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

Summer is when southeast Europe’s vibrant culture bursts outdoors and this summer was no different with countless music, art and literary festivals across the region. These events, from the lavish  Dubrovnik Summer Festival in Croatia to the more modest but no less impressive  Struga Poetry Evenings in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, often play a powerful role in bringing the cultures of southeast Europe to a wider audience, including other people in the region.

Some festivals in southeast Europe have even been recognised by UNESCO either for their contribution to national cultural life or for their role in contributing to cultural rapprochement. We will be highlighting two of these UNESCO recognised festivals this month – the cultural festival  KotorArt in Montenegro and  Demofest, a leading music festival in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

We will also be taking a look at the  European Film Festival in Palić, Serbia.


Some festivals have a significance that goes beyond their cultural impact, and this is certainly true of the three festivals we have chosen to highlight this month. We start by looking at Demofest – a rock music festival held every year in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, which has become a major focal point in the musical calendar for as yet little known rock bands from across the region.

We then move to Serbia to look at the European Film Festival in Palić, which has provided a vital cultural link between the country and the outside world since its inception in 1992. Kotor in Montenegro, with its wide ranging cultural activities, including this year’s symbolic 18th anniversary of the Children’s Festival, is the last of the events we will visit. We hope you enjoy the journey through this summer’s many cultural delights!

  Demofest - bringing the former Yugoslavia together with rock music
- Bosnia and Herzegovina: 21 August 2010

The third annual  Demofest held in Banja Luka from July 21 to July 24, is en route to becoming the leading event for aspiring rock bands in the region of former Yugoslavia. This year's Demofest received applications from 378 bands from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Montenegro.

 Click here to read more about this UNESCO recognised festival

  Palić Festival Shows Diversity of European Film
- Serbia: 10 August 2010

This year's 17th annual  Palić European Film Festival was held from July 17-23, in the scenic setting of Lake Palić, near Subotica, a town in northern Serbia. In addition to Russian director Aleksei Popogrebsky's
 How I Ended This Summer - voted this year's best film – festival-goers also got to see a number of films from France, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Poland, Germany, Romania, Finland, Hungary, and Serbia.

 Click here to read more European film in Palić

  Kotor: The City of Art
- Montenegro: 27 August 2010

Despite the financial crisis, the organisers of this year’s  KotorArt festival managed to produce a remarkable programme. The Art directors of KotorArt, Croatian theatre director Paolo Magelli and producer Janko Ljumović, director of the Montenegrin National Theatre, ensured that quality was not compromised. The festival was sponsored by UNESCO, the United Nations cultural organisation.

 Find out more about KotorArt here


Pristina International Film Festival, Kosovo*

Pristina's second international film festival PriFilmFest will be welcoming guests to see the best in regional and global cinema from 22-29 September. Despite being a young festival it has proved to be more than capable of attracting A-list talent not least through the efforts of Oscar winner Vanessa Redgrave, who is President of the Pristina Film Festival Board.

 Click here to read more

Bee Fest, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Don’t tell your dentists, but Sarajevo’s annual festival of honey is back this year from 15-19 September. Agriculturalists, researchers and honey lovers are all welcome to this celebration of bees and beekeeping.

 Click here to read more


As summer turns into autumn, it’s time to stock up on recipes for hearty, comforting food. For perfect ‘comfort food’, try  İzmir Köfte – or Izmir Meatballs – from Turkey. Filling, tasty and healthy!

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

If you do not wish to receive this newsletter anymore, please  click here
To read the disclaimer, please  click here