This time around we have also asked the representatives of the authorities, diplomatic corps, international institutions, business associations, media and many others to express their views on the possible re-arrangement of power in the world, the European and regional political scene, the influences on Serbia’s accession to the EU, economic development, investments in culture, and as an inevitable question this year, elections which are taking place in many countries, including Serbia. We talked to NATAŠA RADOJEVIĆ, Curator of the Drina Gallery

In the light of Serbia’s accession to the EU, it seems that the development of culture and the arts is overshadowed by other segments of society. What do you think are the key problems that we need to solve in order to reach the European level?

First and foremost, we need to work on raising awareness about contemporary art. Contemporary art has long been regarded by people across the globe as the best investment, and this sector has grown over the past two decades like no other. If we think of a cultural strategy, we are talking about a concept that is inseparable from the unification of economy and business and, most importantly, the state that creates the tax conditions and the context for that to happen. In other words, the state has to encourage, via its laws, the purchase of and investment in art, rather than punishing that process.We are tasked with nurturing the memory, both personal and the collective. We create the future precisely through the use of memory. We already have enormous potential and specific parameters to create an original brand that will position us not only on the European but on the global stage. We need to turn our exotics into our trump card rather than deal with cheap knockoffs.

How important is the exchange of cultural and artistic content not only in the region but also more broadly and what has been your experience in this matter so far?

We must invest in representing our artists at biennales and support the galleries that represent them at trade shows and invest in their promotion. We need to bring international artists and curators to Serbia and position our artists in an international context and tendencies, including in the digital sphere.We should also pay more attention to our artists who have global careers, of whom our public is not aware. By investing in art, we are investing not only in our status, but in the future too. The state needs to be aware of the fact that unless it passes a law that will encourage the work of artists, galleries, institutions, organizations and investors, the enormous potential will not be fulfilled and we are not going to be able to create a brand out of it that would be the image of the contemporary Serbia.

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