Welcome to the July newsletter edition of Southeast Europe: People and Culture!

Let the fun begin! Tomorrow (14 July) will be the opening event in what will be a summer and autumn of excitement, intellectual stimulation and new discoveries. Who better to open Southeast Europe: People and Culture’s 2011 Cultural Journey than the renowned trumpetists, father and son  Boban and Marko Marković (Serbia), who will be headlining at the  Colours of Ostrava Festival in Ostrava, the Czech Republic. While they perform, revellers at the festival will be invited to enjoy a classic Balkan BBQ. Three days later, on 17 July at the same festival, the energetic reggae/dub/hip-hop fusion band  Dubioza Kollekiv (Bosnia and Herzegovina) will take the stage to spread their message of peace, tolerance and inter-communal understanding.

Meanwhile on 16 July in Luxembourg City, as part of the  Summer in the City Festival, singer  Irina Karamarković (Kosovo*) and her band as well as the  Music Progressive Quartet (the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) will join two local bands for an evening of jazz and blues on the ‘Southeast Europe and Friends’ stage in the centre of the city.

And this summer’s schedule of cultural events does not stop there. On 21 July  DJ Robert Šoko (Western Balkans) will bring his famous ‘Balkan Beats’ to the  Polé-Polé Festival in Ghent, Belgium and on 16 August, guitarist  Petrit Çeku will be performing in the beautiful settings of an old canal house in Amsterdam, the Netherlands as part of the  Grachtenfestival.

This is however just the beginning. September, October and November will see a whole new round of events, so please keep checking our  dedicated events site for details.


Creativity and a sense of adventure are hallmarks of Southeast Europe. And in jewellery designer Dafina Dzeparoska from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the participants in the madcap tyre rafting activity Bunarfest in Kosovo*, this month we have seen plenty of both. Moreover, as the  Pula Festival in Croatia begins for yet another year, Southeast Europe: People and Culture pays tribute to one of its finest laureates. This month’s video of the month takes us to Montenegro, to meet Branko Baletić, the genius behind cult film ‘Balkan Express’ and the director of this year’s hotly awaited ‘Local Vampire’, which will be screened at Pula and at the  Herceg Novi Film Festival in Montenegro.

  Dafina Dzeparoska: Unique Jewellery Guaranteed to Lift the Blues
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: 13 July 2011

“I create from just about anything I find interesting, spoons of eurokrem (a type of popular cocoa cream), pill-strips, old dolls and toys, IT-waste, car parts, styrofoam, textiles, rubber, drink straws, Lego cubes, buttons...” Dafina Dzeparoska’s original designs are finding numerous admirers. Find out why.

 Click here to read more

  Bunarfest – Promoting courage and environmental protection
Kosovo*: 13 July 2011

Extreme sports don’t come much more extreme than Bunarfest. For seven years now, adrenaline seekers have been rafting down the fast flowing Bistrica river in tractor, truck or bus tyres. It is quickly becoming something of a local institution – not bad for an event which started as a bit of fun between friends.

 Click here to read more


Video of the month – Branko Baletić’s
Long Awaited Return

Montenegrin director Branko Baletić is returning this summer to Pula, Croatia, to the film festival where he achieved some of his greatest successes. His new film ‘Lokalni Vampir’ tells the story of a man who is declared dead to escape gambling debts and returns to haunt his enemies by night. Despite the macabre plot, Baletić defines his film as a comedy, albeit a comedy of the blackest sorts...

Watch the video now!


Dokufest, Prizren, Kosovo*

From 23-31 July, Prizren will once more host the biggest film festival in Kosovo*. With both indoor and outdoor screenings in captivating Prizren’s Old Town, the festival is a true highlight of the year.

 Click here to read more

Korçë Beer Fest, Korçë, Albania

Korçë’s Beer Fest mixes music, street art, dance and theatre, and of course, beer in a city which not only is proud of its educational heritage, but also of its ability to have a good time. This year’s edition will take place between 11-14 August.

 Click here to read more


It used to be the case that people were advised against eating mussels in the summer months. Luckily, modern refrigeration techniques mean this tradition is as quaint as writing with a quill pen. So, now you can enjoy delicious Croatian  mussels with beans and rice all year round. Don’t miss your opportunity to!

All the recipes on Southeast Europe: People and Culture are now also available to  download as pdfs on the site. Collect your favourites to your very own cook book!

Love to cook food from Southeast Europe? Why not share the taste of the region and send your traditional recipes to:

 [email protected]

* Under UNSCR 1244/1999

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