danube connects – the magazine for the danube countries, 1/2022

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Culture, Tourism and Encounter in the Danube Region

1 | 2022

the magazine for the danube countries

connects danube

CULTURE IN FLOW Building bridges through encounters

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FOLLOW IN THE DZM THE DANUBE: More stories about the European river....................................4

DANUBE NATURE GUIDES III Building bridges between nature and Culture..........................................13

EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE 2023: VESZPRÉM-BALATON On the way from a party destination to a European cultural region.................6

DANUBE WOMEN STORIES Women who change the world.............14

DANUBE DIALOGUES 2022 Festival for contemporary art in Novi Sad.............................................8

HAPPY EU Looking into smiling faces...................15 ARTISTS IN BOSNIA From Inferno to Paradiso......................16

DANUBE.YOUTH.EUROPE. Searching for traces of future perspectives for the Danube region.......9


MUSICAL DANUBE JOURNEY from the Black Forest to the Black Sea....................................10



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EMERGENCY AID IN THE DANUBE REGION FOR UKRAINE The Baden-Württemberg Foundation launches a new program....................11 HIKING ON THE SULTAN TRAIL 22500km culture and nature along the Danube..................................12

18 SLOVO GORCINA Cutlural Festival in Bosnia and Herzegovina.......................18

.......................... IMPRINT..........................................13

Editorial danube connects is on Facebook, twitter and Instagram!

Dear readers,


ulture knows no borders and thrives on encounters.

Traveling to unknown places, meeting new people,

discovering the unexpected, getting inspired and going home with fresh ideas.... This is finally possible again!

At the International Danube Festival in Ulm/Neu-Ulm, personal encounters can take place again.

The guests from the Danube countries are just as happy about this as the visitors to the festival.

We offer information and images from the international press on politics, tourism and culture in the Danube region. Furthermore, we keep you on track about the Danube Strategy and the various events alongside the Danube. Come and take a look! You want to share interesting information on the Danube region? Just send a link to info@danubeconnects.eu.

Getting closer to the Danube - in the European

Capital of Culture 2022 Novi Sad, you can get to facts about it at the Danube Sea Programme in August. And besides, you can enjoy life in the

lively Serbian city, which I personally like so much.

You can also read about how Veszprém and the Balaton region in

Hungary are preparing to be European Capital of Culture 2023 this year. If you are looking for the unknown and mystical, visit the cultural festival Slovo Gorcina in the historic town of Stolac in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

the magazine for the danube countries

www.danube-connects.eu www.facebook.com/danube.connects twitter.com/DanubeConnects

1 | 2022 and Culture, Tourism the Danube Region Encounter in

know Europe's longest river and learn interesting


the magazine

e countries

for the danub


May this summer of 2022 give you unforgettable moments and inspiration through cultural encounters!


Sabine Geller,


ters through encoun Building bridges danube connects

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editor-in-chief & founder, danube connects

COVER: Oana Ionel, Bucharest

Danubian Limes, 160x140 cm, acrilic on canvas "Danubian Limes is part of the artworks who investigated the concept of border along the Danube River. It makes reference to the Roman military frontier or Limes which lies along the River danube in the present day German state of Bavaria, in Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania. In a reality where the tendency to build walls seems more enduring than the will to create bridges, the question arises as to how optimal a cultural diversity can coexist in a common space. An elementary answer can be drawn around the notions of esteem, empathy and resilience. Along the river, the borders become permeable, abstract and metaphoric."


Follow the Danube at the DZM: More stories about the European river The Danube Swabian Central Museum Ulm has expanded its exhibitions

With many objects, photographs, films and illustrations, this exhibition tells 22 stories about the Danube. The focus is on both the natural space and the people who lived and still live on and with the river. The Danube as a travel and economic route and as a space with great cultural diversity are further thematic focal points. All this is done with many interactive elements, such as audio and film stations or hands-on objects. The

New concept in the DZM - Interesting facts about the Danube

"Look at me, says the Danube, tall am I, beautiful and wise. There is no one in Europe who could hold a candle to me." After 18 months of renovations, the DZM presents a significantly expanded and experience-oriented view of the Danube region in its historical rooms in the former federal fortress of Ulm on around 1,500 square metres, in keeping with Konrád's quote. The preexisting permanent exhibition on the history of the Danube Swabians was modernised and updated. It remains one of the two focal points of the DZM, which originally opened in 2000.


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The second, completely new focus is the Danube itself. The museum’s director Christian Glass speaks of a "rejuvenation cure". Since the generation of Danube Swabians with personal experience is becoming smaller and smaller, the DZM also has to break new ground, says Glass, in presenting history and stories about the Danube. The river tells stories This mainly happens in the new focus of the exhibition, "Danube. River Stories". The aim is to specifically address families, adults and children. The DZM wisely refrains from giving a comprehensive and encyclopedic pre-sentation of the whole Danube region with its almost 3,000 kilometers of river, 112 million people and 10 riparian states. Rather, the concept developed by the Berlin-based creative office “it's about” in cooperation with the DZM picks out 22 exemplary "river stories".

explanatory texts in this exhibition are written in German and English. Visitors can learn more about the legendary "Danube dinosaur", the beluga sturgeon, and fishing, for example from the fishermen in Apatin, Serbia, on the Serbian-Croatian border. Interferences into the ecosystem are illustrated, among other things, by looking at the construction history of the large run-of-river power plants at the Iron Gate on the border between Romania and Serbia.


The tragic and bloody history of the Danube region, as a struggle for power, borders and zones of influence, is deliberately not left out of the "River Stories". The Holocaust during the Second World War in Serbia, occupied by German troops as part of the former Yugoslavia, is also addressed. The Danube as an escape route, both for refugees of German origin after the Second World War and for refugees from Nicolae Ceausescu's dictatorial Romania, from the 1970s onwards in the direction of Yugoslavia, is another tragic chapter that is taken up in the DZM. The cultural history and diversity of the Danube region is reflected in the "Ottoman" island of Ada Kaleh at the Iron Gate, which was flooded in 1971, as well as in the coffee house culture, carnival customs in southern Hungary or the large music festival "Exit" in Novi Sad / Serbia. Danube Swabians - a migration story The revised permanent exhibition "Danube Swabians. Departure and Encounter" provides comprehensive insights into this special chapter of European migration history, from the late 17th century to the present day. The origins and languages of the Danube Swabians, their migration from Ulm along the Danube to south-eastern Europe, their life there in villages and

towns, the cultural and economic interactions with the ancestral population become comprehensible. The effects of National Socialism, flight, expulsion and deportation after the Second World War as well as the life of Danube Swabian minorities in the socialist states after the end of the war are part of this history and its presentation in the DZM. A special cinema station with contemporary witness films from Hungary, Romania and Serbia was developed for this purpose. Under the motto "Between Ohio and Osijek", the DZM brings Danube Swabians and their descendants all over the world into focus. The integration of the expellees from the Danube region into the Federal Republic of Germany after the Second World War is also part of this context. Another new asset is a media guide specifically developed for the exhibition on the Danube Swabians, which directs visitors through the exhibition in German and English.

Funds from the Federal Government, the State of BadenWürttemberg and the City of Ulm totalling around 1.65 million euros were raised for the alterations of the museum. The City of Ulm additionally supported the renovation of the building and building services with almost 1 million euros. Further information about the DZM is available at www.dzm-museum.de Opening hours Tuesday to Friday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday, Sunday, public holidays 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Flags in front of the museum

In addition, the DZM offers a whole series of thematic guided tours - also especially for families and children through both large exhibition areas, including tours with actors and actresses. Bernd Weltin, Ulm

Behind the DZM is the Foundation Danube Swabian Central Museum, which is supported by the Federal Republic of Germany, the state of Baden-Württemberg, the city of Ulm and four Danube Swabian compatriots.


A ship model of an "Ulmer Schachtel" (Ulm box), which emigrants used to travel down the Danube from Ulm in the 18th century, specially developed for the museum by model builder Werner Klassmüller (Elchingen), shows the arduousness of journeys in those days. The Danube Steamship Company, founded in 1829, opened a new chapter that, in addition to the transport of goods, eventually also made tourist travel on the Danube possible.

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Culture European Capital of Culture 2023: Veszprém-Balaton

A party destination becoming a EUROPEAN CULTURAL REGION Many people still think of Lake Balaton, the "Hungarian sea", as a cheap package holiday and party destination. However, the local town of Veszprém and its neighboring municipalities want to change the old image and establish the area as a new European cultural region.

dings were the most colorful, so they decided to make the same move. Moreover, this should have a positive effect on the whole area in the long run.

Culture in focus: in Veszprém everything revolves around the Capital of Culture year


The title "European Capital of Culture" (ECOC) is awarded annually by the EU, since 2004 to at least two cities. Although there are still more Western European ECOCs overall, Central and Eastern Europe is catching up: since 2019, at least one city from the region has been included every year. In 2023, there are even two, Timisoara and Veszprém - and Veszprém did not apply alone, but together with 116 (!) municipalities from the Western Balaton region. This is why the project is called "Veszprém-Balaton 2023", or "VEB2023" for short.

sentative of VEB2023, in an interview with danube connects. "Culture is the source of renewal" and "culture creates region" is also stated in a VEB2023 presentation. Moreover, tourism should not only focus on summer and the lakeshore, but also be extended to the back country, says Méhes. It is not for nothing that the motto of VEB2023 is "BEYOND", because it is about discovering hidden treasures and showing the unknown behind the supposedly known - a concept that combines culture with tourism.

The localities of the region are participating because this offers an opportunity for economic rebound and a new development perspective for them, according to Márton Méhes, regional repre

Alíz Markovits, chairperson of the VEB2023 organising company, pointed out that during the preparation of the application they had noticed that the ECOCs which included their surroun-

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Veszprém's mayor Gyula Porga said as early as November 2021 that the city was very proud of the title; however, holding it was not a goal, but an important means to ensure that Veszprém would be among the elite of Europe's most livable cities within a few years. "By 2030, Veszprém would like to join the top 20 cities of the same size on the list of cultural and creative cities, in the company of cities like Weimar, Tartu, Avignon and Heidelberg," says Porga.

Virtual worlds, digital mermaids and European container village Already this year, numerous art and cultural programs are getting people in the mood for VEB2023, although the detailed program will not be published until October 2022. Until then it is still being worked on. However, at the beginning of April, Méhes gave a preview of the planned events at the Hungarian Cultural Institute in Stuttgart, including virtual worlds and exciting digital and multimedia projects, a festival of monsters and mermaids and the eco-art program called "Balatorium".

It is also certain that in addition to VEB2023's own productions, there will also be cooperation with organizers of existing events as well as with civil organizations and institutions through open calls for proposals. The cultural year will begin on 21 January 2023, the Day of Hungarian Culture, with a colorful opening event; so that not only Veszprém and the Balaton region, but the whole country can present itself together, as Can Togay, artistic and creative director of VEB2023, explained. The program series also aims to make the region visible on a European level; fittingly, a two-week container village is being organized with 26 European cities.

Developments from the Vinyl Wine Bar to the Danube Swabian Pilgrimage Route In addition, the dilapidated Heim Pál children's hospital in Veszprém is being converted into a cultural center for young creative people as part of the ECOC, and will provide a rehearsal room for local music bands and dance groups. Alongside this, the Ruttner House, which belonged to a German-born merchant family in the 19th century, will be renovated and given new functions, a hostel, café and the prison museum visitor center. The castle garden is to be made available for creative activities and artists. The currently unused, almost 24,000 sqm "Gyárkert" ("Works Garden") area is to be converted into a cultural park. And the surrounding area is already benefiting from VEB2023: for example, the organizing company is supporting the renovation of the Roman museum complex Villa Romana Baláca in Balácapuszta with 500 million forints (approx. 1.31 million euros) and the development of modern exhibition and community spaces in Balatonfüred with 358 million forints (approx. 940,000 euros).

The region around Lake Balaton is to shine in new splendour in the long term.

VEB2023 also plans to present itself at the International Danube Festival in Ulm/Neu-Ulm in July. Besides providing general information, a quiz with a prize competition is planned, Méhes revealed to danube connects. "Most people have already heard of Lake Balaton, which is a good basis for drawing attention to the ECOC," he continued. In the 1990s and 2000s, Lake Balaton was considered a cheap holiday and party destination, but now the region is to be presented as a qualitative cultural experience and a new creative, diverse European region. According to the regional representative, a lot has happened in the gastronomy sector; besides Veszprém, the Balaton Uplands

tya", the modern design bistro Kunszt, which also functions as a gallery and community space, and the Wine & Vinyl Bar and Store, which is both a wine bar and a record shop. Why is a visit to VEB2023 also worthwhile from a German perspective? As the organizers pointed out to danube connects, the heritage of the Danube Swabians who once lived here is commemorated with the help of a pilgrimage path below the adjacent Bakony Mountains. German artists are also taking part in the ECOC, such as the painter and performance artist Lilla von Puttkamer, who has already exhibited in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Budapest and

Promoting young musical talents

have also developed further, but without harming nature. Within the framework of the development program "Utcakép" ("Street Scene"), new restaurants and bars have already opened in Veszprém where you can still eat something in the evening and there is always something going on: the cultural café "Papírku-

Windhoek and who lives near Lake Balaton with her husband, a noble German wine grower. Daniel Hirsch, Budapest

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Danube Dialogues 2022 Since 2013, the Novi Sad Bel Art Gallery has been organizing the Contemporary Art Festival Danube Dialogues. A multimedia mosaic festival of visual arts, it takes place simultaneously in numerous locations in Novi Sad. Artists, art historians and critics from 14 countries of the Danube region participate in this exhibition, with the Danube as their common denominator.

Art objects from Milena Milosavljevic


The event offers an extremely inter-esting insight into the current art trends of this European region with its very diverse countries, be it in terms of economic development, EU membership or political conflicts.

where local and international artists, critics, philosophers, art historians and theoreticians meet and discuss current issues. The aim is to make artists, curators and audience aware of alarming issues of the modern world.

The interesting situation of the Danube region’s art makes the Novi Sad exhibitions so specific. The festival program includes different segments: there are authorial exhibitions designed by prominent art critics from a respective country invited by artistic director. The curator is requested to present the most up-to-date artistic phenomena. Art events (art interventions, performances, video works, street art) are mostly performed in open space and contribute to the festival atmosphere. Round tables are separate segments of the festival

Our 10th edition is a part of the Novi Sad European Capital of Culture project and will take place from July till September 2022. The vast program involves more than 60 participants. We would like to point out exhibitions such as Timisoara Novi Sad Art Dialogues, titled 3E:Ecology, Ethics, Esthetics dealing with our ecosystem during and after COVID pandemic. The Off center series of exhibitions will present the art of authors who are members of minority nations in the selected Danube countries. The selectors for

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the four exhibitions will be Serbian artists Dejan Kaludjerovic, who lives in Vienna, Sombathy Balint in Budapest, Olja Stefanovic-Triaska in Bratislava and Milovan Destil Markovic in Berlin. In their environment, they will choose artists from the national minority communities there or "guest workers" from the Danube countries, and thus give viewers an idea of the intertwining of different cultures that exist in the Danube region. In accordance with the concept of the project Off Center, the programme will be realized at locations in the immediate vicinity of Novi Sad. These venues were chosen based on the criteria that they belong to the local cultural and historical heritage. The Guest of Honour of the Danube Dialogues 2022 will be Japan with the exhibition Small Reboots by Japanese Artists. The exhibition focuses on the interactions between art and technologies using different artistic media and knowledge of traditional artistic practice connected with problems related to the contemporary environment that question the new role of humanity today. Vesna Latinovic, festival founding director, Novi Sad.

Danube. Youth. Europe. In search of future perspectives for the Danube Region With its diversity of people, cultures and landscapes, the Danube Region can generate impulses that set an example for the entire European Union. It holds opportunities that young people want to and are able to seize. Sustainable, long-term development of the Danube Region depends on the multifaceted commitment of young people and young adults. The conference "Danube.Youth.Europe. Perspectives for the Danube Region" aims to provide a space for this commitment. The conference, organised by the Baden-Württemberg Foundation together with the State Ministry of Baden-Württemberg and the Danube Office, is a "search for future perspectives for the Danube region". The event will take place within the framework of the International Danube Festival 2022 on 6 July 2022 at the Edwin Scharff House in Neu-Ulm (Germany). The conference particularly targets young people from the Danube Region, project promoters and participants in the programme “Perspective Danube”, as well as interested citizens and actors from civil society. In the morning, a plenary discussion will shed light on the topic of environmental protection. Among others, Volker Schebesta, State Secretary in Baden-Württemberg’s Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, the "swimming professor" Dr Andreas Fath, representatives of the Regional Union of Youth Associations (Landesjugendring) and international project partners will exchange views. Afterwards, individual aspects will be

examined more intensively in smaller groups in a "World Café" format in the afternoon. Guided tours, interactive workshops, discussions and film presentations will focus on questions that deal with the future prospects and thematic diversity of the Danube Region: How will people live together in the Danube Region of tomorrow? How can we ensure a region worth living in for the long term? How can we attain this goal in a resourceconserving and sustainable way that does justice to people, animals and the environment in equal measure? How can we achieve successful participation of young people and what are the possibilities and opportunities for appreciative voluntary work? What can we do for social cohesion and the inclusion of disadvantaged groups? In order to highlight the diversity of the Danube Region, there will also be activities on art and culture as well as networking in the digital space.

two years of pandemic and digital exchange, the Baden-Württemberg Foundation, together with the State Ministry and the Danube Office, is looking forward to welcoming all project promoters live again, especially for networking, and to start exchanging with one another.

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Musical Danube Journey from the Black Forest to the Black Sea

Sorin Strîmbeanu Quintet: Wolfram Koloseus, (piano), Michael Steinmann, (cello), Bernd Ballreich, (clarinet), Frank Ringleb, (double bass), and Sorin Strîmbeanu, (violin). They performed in Mannheim.

"We are convinced that culture builds stable bridges between people and peoples and consider our project to be a contribution to peaceful coexistence in Europe," is how Josif Herlo, chairman of the Heidelberg cultural association Al. I. Cuza, explains the commitment to the project Musical Danube Journey - from the Black Forest to the Black Sea, which he initiated. The project will be carried out with the support of the Baden-Württemberg Foundation from 13 April to 30 June 2022. As part of the project, sixteen concerts of classical music will take place in five Danube countries Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania and the Republic of Moldova. The pieces performed are by composers from these Danube countries – Horst Lohse (Germany) Peter Machajdik (Slovakia), Werner Schulze and Michael Salamon (Austria), Andrei Tănăsescu, Ioan Pop, Gabriel Mălăncioiu (Romania), Dobri Paliev (Bulgaria), and Nebojsa Zivlovic (Serbia). A special highlight of the concert series are the fifteen pieces of music composed especially for the project.


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With this project, the organisers, the Cuza Society and its partners, the National Music University Bucharest, the Academy of Music Cluj and the Academy of Music, Theatre and Art Chişinău, want to promote cooperation and exchange between musicians, students and composers from the Danube countries.

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The project targets a broad audience interested in classical concerts and aims to make them aware of the many things the cultures in the Danube region have in common. In the long term, the organisers would like to cultivate relations with the performing artists from these countries and organise further joint concerts.

TRIO CONTRASTE from Timișoara: Ion Bogdan Ștefănescu, (flute), Doru Roman, (percussion) and Sorin Petrescu, (piano). They performed in Heidelberg, Vienna, Gyula and Timișoara.


Emergency aid in the Danube region for UKRAINE The Baden-Württemberg Foundation has been supporting nonprofit projects in the Danube region for many years with its funding programme Perspective Danube: Education, Culture and Civil Society. It promotes networking and international understanding in the Danube region and thus contributes to the implementation of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR). The main goal of the EUSDR is to further develop the region and to increase the prosperity and innovative capacity of the 14 countries in the Danube region, including Ukraine. This year, Ukraine would have been the first non-EU member state to chair the EUSDR, but this failed to happen due to the outbreak of war.

The Baden-Württemberg Foundation's response to the war is to support Danube partners from Ukraine and those affected by the war. The foundation is now providing funding under the Perspective Danube programme for non-profit organisations from BadenWürttemberg that wish to help the people of Ukraine. Applications can be made for non-profit projects in the field of humanitarian emergency aid or projects that offer measures and programmes for refugees and support disadvantaged population groups.

professor Andreas Fath, AWP will collect donations in kind (including painting utensils, toys, non-perishable sweets) for Ukrainian children. In Moldova, these donations in kind will be handed over to refugee Ukrainian children in gym bags recycled from PET bottles.

The first project applications have already been approved and are being implemented. One of them is the project "Ukraine Aid cleandanube" by AWP - Association for Wildlife Protection. During their 2,700 km tour, which includes a swim across the Danube by

Non-profit organisations that are also interested in helping people from Ukraine can submit an application to the Baden-Württemberg Foundation on an ongoing basis. For more information, please visit the Foundation's website at www.bwstiftung.de www.bwstiftung.de

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When Max has laced up his hiking boots in the morning, put his backpack on his back and left the pension in Budapest to start a new hiking day, he likes to think back to the beautiful experiences of the last hiking days on the "Sultan’s Trail". On average he covered 20km a day, he calculates 120 days for the whole distance from Vienna to Istanbul. In Apatin (Serbia) he will meet other hikers, then they will hike to Belgrade in a group of nine people. Otherwise he was on the road with one or three others during this hike. He also thinks back to when the volunteer initiative Sultan’s Trail began ten years ago. Much has been achieved, much is still to be done. What is the Sultan’s Trail? The Sultan’s Trail is a 2500 km long hiking and biking route across eight countries from Vienna to Istanbul. Nature and culture at their best in the Danube-Balkan region, adventure and cultural experiences in an area that is mostly unknown to many people but attractive to tourists. The trail is a new long distance hiking trail which, along with the Way of St. James and the "Road of the Romans and Wine", is a cultural and nature trail that wants to become


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2500 km of culture and nature along the Danube and through part of the network of cultural routes of the Balkans the Council of Europe. The trail follows the Danube for about 1000 km from Vienna to Smederevo (Serbia), along the "Danube cultural When the Sultan’s Trail was created, the capitals" of Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, cultural attraction of the region between Novi Sad and Belgrade. It leaves the Vienna and Istanbul also led to the Danube at Smederevo, a massive castle formation of two academic working from the Ottoman period, and enters the groups with members (universities and interior of the Balkans towards Istanbul. research institutions) from 13 countries: Other cultural highlights such as Nis, one focusing on the general tourist Sofia, Plovdiv, Edirne and finally development aspect and one represenIstanbul await on this approximately ting a historical-cultural research initiati1500 km long route. The region was not ve. In addition to cooperation with unionly shaped by the Ottoman rule, versities from the region, the main already much earlier, Celts, Thracians, objective is to develop walking and cyRomans, Slavs and others have cling tourism, working with regional wandered through the Danube and and local stakeholders (city councils, Balkan region and left their "cultural tourism organizations, travel agencies, mark" on it; but the Ottomans and museums, guesthouses and hotels). Habsburgs in particular have left their rich historical heritage here, which you The Sultan's Trail is a good example of the development of "slow tourism". Far can get to know on foot or by bike. from environmentally destructive mass tourism, sustainable tourism is built in the poorer regions and those characterized by high migration, helping the local population to employment and income. Estimates say that when the tourist infrastructure is in place, up to 30,000 tourists - mainly Western Europeans - could come, traveling for an average of 10 days and spending 30-60 euros a day locally on accommodation and food. Examples of bicycle tourists in Serbia traveling along the Danube Cycle Path (part of EuroVelo 6) confirm these estimates. Join the project "Sultans Trail" project either as hikers or creators you are welcome in any case! info@sultanstrail.com


Dr Gabriela Costea and biologist Cristina Pelcaru during the first water sampling in the Comana Nature Park, Romania

Danube Nature Guides III

Building bridges between nature and culture

Expansion of a cross-border network funded by the Baden-Württemberg Foundation within the framework of the program Perspective Danube 2021-2023. In order to strengthen the sustainable use of nature, the network involves training nature guides in the Danube countries, promoting cross-border exchange, and supporting social developments. The project proposed by the Lake Constance Region Nature School pursues the following objectives:

Biological sampling of aquatic animals in 2022 serves several parallel objectives: ■ As an inventory of the animals inhabiting the Danube and the tributaries of the nature parks, and ■ as educational visual aids that can be used to identify the most appropriate and interesting animal or plant species.

Dissemination of innovative educational concepts and models for environmental education on the topics of water and water bodies, floodplains, ecosystem services of flowing waters; ■ Educational and qualification courses for different target groups, e.g. rangers, nature park staff, teachers, NGO's; ■ Improvement of the professional and methodological knowledge of specialists and managers in the Danube basin with regard to environmental education and nature conservation on water bodies. In Romania the Nature Park "Comana", as well as the Nature Park "Small floodplain of Brăila", and the non-profit organization EcoAssist are involved as partners.

For this purpose, the two coordinators, Dr Costea and Dr Schmidt-Halewicz, both passionate aquatic researchers (limnologists), chose these two natural parks in the south-east of Romania: nature park "Comana", and the nature park "Small floodplain of Brăila".

In September 2021, the two coordinators traveled to the lower Danube to train the park staff. A first-generation Danube nature guide and biologist from Galaţi was also trained at the Little Floodplain of Brăila Nature Park on how to conduct the sampling, which she will do at monthly intervals starting in April 2022 until September.



of the Fre

The biological material collected in the six sampling sessions in the two nature parks will be analyzed and evaluated by Dr Schmidt-Halewicz in Konstanz. The results of the samples from the Danube and the nature park waters will be compiled in a guide for the identification of aquatic invertebrates (so-called macroinvertebrates) and a guide for biodiversity on the Lower Danube, which will be developed for these parks. Likewise the life of some aquatic creatures will serve to tell a dramaturgically interesting story, which will give the younger participants (children) an idea of life in the Danube region. An example: the freshwater seahorse Sea Needle (photo). The point of reference here is Mörike's tale of the beautiful Lau. Sabine Schmidt-Halewicz Special publication of:

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WOMEN WHO CHANGE THE WORLD A new communication technology or a detector for lies on the net? What might she have developed these days? The inventive spirit of Hedy Lamarr – the pioneer of digitization and the inventor of Bluetooth technology – was boundless. Some know Hedy Lamarr as a talented actress, others as a brilliant mind – she was both. And on top of that: unflinching, unstoppable, unconventional. What would Sophie Scholl have done here and now – stand up loudly and uncompromisingly against the rising right-wing and anti-democratic forces? And would Mileva Maric have received the honor that was not granted to her throughout her life? Would she have been awarded the Nobel Prize today? Would she have been able to live in dignity – recognized by the world of science, among the smartest minds? These women have made history - but they are all too rarely mentioned in history books. The project "danube women stories" is dedicated to them. "The idea came about at a gender conference in St. Pölten together with her colleague Christiana Weidel," says the provider of ideas and editor Sabine Geller. "I don't think there is enough focus on women's achievements. We wanted to change that." Sabine Geller quickly recruited partners and interested parties from several countries for her project (see info box). In 2020, the book “Danube Women Stories: 64 Women, 6 Countries, 8 Cities. A collection of fascinating, fearless, smart women” is published. The book tells the stories of important personalities who lived and worked along the Danube. But the volume doesn't just look back, it also presents women whose achievements, skills and courage are changing the present - for


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the better. For example, the director of the Vucedol Museum in Vukovar, the Roma activist Szivia Szenasi in Budapest or the successful entrepreneur Andreea Kremm in Timisoara have their say. "I was very touched by their destinies and their strength," says Sabine Geller. In 2021, after the long Corona lockdown, she packs her suitcase and travels the cities along the Danube, meets some of the women from the book, conducts interviews and collects material and knowledge about the lives and achievements of the historical women. "I know the Danube region very well, but this time I saw it through the eyes of these women. The meetings

have inspired and enriched me a lot," says Sabine Geller. Back in Ulm, she is preparing the audiovisual material in the form of an exciting multimedia project that will take users on a journey along the Danube. https:women.danube-stories. eu/storytelling/en But that's not all. From August 8 to 21, an exhibition is planned in this year's cultural capital Novi Sad - including a performance by the women's band Frajle. Rayna Breuer, Köln

Partner des Projektes sind: ZAWiW, Ulm Zentrum für Allgemeine Wissenschaftliche Weiterbildung an der Universität Ulm danube connects, Ulm The World of NGOs, Wien Budapest Walkshop Sétaműhely, Budapest Novi Sad School of Journalism, NoviSad Asociatia Pro Democratia, Bukarest The book project was book project by the Baden-Württemberg Foundation. The storytelling and the exhibition are supported by the Ministry for Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts in Baden-Württemberg, by the Cultural Advisor for the Danue Region at the Danube Swabian Museum and the city of Ulm. DANUBE WOMEN STORIES VOL. 2. Sabine Geller/Christiana Weidel/ Belinda Schmalekow (Hg.): danube books Verlag ISBN 978-3-946046-22-6.

Readers can participate interactively: Here everyone can suggest a woman to be mentioned in the sequel. What is your suggestion?

The digital exhibition of the Danube Women can be found here.

Happy EU

Looking into smiling faces

Faces from five European countries and they all have one thing in common: they’re smiling. And it is exactly this that was one of the goals of the project with the wonderful name "HAPPY EU", which was initiated by the Maison de l'Europe in Paris together with four other partners. The project’s theme: presenting citizens who are committed to Europe and its values in various ways. The cities of Ulm in Germany, Paris and Vincennes in France, Bacau in Romania, Cuba in Portugal and Cácares in Spain had a hard time deciding, as the selection was limited to five people each. However, the people presented here also stand as a symbol for many other citizens out there, who are following the same path towards a common future and continuing to expand it with their commitment. With danube connects, Ulm is also a partner of this EU project. After the opening took place in Vincennes near Paris and then continued its journey in Romania, danube connects was recently present at the vernissages in the Portuguese Cuba and Spanish Cáceres. A gettogether of all initiators of the participating European countries in inspiring places full of European history and surprises. The smiles on the photographs spread to the guests and strengthened the European spirit, which is colorful and diverse. The vernissages and the characters they presented show: Europe does not know borders, but dismantles them! Everyone who contributes to a

healthy, peaceful and strong society is welcome. The opening of the exhibition in the Portuguese town of Cuba was very touching and could not describe the spirit of Europe in a better way. Olga Surivka is a native of Ukraine. Since 2001 she has been living in Portugal, where she earns a living for herself and her two children as a housekeeper. The citizens of Cuba know her as a kind person who is always ready to help. Now, because of the situation in her native Ukraine, she also receives support from her fellow citizens. She cries at her presentation, but still has not lost her grateful smile on her face. That's exactly it: Europe should be the place where all people feel safe, secure and above all wanted, in any situation. In other words: "HAPPY EU". Mirella Sidro, Sarajevo

The conclusion of the exhibition will take place in the city library in Ulm at the International Danube Festival on 02 July 2022 at 12 o'clock.

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Adis Lukac Sculptor and painter


o matter where in the world – there are few artists who can sit back and relax because they can make a good, carefree living from their art. What is it like in economically weaker countries like Bosnia-Herzegovina? Let’s start with the good news: the art scene is diverse and very active.

Some artists are also known outside the country's borders and have grown to become internationally renowned. And most of them leave the country to create their works in other countries. The reason is simple: elsewhere, one is not at the mercy of the complicated political system, which also influences the cultural sector. And some use this privilege to help their homeland from afar. Nevertheless, there are quite a few talented and unique artists who do not leave their home country and continue to work there, even if people predicted an international career for them. Danube Connects sent five artists from different fields five identical questions. The answers were diverse, surprising and very different. But they all agreed on some points. Yes, Bosnia-Herzegovina is not an easy country for an artist because of the political situation, but it is also this

initial situation that increases creativity. Their respective art sends messages to the souls of people inside and outside the country's borders. Their common mission: to shake viewers and listeners awake through their works and to encourage them to do better. From Inferno to Paradiso - whether sculptor, musician, actor - they are all ambassadors and voices for a better future for Europe. Is it not precisely crises from which the Phoenix rises like from the ashes? Originally, we were planning a continuous text with the respective quotes. But the answers are so inspiring and encouraging that we decided to publish a quote from each artist in the magazine. The entire interviews are available on our website:

"Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country with a complicated political system that affects social and cultural life. These are not good conditions for artists in general. But the mission of the artist is to speak to souls. If I manage to encourage the soul of a viewer to do good with one of my works, I have accomplished my mission."



Amira Pertesi Designer

"Being an artist in Bosnia and Herzegovina is like driving over a cobblestone road with many challenges and uncertainties, but it’s also a great privilege. Through my work, I try to give women the freedom and courage to be authentic and recognizable."

Damir Imamovic Singer

"Outside of Bosnia and Herzegovina, I am often perceived as a traditional artist and within its borders as someone who breaks with this conservative status quo. I swim between these two poles and find unexpected moments in tradition, which I like to emphasize."

"I didn't shoot in Bosnia and Herzegovina for ten years despite quite a few offers. Either the roles or the fees didn't suit me. You have to be true to yourself and refuse everything that you know is not for you. Don't sell yourself short. Until then, live every day as if it were your last. Maybe it is."

Ivana Djuric Musician

"In Bosnia and Herzegovina, all opposites have extreme dimensions: Sadness and joy, sorrow and pleasure, success and failure. I would not call myself an artist. I pass my energy through the instrument to tell stories that are currently in my life, hoping that they will inspire listeners."

Fedja Stukan, Hollywood actor, bestselling author and passionate pilot

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"The desert they created ..." At the "Slovo Gorčina" cultural festival in Bosnia-Herzegovina Festival „Slovo Gorčina" in his honor: Mak Dizdar 1917-1971

The depictions on the gravestones appear mystical and mysterious in the flickering torchlight. Even the inscriptions seem to move, as if the letters of Bosančica, the ancient Bosnian script, are emerging from the stone. I am at the opening of one of the most important cultural festivals in the Balkans, called "Slovo Gorčina" (translated: Letter/Alphabet of Gorčin). The event, which marks its fiftieth anniversary in 2021, takes place in the evening hours accompanied by the sunset on the medieval necropolis of Radimlje in the small Herzegovinian town of Stolac.

You couldn’t imagine a better location. It is precisely these old gravestones, called Stećci, which inspired the poet Mak Dizdar, in whose honour this event is held annually, to write his works. The unique representations and epitaphs can only be found on the territory of the medieval Bosnian kingdom. Today, they belong to the UNESCO cultural heritage, and deservedly so. But who is Mak Dizdar and why was a festival dedicated to him, which is of such immense importance that it is still taking place even after 50 years? The poet, who was born in Stolac on 17 October 1917, collected all the


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inscriptions and writings of the Bosnian kingdom and transcribed them. He took them as inspiration and wrote poems about Bosnia and Herzegovina. His works are honest, dark, mystical and mysterious. They have been translated into several languages. What was not easy for us to understand are illogical combinations of letters. Mak understood perfectly how to give such a meaning to just one letter like no other. Unfortunately, the intellectual died on 14 July 1971 at the age of only 53. A great loss that his intellectual friends did not want to accept. In his honour, a poetry performance was held at this very place - and the idea of an ongoing intellectual cultural festival was born. Now, 50 years later, I sit here and listen to the mystical words recited by actors among the ornate gravestones. Today, Gorčin Dizdar, the grandson of Mak Dizdar, and his team continue the cultural heritage. Of course, the festival has evolved. Poets, artists, singers from all over the world join the three-day formerly national intellectual gathering. There is a get-together to nourish the spirit with fine arts. Of even greater importance is the "Mak Dizdar" prize, which is awarded to young writers who follow in the very big footsteps of the great poet.

The 51st festival will take place this year in Stolac from 29 July to 31 July 2022.

Slovo Gorčina is important for art and culture of today, when chaos and unrest reign internationally. Or to put it in the words of the great master: "To cross the desert they have created - that is the task ahead of us". Mirella Sidro, Sarajevo