Serbian Minister of Culture and Information, Vladan Vukosavljević, says that Serbian culture is diverse but authentic, and stresses that cultural heritage must not be subject to laying claim to it, theft, extortion or identity engineering.
Vukosavljević said in his opening statement last night before Emir Kusturica’s lecture titled “Culture and Diversity” held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris that the saturation, the process of giving and lending, which makes the cultures vital, must not cross the lines becoming an attack on heritage.
He stated that the purpose of the Serbian delegation’s visit to UNESCO was to prepare for a new four-year term in the Executive Council of this body, assessing that Serbia’s presentation showed that it strongly respected the principles of this organisation.
Vukosavljević said that “today’s cultures are entangled, they allow the flow of ideas and they do not collide – but meet and understand each other,” the Ministry of Culture and Information of Serbia announced.
According to him, just as such – of different layers – is the Serbian culture that was giving and receiving influences and was being built on diversity, yet not forgetting its authentic expression.
“Serb identity has been being built for a long time. It has embraced the gifts of other cultures over time, but it has never dropped the authentic seeds from which the Serbian cultural tradition has evolved,” Vukosavljević said.
He stated that today, the identity of the Serb culture is continued through young creators, which is successfully reflected in new artistic disciplines such as design, comics, film, video games.
“The rich creativity of young creators maintains the vitality of Serbian culture giving a breath of modernity to our art scene, thus adding a new layer to Serbian cultural heritage,” said Vukosavljević.
Speaking about Serb film director Emir Kusturica, Vukosavljević points out that the author, who is a symbol of cultural crossings, was selected to represent Serbia in UNESCO and who, through his decades-long work, reaffirms that unity in diversity bestows art that speaks all languages and is understood by all nations.
After the lecture about the importance of cultural diversity for a more comprehensive image of culture, Kusturica and his “No Smoking Orchestra” held a concert.
The statement reads that both events drew a lot of attention, with an unusual number of ambassadors at UNESCO among the audience.
During their visit to Paris, Vukosavljević and Kusturica met with the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature Peter Handke and congratulated him on winning the most prestigious award for literature.