Sarajevo Winter Festival welcomes world artists

Sarajevo Winter Festival welcomes world artists

SARAJEVO-Anatolia News Agency
Sarajevo Winter Festival welcomes world artists

The opening of the 28th Sarajevo International Winter Festival kicked off on Feb 7 with shows performed by artists from around the world. AA photo

Dance groups’ performances kicked off the 28th edition of Sarajevo International Winter Festival on Feb. 7 in the Bosnia Herzegovina capital.

Sarajevo, which features international festivals in the fields of cinema, theater and jazz, this time, brings together artists in the 28th International Winter Festival. With the efforts of artists in the country, various events have been organized in the city, which was regarded as the “capital of art” in the former Yugoslavia period, in order to heal the wounds of the war that took place in 1990s.

Despite heavy snowfall and harsh winter conditions in the country, the opening of the festival wasn’t postponed and took place in the 123-year-old National Museum of Bosnia Herzegovina, which is about to be closed down because it cannot obtain a grant from the state since Serbian political parties seek to block state institutions.

The opening of the festival hosted shows by the Royal Palace Band from South Korea and Nine Dragon Heads artists group, along with national artists. Also, the shows titled “Revival of Ghosts” and “Oarsman,” held as part of the opening events, received great interest from audiences.

İbrahim Sipahiç, who has been organizing the festival for 28 years and wearing interesting costumes every year in front of audiences, performed various dance shows in the opening event. Making a speech titled “King Sermon,” Sipahic criticized the closure of cultural institutions in Bosnia Herzegovina and the increase of intolerance between nations in the country.

“Far worlds and arts should unite. Open your heart and your mind to each other,” Sipahiç said, calling for citizens to love Bosnia Herzegovina, Sarajevo and all European nations.

“If it continues in this way, 2012 will be the end of Bosnian culture and arts,” Sipahiç said on the dire days faced by culture and arts in the country.

The Sarajevo Winter Festival 2012 will end on March 21. One of the most important supporters of the event is Turkey’s Cultural and Promotional Office in Sarajevo and a number of Turkish artists will take part in the festival. Among them are the head of Presidential Symphonic Orchestra, Rengim Gökmen, flute artist Şefika Kutluer and group Destar. There will also be exhibitions and theater plays by Turkish artists.

Organized since 1984, the festival has so far hosted 31,310 artists. 3314 art projects have been displayed in 27 years and more than three million people visited the festival.