Jan/Feb issue of PRINT magazine featuring an article about the Belgrade design scene.
excerpts from the article by Stephanie Skirvin
Print magazine Jan/Feb 2006.
Serbia's next wave in design
"Graphic design crushed our dictatorship!" but now what? Serbia's designers emerge from their nation's dark decade with an urgency to experiment and a hunger for pop culture.
The young designers of Belgrade are eager to make up for lost time: to absorb as much popular culture as they can from the Internet, assorted design annuals, and festivals; to reconcile their recent political freedom with their stll-sealed borders; and to determine how to make their way forward in a recovering but fractured economic and political infrastructure. Most of them seem to agree that despite their trying past and current difficulties, their experiences have given them a unique perspective and resilience. In their estimation, graphic design is of paramount importance, because they have witnessed how it can effect change.
“Turbulent times always seem to be stimulating for graphic communication,” says Aleksandar Maćašev, 34, a designer and a teacher at the BK Academy of Arts. Having the last European dictator was very good for graphic activism.” More emphatically, Slaviša Savić, a 33-year-old art director at the Belgrade ad agency COMMUNIS, asserts:” I am absolutely sure that graphic design crushed our dictatorship!”
“There are opportunities to promote your work in Belgrade, but if there is a possibility to create something abroad, your comeback to Serbia will be widely recognized,” says designer Aleksandra Prhal.
“I do want to travel and observe what is out there,” says Mane Radmanović , 29, “but I feel that my professional future as a designer is here.”
Serbia’s recent past has given young designers a more aggressive esthetic and conceptual manner, says Igor Milovanović, 27, and starting anew yields unforseen advatages.