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THERE IS A LOT OF UNTAPPED CREATIVITY IN THE ARTS AND CULTURE SECTORS, ESPECIALLY AMONG INDEPENDENT CULTURAL PRODUCERS: YOUNG, SOON TO BECOME ESTABLISHED!

Skopje has been a conundrum for many of us. After its

sic scene to appear in Skopje. Skopje was named

active to the suffocating mono-culture that has been

near annihilation by a massive earthquake in 1963,

“Detroit on the Balkans” because of its established

recently enforced. This is the challenge that drives us

Skopje became a testing ground for the city of the fu-

and valued underground electronic music scene.

to make projects like Skopje Creative Hub. We con-

ture. It was proclaimed a world symbol of solidarity by

Alongside, the Skopje Jazz Festival was created, to-

nected with the most ground-breaking tendencies cur-

the Yugoslav leader Tito and the United Nations who

day one of the most respected festivals of this kind

rently active in the city and expanded their field of

sponsored and mediated the rebuilding of Skopje.

in the world. Skopje was becoming a contemporary

action. The international group of creative minds that

Skopje became a small U.N. in its own right. The most

city where diversity was translated into a multifaceted

participated brought fresh ideas, activated the public

influential creative minds of that time including Kenzo

culture.

space and expressed interest that goes beyond the

Tange, Arata Isozaki, Constantinos Doxiadis, Van der

format of the festival. Skopje Creative Hub 2014 re-

Broek and Bakema etc. were drawing and building the

Besides this multiplicity, over the years Skopje has

future blueprints of the city. Skopje became a melting

increasingly become a city divided between its differ-

pot of ideas, a fact that is now largely forgotten.

ent ethnic groups. It was in the 2000’s that a shift

established Skopje as a capital of creativity.

emerged in the way Skopje was developing which Skopje has a strong multicultural and multi-ethnic

was characterized by market-rate privatization cou-

character which dates back to Byzantine times, but

pled with weak local government. Skopje is now no

really honed itself during the Ottoman rule in the 14th

longer the city of the modern way forward, but rather

and 15th centuries. After WWII, Skopje was on a path

a city which is asking constantly what it wants to be,

towards modernization which was in tune with the so-

defending itself against market politics and political

cialist narrative of Yugoslavia and remained one of

greed. The citizens are preoccupied with daily politi-

the most culturally diverse capitals on the Balkans.

cal scenarios and intrigues, slowly becoming passive

This diversity has allowed for a culture of open-mind-

spectators and consumers of whatever the market,

edness and forward thinking to thrive in Skopje espe-

the government or who- whatsoever has to offer which

cially after the earthquake of ‘63.

makes it impossible to think of initiatives for change. How can we react to these trends? What can we, as

During the breakup of Yugoslavia, while the wars in

young professionals, offer and why are these kinds of

the region were unfolding, Macedonia was becoming

creative initiatives non existent in Skopje today?

a small bubble of freedom - oasis of peace - as it

-14-

was called. The lines of ethnicities were being blurred

We are just as inspired by the proximities and mul-

by culture. For instance this enabled a thriving mu-

tiplicities of the urban fabric of Skopje as we are re-

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Profile for CITY CREATIVE NETWORK

SCH BOOK  

Digital version of our book about Skopje Creative Hub 2014 - new content in public space

SCH BOOK  

Digital version of our book about Skopje Creative Hub 2014 - new content in public space

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