For the Real Values
In times when the man stepped on the Moon for the first time, times of ”The Beatles” and ”Woodstock”, when girls put on mini skirts for the first time, the window into the world of rock-and-roll was Radio Luxemburg, and the first ”Gibson” guitars arrived to towns through relatives from abroad, the Serbian Youth Culture Festival was created in Knjaževac. And it has lasted until today

By: Ljiljana Pavlović
Photographs: ”East Star Group”

”On the stage erected in front of the eastern basketball hoop, in the gymnasium courtyard, four young men in white shirts and ‘super rifle’ jeans played on red Gibson guitars songs by Shadows. On the set behind them, with letters cut out from styrofoam, there was a sign: Artistic Games of the Students from Serbia. It was the first Knjaževac festival”, remembers the writer Bratislav Milanović.
It was in the 1960’s. A group of students from Knjaževac, who studied at the University of Belgrade, decided to spend their free time during summer holiday in the manner that was becoming increasingly popular in Yugoslavia back then – by organizing musical games or festival of students from Timočka krajina. Namely, new festivals were being organized everywhere, creating venues where new talents were discovered, those who would become the leaders of the Yugoslav music scene decades later. Probably none of the organizers back then could have imagined that students’ games would turn into an event which would withstand the challenges of time and last continuously for more than half a century.
Romantic years. Children were still playing on the street, and not online. Festival participants were greeted with signboards on the railway station, and the entire town would turn into one big stage.
A lot of water has passed through the Timok since then. It is a new era. Slogans about ”brotherhood and unity” and Kozaračko kolo are long gone... But there is the festival spirit and energy which, despite everything, only young generations have.
In the beginning there was only music, and then festival organizers came to the idea that Knjaževac could be a place where, every summer, a kind of musical finale of a season would take place, so poets, painters, directors, actors and choirs started to arrive.
”This is the city-theatre, city-book, city-concert, city-exhibition, city-word, city-movement and image. Guardian of the spirit, faith, hope and love. The city which proves that architecture is not the only possible form of history. Architecture here is the junction of stone and music, speech and color. The city gates here are the artist’s canvas, and a traveler who is passing through them can feel the smell of landscapes and the smell of the river. Knjaževac is Serbian Edinburgh, dedicated to arts and culture”, wrote Rale Damjanović in his book Timok Lyre (published by the National Library ”Njegoš” in Knjaževac).


 This year, the Ministry of Culture of Serbia did not have money for the half a century long event, but the Serbian Youth Festival knows that it has its stronghold in the Municipality of Knjaževac, which has been providing big support in all these years. The first man of the municipality, Milan Đokić, often says: ”Culture is expensive, but lack of culture is even more expensive.”
Again this summer, the early June in Knjaževac was marked by the Serbian Youth Festival, fifty second in a row. Almost one thousand young people shared their view of the world with the audience. Students of the Faculty of Arts in Niš with photographs, paintings, comic books, theatre companies with movement and words.
– I think that the festival in Knjaževac is an interesting cultural model of how we should be working on the promotion of cultural events in Serbia. It is a unique case that a city in Serbia has been organizing an event significant for Serbian culture for fifty two years – said Slobodan Jovanović, professor from the University in Niš.
To show to young people how one can reach the sky even from local stations, the choir ”Viva Vox” arrived in Knjaževac. There were also bands ”Van Gog” and ”Neverne bebe”.
– We don’t want to be dishonest toward the music, we cannot abuse talent, we want to give to people 300 percent of ourselves – said Milan Đurđević, the leader of ”Neverne bebe”, after the concert in Knjaževac.
The young guardians of tradition were accompanied by the Great Folk Orchestra of the RTS, singers in whose songs there still are traces of traditional music: Gordana Lazarević, Biljana Jeftić, Aleksandar Ilić...
This is how it was this summer in Knjaževac. For the 52nd time, the city was the stage from which some young people would be launched into the great art world. Among those who made their first steps here are Stefan Milenković, Ljiljana Blagojević, Gorica Popović, Mirjana Karanović, Goran Paskaljević, ”Galija”, ”Riblja čorba”, numerous TV hosts, cameramen, directors...
– When after more than five decades one looks at its beginnings, one can proudly say: more than 50,000 young artists presented their artwork here. There is probably not an important personality in cultural and public life who has not participated at the Festival – says Slaviša Radenković, one of the first participants, today the president of the Organization Board of the Festival.
This year, 2013, with its organization, production and overall quality, the Festival again positioned Knjaževac on the cultural ladder of Serbia. In words of Uroš Stanišić, the president of the Assembly of the Festival and director of the Cultural Centre in Knjaževac, preparations for the fifty third Festival began immediately. Next year, he promises, this unique event will be the best in the region.


Toward Real Victories
– Generations of artists with various interests from all over Serbia made their first steps at the Festival in Knjaževac, and the festival, instead of getting old, was getting younger, more beautiful and more enthusiastic – said this year to young people Milan Đokić, president of the Municipality of Knjaževac. – 1,700 years ago, Emperor Constantine under the Christ’s cross began to achieve victories for his empire and civilization as a whole. Both Knjaževac and Serbia will meet true values only when they direct the energy of their youth toward real victories.


”Timok Lyre”
– Poetry is a way of life, haven and power, something that educates and ennobles, represents warmth of one’s home turned into the power of a written word. It is a real honor for me to receive the ”Timok Lyre”, because this is an exceptional festival – says Nemanja Dragaš, the best poet of this year’s Festival and the recipient of the ”Timok Lyre”, the award traditionally awarded by Radio Belgrade.


From now on you
can buy National Review at Trafika sales outlets

Србија - национална ревија - број 82 - руски

Србија - национална ревија - број 82 - руски

Србија - национална ревија - број 81 - руски

Србија - национална ревија - број 80 - руски

Србија - национална ревија - број 79 - руски

Србија - национална ревија - број 78 - руски

Serbia - National Review - Tourism 2020

Србија - национална ревија - Број 77

Србија - национална ревија - Број 76

Србија - национална ревија - Број 75
Србија - национална ревија - ФранкфуртСрбија - национална ревија - МоскваСрбија - национална ревија - Москва
Србија - национална ревија - ПекингСрбија - национална ревија - број 74
Србија - национална ревија - број 73

Србија - национална ревија - број 72Туризам 2019.
Србија - национална ревија - број 71
Србија - национална ревија - број 70Србија - национална ревија - број 69Србија - национална ревија - број 68Србија - национална ревија - број 67Tourism 2018
Србија - национална ревија - број 66
Serbia - National Review - No 65
Serbia - National Review - No 64Србија - национална ревија - број 63
Србија - национална ревија - број 62
Србија - национална ревија - број 61

Србија - национална ревија - број 60
Србија - национална ревија - број 59
Serbia - National Review - No 59
Serbia - National Review - No 58

Serbia - National Review - No 56
Serbia - National Review - No 55
Serbia - National Review - No 54
Tourism 2016
Српска - национална ревија - број 53
Српска - национална ревија - број 12-13
Srpska - National Review - No 12-13
Serbia - National Review - No 51

Serbia - National Review - No 49
Serbia - National Review - No 49
Serbia - National Review - No 48
Serbia - National Review - No 46
Serbia - National Review - No 46
Serbia - National Review - No 46Serbia - National Review - No 46, russianSerbia - National Review - No 45Srpska - No 6
SRPSKA - National Review - No 5Tourism 2014SRPSKA - No 2
Tourism 2013
SRPSKA - National Review - Special Edition

Battle above Centuries
Legends of Belgrade
History of the Heart


Чувар светих хумки
Србија од злата јабука - друго издање
Orthodox Reminder for 2013
Пирот - Капија Истока и Запада
Беочин - У загрљају Дунава и Фрушке Горе
Србија, друмовима, пругама, рекама
Србија од злата јабука
Туристичка библија Србије

Коридор X - Европски путеви културе
Београд у џепу
Тло Србије, Завичај римских царева
Добродошли у Србију