Culture for Democracy


The Project supports the independent cultural sector to contribute to improved social cohesion and tolerance at the local level. Cultural actors will be provided with resources to unleash their potential for triggering critical thinking and dialogue around topics of immediate relevance for their communities, as well as for creating networks that will empower and enable them to uphold a stimulating space for promoting pluralistic values and inter-cultural dialogue in Serbia.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Serbia
Culture / development awareness
Governance

Culture & recreation
Democratic participation and civil society
15.07.2020 - 28.02.2025
CHF  1’041’000
Background

Culture and art are crucial for fostering greater tolerance and social cohesion, open and inclusive societies, reconciliation and democracy. Due to years of transition, the potential of arts and culture has not been fully employed in Serbia. Public cultural institutions are heavily dependent on state funding and lack autonomy. Independent artistic expression remains undervalued, continuously losing its significance. The cultural scene remains challenged by restricted freedom of expression, lack of resources and by absence of space for gatherings.

In the given context, the independent cultural sector enables not only the development of the artistic and cultural scene, but also the strengthening of links between culture and education, democracy, and the overall social development.

Objectives An independent and dynamic cultural sector contributes to improved social cohesion and tolerance at the local level.
Target groups Primary target group are cultural actors, outside of Belgrade including cultural professionals and artists, as well as cultural and artistic organizations/initiatives/associations, supported through grant schemes and capacity building program. Final beneficiaries are local communities, including vulnerable and minority groups, benefitting from quality cultural and artistic content enabled through the Project.
Medium-term outcomes
  • Individual artistic and cultural actors unleash their potential for triggering critical thinking and dialogue around topics of immediate relevance for their communities.
  • Networks and cooperation arrangements empower and enable cultural actors to uphold a stimulating space for promoting pluralistic values and inter-cultural dialogue.
Results

Expected results:   Independent cultural actors will be provided with resources to tackle topics relevant for their local communities through diversified cultural expression and socially responsible artistic production. In addition, they will be provided with opportunities for networking that will enable collaboration for exchanges, mutual learning and innovation. Capacities and skills of independent cultural actors to develop their programs, build organizational skills and increase visibility will also be addressed.


Results from previous phases:  

The assessment conducted during the Inception phase confirmed that the independent cultural sector faces three main challenges: lack of funding, lack of networking and cooperation possibilities and lack of audience development. Cultural actors’ capacities to exercise their mandate remain low, both in financial and operational terms.

Cultural participation in the public cultural events by the local audience in Serbia has been decreasing in the last decade. Women, in particularly those who have higher education and live in urban areas, are more prone to cultural activities than men.


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO
Private sector
  • Foreign private sector South/East


Other partners
  • Foundation Heartefact Fund
  • Independent cultural actors
Coordination with other projects and actors The Project will ensure complementarities with other Swiss initiatives supporting civil society (e.g. For an active civil society - ACT, Support to the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities - SCTM) and seek synergies with other local actors supporting smaller cultural initiatives.
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    1’041’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    345’968