Contributed by: Rusmir Arnautovic
Date: Tuesday 19, July 2011

From August 5th to 12th, Herceg Novi - one of the oldest towns in the Boka bay in the Adriatic - will host the premiere edition of the Sinestezija festival

As announced by the initiators of the event - NGO Sinestezija and the local design studio D Bend - the festival will take the form of a work-in-progress city-wide exhibition, which will treat the peculiar ambience of the Mediteranean old town of Herceg Novi as an open gallery space, a playground for artistic, aural and visual interventions. The Sinestezija Festival has been founded with the aim to improve the diversity of the Montenegrian cultural and touristic hotspots, by offering a new form of event which is large part dedicated to the town it is taking place in, as well as to the creative reading of the rich local cultural and anthropological histories. Each year one of the important moments or notions of the local cultural legacy will be selected as an underlining theme for the entire festival. For the first edition, the guest artist will be dedicated to the originality of a character - through the prism of a new rendition of the local notion of "oridjinal" (literal transition - original).

The "originals" are a constant in the long history of Herceg Novi - at least one of them marks each of the era of the town's history. They are characters which have entered the collective memory of the town, mostly due to their specific behavior, characteristic or manners. It could be said that in the local context they are a controversy of sorts - while a part of the local population is able to recognize their special values and, of course, sheer originality, others are almost ashamed of them. This is exactly the reason why the festival  chose to investigate and revaluate this important chapter of Herceg Novi's history, by focusing on the pure originality, diversity, authenticity and the lucidity of the "originals" of Herceg Novi - exactly the the values which the festival would like to communicate via its program.

The program focus is on visual artists. With the support of the Erste Foundation, Sinestezija will bring together around 20 graphic, street artists and illustrators from the entire region of SEE. Among the announced guests are PekmezMed, Tifani Rubi and NinjaTiger from Croatia, Esh from Bosnia, Mrge from Macedonia, Fuck New Rave, Fat Kid Beny, Kiborz and Weedzor from Serbia, then Shuzan form Bulgaria and the local representatives D Bend, Filip Roca, Nikola Ćurčin and others. This group of artists will realize a number of collaborative actions during the 7-day residency stay - from designing characters on life-size wood cut-outs which will be positioned throughout the Old town, to larger scale murals and a group exhibition in a gallery context. The festival has also announced its competition - the first character design competition in the region, the only prize for the winner being the participation at the festival (all expenses covered). It runs until July 28th and the details can be found on this link (Serbian/Croatian only):


One of the central events of the festival is the first Montenegrian Paint Club national  competition in drawing, which will be held on August 11th at the Forte Mare fortress. Paint Club competitions have so far been held in Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Serbia, Lithuania and Latvia. The competition is open for 2-member teams from Montenegro, and the competing of the 6 selected teams will be followed by the main festival party featuring locals Who See and 2BeatOrNot2Beat, as well as Sarajevo-based A Skitzo/DJ Ahmaad and others. 


The visitors of Herceg Novi - in itself a magnificent Mediterranean fortified town - will also have a chance to experience a number of side-programs - workshops, screening programs, photographic exhibitions, sculptures and urban interventions or unexpected performances on unusual locations. During the festival week, the aim is to take over the old town of HN with an "invasion" of artistic interventions and offer a fresh, different view of the town of Herceg Novi. This sort of event is held for the first time in Montenegro, on more than 30 locations around the Old town and with strong a focus on its ambient specifics of the. The majority of the program will be held outdoors, while the entire program is also free of charge.

The partners of the festival are Dis-patch Productions (at the same time the co-producer of the event), Berlin-based Pictoplasma, Faculty of Media and Communications from Belgrade, regional MTV, Cicak Akustik, Belgrade Raw, Super Size She and other local authorities. Follow Sinestezija festival on Twitter and Facebook in order to be most up-to-date with the program details. The full festival lineup will be announced very soon on the official festival site.

The festival Sinestezija should be only the first step in building an artistic platform which will be dedicated to the research, education and production on the crossroads of contemporary art, history, and cultural anthropology in the area of the Boka Bay.




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