Press release: Balkans Arts and Culture Fund present its work and projects

24 February 2015

Art Angle
Sarajevo, 24 February 2015, Art Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina


Balkans Art and Culture Fund (BAC) and the partnership between the Swiss Government, the European Cultural Foundation (ECF) and organisation art∡ngle, which is the implementer of BAC, were presented on 24 February 2015 at the Art Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Click on an image to start viewing the gallery. All photos by Amer Kapetanovic.

The seven regional collaboration projects (COLABs) selected on the basis of an open competition were promoted on that occasion (see short video presentation). The projects, which address a range of issues - such as public spaces, inclusion of young people and the development of new audiences, women's participation, diasporic art practices, relationship towards shared history, etc., - will be implemented in the next two year period, in over 20 cities in the region. They will contribute to the empowerment, participation, visibility, and, ultimately, to developing models of positive changes for communities – social or professional - to which they relate.

Swiss Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, H.E. Heinrich Maurer, have pointed out that Switzerland has been promoting cultural activities in the region since many years. Prior to establishment of the Balkans Art and Culture Fund the Swiss cultural programme supported over 3000 different projects over the period from 1999 until 2012. “The primary target group of beneficiaries of the Balkan Arts and Culture Fund will be independent cultural actors, since art is the daughter of freedom, as Friedrich Schiller once said “, emphasised Maurer.

BAC assistance will be made available primarily to independent cultural organisations and artists working in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. “Culture is the witness of dynamics and power of attraction of any society. Through this programme Switzerland wants to foster creation and innovation in this whole region“, said Swiss Ambassador in Serbia, H.E. Jean-Daniel Ruch.

Highlighting the fact that the European Cultural Foundation has been present in the Balkans region for the past fifteen years, where together with the local actors they worked on bridging people, investing into culture, connecting and catalysing cultural initiatives, director Katherine Watson expressed her content with the fast-growing Balkans Art and Culture Fund. “We are very pleased that through the Fund and thanks to the significant and invaluable contribution of the Swiss Government, we will continue to support the important work of cultural actors across the region“, highlighted Watson, adding that strong linkages between the communities across the region are vital to ensure a vibrant, engaged and sustainable civil society.

Director of Cooperation of the Swiss Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Joseph Guntern, explained that the main reason for supporting BAC is because they believe in creativity of artists and cultural workers in the Western Balkans countries. “Independent artistic expression and cultural work are leading driving forces of societies in building up democracy, security and prosperity for the people in strictly future oriented way”, said Guntern.

The Balkans Art and Culture Fund (BAC) operates in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbia. This regional fund aims to promote independent cultural scene in the Western Balkans by providing support to socially relevant projects in the field of culture and art, and by encouraging participation and capacity building of cultural workers. At the same time, BAC seeks to facilitate the establishment of a sustainable funding framework for the independent cultural scene.

More information:

Contact for accreditation, interview requests and images:

  • Bejtovic Communications, Una Bejtović +387 61 190 110,
  • Rosa Koenen | Press Officer | European Cultural Foundation | Jan van Goyenkade 5, 1075 HN Amsterdam | +31 20 573 3868 |