About Days of Sarajevo

“Days of Sarajevo” FestivalMay 1-7, 2011

The Festival “Days of Sarajevo” will be held for the fifth time in Belgrade from May 1-7, 2011. The event is organized by the Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR) and the Agency for European Integration and Cooperation with Associations.

The “Days of Sarajevo” first emerged as a response by the youth from Serbia to the official institutional silence about what had been taking place in the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The YIHR organized the first festival in 2007, as a symbolic reminder of the siege of Sarajevo. Because art is known to cross most borders easily, in time the festival grew into a popular meeting point where the citizens of Belgrade and Sarajevo, through the language of theater, film, photography and music, renew old and create new ties.

An indispensable part of every year are the debates which broach the questions of a common past, present and future of both Serbia and Bosnia, as well as the entire region. Prominent persons from politics, the judiciary, media and academic sphere will continue to discuss the problems haunting the two societies, while considering possible solutions to rebuild trust and good neighborly relations between the two countries.

This year, within the multimedia “Museum of the Days of Sarajevo,” the Belgrade audience and the guests from Sarajevo will be reminded of the history of the festival, which over the period of five years of its existence, presented to Belgrade more than 500 artists from Sarajevo’s art world.


The first year, the festival brought together about thirty guests from the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Two years later, the “Days of Sarajevo” received support from the City Halls of both Belgrade and Sarajevo, whose officials first met one another at the festival in Belgrade. During the five days of last year’s festival, the “Days of Sarajevo” was visited by approximately 8,000 people.

This year the “Days of Sarajevo” present:


This year’s theater program will be marked by a prominent director of Sarajevo’s new generation, Selma Spahic. The Belgrade audience will have the opportunity to see her works “The Lonesome West” and “How I learned to Drive.” The young director, supported by the Heartefact Fund and Belgrade’s Bitef Theater, is currently preparing the play “Silencing,” which he will performed on the last day of the festival.

To announce the commencement of this year’s Festival, “A Picasso,” a play by the Sarajevo War Theatre (SARTR) will be performed in Belgrade theaters. As part of this year’s program, the National Theatre of Sarajevo will perform Pedja Kojovic’s “Sarajevo Theatrical Tragedy,” which will be directed by Gorcin Stojanovic.


The Sound of Sarajevo:

On May 1, Jadranka Stojakovic, a renowned  musician and author of a number of chansons and pop songs, will perform in Belgrade’s Dom Sindikata. The festival visitors will enjoy a concert by a Sarajevo band Velahavle, which will perform together with the Belgrade’s band Svi na pod. Timur Sijaric, a young saxophonist from Sarajevo, will also be part of this year’s festival.

The festival will include a promotion of the monograph Sarajevo: My City, a Meeting Point, by Jasminko Halilovic. Miodrag Miki Trifunov will recite verses and sing sound track from the play and album “The Witness.”


“Days of Sarajevo” as seen by:


Lajla Kaikcija, director from Sarajevo

“Festival “Days of Sarajevo,”, which is organized in Belgrade by the Youth Initiative for Human Rights is an opportunity for all of us who share a common past and a similar present, an opportunity for a better future. This is not a platitude, but a possibility, enabled by an opportunity to speak openly, boldly and without compromise, and art is what allow this for us all. I fully support YIHR’s idea of creating a new generation of young people from ex-Yugoslavia, who only by being aware of the past can live  in a better present. This can be built only on truth, perhaps “Caligula’s truth,” but without violence, while bravely turning a new page of history,” said Lajla Kalikcija, whose play “Caligula” was performed within the “Days of Sarajevo” in 2010.

Ferid Karajica, director, actor and author of stage movement, professor of the Belgrade Faculty of Dramatic Arts

I look forward to this year’s “Days of Sarajevo” I am very happy and grateful that the festival exists, both as a citizen of Belgrade and of Sarajevo, because of the space of exchange between the two cities. Many people from both cities are constantly in touch, which becomes visible through an event of this sort. Most importantly, young people who are geographically very close will be able to find each other, meet, fall in love, travel… I hope this world of youth will know how have a conversation in the future better than the previous generations did,” said Ferid Karajica for the magazine “Days of Sarajevo 2010″.


Danko Runic, director of Agency for European Integration and Cooperation with Associations, Belgrade City Hall

Beyond the discourse of everyday political discussion, the dilemma concerning the similarities and differences, claims or common misconceptions about the mutual ‘EX YU’ cultural space, the festival “Days of Sarajevo” in Belgrade – and I am trying here to avoid the word ‘tradition’ or ‘traditional’ – slowly ceases to be Ermin Bravo’s ‘realistic idealism’… This event is certainly, as many other things in us that we are unaware of, a part European values that we are yet to recognize. Multiculturalism and tolerance are related and tightly linked, inseparably permeated, and this is both a global and an European value. This precisely is the meaning of European integrations,” said Danko Runic in his op-ed piece for “Days of Sarajevo.