From the 8th till 11th July, as correspondents from Local Democracy Agency of Kosovo we visited Knjazevac. The purpose of this visit was to know the culture of this city and to prepare a video reportage and an article for the culture and participation of youth in Knjazevac. Before we start writing the findings on cultural participation in Knjazevac, we think it’s more important at the beginning, to explain the purpose of this youth exchange. This visit is part of the project “Balkan Regional Platform for Youth participation and Dialogue” implemented by 8(eight) Local Democracy Agencies (Pejë, Knjazevac, Subotica, Mostar, Prijedor, Zavidovici, Niksic, Skopje).
Knjazevac is a small town, but its cultural heritage would surprise anyone. One of the city's assets is youth activism, from which the most important activism, is the cultural participation.
Knjazevac is known for the “Youth Festival Serbia”, which is a traditional one. This year the 56th edition of this festival will take place. Even though this festival has brought some dissatisfactions from a large number of inhabitants of the city, there still remains a spirit that gives life to the city which creates many useful opportunities for the youth. Therefore each youth seems to be able to give a reflection in different area of culture
This small town has some active NGO-s which have created opportunities for an active participation in culture, and have worked on the awareness of the importance of youth participation in culture. Due to this, it wasn’t so strange to find volunteers in various projects involved that are implemented by different institutions of the city, such as museums or libraries or by various organizations.
Every year Knjazevac turns into a big cultural center. The Festival above mentioned, is a chance for youngsters to show their abilities and their talents, so one of the advantages of this festival is the engagement of young people in cultural events. This reality should be a model for many places and cities, to encourage others cultural entities to organize activities, and especially cultural exchanges between youngsters of the Western Balkan. Apart from the fact that the town of Knjazevac promotes awareness of cultural participation, it goes deep into the concept of the “world of tradition”, which more and more tells about the products of the local people, who give Knjazevac a good reputation.
Despite the dissatisfaction from some locals, the Festival remains the 'spirit' of the city. It also represents a rich aspect tradition, reflecting on the wonderful cultural past of the city, which showed a positive result in youth activism. All parts of the city breathe in the atmosphere of multiple activities in various fields of culture. Therefore Knjazevac offers numerous opportunities and activities for the youngsters to participate in culture.
Volunteer activities and the good will of young people to participate in events and activities, remains a good example for youth awareness on the active participation in culture as a good citizen and a positive asset for the community.
Being active and participative simply enriches our baggage of life that is built on the appreciation of artistic and cultural concepts as well.
Youth correspondents: Endrit Temaj and Granit Karagjyzi (LDA Peja)
This reportage is part of the Youth correspondents exchange. Two Youth correspondents from Peja, Kosovo visited Knjazevac, Serbia to create a reportage.