Artist in Residence Programme Zvjezdane staze [Mijakovići, BiH]

Our first - unofficial - Artists in Residence 🙂
Looking towards Mijakovići, with Perun Mountain in the background
Burial church at the historic fortress of Bobovac
Zvijezda Mountain
Violet sunset along the "Star Trek Trekking Trail", Mount Zvijezda
Juse village
The view of the village of Juse as seen from Bobovac
Public pavilion at Bobovac
A possible venue for performances
Ibrišimović´s Shadirvan
With my neighbors Nadža and Šaban in their Bosnian-style lounge room - one of our future presentation venues in Mijakoviići!
The most beautiful villages of Bosnia
In 2022, Mijakovići was awarded as one of the most beautiful villages by USAID Turizam & Alterural non-profit Association
Our logomark!
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[Photo Credits: Belma Bešlić-Gál, 2019-2023]

Fostering creative synergies in the heart of Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Artist in Residence programme Zvjezdane staze [AiRZS] is an independent, non-profit, primarily privately funded initiative, envisioned in 2019 by the Austrian composer, pianist and curator Belma Bešlić-GálNestled amidst the montanious landscape of central Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the village of Mijakovići – which was recently named one of the most beautiful villages in the country – this pioneering project is set to make its debut in July 2024. The aim is to bring together internationally renowned professionals with up-and-coming artists in the immediate vicinity of the historic site of Bobovac, the former royal residence of the Bosnian kings from the Kotromanić dynasty. 

The initiative is based on an ethos rooted in inclusivity and collaboration, offering an inspiring environment where visiting artists can participate in creation, co-creation, and re-creation. It strives to champion the dissemination of culture, the engagement of the local community, the cultivation of cross-sector partnerships, the stimulation of economic growth, and the enduring sustainability of our various activities. In essence, it is about establishing an Incubator of Ideas that could potentially have a far-reaching impact not only on the cultural and artistic development of the local community, but on the region as a whole.

While contemporary classical and experimental music and performance art will play a central role, the overall scope of our initiative extends to a wide range of artistic expressions including visual arts and literature. By collaborating with artists, ensembles, associations, foundations and institutions locally and internationally, we aim to build long-term relationships with cultural and touristic institutions.

Despite the region’s far-reaching historical significance, up to now, it has remained largely uncharted by the international artistic community. The project aims at creating new opportunities for further societal and artistic development. It lays the foundations for lasting partnerships and collaborations that can contribute to the overall picture of European culture.

Supporting artistic endeavors through innovative collaboration: AiRZS & VaClaF

The Year 2023 marks the beginning of a new and synergetic partnership with the renowned VaClaF: Vareš Classic Festival, produced and organized by its artistic director Andrea NikolićOver the years, this festival has developed into one of the most important classical music festivals in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Through this unique collaboration, guest artists will have the opportunity to present their work to a local and international audience, while pursuing specific creative practices in an inspiring environment.

In 2024, in cooperation with VaClaF: Vareš Classic Festival [Udruga prijatelja glazbe Emil Milo Cipra Vareš] and sp ce – Austrian Non-Profit Organization for Art and Transdisciplinarity, the Zvjezdane staze Artist in Residence Programme has reached a major milestone by being awarded a grant from the EU-funded mobility programme Culture Moves Europe as part of the Second Call for Residency Hosts 2023/2024. This is the first time that an artistic residency project from Bosnia and Herzegovina has received funding under the Culture Moves Europe program, which is implemented by the Goethe-Institut, highlighting the potential of this project in the cultural sector.

The Core Team of AiR Zvjezdane staze includes highly acclaimed and internationally recognized artists such as Goran Stevanović (accordion) and Bernhard Gál (composition, sound art). Through cooperation with local and international projects and organizations such as sp ce – Austrian Non-Profit Organization for Art and Transdisciplinarity, the Arts-based Research Project AUDIO GHOSTSWISE: Wien – International Soloists EnsembleUdruženje građana “Čuvari bosanske krune Bobovac” [Mijakovići], JU Centar za kulturu i edukaciju Vareš, among others, guest artists can expect valuable information, support, and resources. 

The mentoring activities are designed to be both educational and inspirational. For the first year of our Artist in Residence Programme, we have a diverse group of internationally renowned artists and experienced mentors. The selection procedure will be carried out through an Open Call, which will be widely publicized. We strongly believe in promoting diversity and inclusivity across artistic disciplines.

Our programme is deeply integrated into a village community that exemplifies the values of self-sufficiency and sustainable living. This context underscores the paramount importance of respectful interaction with the community for artists participating in the program.

Welcome to AiR Zvjezdane staze & VaClaF: Vareš Classic Festival 2024!