In the recent years, a multiplicity of new challenges has emerged. We have seen societies throughout Europe shaken by the economic, social and political crises. These touch the very foundations on which we have decided to build our world: they demand a new reflection on our basic shared values, rethinking of our shared vision and reaffirming the common agreement on which our societies are to develop. This is true in particular of Central Eastern and South East European countries whose fragile economies and democracies demand more than ever a strong and dynamic civil society and a shared vision across sectors of society.
Culture is an essential partner in these discussions. It offers a mirror to the society, points out at acute problems, and reflects on the possibility of alternatives. It offers – as a partner of other sectors such as education, social services, economy, and foreign affairs – viable solutions to the challenges of the contemporary society. It contributes to urban regeneration, to establishing cultural dialogue and increasing intercultural competences, to economic development, to social inclusion and social mobility, to civic participation and social innovation. In a world where economy and politics have almost exhausted their tools and failed to ensure democracy and welfare, failed to provide fair and inclusive systems, culture has a vital contribution to make.
The Balkan Express project aims to provide a platform which will help the arts sector rethink its role in the changing context of the economic, social and political crises we are facing at the moment and reconnect with other sectors in a search for a renewed vision of our society and its future. Balkan Express is a partnership project led collaboratively by several organizations: Bunker Ljubljana, CUMA (Turkey), AltArt (Romania), IETM (international network for contemporary performing arts) and Expeditio (Montenegro). It also involves a large informal network of professionals that were and are involved in its activities.
The Balkan Express project is supported by: