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Hope on the Balkans: Reports 1996
5th Anniversary of Pancevo Peace Movement

Pokret za mir Pancevo
Pancevo Peace Movement
P.F. 186
26000 Pancevo

Sep 5 1996

For Old Pancevo

During the last week in August Pancevo Peace Movement marked the 5th anniversary of its founding and activities through a program of several artistic events entitled "For Old Pancevo".

For various reasons, from ideological to daily-political, the creation of an authentic approach toward a birthplace and feeling of belonging to a local and regional identity was, in practically all social spheres and relations, neglected during the last 5 decades. As a consequence of this neglect, an identity crisis appeared. This crisis was one of the main causes of war on the territory of former Yugoslavia. For these reasons Pancevo Peace Movement dedicated the program of its 5th anniversary to creating relationships toward past values and to connecting the best traditions and heritage of Pancevo which, in the meantime, have been interrupted. The program is entitled "For Old Pancevo". For its realization locations were chosen in the oldest and most ruined part of town. The intention was to encourage citizens of the town to pay attention to the condition of symbols and material testimony to urban living of the previous generations. This was also done two and one half years ago when PPM organized a blues concert for the old beer factory.

The program began on 27 August. Several artistic events were held at the plateau in front of the Kacura printing press and the former restaurants "Zlatna stuka" and "Kragujevac". Wostok and Grabowski, comic artists from Vrsac (a town 65 km north-east of Pancevo), Grubanov, from the neighboring village Crepaja, and Zograf from Pancevo, held an open-air artists workshop which resulted in a comic strip that measured 0,70 x 4 metres. Each author drew one panel which when merged, becomes one story. At the same time, an exhibit of photos of Old Pancevo was opened. Buildings which have been neglected and left to be ruined were photographed - the city authorities and state companies do not pay attention. There was also an exhibit of anti-war charicatures by Nikola Petkov and a presentation of the PPM project "Art for Peace". The whole event was accompanied by a string trio performing ethno-music.

On Thursday 29 August, Pancevo Peace Movement donated 50 books dealing with human rights, peace education, ecology and the work of non-governmental organizations as well as several dozen books of literature to the City Library. On this occasion there was discussion with the library director about further co-operation with the City Library for a project related to Old Pancevo.

The following day, 30 August, a five-member Samba group from Markdorf (near Konstanz), Germany performed in the City Park. The members of the Samba group are also activists of the peace group Friedensinitiative Konstanz (FIK) which has been collaborating with PPM for the last three years on the School without Violence project and distributing humanitarian aid. Their presence in Pancevo and the performance of the Samba group helped in the realization of the events planned in the program for the 5th anniversary of PPM.

At the same time as the performance of the Markdorf Samba group, posters of Old Pancevo were hung on advertising boards near to the City Hall. Postcards of the main city square, published at the beginning of the century, as well as postcards of the Greek Orthodox and Evangelical churches and synagogue (demolished in the mid 50's) were used as models for making posters.

The program "For Old Pancevo" was scheduled to end on Saturday 31 August with a six-hour concert by the Shank blues band from Crepaja on the plateau in front of the old railway station on the bank of the Tamis river. Unfortunately, due to weather conditions this event was unable to be carried out at the planned place so it was held in shorter form with less equipment and less audience, under the awning of a nearby cafe.

Following these activities, Pancevo Peace Movement will continue to work on the creation of relations to local and regional cultural identity; until the end of the year we expect to hold similar events.

Press Service Pancevo Peace Movement

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