they do us a favor in some cases, and we do them a favor in the others.
For the end, can you live off your job? What does a detective do when citizens do not have problems, if it is possible?
STEVAN ĐOKIĆ: Of course, I can... But not the same way as abroad, where detectives earn nice incomes. The job is very difficult and requires much sacrifice, but you can live decently. There are always some problems, and people can come to us any time.

Nitex Workers blocked municipality buildings in Nis

Nis, July 25, (Serbia Today) – Workers of the textile factory “Nitex” , who are already for several months on strike, organized on Friday a blockade of the Municipality buildings in Nis, demanding Government action in the solution of their problems.
About 700 workers from the textile factory Nitex blocked all access to the local Government buildings, preventing those citizens of Nis who tried yesterday to enter any of municipality buildings in the center of Nis, including those employed by the city Government agencies.
Workers, who have not been paid salaries in the past two years, ask for their back pay, as well as for back pay to their health and retirement funds. They are on the strike on and off since November last year.
The President of the Independent Worker’s Union “Nitex” Zoran Tosic stated that workers demand 10.000 Euros to be paid to each worker for last two years, and that owner of the factory continues the production.
Nitex, originally owned by the State, was sold in November of 2006 to Irva Investments Company owned by Djordjija Nicovic for 13 mill. Euros by the State Agency for Privatization. Nitex is one of the oldest textile factories in Serbia, dating back to 1897.
Same company acquired last year a construction company “Gradjevinar” for 150.000 Euros, but that privatization was recently void by the Court. Workers of the construction company are on strike as well.

Between Reality and the Workings of the Heart

By: Natasa Tepavcevic

Belgrade, July 25 (Serbia Today) - “Between Reality and The Workings of The Heart” is a video installation by Ivana Popov, exhibited in the gallery Cultural Center of Belgrade. The exhibition was opened July 23, 2009.
The Cultural Center of Belgrade is a dynamic cultural institution, within which numerous ideas, topics, poetics, forms and media in various creative domains are united and contextualized every day, fusing into unique programs the wholeness that gives the Center an extraordinary vibrancy and strong profile. The Center celebrates the present time, relying on understanding the past and preparing itself to be a match for the future.
Video and audio installation “Between Reality and The Working of the Heart” is a new work by Ivana Popov, developed during her stay in the MFA in Carbondale (USA) 2007/2008, where she is a PHD student. The installation deals with the nature and emotions. Rich and complex visual symbolism expresses Ivana’s long-term research of the aesthetics of women. Downloading the motives from movies, which are the backbone of visual performances, Ivana developed through video and three-dimensional forms that define the gallery as an art environment. Video projections and objects presented in the form of installations have tactile character of image. These images associate with Eastern philosophy, culture, and rituals.
Boško Bošković wrote some important notices for the catalogue of the exhibition “Between Reality and The Working of The Heart”. He mentioned that there is an element of seduction in all Ivana Popov’s video installations –“ we are engulfed by the space, immersed in the darkness of the room, and our sensitivity is heightened by the possible proximity of strangers surrounding us”. As he is an adept in Ivana’s work, he claims that her video installations are contemplative, intimate, and often include autobiographical elements. “The Artist speaks to the senses, offers an open space for reflection, and invites each of us to meditate on our own lives. Her medium has changed -- she has switched the canvas for fabric and the paint for video -- but certain preoccupations and sensibilities have stayed the same. The new leitmotif of water in the installations might be a reflection on her newly relocated life, a rite of passage from the old continent to the new one. “In most religions water is used symbolically for rites of passage, spiritual purification rituals, and sacred ceremonies. It is also an agent of change, causing dissolution of matter. It is considered the source of life, the medium of death and immortality, the reservoir of wisdom.” Central to the founding myths of America is that you can always reinvent yourself. Perhaps these works are an act of purification, a readying for new beginnings and new avenues in the new home of Ivana Popov.
Ivana Popov was born 1976 in Belgrade, Serbia. She graduated University of the Fine Arts in Belgrade and got the Master’s degree. She is currently on PHD studies in the United States. Ivana Popov has exhibited works on eight one-man exhibitions in Belgrade and New York and participated in more than twenty group exhibitions in Greece, Serbia and USA. She lives and works in Southern Illinois University, School of Art and Design, Carbondale, USA.

Pirot's Kilims, Ethnographic Exhibition

By:Bojana Jankovic

Uzice, July 15, (Serbia Today)- An Ethnographic Exhibit of traditional Pirot’s kilims is going on in Uzice, from July 13th to July 20th. The exhibit itself is held in “Jokanovic Home”, a landmark house built in Oriental-Balkan architecture of early 19th century.
This exhibition is organized by the Circle of Serbian Sisters Uzice, City of Uzice, Women's Center, National Museum and the Tourist organization of Uzice. At the opening remarks were given by Biljana Diković (poet), Slobodanka Mira Stankovic-Cirkovic (president CSS), Nikola Gogić (Director of National Museum Uzice), Zagorka Nikitovic (ethnologist).
With great attention and joy all present listened to the speakers and then to the music performances of Milos Colic (secondary Music school Vojislav Lale Stefanovic), Women's singing group Ethno Association Homeland (Sladjana Djokic, Ljiljana Bosiljcic, Ljubinka Milicevic, Snezana Cirovic and Snezana Tomic Jokovic) and Slavica Nikolic (singing group Association Ere Uzice).
The main reason for this gathering was the artistic contribution by the design studio Zidajn from Uzice, Media Radio Luna, Vesti, TV 5, and many admirers of the humanitarian work of the Circle of Serbian Sisters. Exhibited were rugs and kilims of women who inherited them from their grandmothers, and kept them as their greatest treasures.
Hand made wool rugs and kilims were always respected elements of the traditional Serbian households. With interesting ornaments, sophisticated selection and combination of colors, impeccable texture and excellent wool quality, they were used not only for floors, but as bed coverings, or as decorations on a wall.
The President of the Circle of Serbian Sisters Uzice , Slobodanka Mira Stankovic-Cirkovic said for Serbia Today, “This exhibition is an expression of our efforts to keep an old Serbian tradition alive, and we will continue working hard on it, because the golden hands of all those beautiful girls and women in the villages made such artistic creations that it would be such a shame if they ended up somewhere in boxes, and not seen or shown. A lot of gentleness, kindness, and beauty is interwoven in those kilims, and we will work on keeping that Serbian tradition alive for the benefit of this people. The younger generation need to see this, because when they do, they will feel the spirit of their ancestors.”
The Circle of Serbian Sisters Uzice ( formed in 1992) has 35 active members and their projects do not get any financial support . All the work is done voluntarily. Due to great interest for this exhibition of Pirot’s kilims, the closing date will probably be postponed.

The Forger

By Li Novak

Belgrade, July 21 ( Serbia Today) - The closing of the theatre season has been marked by the significant play The Forger, wrote and directed by our famous film and theatre director Goran Marković.
The play is part of the trans-European theatre project After the Fall, conceived and executed by the Goethe institute. The idea behind this cross-border theatre project is to explore the consequences after the fall of the Berlin Wall, so artists from many European countries (15 of them), were invited to join in and offer their creative answers to the question posed. The project started in 2007. The position of Yugoslavia in the time of the fall was peculiar as it could possibly be.
While Europe was facing renewal, we here faced utter destruction. Our director offered his answer to the enigma of the fall of Yugoslavia. The story in ‘The Forger’, even though framed by official images of President Tito doing the things he knew best: parting endlessly with world-class guests, is actually a tale about all of us and the way that we, ordinary citizens, took active and quite irrational part in the utter destruction of our society. In Yugoslavia, phantasmagoric country of illusions, people were living their little phantasmagoric lives, the only ones they have. They are moving inside the five-pointed star (simple and excellent scene solution) and there is no other space for them. The star represents safety and warmness, but also their limitation and absence of real freedom.
Everybody in this story cheats, everybody lies, and everybody steals, often from his or her closest ones. Our hero is a man named Andjelko, ‘the good forger’. He does engage in criminal activity, he forges school diplomas, although without charge. He just wants to be good to people and thinks that these acts are good for the humanity. When he finally gets caught, that represents dramatic turn over. Everything and everybody shows their real faces. Main character is a symbol of the huge naivety of the Yugoslav people. An ordinary citizen of Yugoslavia believed that the government would take care of everything. We all decided to believe in a truth as simple as it is false: that in the land of thieves an innocent man is a fool…
According to Markovic, Yugoslavia did not begin to disintegrate in the 1990s. In his view, the process started in the Tito era, when the brutal suppression of the late 1960s student unrest also left people’s ideals in tatters. What remained was a disillusioned society.
The leading role is played by Tihomir Stanić and the rest of the acting crew is Miodrag Krivokapić, Ljubomir Bandović, Danijel Sič, Nataša Marković, among the others.
By this play, director Marković gives personal contribution to multicultural dialogue, in years after the cold war. He talks about significant subjects, and about emotional reality, which is sometimes more important then the bare facts.
We are looking for the next theatre season, when The Forger will get the attention and popularity, which surely deserves.

School of Friendship

By:Jelena Jovanovic

Belgrade, July 24,(Serbia Today) - The 9th School of Friendship, a Summer Camp for children age 8– 18 was organized again this year by the Humanitarian Non-profit Organization «Naša Srbija» (Our Serbia) on Tara Mountain, from July 15th to August 6th.
The school gathers 400 children from Serbia and Republika Srpska. Children have settled in a beautiful hotel “Beli Bor” on Tara Mountain attending various educative and creative workshops: schools of ethnology and weaving, painting, sculpting, music, dance, acting, school of ecology, computers, sports, journalism ... Program of the School also includes various other activities - games, competitions, excursions, concerts, theater plays.
The School of Friendship came out of the idea of “Naša Serbia” to treat needs and problems of the children included in aid programs- children who had lost one or both parents during the past wars in Serbia and former Yugoslavia, children whose parents were kidnapped or missing and socially imperiled children.
For children from the most endangered Serbian enclaves in Kosovo and Metohia, participation in the School of Friendship on Tara Mountain is one of the rare opportunities to safely spend their time and move freely in friendly and beautiful surroundings.
This school offers children a wide choice of activities. Children gain new knowledge and experiences and the whole project is realized by the professional team of “Naša Srbija“, with the participation of many experts.
Sanja Savić, from the organization Naša Srbija announced several special programs which would be part of this year`s School of Friendship. One of them is the fourth multiethnic seminar Days of Friendship, which would be held from July 31st to August 6th.
The Seminar will have 160 participants: children of eight different nationalities from the whole Serbia: Slovakian, Hungarian, Ruthenian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Albanian, Bosnian and Serbian. Themes of the seminar are tolerance and multicultural differences, and the main aim is promotion of the values of multiethnic and multicultural tolerance, as well as contribution to the new, modern and democratic society.
A Day of Friend-Country dedicated to Spain this year, will be marked on August, 5th. Spanish Embassy in Belgrade helps the realization of the School of Friendship and a special guest of the school will be the Spanish Ambassador Juan Inigo de Palatio Espana. Children will learn about history, tradition, culture and customs of Spain and present their knowledge about this country in a quiz-game.
The program of the School of Friendship 09 is also enriched by numerous concerts – guests of the music program will be Leontina, Željko Joksimović, Marko Kon and many other musicians.
The ‘Politika’ Book fair for children will be organized this year for the seventh time. The fair will be held on July, 25th, and Serbian publishing houses will present many new books and give them to the children as a gift. Publishing house ‘Politika' will also award children who showed the best results and achievements in the workshops.
General sponsor of this Summer School of Friendship is Intensa Bank.
School of Friendship on mountain Tara is, certainly, the best part of summer, for children who attend it. For them, this school also presents a step into a different, happier future.

The Exhibition: Where Humanism Begins

By Natasa Tepavcevic

Belgrade, July 22, (Serbia Today) - In the gallery RTS in Belgrade (Serbian National Radio-Television) the audience had and still has a unique opportunity to visit the retrospective exhibition of Miodrag Protic: "Where humanism begins" till 24th of July 2009.
Protic is well known Serbian painter and author of many books, essays, studies, chronicle. He left a deep and indelible trace in the Yugoslavian’s visual art criticism. He was a founder and long-time director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade.
As the author of exhibition, Protic together with curator of National Museum-Ljubica Miljkovic, participated in the selection of works. All the exhibited paintings are in ownership of his family and himself, with the exception of two pictures, borrowed from the National Museum.
The exhibition "Where humanism begins" allows visitors to follow the genesis of Protic’s paintings from conditionally said "mature period" when his commitment to constructivism made minimal funds and reached its “clearest” form. In this sense, especially is interesting for art lovers to compare painting from the very beginning of Protic’s artistic career, for example paintings from 1959s and paintings made in 2001st year. The well illustrated and very informative catalogue done under the supervision of Ljubica Miljkovic, the curator of National Museum, is very helpful as a guide through this big exhibition.
We can perceive Protic’s work from many angles: as the greatest work of modern masters of the Serbian art history in epoch of modern, as work which brings new tendendencies crossing the borders and promoting the contemporary trends, Protic’s work in the field of critic as well as his contribution as a theorist who has made the brilliant study of Yugoslavian art, summarizes the twentieth century.
Narrowed choice of Protic’s opus for the exhibition in the Gallery of RTS depended of bodily space in gallery, of length and height of walls. Within shown works, visitors can read Protic’s essay Where humanism begins, published in 1951st as well as the review in catalogue of exhibition of Petar Lubarda which is well known as an unsuccessful attempt of Serbian authorities to affect the creativity in order to establish dialectic materialism. Owing to Protic’s commitment, after soc-realism (as artistic style as well as historical period) disappeared avant-garde art has become official in all ex-Yugoslavian countries.

36th Trumpeters Fest

By:Bojana Jankovic

Uzice, July 22, (Serbia Today)-This year 36th Trumpeters’ Fest, took place on Tic Polje, on Zlatibor from July 18-July 19. This location has been chosen three years ago, since it can accommodate large events. More then 20.000 people were at this year’s festival.
The Municipality of Cajetina, and the Tourist Organization Zlatibor, sponsored this event, while the Cultural-Sport Center Cajetine, organized it. It’s Director Strajin Nedovic told Serbia Today, “I am glad we continue this beautiful spirit of tradition of organizing the 36th Fest of Trumpeters, as a pre-competition to the famous Gucha Festival, that’s coming in August.”
During the two days of Festival (Saturday and Sunday, July 18th and 19th) the trumpeters and national folk creative performers participated from all parts of Serbia. KUD GIK Banat-Pionir, singing groups from Rozanstvo, Uzice, Cacak, pipers and toasters, and participants from Slovenija (former Yugoslav republic) with the orchestra ’’Godba Zgornje Savinjske doline’’, and many others.
The program host was Marija Jeremic from Zlatibor. When the Senior Trumpeters finished their competition, and while waiting for the Judges’ decision, the younger generation of trumpeters took over the stage. The group “Daniela” from Arilje, “Lim Pearls” from Priboj showed the enthusiasm of a continued tradition.
The orchestra of Dejan Lazarevic from Pozega, won the “Best Orchestra award”, and the Best Trumpeter is Dejan Petrovic from Uzice. The jury of Journalists and viewers declared Veljko Ostojic from Zlakusa as the best Trumpeter.
The Director of Cultural-Sports Center Cajetine, Strajin Nedovic told reporter of Serbia Today, “I am so glad to continue this tradition of pre-competition for Gucha. I ‘d like to thank all those who contributed to this event, all the participants (trumpeters, singing groups, pipers, toasters, and a complete team of Grand Star and Grand production). And of course, I want to thank all 20.000 guests and visitors.”

Tito's Soap on the Free Market

By Ljilja Cvekic

ZRENJANIN, July 23 (Serbia Today) – Almost 30 years after Yugoslavia’s socialist ruler-for-life died, a cosmetic factory discovered an original mold and a secret recipe for a luxurious soap made exclusively for Josip Broz Tito and restarted production of the unique cleansing agent, offering it now to the wide public.
Nothing was good enough for Tito who led the multiethnic state for 35 years of peace and prosperity but who was also well known as a stylish hedonist with luxurious taste, wearing his trademark white suits paired with white gloves, eating the best quality food prepared by the most prominent cooks, smoking the best cigars in the world sent by Cuba’s Fidel Castro personally, driving the best cars and washing himself with a soap specially designed for him, mild and skin-friendly and smelling on his favorite flowers – violet, lily of the valley and lilac.
“The Marshal soap smells after old times, prosperity, honey, ethereal oils, juniper berries and camomile,” says Laslo Hanak, the only member of a team producing the soap in the 1960’s still working in the Luxol chemical industry. The old semi-automatic production line was recently repaired and Hanak is able to spend his last year in job before pension by supervising the same machine he started his work on 40 years ago.
A white 180-gram soap, with engraved English Bath Soap on one side and branches and stars marking the marshal rank on the other, wrapped in a small silk handkerchief and placed in a dark red box with the name Marshal written in gold, is now for the first time produced for the general public. Marshal was the highest rank in the former Yugoslav army and Tito was the only person who had ever got it.
“All ingredients of the soap are natural, and even the package meets the ecological standards. We have sold all that we produced in spring, and depending on the market analysis we shall decide whether to go ahead with our initial plan to make the complete cosmetic line,” Luxol Development Director Branka Mihajlovic told Serbia Today.
The enthusiastic plan, created after the old mold was accidentally found in an old part of the factory and an old yellowish notebook with recipes taken out of a safe, was to sell a single soap in a metal box and a set of three soaps in a fine wooden box and to produce also eau de toilette with same fragrance to match and under the same brand name.
As one of the oldest soap producers in the Balkans, established in 1884 as a small soap and candles workshop that bloomed in 1960’s when it signed an agreement with Chicago’s Helene Curtis cosmetics company on limitless use of its formulas for hair color, shampoo and conditioner, Luxol has got an order to create for the president a special soap of the best natural material, carefully developed and made by a team of best and most loyal workers, capable of keeping a secret and well checked by the state security and counter intelligence.
“Working for comrade Tito was an honor for each of us,” Hanak says. Every fifth of a month a special vehicle would arrive, escorted by the state security people who supervised loading and transport of soap to Marshal’s office in Belgrade. The quality was checked twice, at the factory’s lab and then again by a team of Tito’s chemists.
No one was allowed to take even a single piece of the soap out of the factory. At first Tito was the only one to use it, carrying it wherever he traveled and giving it as a present to his royal guests and heads of state. There was a story that the entire Soviet Union’s Central Committee was crazy about the soap that after a while was partly available also to some of Tito’s closest associates and generals.
“Marshal was the nick name workers have given to the soap at that time and we’ve decided to keep it. The name is protected as a brand at the Geneva institute,” said Dusan Gatarevic, head of marketing in Luxol, adding that many people are calling not only from ex-Yugoslav countries but also other parts of Europe to order bigger quantities of the soap. “We might even get the permission by Tito’s grandson Joska Broz to put his image on the box as well.”

Fish Fest Belgrade '09

By Una Zabunov

Belgrade, June 30 ( Serbia Today)- The smell of fish soup was extended at the mouth of two rivers Danube and Sava for three days. Fish-fest, the event that celebrates the river, fish, music, friendship and good mood, was held from 26 to 28 June near the Nebojsa’s Tower in Belgrade.
Organizers of event were: Association “The Danube at Heart”, Restaurant “Vodenica”, Belgrade Association of Chefs of Mediterranean and European Regions.
The main events of the Fest were very rich music program and competition in the cooking fish soup. The second day of the festival was most visited.
Famous Serbian ethno-singer Luis held a concert for his fans in front of the “Vodenica” restaurant. He sang his popular songs such as:” Do not scold me, do not rebuke me, mother”, “Duda”, “Gypsy dream” etc.
The visitors really enjoyed their fish meals. That night, many celebrities were part of the competition in fish soup and fish stew cooking. The taste of fish, colour of soup and appearance were rated.
Luis was competitor, too. He won the third place. Politika’s journalists made the best fish soup. Saša Orlović,Vladimir Trumić, Boško Tanasković and Saša Lale were in the team of Serbian daily newspapers “Politka”. Saša said for Serbia Today that his team participated for the first time in the competition and that they really were the best cooks that night.

Worlds Danube Day

By Ljiljana Samardzic

Backi Monostor, June 29, (Serbia Today) - For the seventh time, Backi Monostor was host of an ecological-cultural event - The Danube day.
It was envisioned as a celebration of a cleaner river and better preserved nature, with multimedia programs of educational, cultural and ecological character, including festivals held on the river banks that would help us express our gratitude to the Danube, river that brings us all together.
On June 28th the Festival grounds were open from noon till the end of the day. Heavy rain and bad weather spoiled part of announced schedule, so part of the program was omitted. There were some delays with documentary film projection as well. Although the first day did not go very well, the following one was much better attended and more successful. On June 29th, the villagers celebrated St. Peters Day and because of it, a big village fair was organized, which coincided with the Danube Day celebration.
The best part of the Festival events were musical performances by bands - Jahkozza, Irie Revolution, Zion Crew, Straight Jackin, and Russian Doctors. Zion Crew is remembered by its participation in last year’s Exit festival.
In spite of the problems with organization of the event, and bad weather, the general atmosphere was great and all visitors enjoyed immensely. The Festival was a real success and a fitting tribute to the river that gives life and inspires

Red Star - Fallout over one million Euros

Belgrade, July 9 (Serbia Today) – Fallout is at hand after the season in which the basketball team Red Star has organized, consolidated its finances and results, and formed a new ambitious, young and talented management with Svetislav Pesic as director.
While everybody expected a confirmation that the trophy master Slobodan Vukicevic will continue his cooperation with the red and white team, he submitted his resignation as a president of a club and main investor (there is a rumor that he infused 2 million Euros in the club accounts).
The reason for his resignation is purely of financial nature. The management could not provide an annual budget of 4.5 million Euros, as the operating management, that is, the manager Milan Opacic and a coach Svetislav Pesic have determined.
Vukicevic closed the financial structure at 3.5 millions, but according to his words, “the players and the management team were not willing to lower their incomes during this period of global economic crisis.”
Both sides, of course, consider themselves to be right. It is however, interesting to compare the above-mentioned numbers with the neighboring teams. The Red Star would have the highest budget of all the clubs in Serbia! However, they will not compete in the Euro league as Partizan will, nor they will have so many expenses, or the income coming from that elite division.
The sport’s director of black and white’s, Mladjan Silobrad said their last year’s budget was around 3 million Euros and they had functioned very difficultly. “The global crisis has entered our backyards, so we will lower our budget and it will be certainly smaller than 3 million Euros”, he added.
The main people from Hemofarm have at their disposal 2.5 million Euros (including the women’s team, which is the state champion), while FMP with the best youth categories and 3 Halls in possession, will not spend more than a million Euros.
The days of uncertainty are in front of the Red Star. If the compromise is not reached at the last moment, the team will stay without a president Vukicevic, a coach Pasic, and probably without a big number of lead players. They are at the edge of an abyss.

Awaking Ecological Consciousness in Serbia

By Miodrag Stosic
Belgrade, Aug. 3 ( Serbia Today) - One of the biggest problems of a modern man is an impossibility of creating balance between a constant modernization process and preservation of the environment. Developing countries, and Serbia among them, have been hesitating for long to put the question of a sustainable development on the agenda. It has been justified by claims that state has much more serious work to do, so ecological problems got into the working spectre of nongovernmental organizations.
However, Serbian government recently decided to support many actions taken to awake consciousness about the need to preserve the environment. The biggest proof of that is the adoption of Law on the protection of the environment, which besides usual defining of the state’s ecological priorities based on human right to a healthy life, introduces an active approach to the environment. The law defines strategies of prevention, whose goal is to prevent the pollution itself, as well as the principles for responsible management of valuable natural resources. Also, for the first time, the law opens the door to public, by publishing state’s work and by inviting citizens to take part in the preservation of the environment. What is new in the law is the creation of Fund, which should provide a permanent presence of financial means for solving actual and future problems in the environment. The Government promised it would allocate a billion dinars for removing 160 ’’wild’’ dumps all over Serbia. It also started the action ’’Očistimo Srbiju’’ (’’Let’s clean Serbia’’).
Besides state activities, many citizen manifestations have been recently held to witness that ecological consciousness of the nation has begun to wake. A few months ago, there was a musical festival ’’Supernatural’’ in Belgrade. Many popular bands played on this festival, and reminded audience between songs why the healthy environment is important. Symbolically, instead of a ticket, every visitor had to bring 4 empty cans.
Belgrade ’’Beer Fest 2009’’ tries to merge people’s passion towards beer with the development of their ecological consciousness. Action called ’’Biram da recikliram’’ (’’I choose to recycle’’), which will end on 9th of August, put an accent on recycling. There’s a stand on Nikola Pašić square at which citizen’s can exchange 3 cans for a Beer Fest souvenier package. Also, in cooperation with mobile networks, action to collect money by sending SMS has been started. This action is an interesting attempt to merge a popular manifestation and solving so important problems of the society.
By July 29th, a student’s camp ’’Sačuvajmo Dunav’’ (’’Let’s save the Danube’’) was held on Veliko ratno ostrvo (Great War Island) in Belgrade. This action, whose goal was to inspire students to preserve our biggest river, had the greatest support up to date. Its conceptual creator, Faculty of Ecology Practice ’’Futura’’, was supported by City of Belgrade Assembly, communal enterprise ’’Zelenilo Beograd’’, public enterprise ’’Poslovni prostor Zemun’’, as well as by Secretariat for municipal affairs and housing. The Danube was our link to the world, even when all the other connections were cut. That’s why this action deserves to be praised and should inspire more similar actions.
Ecological problems can not be solved by only one law or manifestation, but by constant development of ecological consciousness and taking care of our planet. We should always remember that our care about environment is in fact our care about ourselves. Like in George Carlin’s witty remark: ’’Earth is fine. We have a problem’’.

Day Care Facilities for people with disabilities

By:Bojana Jankovic

Cajetina, July 28, (Serbia Today) - In April 2009 the Development Fund for Social Innovation of Serbia, in cooperation with the UN Development Program (UNDP) and the Ministry of Labor and Social Politics(MLSP), with a financial support of EU, sent a public proclamation to interested parties to submit a proposal with a goal to establish day care facilities for people with disabilities.
In the municipality of Cajetina, exists for a long time now, a need for day care facilities for children with special needs. The Center for Social works approved the work of administration of municipality to present the project proposition to the Fund for Social Innovation.
The project with a goal to support children with special needs of the Cajetina municipality, has been approved and signed on July 15.
A building of the facilities is planned to be finished by January 2010. Over 2.600.000dinars (27.999.108 Euros) will be provided.The goal of this project is to support children with special needs, help them overcome their problems and recognize their skills and understandings. In addition, their parents often need to be provided by an appropriate education in order to understand what are their rights.Day care service will contribute to the improvement of the parents’ quality of life as well, and enable them to get support in term of self-esteem and reduction of feeling of being alone , so they can exchange the problems and experiences with the people who understand them or have the same problems.
Until the new public institution is built, the elementary schools “Dimitrije Tucovic” and “Sava Jovanovic” of the Municipality of Cajetina, gave their buildings for temporary usage. At all times 5 people will be present (coordinator, Therapist, nurse, administrative worker and driver) and part time Doctors: Pediatrician, Psychotherapist, Social worker and Psychologist.

Serbians spend less money than other Europeans do

By Rina Mihajlovic
Novi Sad, Aug.11, 2009 (Serbia Today) - Serbia is one of the countries that has the smallest spending budget for personal needs and spends less than anyone else in Europe besides Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria. Slovenia is the country that spends the most.
Average household in Slovenia spends 1.700 Euros monthly for their everyday needs while in Ukraine they spend 214 Euros and in Serbia 254 Euros.
The survey taken in 10 countries in Middle and East Europe has showed that households in Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria have to have 500 euro to make it through the month. The average monthly expenses are 410 euro for utility bills and food and if we take into consideration that monthly average salary is 340 euro it is clear that many families don’t have enough money for living.
Checks and Slovaks have from 900 to 1000 euro for monthly expenses as well as Croatians and Pollacks. In Serbia 40 percent of the salary goes to food while in Ukraine the total of 54 percent goes to food. The experts say that the high percentage of salary going to food and beverages show us the presence of weak consumer buying power.
In Check Republic people spend approximately 20 percent of salary on food and in Slovenia less than 17 percent.
More accurate is the information that tells us that people in Serbia spend most money monthly on food, moreover most of it for coffee and milk and least for shampoos and deodorants. Serbians as people enjoy their shopping, and that is why they are so grateful consumers and spenders. It is interesting that people in Serbia care more about quality than price and that makes them selective consumers.
When they go shopping, they mostly visit large supermarkets and hypermarkets and spend approximately 40 euro. The experts say that people usually have that money in their pockets meaning they pay with cash. Lately the use of credit cards increased and we can see many people using them for their transactions.
The government is aware that many families need two incomes to survive a month and for many people clothes, shoes and other activities are not achievable. There are so many children sitting at home because their parents can’t afford to give them even 2 euro for a juice. Also many people stop going to cinemas because it is much cheaper to buy DVD on the street that costs 2 euro than spend 3 times more.
In other countries where people have higher salaries, there is no such problem because the amount of salaries is enough for everything, and even some to be put aside.
In the last few years, the living expenses went up as well as prices of food for approximately 10 percent causing people to spend more. Their salaries remain the same while everything else went up.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Dream Come True for Jewelry Designer

By:Una Zabunov

Belgrade, July 20, (SerbiaToday) - Marija Janković, the Author of a collection called "Rehab“, revealed her talent for making jewelry quite accidentally. When she wanted to buy an authentic urban piece of jewelry for herself and couldn’t find anything interesting in the stores, she decided to make it herself.
This young artist from Kraljevo showed some of her finished pieces to her friends and they were fascinated . Marija's friends were her first customers. The story about her talent spread quickly, and many girls from Belgrade were interested to have a piece of her jewelry.
A large number of these girls were informed about the jewelry through the Internet which confirms the fact that Maria has 2.171 Facebook friends. At this year’s Fashion Show manifestation in Belgrade, fashion models of designer Hristina Petrović were wearing the jewelry and hats created by Marija Janković.
Marija Jankovic said for Serbia Today that she finds inspiration for her work everywhere, in a good book, magazine, on her terrace. The girls who wear her jewelry, has her own style, wears everything she likes and does not focus on comments of people. “My jewelry is designed for the urban princess with a delicacy of taste. She has to be different from the others”, Marija Jankovic said.
Many of Marija’s jewelry can be already seen worn by pop singers, and fashion magazine editors.
A large number of people in Serbia is connected to the network and they use Facebook and MySpace. In that way, people are informed about this new promising Artist and her innovative work.

Punto MADE IN Kragujevac

By Rina Mihajlovic

Novi Sad, July 15 (Serbia Today) -The production of “Punto” diesel started this month in Kragujevac at “Zastava Auto” factory. More than a thousand workers are working in production of Punto cars. Most of the parts are being delivered from Italy by train, and workers are scheduled in two shifts, due to a large amount of production.
Giueseppe Zaccaria, spokesman of “Fiat-Cars Serbia” said that he is particularly satisfied with the production which reached one hundred cars per day, which was their initial goal based on the market demand.
Fiat also has its people here controlling the quality of each car unit and helping the workers master the technology. Fiat is in the final phase of clearing old “Zastava” production halls so that they can install the most modern technology in car production by the end of this year.
If everything goes according to the plan the factory in Kragujevac will take on technological supremacy from the “Fiat” factory in Poland. Model “Fiat 500” is being produced in Poland right now.
Minister of Economy and Regional development Mladjan Dinkic said that within two next months the annex to contract with Italians will be signed for manufacturing a new car model. It is not decided yet whether it will be a new model A or B class but whichever one they choose, its trial production will start at the end of next year. We are talking about two new models that have been designed and one of them is a small city vehicle, technically sophisticated and mainly for the sale in the EU market.
If Fiat decides to manufacture Class A in Kragujevac it would mean manufacturing 250.000 cars annually plus 50.000 of Punto diesel. But if they choose class B then it would mean 140.000 cars per year.
Minister Dinkic also said that the production of Punto on gas will begin in September. The Managers of Fiat will soon inform us on a further plan of production of Fiat Punto diesel that will be manufactured in two versions, one called Dynamic the other Emotion. They will also present the investment information concerning additional gear needed for those two models. Minister Dinkic said that the investment by Fiat and Serbia in this factory will be around 700 million euro.
Zastava is a Serbian brand but up to now the sales of Punto manufactured in Kragujevac topped 350million dinars. The total of 5000 cars was sold even before the production has started. Dinkic said that the production of Punto cars may be raised due to large demand and be sold according to a system “old for new”. The production is heavy and the workers will be awarded with a bonus that equals an average salary of 30.000dinars, and they will receive it in three equal monthly installments.
Director of the “Fiat-Cars Serbia” said that it is not known how much money will be invested in the future but that hiring people and installing new equipment is already a huge investment.

Finnaly, domestic violence is a crime!

By: Ljiljana Samardzic

Zrenjanin, July 22, (Serbia Today)- Vojvodina got yesterday its second women’s shelter placed in Zrenjanin, officially opened by the President of Executive Council, Bojan Pajtic PhD, and a manager of B92 Foundation, Veran Matic.
Location of the “Safe house” will be unknown to the general public and only reporters from B92 television were able to enter on its opening day. The hidden location is kind of a guarantee that abusers could not find their victims when placed in this shelter.
Silvija Kranjc, manager of Sombor’s center for social work, told Serbia Today that a third women’s shelter in Sombor, Vojvodina, will be built by the end of this year.
“The reason why Serbia didn’t build those shelters before is that until the year 2000, the violence against women was not considered as a crime. When finally society in Serbia admitted that domestic violence is a crime, an extremely developed local mechanism of protection was needed if we wanted that women’s shelter has its real function and efficiency”, says Kranjc.
Violence against women in Serbia is defined as “everything that puts woman in controlled position by the abuser and the situation when abuser is making decisions about her like she is a thing. Violence can be physical, emotional abuse, any kind of manipulation and economical violence.”
Very often, abusers are socially interesting and amiable personalities in their social environment, but, on the other side, they are pathological monsters in the privacy of their homes.
That is exactly one of the reasons why a woman finds it hard to report the abuser. She is scared that no one will believe her and subsequently help her. This is also stimulated by the fact that the abuser is slowly destroying its victim’s self - confidence.
According to mutual data from Center for Social Work and police of Sombor’s district, domestic violence is most common during summer period, in July and August, on Mondays and Wednesday, from 6-10PM
However, the purpose of women’s shelters is not to be filled while leaving abusers to carelessly lie around in their homes. The point is in giving help to critical cases by placing them in “Safe house”, but also in helping them to manage after they leave the shelter. The most critical link in the system is the Court of Law, according to Ms. Kranjc.
„Judges are not educated enough for working with victims of domestic violence. That is to say, the bully is denying that he has committed violence, and on the other side stands a terrified victim, who is not obligated to witness in the process against the bully. However, the prosecutor is in position to carry on with prosecution although the victim is giving up, but I have never encountered such a case in Sombor”.
In next two years Vojvodina will have four “Safe houses” - in Novi Sad, Zrenjanin, Sombor and Pancevo. That should be enough to preserve victims from ongoing and future violence and abuse in their homes. But, as it’s already said, the “Safe House” as shelter is not enough. The system must be strongly developed, but society as well.

FC BUDUCNOST - Winner of the Palisad Trophy

FC Buducnost Winner of the “Palisad Trophy”
By Bojana Jankovic
Uzice, July 02 (SerbiaToday) - FC Buducnost is the winner of the First International Football Tournament “Palisad Trophy 2009”.
The Palisad Trophy has been born out of desire of young people of Zlatibor Region to have a regular annual football tournament that will perpetuate and propagate the tradition of the football success in the region.
It has been organized by the Palisad Hotel and with the support of Chajetina Tourist Organization. The tournament lasted from June 25- 28 and the games were played at the playing-field of the hotels Shvajcarija and Palisad next to the lake, and when the weather was bad, at the closed playing-field in the village Kremna.
All teams were divided in two groups: group Palisad and group Zlatibor. In the first group were the following teams: FK Buducnost from Podgorica (Montenegro), FK Jagodina from Jagodina (Serbia) and FK Modrica Maxima from Modrica (Bosnia and Herzegovina). In the second group were: FK Sutjeska from Niksic (Montenegro), FK Sevojno from Uzice (Serbia) and FK Macedonia Đorche Petrov from Skopje (Macedonia).
The winners of the groups and the finalists of the Tournament were FC Buducnost and FC Sutjeska. Although the score was 1:1, total points difference decided the winner.
After end of the final match and the announcement of the winner, three more prizes were awarded. For the best players of the tournament, the expert jury declared Bulatovic Darko from FC Sutjeska from Niksic (Montenegro). The award for the best scorer went to a player from the same team, Adrovic Damir (two scores). The award for the youngest player of the Tournament went to Siljanovski Goran, from the team FC Macedonia Djorche Petrov from Skopje (Macedonia),
Although the weather was bad, the teams presented a good game, showed tolerance and endurance. The Tournament organizers were pleased with the game performances, and expressed their willingness to meet again on a Second International Soccer Tournament “Palisad Trophy 2010 “ Zlatibor, to be held next year at the same time and place.

The "Art Scene" behind Exit Festival

By Natasa Tepavcevic
Belgrade, July 12 (Serbia Today) - Art Scene was a part of support events to the music happening called EXIT Festival in Novi Sad.
On July 8th in “Synagogue”, visitors of Novi Sad could enjoy video work of Cedomir Drce and Slobodan Tisma “Opera Aperta”, concert of pianist Branka Parlic and piano duo of Gareis and Polh from Switzerland. Branka Parlic performed “Orpheus suite for piano solo” of Philip Glass and duo from Switzerland which was a premier performance: compositions of: Steve Reich, Gavin Bryars, John Adams and Aleksandar Rabinovic.
Opera “Opera Aperta” is composed from three parts: Aesthetic 1-3, Unvisual-36 times blue and The Fumes.
The video installation of Ivan Milinkov, specially produced for this occasion, was visual support for the concert of Branka Perlic. Milinkov used in his video the cadres from a movie “Orpheus” of Jean Cocteau, because concert of Branka Perlic reminded us of the anniversary, 120 years from Cocteau’s birth and 60 years from appearance of “Orpheus” movie.
Concert “Strictly minimal”-piano duo of Gareis and Polh started after Branka Parlic’s performance. Audience had rarely opportunity to listen one of the oldest Steve Reich’s composition “Piano phases” from 1967, as well as Gavin Bryars’s composition “My first Homage”, John Adam’s composition “Hallelujah Junction” and Aleksandar Rabinovic’s composition “Liebliches Lied”.
This program was organized and realized by support of Provincial Secretariat for Culture and The Citizens' Pact for South-East Europe.

TERRAtory, an unusual exibit

By:Una Zabunov

Belgrade, July 16,(Serbia Today) – As a part of the BELEF’s visual program, Knez Mihajlova Street, the heart of downtown Belgrade, has been transformed in the open space gallery. People going up and down the street are somewhat confused, but mostly amused with the site of the sculptures made of terracotta placed on the street pavement. The exhibition "TERRAtory " is a part of the Belef Festival program.
The Sculptures are sorted in groups and they have caused great interest of the audience . Forms of the sculpture are simple, such as: human portraits, chess figures etc.
The Authors of these figures are 150 students of Art Schools, as well as several already established Artists from Florence, Temişoara, Belgrade and Novi Sad.
After the end of the 18th traditional Summer Festival, all of the terracotta figures will be donated to schools, kindergartens and hospitals.
The Festival's visual program concept carries on the initiative from BELEF and continues to explore the possibilities of Modern Art production in public areas.
The city remains in focus as a theme, an element on which an intervention is carried on, a field of research and interpretation, where art is offered to the widest public completely avoiding gallery showrooms.

Palic Film Festival

By:Jelena Jovanovic

Belgrade, July 16, (Serbia Today)- The 16th European Palić Film Festival will be held from July 18- 24, on various locations near lake Palić and in Subotica. A British film director Ken Russell will open the Festival. Serbian Minister of culture, Nebojša Bradić will be present at the opening ceremony.

Ken Russell is a special guest of the Festival as this year’s winner of the prestigious Aleksandar Lifka Award, together with remarkable Serbian actor Predrag Miki Manojlović. The European Film Festival Palić gives this award for outstanding contribution to the European cinema.

The International Film Festival Palić was founded in 1992 by the Municipality of Subotica. From the earliest small and unpretentious film screenings in Palić, through the persistent attempts to create a serious regional film festival in the hard times of isolation, the Festival has grown into an important European film festival. In the year 2003, with its 10th edition, Palić Festival became a member of the European Council of Film Festivals.

Today, the European Film Festival Palić is one of the most important film festivals in the region that presents only European films.

This year, on the Summer Stage, Yachting Club and Eco Centre (Palic), in Jadran Cinema and Open University (Subotica) the audience will be able to watch films in the official program which has competitive character.

There are 8 other programs – Parallels and Encounters , Young European Filmmakers, Homage program, New Finnish film, New Hungarian film, Serbian film in transition- 1989/2009 , Eco Documentaries and Underground spirit.

The Festival will be opened with a film For a moment, Freedom (Austria/France/Turkey 2008) directed by Arash Riahi and will be closed by a film awarded this year in Cannes - The White Ribbon by Michael Haneke. In seven days of the Festival, 14 films will be presented in the main program. Among them it will be four Serbian films- The Devil`s Town, directed by Vladimir Paskaljević, Ordinary people, directed by Vladimir Perišić, Someone is still waiting, by Marko Novaković and Here and There, by Darko Lungulov.

In a program “Parallels and Encounters”, 8 films from Eastern Europe will be screened. Festival will also present young and perspective European film authors, less known films and authors from Hungary and Finland, as well as brave and unusual film stories in a program “Underground spirit”. A retrospective view on the most significant Serbian films made from 1991. will be shown in program “Serbian film in transition”.

“Homage program” is dedicated to the this year’s winners of the award Aleksandar Lifka, and the accompanying Festival program will include lectures, round tables, interesting music programs, parties...

The European Film Festival will award the following prizes: Golden Tower for the best film and Palić Tower for the best directing, as well as the Jury's Special Prize. The best film from the “Parallels and Encounters” Program will be chosen by the International Critics' Jury.

The Jury of the 16th European Film Festival Palić consists of Szabolcs Tolnai, a director from Subotica, Samuel Finzi, an actor from Germany, Gloria Scola, a journalist from Madrid, Peter Zawrel, director of the Vienna Film Fund, and Alberto Barbera, president of the Jury. Barbera is a well known Italian film critic and director of the National Museum of Cinema in Turin.

Radoslav Zelenović, director of the Festival, told that, although financial means for the Festival had been reduced for 40% , they had managed to keep its form. He also said that he was very glad that a Festival had such impressive guest list. This year festival guests will be authors from 12 films from the official program, and many others.

Except for the Main Competition, entry is, as usual, free to all other sections of the European Palić Film Festival. Films from the main competition program are screened at the Summer Stage in Palić, and tickets can be purchased at the box office of the Stage. A ticket for one festival evening (two films from the main program) costs 200 dinars.