Projekti koje studenti realizuju u sardnji sa profesorima podižu kvalitet nastave. Kroz interdisciplinarni pristup, spajanjem prakse i teorije, praktične produkcije i konceptualnog osmišljavanja rezultati se prikazuju kroz različite platforme. Kroz različite projekte se stimuliše kreativnost i značajno se doprinosi visokom nivou nastave.

WP5 Participatory practice and contemporary art

WP5 Coordinator: Dr. Bojana Matejić (PI4)

EPICA – Empowering Participation in Culture and Architecture: Activating Local Resources for and with Community


EPICA gathers a team of leading, internationally recognized researchers and activists in the field of participation in culture (contemporary arts and heritage), architecture, and spatial planning in Serbia, coming from 5 scientific organizations. The core idea of the EPICA project is that the challenging concept of participation should be re-examined and empowered – both in theory and practice – if we ever want to make a dedicated step towards a healthier and sustainable society. Under the term participation, different processes and actions pursuing the public interest are meant, which include people (residents of neighborhoods, cities, villages, including the members of vulnerable and marginalized groups, together with other stakeholders such as CSOs, private businesses, and academia) taking an active role in decision-making and governing public resources. Starting from the analysis of the concept and theories of participation in culture, planning, governance, budgeting, the main goal of the EPICA research is the fundamental quest for the alternative system solutions and decision-making models in culture and architecture, based on participatory principles, that are socially and ecologically responsible and economically justified, highly robust and oriented towards justice, fairness and solidarity in our societies. The innovative research methodology includes participatory action research (EPICA living lab), a large-scale online survey on experiences and expectations from participatory practices, mapping of participatory practices and policies in the last 20 years in Serbia, and 6 case studies with focus groups and interviews will provide empirical data that will be used for the creation of evidence-based recommendations for transformative and sustainable cultural and urban policies, as well as tools for innovative bottom-up driven models of participatory actions and practices. The project helps to better understand and apply the principles which form the basis of The Urban Agenda for EU 2016, Agenda 21, European agenda for the collaborative economy 2016, Civil participation in the decision-making process – Standards and Practices in Council of Europe Member States 2016, the Faro Convention, 2005 UNESCO Convention, the Aarhus convention 1998.

Sub-program: Social sciences and humanities;

Participating Scientific and Research Organizations (SROs) and their acronyms;

  1. University of Arts Belgrade, Faculty of Dramatic Arts (FDU)
  2. University of Belgrade – Faculty of Architecture (AF)
  3. Educons University Novi Sad, Faculty for Sport and Tourism (TIMS)
  4. University of Arts Belgrade, Faculty of Fine Arts, New Media Department (FLU)
  5. Institute of Economic Sciences Belgrade (IEN)

WP5 Participatory practices and contemporary art Coordinator: Dr. Bojana Matejić (PI4)


  1. Problematize and assess specific theoretical frameworks selected from the WP2 by investigating the chosen participatory practices in contemporary arts in their real-time context;
  2. Describe and analyze participatory models of two chosen case studies (position and role of the author(s), position and role of the audience, typology of their relationship, artistic genre, artistic medium, strategy for social transformation, topic, and content)
  3. Evaluate and show differences in terms of potential for social transformation between two main types of participatory artistic activities: those which abolish the boundary between the artist and the audience (participation is achieved through the form: audience as creator) and those which imply the reaction of the artist to a certain social problem concerning the community (participation is a topic of the artwork; audience as a spectator); understand expectations for future development of the local community;
  4. Analyze the relationship between relevant public policies and selected participatory practices and design a draft for policy recommendations (WP8);

Formulate a set of research questions, problems, and possible directions of their solutions that need to be tested within the WP7 EPICA Living lab.

The core WP5 research question is: which artistic participatory practices really achieve social, political, and human emancipation (unlike the artistic activities that only satisfy the form of participation, but do not have real socio-political effects?), so the main goal is to examine and make a distinction between hegemonic and emancipatory forms of participatory art. Two cases of artistic participatory actions, projects (in and outside of Belgrade), selected in the WP3, will be subjected to case study analysis, which would include interviews, participant observation, and content analysis.  In order to compare different models of participatory actions in art, selected cases need to meet the following criteria: a) topicality (actions are ongoing during the research), b) they deal with participation, in their form/content, c) they are in the function of social transformation. As part of the investigation of art’s impact on societies, the relationship between artistic engagement and factors that relate to community resilience will be examined, such as civic engagement, political activism, attitudes towards immigrants, social cohesion, and belongingness to local identities. The question of how artistic practice—especially considering participatory art—can foster democratic citizenship will be examined.

In each case study, the main activities include:

5.1. Defining theoretical frameworks reflecting particularities of the studied case (Literature synthesis from WP2);

5.2. Mapping of key actors in the action: artists/authors, participants/audience/target groups, institutions and spaces (conventional such as museums and galleries and unconventional such as hospitals, schools, and other public spaces), financiers, Mapping and analysis of project proposals and reports, press releases, web and social media content, etc. (Desk research);

5.3. Analysis of the models of selected participatory actions, roles of all actors involved (position of artists/audiences), decision-making process, information and communication flows, budget and funding (interviewing, participant-observation)

5.4. Analysis of the level, impact, and perspectives of selected participatory actions, assessment of various factors that influenced its success such as the role and position of community members, distribution of social power.

5.5. Formulating research questions for WP7 EPICA Living lab, reporting, and drafting recommendations for participatory artistic practices and policies (WP8).

Current and potential cases (but not necessarily those which are going to be selected) are artistic actions and practices, projects supported by the Association of Independent Cultural Scene of Serbia (letter of interest attached), October Salon, Art Brut Serbia, Moderni u Beogradu collective. Researchers who have finished art schools (P2, P4) and theory of art and architecture (PI, P4, P7) are involved in this WP. They will work in cooperation, but with certain orientations and focuses; PI will analyze the relationship between contemporary art practice and policies, and P2 will explore factors that influenced the level of collective creativity. P4 will maintain coordination with WP5 and WP6 leaders to ensure the cross-fertilization of insights and results since these three WPs are taking place parallelly but with similar methodology and tasks.

Selected Bibliography:

Matejić, Bojana, Living Artistically under Post-Fordist Conditions. Third Text (Special edition “The (Post)Colony and the Common: Collective Creativity, Agency and Emancipation in a Global Context”), London, Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, Vol. 34, No. 165, Issue 4–5, pp. 448–463

Kester, Grant, Conversation Pieces: Community and Communication in Modern Art, Berkeley, University of California Press, 2004 (second edition 2013)

Kester, Grant, The One and the Many: Contemporary Collaborative Art in a Global Context, Durham, Duke University Press, 2011

Kester, Grant, Bill Kelley (eds.), Collective Situations: Readings in Contemporary Latin American Art 1995-2010, Durham, Duke University Press, 2017

Kester, Grant, Art, Activism, and Oppositionality: Essays from Afterimage, Durham, Duke University Press, 1998

Rutten, Kris, Participation, Art, and Digital Culture, South-North Cultural and Media Studies, Vol 32, Issue 3, 2018, pp 1–8

Bianchini, Samuel, Arik Verhagen (ed.), Practicable. From Participation to Interaction in Contemporary Art, Cambridge, MIT Press, 2016

Miessen, Markus, Crossbenching: Toward Participation as Critical Spatial Practice, Berlin, Sternberg Press, 2016

Cools, Guy, Imaginative Bodies: Dialogues in Performance Practices, Amsterdam, Valiz, 2016

Bishop, Claire, Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship, New York – London, Verso, 2012

Bishop, Claire, Participation, London, MIT Press, 2006

Bishop, Claire, Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics, October 110, 2004, pp 51–79

Eco, Umberto, The Open Work, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1989

Bourriaud, Nicolas, Relational Aesthetics, Paris, Les presses du reel, 1998

Greenwood, D. J., & Levin, M., Introduction to action research. Social research for social change (2nd edition). Thousand Oaks, Sage, 2007

Leavy, Patricia, Research design: quantitative, qualitative, mixed methods, arts-based, and community-based participatory research approaches, New York, Guilford Press, 2017

Schwarzman, Mat, It’s About Transformation: Thoughts on Arts as Social Action, India International Centre Quarterly, Vol. 38, No. 3 / 4,1993, pp 106–125

Cruz-Cohen Jan, Radical Street Performance. An International Anthology, London–New York, Routledge, 1998

Raley Rita, Tactical Media, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 2009

Critical Art Ensemble, Digital Resistance: Explorations in Tactical Media, New York, Autonomedia, 2000