Interview by Filippo Romeo
Today, we are talking with Dr. Sofija Bajrektarevic, vibrant and charming yet, bold and visionary founder and general director of a comprehensive platform aimed at unifying potentials for the future: Culture for Peace.
From the very heart of Old continent, central Europe’s shiny capital – Vienna, an interesting message of sustainability comes through a web of meanings: connecting scientific approach, artistic touch and practical yet decisive action.
Q: What represents this Platform?
A: Unifying Potentials for the Future – Culture for Peace (UPF – Culture for Peace) is a comprehensive initiative that aims to create a dynamic platform for our common sustainable future. It is to architecture a global cross-generational and transboundary outreach by enabling talented and engaged individuals (as well as institutions and associations) from various fields (be it science, arts, culture and the like), to support sustainable balanced and harmonious societies.
Q: How do you intend to meet these ambitious goals, yet issues so pressing for our well-being?
A: All the basic tools of the Initiative and its activities relate to the design, implementation and realization of projects from different fields of culture. (Assuming hereby culture as an overall evolutionary existence of homo sapiens). The Initiative is here to model and support cultural events; to present and promote artists, scientists and cultural activists, as well as to feature their respective (sustainability-related) works and activities.
The enhanced interplay between the (applied) sciences and arts, all that within a broader environment, is a focal content of our activity, a leitmotiv in its imple-mentation. This is how we come to result, inspiring and visioning at the same time.
Q: Seems, you strongly aim at betterment of our societies?
A: The basic prerequisite, or to say precondition for the very creation, existence (be it symbolic or factual), as well as maintenance of societies and organisations oriented towards the advanced pacific future is the existence (or establishment) of social values. Such – ideal, but possible – society primarily and intensively develops, supports and perceives culture as being based on the initiation, creation, development and exchange of human passions and drives: ideas, knowledge and talents. Anything short of it is not sustainable and is not future we should construct, future we should wish to live.
Q: Could you briefly elaborate on your current projects?
A: One of them is so-called Narratives of Hope: Applied Science in the culture. By its very name, its concept and content it underlines importance of experts and their respective findings through applied research. It is to popularise and inter-disciplinate applied science as a part our civilizational vertical; culture determined to answer sustainability challenges. This segment is meant as a cluster of events – independent from each other, still interconnected to represent large one; variety in wholeness.
Another one is more related to the visual arts: “Sustainable Future – quo vadis: Process, metamorphosis, directions (of motion) of matter and spirit as essential building elements of being (existence)”. This project gathers artists from all over the world (sculpturists, painters, designers, photographers, and the like). The artworks themselves will be exhibited at annual exhibitions and presentations (in various countries as well as annual in-house exhibitions), starting with the autumn 2020.
Q: What I also see is that there are many cooperation agreements signed and projects concepted?
A: Indeed, we have already formalised our cooperation with numerus institutions on several continents. Previously, it was ‘think global – act local’. Nowadays, it is all glo-cal. Distances, locality and outreach, time and space – all becomes relativized; stretched and accelatered. ‘Glo-cal’ is even a name of our partner institution from Hong Kong. (laugh)
Q: I must admit, it is refreshing a novelty, rather inspiring and visionary.
A: The establishment and enhancement of a pacific society embedded in environmental harmony is the only possible way forward, towards a sustainable future. For its biosocial equilibriums, it presupposes the existence of dense web of meanings: of culture, of creative ideas, skills wisdoms and talents. And vice versa: The culture of supporting various ideas, knowledge and talents, directed towards a sustainable future, presupposes the existence/establishment of a pacific and balanced society in all its organisational forms. After all, this is what the United Nations declared too by their SDGs.
Q: What is the main challenge, in your view, to meet that future?
A: It would be unfair to say that today’s world is lacking bold actions and great ideas. However, most of it remains isolated and somewhat overlapping or even contradicting each other. Once we understand that our future is now and that our future is inescapably commonly shared, we will clearly grasp an inevitable. What is it? Simply, we need more interactions, interdisciplinarity, listening and rapprochements. The Unifying Potentials for the Future – Culture for Peace is part of that Now.
Hence, we energetically invite all – be it on the side of thinking, working or supporting (either financially or organisationally) these two, to join us without a hesitation.