Building peace in the minds of men and women

Mending bridges in South-East Europe. Fourth edition of ‘Balkan Bridges Speak’ in Montenegro

UNESCO is supporting the organization by the Balkanika Foundation, in cooperation with the Municipality of Cetinje and other partners from the region, of a new regional encounter on 18-19 July 2014 in Cetinje, Montenegro. The event will be conducted within the framework of its global initiative “Culture: a Bridge to Development”, which aims to build on the power of culture as a dynamic force for co-operation and innovation for inclusive economic development, social cohesion, and peace.

Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, and Aleksandar Bogdanovich, mayor of the Old Royal Capital of Cetinje, will attend “The Rijeka Crnojevića Bridge Speaks”, a new “Balkan Bridges Speak” event in the historic centre of Cetinje, a site of immense historic and artistic value.

This regional encounter, centred on the iconic bridge of Rijeka Crnojevića, is the fourth edition of the “Balkan Bridges Speak” project, hosted across South-East Europe to promote bridges as powerful symbols of unity and mutual understanding. It follows the ones organized in Berat, Albania on 29 and 30 March 2014, in Lovech, Bulgaria, on 10 and 11 May 2013 and in Edirne, Turkey, on 24 and 25 November 2012.

The “Balkan Bridges Speak” project features round tables on the Organization’s priority areas of work, artistic and cultural performances and public readings, and provides an opportunity for artistic personalities, national and local authorities, cultural professionals, private partners and universities of the sub-region to exchange experiences on cultural policies, strategies and practices that foster intercultural dialogue and stimulate the cultural sector as a viable economic and social sector. It aims to enhance creativity, dialogue and cultural exchanges, to inspire innovative and creative approaches to the safeguarding of heritage and culture sensitive development policies.

The event in Cetinje will have a particular thematic focus on cinema, with young cinematographers, producers and film critics participating in panel discussions followed by the screening of a selection of short films from the South-East European film festival ‘SEE a Paris’. These activities represent an opportunity to showcase significant achievements in art and culture in the region.

On the second day, a round table titled “Rivers, cities, history” will allow the mayors of Cetinje, Lovech, Berat, Struga, Novigrad, Mostar and business representatives in the area of cultural tourism and cultural industries to continue the discussion on how best to build new cultural bridges in South-East Europe and establish a cooperation network between cities with historical bridges, included in the project.