PhD, MFA, Dean of FFA
Prof. Slavica Janeslieva
Arts record human existence and transmit these experiences and events to future generations. Art has always been a form of communication.
Our country belongs to a region that abounds in rich cultural heritage. Archaeological sites document the ancient existence and cultivation of arts. Furthermore, featuring specific folklore traditions and creativity in all kinds of art, the artists (performing in fine art, music, literature, and theatre) have continued their artistic expression with particular success and quality until today.
On many occasions, we emphasize the role of the arts in creating a better society. However, a constant reminder seems more than necessary, although the arts play an essential role in our daily life. From a very young age, we teach our children to read with the help of an image that helps them get to know sounds and words, dance, or take on a role and act. Allow me to speak more about the visual/fine arts.
Today we live in a world filled with images. The modern age of television, film, advertisements, YouTube, Instagram and infographics compels us to think visually and develop visual rhetoric. At the same time, this kind of thinking allows decoding, translating, deciphering and describing the visual expression and encourages us to be more adventurous in breaking the rules and overcoming stereotypes.
World Art Day has been celebrated on the 15th of April since 2012. Although artists themselves passionately dedicate their lives to the creation of their work and promotion of the arts daily, together with the Europe House Team, we celebrate this day to bring the visual/fine arts closer to audiences who would not generally visit museums, galleries or any other art exhibition space. This celebration allows us to highlight the pivotal role of the arts in social cohesion and communication among people from diverse backgrounds and interests because, to put it simply, the interaction among individuals essentially means the exchange of ideas and overcoming differences.
In this way, by involving the younger generations of visual/fine artists (especially the students from the Faculty of Fine Arts, UKIM in Skopje), we try to raise the criteria for and build awareness of the lasting cultural values and the importance of having an open and emancipated mind.
Ars longa, vita brevis.
The Old Bazaar: A Gallery of Arts and Crafts
To mark World Art Day, we joined forces with the Faculty of Fine Arts – Skopje to transform the narrow alleys of the Old Bazaar into an open space gallery of arts and crafts showcasing the creativity and ingenuity of local artists and artisans.
Passers-by had the opportunity to explore the Old Bazaar in a different concept, walking through the narrow allies of vendor stalls displaying old crafts and traditions of making colourful textiles, ceramics, hats and jewellery – artworks created by students from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje. The following students were involved: Stefan Jakimovski, Milena Petkovska, Ivona Petrova, Evgenija Trajkovska, Mihail Paskoski, Damjan Jankoski, Slavcho Pavloski, Sergej Kalenikov, Pavel Nikolov, Gabriela Zivkovska and Marija Jacovska.
The concept of the Old Bazaar as a gallery helped us visualize and restore the old glory of the inextricable link and the interweaving of arts and crafts in this city. This contrasting charm of the Old Bazaar is one of the most recognizable features of the capital. In this spirit of redefining arts and crafts, we enjoyed visiting the stalls and little craft shops filled with old traditional craft and art displays created by the new generation of contemporary young artists.
These adventurous wanderings continued throughout the weekend. Through an interactive social and educational activity, the participants played a game of solving a mystery and thus learning more about the old crafts that for centuries have been so essential to the vibrant life of the Old Bazaar. This event was initiated and hosted by Vasilka Dimitrovska, MSc, archaeologist, consultant, certified heritage interpreter, Creative Director of HAEMUS and founder of the Storytelling Skopje program.
Once again, the city of Skopje has shown us that it holds so many hidden treasures that we are eager to discover with great joy!
The Edge of Words – An Exhibition of Artworks by Renowned Artists in the EU Residence
For the fourth time, at the beginning of April, the European Union Residence opened its doors for an art exhibition entitled ” The Edge of Words,” displaying the works of six contemporary Macedonian artists who focus on the relationship between words, language, communication and society.
The artists Nehat Beqiri, Slavica Janešlieva, Stefan Mladenovski, Aneta Popova, Aleksandra Petruševska Ristovska, and Oliver Musović (in the photo) have presented their artistic expressions and personal interpretations of the multiple aspects of the Word: the Word as the basic element of language, as a means of communication and education, and the phenomenon of communicating without words.
On the Edge of the Words Exhibition was part of a series of initiatives celebrating the importance of language, with special emphasis on the Macedonian language and literature. The exhibition explores not only language and meaning but also the capacities and limits of language as a means of expression. Following the atmosphere from the exhibition opening, Aco Šopov’s verses were metamorphosed into music by the rapper PIKI, thus transforming Macedonian poetry into a new auditory experience.
The exhibition continues its journey to promote art through all Europe Houses in the country.
Furthermore, under the umbrella of the series of activities dedicated to language, we organized two more events: a poetry reading and an interactive debate.
The poetry reading, The Music of Words, took place in the EU Residence, where students from the Faculty of Philology were invited to read verses of poetry in different European languages.
The moderator of the event, the multitalented poet and musician Prof. Vladimir Martinovski created a fusion of sounds and language by combining the Samba jazz trio with poetry. Once again, we have confirmed the inseparable bond of various artistic mediums in achieving creative expression.
The second event that took place within the On the Edge of Words Exhibition was a debate among the EU Ambassador David Geer and the renowned craftsmen of the Word: Dejan Dukovski, Vladimir Martinovski, Zvezdan Georgievski, Josip Kocev, Simona Jovanoska, Radmila Živanović, and Diana Tomić-Radevska.
The discussion, led by Ana Zafirova, looked at different perspectives on using words as art, bringing together individuals with a background in art and culture who use words daily as one of the imperative tools in their professions. This lively debate was a mosaic of the rich profusion of communication skills and ways.
aWake – A Bilingual Gender Equality Vodcast
The story of Gender Equality Now! started in 2021 by a small group of enthusiastic young people who wanted to challenge the gender equality status quo in our society. In 2021 and 2022, the team created two podcast series in Macedonian and Albanian, bringing together women from different social spheres to tell their stories. Moreover, several editions of Tregime Pjeshkash (Peach Preach in Albanian) were organized followed by the publication of a collection of 14 stories told by women from our country reflecting on cultural diversity. In 2023, Guxim and Teodora, members of the Generation Equality Now! team, fueled by passion and driven by purpose, embarked on a new journey together. They resolved to ignite change and champion gender equality through their podcast, “aWake.”
aWake is a podcast that aims to create a safe and inclusive space for women to share their stories and experiences. The podcast is designed to foster intergenerational and intersectional dialogue by bringing together women of diverse backgrounds and generations to engage in meaningful conversations. Through personal stories and candid conversations, aWake provides a platform for women to explore topics and issues that affect their lives. In addition to this, aWake recognizes the importance of intergenerational and intersectional dialogue in creating a more inclusive and equal society. Featuring women from different generations and cultural backgrounds, the podcast seeks to foster understanding, empathy, and solidarity between different communities. aWake offers a powerful and empowering platform for women to share their stories, learn from each other and build stronger connections with one another.
As a bilingual vodcast, we look forward to deepening this collaboration with Europe House. We firmly believe this will be a step closer to breaking the barriers in our society.
Both Teodora and Guxim are human rights activists. Guxim has a deep understanding of youth’s and women’s rights. He firmly believes that his generation has to create a society that will accept every individual, no matter what their gender, background, ethnicity, or sexual orientation is. Тeodora is a political scientist specializing in international and intercultural studies with a strong passion for gender equality and actively advocates for a gendered perspective in discussions.
Unleashing the Creative Spark: Empowering Young Visionaries
In Europe House Kriva Palanka, a symphony of creativity surged forth, highlighting the invaluable importance of #SupportingYoungArtists.
A great fusion of youthful spirits and mentors created a kaleidoscope of inspiration, where the spotlight shone upon the untamed energy of the new generation. They painted their dreams with strokes of audacity and penned verses that stirred souls.
Europe House Kriva Palanka became the conduit, providing a stage where young talents flourished, their voices echoing with unbridled passion. In a world brimming with possibilities, supporting youth in pursuing the arts becomes a gateway to unlocking their boundless potential. By nurturing their creative spirits, we cultivate a generation of fearless visionaries who dare to dream, imagine, and challenge the status quo.
The arts provide a canvas for self-expression, empowering young minds to explore their unique perspectives, embrace their identities, and discover their true passions. When we invest in their artistic journeys, we not only uplift individual talents but also enrich our communities and society as a whole.
It is our shared duty to uplift these young people, reminding the world that their voices matter, their stories deserve to be heard, and their talents must be nurtured. Together, we build a vibrant tomorrow of creativity, where dreams take flight and the future becomes bright.
#UnleashTheSpark #EmpoweringYoungVisionaries #SupportLocalArtists
Strumica: The Youth and the Diamond Jubilee of the International Art Colony in Strumica
During April, under the slogan #SupportLocalArtists, various cultural events were held at Europe House Strumica, dedicated to supporting local artists and cultural events. Marking the celebration of #WorldArtDay, we introduced young people to artists participating in the International Art Colony in Strumica, celebrating its 60th anniversary and its legacy as one of the oldest art colonies in the Balkans.
The highlight of this month was the workshop organized for high school students preparing them for their final exams. Around 200 high school graduates from Strumica and the region have registered for this workshop which will continue until the beginning of May. The workshop aims to offer a thorough preparation for the Macedonian language state examination.
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