Text: Magdalena Gigova
The artworks created during the Fourth ‘River of Tolerance’ International Youth Art Festival organised by NEF ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’ under the auspices of UNESCO, will be featured in ‘The Shared Art of the Balkans—Traditions and Contemporaneity’ exhibition.
The exhibition opens at 12:00 on 14 November, at the Brčko City Hall Art Gallery. The Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’ National Endowment Fund initiated the event, which is being held by courtesy of the State Institute for Culture at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria. The exhibition will be on until 14 December 2022.
Some thirty graphics and photographs were created by the artists taking part in the ‘River of Tolerance’ International Youth Art Festival: 25 professors and students from the National Academy of Arts in Sofia, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, the National University of Arts, Bucharest, Romania, and the University of Art, Belgrade, Serbia.
The works, donated by the artists to NEF ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’, were compiled in a bilingual catalogue. Unfortunately, the pandemic situation required the youth art festival’s fourth edition to be held online, but this did not diminish creative ardour. In a dedicated virtual space on the Fund’s website, the participating artists from the Balkan countries exchanged energy, ideas and skills.
The art festival was held for the second time under the patronage of UNESCO, not only because it reflects the ideas, goals and main priorities of the world organisation, but because the Fund is the only one in Bulgaria that has the status of official relations with UNESCO, recently extended to 2027.
The ‘River of Tolerance’ International Youth Art Festival is permanently associated with the support, assistance and development of the diversity of artistic trends in the contemporary art of the Balkan countries. At the same time, the participants unite around the idea of tolerance and mutual understanding, for the preservation of artistic heritage.
The Fund’s efforts in organising the festival were appreciated by the project’s patron. For the latest edition, Mr Toussaint Tiendrebeogo, Secretary of the Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, on behalf of UNESCO greeted the participants in a special video, and made an extremely high appraisal of the activities of NEF ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’.
For the fifth edition of the ‘River of Tolerance’, invitations will again be extended to students and professors at all the higher art schools in the Balkans.