2. Sarajevofest – Arts and Politics

Our lungs are hurting. From Covid. From pollution. From poison – exhaust fumes from cars, buses, trucks; tobacco smoke; grime. Our lungs are burning from anxiety, fear, panic. From politics. For some, their lungs are burning from frustration. From hatred. Is there a cure?

In early December last year, we organised the First Sarajevofest – Arts and Politics. We began with a modest ambition, however a public reaction to the Festival and media echoes had exceeded our expectations. Works of art (theatre plays, films, concerts), political debates, public forums, mentor workshops with young people from the region had proved to be a hot ticket” in Sarajevo.

This year, two circumstances have defined the Festivals format. We were unable to organise Sarajevofest live” due to a poor epidemiological situation in the BiH capital. Additionally, the outgoing Canton Sarajevo Minister of Culture had decided to punish us for no reason and strip away 80% percent of East West Centres funds, although there is not a single gym near the Centre. The unfortunate minister, a sportsperson, had declared previously that he was acquainted with the work of the Childrens Museum, because he had trained in the Museums vicinity, but to state that I ever visited it would be false”. One might assume that on basis of training near a museum building, he has decided that he should never support it. In our case, he has never even trained near us. Nevertheless, the minister danced for only one summer”. The government, in which he just happened to find his spot by chance, has fallen. Ministers come and go, we are here to last.

This very December, the East West Centre is marking the 15th anniversary of its independent existence and is organising the 2. Sarajevofest – Arts and Politics from 5th until 14th December 2020. The Festival is divided into three programmes – Forum, Art Forum and Youth Forum, which will feature fascinating guests.

All individual programmes will be available on the website of Sarajevofest – Arts and Politics 2020.

Haris Pašović