Večernji List - Croatia | 22/08/2014

Sarajevo Film Festival a web of lies

The Sarajevo Film Festival is currently celebrating its twentieth anniversary. But all the glamour can't conceal the worrying state of affairs in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the conservative daily Večernji List comments: "The hedonist red carpet is a colourful web of lies used to attract the superficial world press, on which the stars and starlets show off their bow ties and ball gowns. But these stand in the crassest contrast to the situation in which Bosnia has found itself for years. ... The red carpet conveys the impression that there's a functioning state in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but that's far from being the case! ... People forget that none of the important cultural institutions have enough funds to survive, and are unable to show tourists the treasures they have to offer. And even the Film Festival isn't really about films, but simply about a red carpet." (22/08/2014)

Duma - Bulgaria | 21/08/2014

Sofia looks like Serbia after the war

Sofia has applied to be designated European Capital of Culture 2019. But Bulgaria's shabby capital certainly doesn't deserve the title, the socialist daily Duma complains: "People who come here to admire our wonderful culture are more likely to be reminded of Serbia after the war. Sofia's streets are peppered with so many potholes it looks like they've been bombed. It's only thanks to socialism that we have pavements, otherwise we would still be wading through mud. ... There's a lack of traffic lights and zebra crossings everywhere but in the city centre. ... It's not the city's inhabitants who are to blame; they do what they can: fill in the potholes with rubble, paint their houses in all different colours, pave the entrances to their homes. They plant trees and flowers to try and hide the fact that the streets are getting more and more ugly because no one else looks after them. Sofia doesn't look like a capital at all, never mind a European capital." (21/08/2014)

To Vima Online - Greece | 19/08/2014

Burial mound in Amphipolis is Greece's chance

Archaeologists working near Amphipolis in northeastern Greece last week discovered a vast burial site dating back to 325 to 300 B.C. It is thought to be the tomb of the family of the Macedonean king Alexander the Great. What a chance for Greece, the online daily To Vima rejoices: "This fabulous heritage in the midst of an equally fabulous natural environment constitutes our country's biggest treasure. But it's not enough just to sit back and rest on our laurels. ... We must protect this heritage, and above all present it in the best way possible. This is not just a moral and historical imperative, but also the path to a better future. ... The global interest in the discovery of the tomb in Amphipolis gives us a unique opportunity to think about how we can best exploit our cultural heritage." (19/08/2014)

Pressa Daily - Bulgaria | 13/08/2014

Poor Bulgarians not interested in culture

According to a recent Eurobarometer survey only two in ten Bulgarians attended a cultural event in the past year. This figure means that the Bulgarians have the least contact with culture in the EU, and on average spend just seven euros per year on theatre, opera and books. The Pressa Daily newspaper is concerned: "How could it come to this? And where is our nation heading? The second question is easier to answer: we are heading nowhere, because a nation that has no enthusiasm for education and intellectual activity has no future. ... If we can't manage to teach our children to see culture as a necessity and be curious about it, all is lost. ... But faced with the choice between bringing our children to the theatre or putting food on the table, most will opt for the latter, and that's understandable. ... Therefore we must join forces, supported by the state and the patrons, and do everything possible to ensure that more Bulgarians have access to culture." (13/08/2014)

Sega - Bulgaria | 07/08/2014

Books as a disappearing cultural asset

Fewer and fewer people read books on paper, but that doesn't mean they're reading less, cultural anthropologist Ivaylo Ditchev writes in the daily Sega: "The upshot of the digital revolution is that we read more than we did before. The only thing is that we don't read the 'book' from cover to cover. We jump from word to word, page to page, book to book, author to author. We no longer actually start to read a book properly, and this means we no longer read it through to the end. Nostalgia for the book as an object represents a longing for a cultural asset with a beginning and an end, one that gives us the feeling that we own what we have read. I read the book, it belongs to me and now I give it to someone else in turn. The book is like a life buoy in a rapidly expanding digital universe of signs in which we feel lost." (07/08/2014)

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