THE RUINS OF SAVAMALA - A CARNIVAL STAGE: The Role of Culture in Gentrification

Printed Wall newspaper. Marija Piroški © Goethe-Institut, 2016

24th May, Actopolis apartment

A public presentation and a discussion about the KURS Collective's new issue of Wall Newspaper took place. The issue titled ‘A Carnival Amidst Ruins’ features a comprehensive insight into developments in Belgrade’s Savamala district over the course of the past 5-10 years by Iskra Krstić, architect and member of the Ministarstvo prostora initiative. It addresses gentrification processes in the area, and puts forward that cultural production and the rise of creative industries have (un)willingly played a significant role in it.
Miloš Miletić of KURS. Marija Piroški © Goethe-Institut, 2016

In order to promote the issue and raise awareness of the implicating role of cultural workers, KURS invited the text author Iskra Krstić, activist and artist Danilo Prnjat, as well as artist and former participant of the Urban Incubator project in Savamala, Selman Trtovac, to talk about their views and involvement in the matter.

Discussion at Actopolis Apartment. Marija Piroški © Goethe-Institut, 2016

The discussion mostly focused around the claim that initiatives such as Urban Incubator, backed-up by international foundations served the aim of privatization of culture and induced entrepreneurial ideology with no market to practice it on. Selman Trtovac maintained that in this particular project, precisely the opposite was the case, stating the Urban Incubator rather appeared as an isolated platform for experimenting alternative Utopian models.
The dialogue eventually came to conclusion, and the overall feeling was that Savamala remains a center stage for privatization policy implementation – the full effect of which will yet need to be revealed.

>>The entire ‘A Carnival Amidst Ruins’ issue is available here.
>>An interview with KURS is available on this website.

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