The Almaš Neighbourhood, one of the five cultural centres that are being preserved, restored, and improved within the preparation of Novi Sad for the title year, has become a part of the prestigious Faro Convention Network of the Council of Europe.
In the official film by the Council of Europe about the Faro Convention Network, the Almaš Neighbourhood represents Serbia, and it was selected as one of only a few examples of good practice from the whole network.
The network gathers and connects organisations of local communities that actively use cultural heritage as a potential for development of their environment by applying principles of the Faro Convention Network – the European umbrella convention for the protection of cultural heritage, which was ratified by the Republic of Serbia in 2009.
The Faro Convention gives a framework for engagement of a civil society in decision making processes and management related to the environment of cultural heritage they develop and work in. By promoting the wider understanding of cultural heritage and their relationship with communities and society, the Faro Convention encourages citizens to recognise the importance of facilities and places of cultural heritage through the values that these objects have for them.
The promotion of the Faro Publication in Serbian and membership of the Almaš Neighbourhood in the Faro Convention of the Council of Europe was held in the restored factory for silk dyeing, the present ‘Svilara’, one of the eight cultural stations that have been opened during the preparation of Novi Sad for 2022, when Novi Sad will hold the ECoC title. The Faro Convention Network of Europe Council recognised the activities of local community of the Almaš Neighbourhood and ‘Almašani’ Association in the field of protection and improvement of cultural heritage as one of only a few examples of good practice at the European level.
Violeta Đerković, a representative of the ‘Almašani’ Association and a coordinator of cultural stations of the ‘Novi Sad 2022 – European Capital of Culture’ project, stressed the importance of the preservation of richness and authenticity of Almaš Neighbourhood as an urban space in Novi Sad, which was accomplished with the active participation of its citizens:
‘We managed to preserve the uniqueness of the neighbourhood, but also to explore different mechanisms for development of this part of the city and witness the new models of presenting art, culture and heritage of the neighbourhood, on the initiative of the local community itself’.
Photo: Jelena Ivanović