Photo by Marlène Kreins Discovering Novi Sad Tandem Cultural Capitals participant Marlène Kreins (Centre Culturel Régional Dudelange Opderschmelz) went to visit her Tandem partner Katarina Dajč (Udruženje Scenatoria) in Novi Sad, a city that will be European Capital of Culture in 2021. Photo by Marlène Kreins I have never been to Serbia before, the Tandem with Katarina was a great opportunity to collaborate with an unknown country. I don’t know the language, and we in Luxembourg are used to understand a lot of languages but this was new to me. It was exciting and I was looking forward to catch the first plane to get to Belgrade (via Frankfurt). Because Serbia is not in the European Union we had to pass a lot of passport controls. Photo by Marlène Kreins Arriving in Belgrade, Katarina, her little daughter Stela and her father Zvonko picked me up at the airport. Zvonko drove us from Belgrade to Novi Sad (1,5 hours). Photo by Marlène Kreins The first day was already very interesting because I discovered the Petrovaradin Fortress which dates back from the 17th and 18th centuries, with an iconic clock tower and a network of tunnels, together with Katarina, Stela and Nened Seguljev a real expert on the fortress and its most important defender. Nenad is a member of Katarina’s Scenatoria association. We had lunch at Katarina’s flat and I discovered the heart of Novi Sad. Photo by Marlène Kreins On the second day, we had an appointment with Goran Tomka a professor in the UNESCO chair for Cultural management and the artist Dragan Jasic, a circus performer for Pogon New Circus, on an industrial site (half rotunda). I was amazed by these industrial railway buildings. Photo by Marlène Kreins The most amazing thing is that people still work there, but they have to leave in March 2020, and they haven’t found another working space yet. One of the responsible of the Institute of Monument protection of Novi Sad, Katarina Masksimov joined and she could explain us more precisely the circumstances of this buildings and how they should and could be protected and vitalised. Photo by Marlène Kreins Photo by Marlène Kreins On the third day, I had the chance to assist in a conference organised by Katarina’s association Scenatoria in a real hip place in Novi Sad called Prostor and had another really amazing visit through the “Chinatown” of Novi Sad, a former industrial city totally empty except a night club and some squatters. Photo by Marlène Kreins Photo by Marlène Kreins The Institute of Monument protection began to renovate these buildings for the Cultural year Novi Sad 2021. With Katarina we afterwards drove to Silvara Silka a great example how you can refill cultural life in an industrial building. This cultural centre, a former silk factory in the middle of Novi Sad shows that it is possible to reconstruct a building without deleting its identity. In the evening we went to Stanislav Drca’s Kulturni Centar LAB and had a great night with some typical Serbian drinks. On my last day, we had a meeting with Milana Kvas and got a visit though her museum the Pavle Beljanski Museum. It was such a wonderful and eye-opening time and Katarina and I had so many ideas how to collaborate, I think this will be great!