Bitef Polyphony Bitef Polyphony is a program that CEDEUM organizes in partnership with BITEF Theater during the BITEF Festival as its accompanying program.
Bitef Polyphony has existed continuously since 2000 and in its programs includes individuals, groups, organizations and institutions as partners in the realization of certain program segments. From these partnerships, new projects are launched that are implemented during the year and presented in development at the following Bitef Polyphonies.
Bitef Polyphony explores and promotes innovative, creative, participatory and inclusive forms of work and through exchange between participants, discovers those areas of new theatrical tendencies that appear and develop through the artistic and social engagement of theater artists and other experts in joint work with young people through various programs, in an institutional or non-institutional form, through intersectoral cooperation or partnership projects, as well as through activities from other fields or for other needs, especially in relation to marginalized groups, where drama and theater are used as a method, tool, technique. The focus is on empowerment through theater, social responsibility and exchange of experience and good practices at the local, regional and international level, especially in the European framework. The goal is to discover those new tendencies in theater work with young people and for young people that are the initiators of new initiatives for future actions and projects that will be developed between the two Bitef Polyphony and will be presented at the following Bitef Polyphony.
With its program, Bitef Polyphony especially supports and makes visible those approaches in culture, education and social protection that see dramatic creativity and performing arts as a particularly important activity in realizing the right of people from marginalized groups to full participation in the contemporary and current artistic and theatrical life of the environment in which live, both in the audience and on stage.
The name - Polyphony - is symbolically bound to the complex musical form and Bitef Polyphony is developing its layout like a musical composition through a specific structure of a cyclical organization and „feedback“. „Polyphony“ as a metaphor has become and continues to be its concept - different areas, authors, professions, generations, social categories… as well as subjects which emerge, come together, multiply, repeat, are rediscovered and introduced in a new form cultivating the principle of many voices, variations, counterpoints…
Seventeen years of existence and active action in the field of art for social change, promotion of new theatrical tendencies in work with and for young people, as well as work on the affirmation of contemporary forms of creative drama in education and art, resulted in numerous projects and contributed to the rich experience of CEDEUM- and in organizing events and manifestations from these areas.
The first support and partners in the implementation of Bitef Polyphony in 2000 were: the European Foundation for Culture ECF, the Open Society Fund, and the "Stari Grad" Culture Center (since 2010, the partnership has been taken over by the "Parobrod" Cultural Institution). The Center for Drama in Education and Art CEDEUM, the Center for New Theater and Play CENPI and the Association of Independent Theaters ANET are presenting.
The author of the concept and longtime editor of Bitef Polifonija is Ljubica Beljanski-Ristić, founder and first president of CEDEUM.
In the following years, support and/or partnership in the realization of Bitef Polyphony was provided by: UNICEF, UNESCO, Save the Children Fund, CARE, CIDA, COOPI Internazionale, NATD Great Britain, ATAM Italy, EU Program for Culture, European Commission, Foundation for Open Society of Serbia, Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Education of Serbia. New organizations, groups and theaters are presented. The most important results are the discovery, presentation and affirmation of those who open new areas of action through theater and those who are just coming but will be the bearers of change with their innovative, creative and inclusive approaches and accomplishments.
Also, we emphasize that since the beginning of Bitef Polyphony, in addition to guests from various parts of Europe, special regional cooperation and partnership projects have been realized every year with the Croatian Center for Drama Education HCDO and the Center for Drama Education BiH.
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