Conclusions of the International Conferences “Youth Agreement on Cultural Participation in Europe”


Young people should be given the opportunity to take risks and make mistakes, because that way they will feel what it really means to participate in the cultural creation of Europe.

23. mart 2022. Novi Sad. Young people need time and space that they will use to take risks and make mistakes, and that is not easy in a society that is competitive and that makes us move and think very fast, and which in the cultural sector is often project-oriented and innovation-oriented. What older people can and should do is give young people the opportunity to make mistakes and learn from trying. These are some of the conclusions of the International Conference “Youth Agreement on Cultural Participation in Europe”, held on March 22 and 23 in Novi Sad, at the Youth Center OPENS and SKCNS Factory, organized by the Student Cultural Center Novi Sad and partner institutions from the network “Be SpectACTive!”.

During these two days, participants from 19 partner organizations from 15 countries gathered in Novi Sad to critically re-examine stereotypes about youth and youth culture. Special attention is paid to the application of innovative approaches to cultural participation of young people, which will be able to meet the needs of new generations.

“No one has taught us older people to believe in ourselves, and I think it is important that young people gain self-confidence through practical work. So, the point is not to give them a chance to hear about how cars are driven, but to enable them to drive themselves, “says Luka Ritchie, one of the coordinators of the European cooperation program” Be SpectACTive! ” which is focused on involving the audience in the performing arts, through artistic productions and participatory practices.
“Take risks and make mistakes, because culture is an experience, it is not something that someone can teach you, you have to experience culture, and we are here to give you the opportunity to do that,” he said.

Among others, the conference was attended by: Đulijana Ćanćo, coordinator of the program Be SpectACTive!), Playwright Minja Bogavac, director of the program of the UNESCO Department of Cultural Policy and Management prof. Dr. Milena Dragičević Šešić, prof. of Social Anthropology Karl Feisch from Pompeu Fabre University in Barcelona, ​​who is also a longtime United Nations collaborator on youth policy, Guido Van Hengel, Dutch writer, lecturer and historian, Marko Pejovic, psychologist, psychotherapist, art theorist and theatre practitioner, member of the Come yes … “, Tamara Urošević, journalist and trainer for youth training on media and information literacy, Diana Tepavac, director of Asitež Serbia, Milica Rašković, director of the development program of the Novi Sad-European Capital of Culture Foundation, Miljana Pejić, secretary-general of the umbrella organization Youth of Serbia, Vladimir Marinkovic, director of the Novi Sad branch of the French Institute in Serbia and many others.
Young active spectators from Novi Sad participated in the design of the conference program, as well as in the realization: Pavle Hrnčić, Mila Pajić, Amelia Stakić, Anja Pejinović, Višna Vukajlović, Marija Đurđević, Petra Protić, Nikolina Đenadija, Stasa Kecojević and Jelena Laketić.

There is a prejudice that young people are not interested in what is happening around them, but that is not quite true. I think we should be asked more often about what concerns us, and then we would see that there are young people who are very interested in various socio-political topics “, says Marija Đurđević, representative of active viewers, who are involved in the Be SpectACTive! ”.
Walter Zampieri, representative of the Creative Europe program and head of the Department of Culture of the European Executive Agency for Education and Culture, pointed out that it is important that we all create cultural content together, and not just offer it to young people.
“It is important to enable young people to create cultural content that is sustainable. That means that we must not focus only on projects in culture, but on long-term processes that will enable the sustainability of cultural contents and cultural offer “, he pointed out.
During the conference, performances of contemporary dance were performed, “2GETHER / AL (L) ONE – (ON) LINE”, produced by Dance Theater Ljubljana, “Assimilate” at the suggestion of the ArtRitam Association from Novi Sad, as well as interactive virtual reality performances: Igor & Moreno, Italian productions and “Superfluous”, En Knap group from Slovenia.

The conference was supported by the Creative Europe program, the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia, the Foundation “Novi Sad – European Capital of Culture” and the project “Perform Europe” funded by the European Union, as well as the Provincial Secretariat for Finance. The conference is also part of the “Future of Europe” program within the European Capital of Culture – Novi Sad 2022, which is dedicated to the promotion of culture for children and youth.

The Youth Agreement on Cultural Participation in Europe is the third of four conferences planned under Be SpectACTive! project. The first was held in the French city of Montpellier, the second in Sansepolcro, Italy, and the fourth will be in Lisbon, Portugal, in September 2022. Each of the conferences deals with various topics related to cultural participation.