On Sunday August 1st the Zelenkovac Ecological Movement in Podrasnica, RS hosted the first international jazz festival in Republika Srpska. In the proposal for the event the organizers provided specific objectives that they hoped the festival would achieve. These objectives were as follows:

1. Objectives

To organize the first open-air jazz festival in Republika Srpska that will bring together musicians from all over the Balkans and neighboring countries.
To provide young people with an opportunity to hear a live musical style that is not openly accessible to audiences in this region.
To promote the concert throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina to encourage the participation of an audience from all parts of the country and from all ethnic backgrounds.
To run bus-lines from Banja Luka and Zenica/Travnik to facilitate this participation.
To coordinate closely with youth organizations in the RS and Central Bosnia to encourage their involvement in the festival and provide a platform for future cooperation and liaison.

2. Project Background

The original idea for this festival was the brainchild of a group of local artists, musicians and members of the international community connected with the Zelenkovac Ecological Movement in Podrasnica (near Mrkonjic Grad) in Western Repubika Srpska. It was their wish to create a festival that would bring together jazz musicians from all over the Balkans to play to an audience who have very limited access to this genre of music and expression. The idea was also born out of the desire to provide an alternative to the myriad of hard rock festivals that are the predominant form of musical expression in this region.

2.1 Zelenkovac

The venue that has been chosen to host this event is the Zelenkovac Ecological Centre, a place that has been literally created and carved out of the surrounding forests and a location that will provide the perfect ambience for the festival. The Zelenkovac Ecological movement was formed in 1997, as a response to the real need to protect the environment in BiH and "develop a better ecological understanding in young people in order to develop a healthy social community". At present it is the only existing organization doing this kind of work in BiH. One example of their work was the cleaning of the Crna Rijeka Lake near Mrkonjic Grad when members of the movement removed 22 tons of refuse from the lake. In addition the center in Zelenkovac acts as a haven for visiting artists who can work peacefully, without disruption in the surrounding woods and stay the night in the log cabins and teepees.
2.2 Targeted Audience

It is hoped that the event will attract hundreds of people, both young and old, and from all backgrounds and musical tastes. In order to ensure that the music reaches a wide audience and one that is representative of the multi-ethnic composition of Bosnian society the organizers plan to distribute and hang posters in Sarajevo, Travnik, Zenica and Jajce as well as in the larger RS towns such as Banja Luka, Mrkonjic Grad and Sipovo. In addition a free bus will be available to bring people to the venue from Zenica, Novi Travnik and Travnik. The local NGO "Drugacija Umjetnost - Alter Art" from Travnik have expressed a keen interest in the festival and will help organize the bus-line from this area.

It is also planned to involve youth organizations from both the RS and Central Bosnia and the organizers have already contacted Care International and DIA, who are assisting youth centres in nearby Ribnik, as well as Banja Luka and Bihac, to gain their support and help advertise the event. By bringing together young people from different regions and ethnic backgrounds it will also help consolidate the progress being made regarding multi-ethnic relations and confidence building.

3. Project Implementation

The festival is planned to be held on Saturday 31st July beginning at 8.00pm and finishing in the early hours on Sunday. In total there will be 7/8 groups participating in the concert who are originating from four countries; Bosnia (Federation and RS), Yugoslavia, Croatia and Germany. These groups are as follows: -

Vasil Hadzimanovic Band - Belgrade, Yugoslavia
Misa Blam and Orchestra - Munich, Germany
Sarajevo Jazz Orchestra - Sarajevo, BiH
Hazari - Nis, Yugoslavia
BL Jazz Band - Banja Luka, RS
Sarajevo Drum Orchestra - Sarajevo, BiH
April - Banja Luka, RS

In addition there will also be a performance from the poet Sergej Cuk from Ljubinje, RS. The artist and photographer Zeljka Jovic will produce a visual record of the event and these photographs will be made available to all contributors to the event. It is also planned to make a video of the festival as well as to make a recording of the music.

In order to advertise the festival, a run of 500 posters will be made and "Graficki Studio Leon" in Novi Travnik will produce these. It is the organizer's intention to put the logos of all donors on this poster if notified in good time. The posters will be distributed and displayed 7 days prior to the festival. If money is donated after the posters have been produced than the donor's contribution will be mentioned during the concert itself. The organizers have also begun contacting TV and radio stations both in the RS and the Federation and will send a press release to all newspapers in the region in the next few days.

Prepared by:

R. Maxfield American Refugee Committee, Banja Luka 078 13833, 078 62986
B. Jankovic Zelenkovac Ecological Movement (ZEM)
M. Kuehn CARE Germany, Banja Luka
D. Zdjelar ZEM
M. Milutinovic ZEM