Artists for Balkan Rivers

Die Gruppe von Unterstützern wächst! KünstlerInnen erheben ihre Stimme gegen die Totalzerstörung der Balkanflüsse - sie wollen sie geschützt statt verbaut sehen. Zusammen mit populären Musikern haben wir in der Vergangenheit bereits Konzerte für freie Flüsse organisiert. Nun wollen sich Künstler aus verschiedenen Disziplinen noch weiter engagieren. Schaut euch ihre musikalischen Postkarten und Videostatements an!

Enes Zlatar Bure for Balkan Rivers. Check out this great song Produced by: Enes Zlatar Bure
Vlado Kreslin is a legendary Slovenian folk rock musician and poet and an important figure of Balkan music history. His personality, charisma and suggestive musical expression based on the intertwining of traditional Pannonian melody, his devotion to rock and original poetic expression is surely timeless, remarkable and unique. Vlado Kreslin is a river lover with a special bond with the river Mura, from where he played this song as a contribution to #ArtistsForBalkan Rivers! Special thanks goes to artist Ahmed Burić for helping us translate Kreslins love and lyrics. Vlado Kreslin
Dule Resavac is a Serbian musician of etno and world music. He's known as a guardian of Serbian ethno music and a nature lover. Enjoy his musical postcard and read his statement below: "I am horrified by the effect small hydropower plants and derivation pipes have on local riverine biodiversity and the community of those damaged rivers. By chaining these rivers, they not only destroy the living world in them, but they also shatter the memories of us who bathed in those whirlpools, they ruin the memory of the first kiss next to some famous rapids, and they crush hope for a better tomorrow for younger generations who will not have the chance to make these same memories and know all the beauty of these rivers. That's why I'm against this kind of 'progress' and that's why I wrote this song indignantly." Dule Resavac
We proudly present: BE LIKE WATER – a song composed for #ArtistsForBalkanRivers by the fabulous band Insane Insan! “They're trying to stop flow of time, trying to take away what's ours, but people they are rising up, waking to the call of nature” the lyrics go. The members of the band want to speak out against the invasion of hydropower in the Balkans and invite everyone to join the fight for free rivers. The video was recorded on one of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s most beautiful rivers: the Trebižat, which feeds the beautiful Kravice waterfalls. “It's time to take to the streets, to save our rivers! Like water you always find your way!” Insane Insan
Aida Čorbadžić is a celebrated Bosnian opera soloist. In her contribution to "Artists for Balkan Rivers", she sends a musical postcard from the source of river Miljacke, performing the song “Kraj potoka bistre vode” (“Near a stream of clear water”). As a concerned citizen, Aida urges us all to preserve Balkan unique nature: "I hope we will think more about the future of our children. We should be an example to them and show how we must, above all, protect our common home – mother planet Earth. Rivers are attacked and can’t defend themselves: this is where we should all start and act - join us! " Aida Čorbadžić
More musical greetings from the lovely band Divanhana, this time with the song “Aj mene majka jednu ima” from the river Bosna in Ilidža. The famous Roman bridge above the beautiful river Bosna was actually built by the Ottomans in the first half of the 16th century with stones from the remains of the Roman settlement Aquae Sulphurae. Divanhana want to see rivers flow free! Divanhana
What a great combination: music and rivers! Or rather: music FOR rivers! Divanhana perform for the Blue Heart of Europe at the breathtaking confluence of the rivers Buna and Neretva. Divanhana is a Bosnian sevdah band performing traditional music in new arrangements under the influence of jazz, pop and the 20th century classical music. Divanhana’s intention is to nourish traditional music from the Balkan region with a particular emphasis on Sevdalinka. Besides being mindful of the music heritage, the band joined our campaign because they also care for free-flowing rivers! Divanhana
des Dubioza kolektiv
This will melt your heart! 5-year-old Kira sings with her father Haris Abdagić (Tata i Kira) from the band BalkanEros Banditos in support of the Blue Heat of Europe. They wrote this song based on the poem by the famous Bosnian poet Nasiha Kapidžić-Hadžić especially as a contribution to #ArtistsForBalkanRivers. With fairytale-like descriptions of the intact landscapes, Nasiha, Tata and Kira take us to a different, better and more beautiful world of the great outdoors. Tata i Kira
Sara Renar is a young, successful recording and performing artist from Croatia who joined us with a special performance dedicated to free Balkan rivers. Watch this video of Sara’s performance mixed with footage of some Bosnian rivers, edited by Sarajevo artist Enes Zlatar Bure. “I chose this song for a reason, because I think that the Balkan Rivers should be saved. We should cherish them, because nature is our greatest wealth” Sara says in her statement at the end of the video. Sara Renar
“The Balkan Rivers – we’ll fight for them! The Balkna Rivers – we defend them!” Saša Handžić, Bosnian theatre and film actor, opened up his heart for Balkan rivers, took his guitar and sang! Thank you Saša! Saša graduated from the Academy of Performing Arts in Sarajevo in 2007 and has since received several collective and individual awards at theater festivals in Mostar, Brčko, Zenica (B&H), Zagreb (Croatia) and Kragujevac (Serbia). Saša Handžić
Iva Korbar from Zagreb/Croatia is a performing artist, writer and researcher of the possibilities of perception of reality to which we belong. She likes to create in the marginal areas of being and expression, finding his own expression in text, movement, voice, sound and dance. She organized many locals and artists in Croatia to save river Ricina. Her contribution “You gotta love what you do” is a kind of sound landscape, or soundscape narrative; a revived textual landscape of human nature. It was created with a clear insight that we, existentially and intimately belonging to the natures in which we live, are no different from water. The video and sounds for "You gotta love what you do" were done by the cinematographer and editor from Istanbul, Hilal Gergin. Iva Korbar
Many artists are joining us! Rappers, singers, actors, writers, visual artists and many other performers. Maybe you read one of the Faruk Šehić great books, or you are chanting Lela and Laka's, Marija Šestić's, Vanja Solaković's (Činčila), or Dušan Vranić's songs and rapping Sassja's rimes; or maybe you watched Ermin Bravo performing at theatre stages or Mona Muratović acting in a film, Lala Raščić's performances, or you remember Dado Džihan from New Primitives music era. Maybe you are an opera lover who saw Aida Čorbadžić's great performances? You know what all of them have in common? Beside their great passion for arts, they are also nature lovers and call for Balkan rivers to remain free!
“We must save rivers. If there are no rivers, there is no us. Get it?” Rivers are our wealth and fortune; they are the life lines of our planet! Listen to what Šejla Kamerić, Selman Selma, Cane - Partibreakers, Stereobanana, Gobac - Psihomodo Pop and artists from the Sarajevo Youth Theater think about the invasion of small hydro in the Balkans. Freedom to the rivers, freedom to the people!
In our struggle for the protection of wild and free rivers in the Balkans, a variety of #ArtistisForBalkanRivers are supporting us: singers, photographers, musicians, fine art, designers, poets, writers, actors, directors, comedians, authors… Watch this video and find out what comedian Pedja Bajović, photographer Paul Lowe, singer Ivanka Mazurkijević, and the bands Velahavle and Helem Nejse have to say in support of free rivers. It is very important we UNITE and ACT together!
We are happy to also have young artists on board: musicians and an actress from the region with such strong and emotional messages! The band d r a m from Serbia, the singer Ammara Mistrić and actress Irma Alimanović from Bosnia and Herzegovina speak out for wild rivers. Listen to their messages and join us in this pivotal battle for Balkan rivers!
"We are inviting all executive authorities to stop the mini hydropower plants on our rivers!" More and more artists are becoming aware of how serious the threat to our waterways is and how much their destruction is already affecting us. Rivers have always been an inspiration for artists and now artists want to reciprocate by speaking up for their protection. We must unite and keep the rivers safe! "Stand up, demand, fight, for life, for yourself". Listen to the comedian Pedja Bajović, the band Helem Nejse, musician Samir Hodovic from Velahavle, and artist Ivanka Mazurkijević. Find out why they joined our campaign!
“Dear Serbia, dear Balkans, take care of our rivers!” says the BGKO - Barcelona Gipsy balKan Orchestra in their video statement for #ArtistsForBalkanRivers. Very often performing in the Balkans, this amazing band makes you move, sing loudly from your heart and protect the rivers, together with us! BGKO - Barcelona Gipsy balKan Orchestra
Damir Janjalija is a sailor and haiku poet. He is a native of Kotor, Montenegro, and is a well known and celebrated artist in the haiku world. Haiku is a type of short form poetry originally from Japan. This is a mix of poems by Damir, cited by young river lovers from 14th Belgrade Gymnasium, combined with great visuals. Enjoy! SPECIAL THANKS TO: Marko Marić, Sana Garić, Marija Dragnić crew, Kruna Petrić and her daughter. Damir Janjalija
Branislav Babić aka Kebra is a famous and engaged musician, author and founder of "Obojeni program" – a Serbian alternative rock band from Novi Sad, pioneers of the Serbian alternative rock scene. Recently, the band released the new album "2021 = 41" which marks 41 years of existence. Kebra is totally aware of the importance of saving our rivers. Are you? Listen to his message and keep the rivers free! Branislav Babić aka Kebra
Kralj Čačka – the King of Čačka – is a musician, painter and poet from Serbia. He performed at the Ecological Uprising in Belgrade in April stating: "If I can contribute to such an idea, such a message, I am here. The problem is that man has separated from nature, so he has separated from his own nature, and rock and roll music, the real one is what nature is - it deals with all the problems that man goes through in life in different environments… " Listen to his message in favour of the beautiful Balkan rivers and join us in the fight against their rapid destruction. Kralj Čačka
Nikola Vranjković is singer-songwriter, musician, singer, guitarist, composer, songwriter and music producer from Serbia. His love and attachment to the River Danube are obvious and strong, and so is his awareness of how urgently we have to stand up and defend nature. Listen to Nikolas' statement and music and join us our fight for Balkan Rivers! Nikola Vranjković
They say that writers and poets are a wonder in the world. It is their world, a world of curious people who keep asking questions about everything around them. Poet, short story writer, children's book writer, columnist and editor Ferida Duraković from Bosnia & Herzegovina joins us and urges the public to think and act: "Lets save Balkan rivers, that way we are saving ourselves!" Ferida Duraković
Jelena Petošević is a designer and a singer, who joined the Belgrade Ecological Uprising in April. In "Ecological song", she is inviting us to wake up and stop being part of the huge problem for the environment and, as a consequence, for ourselves! Listen to this beautiful song and Jelenas message! Lets keep our rivers free and clean! Jelena Petošević
“We will participate in this strife for our rivers to be free” says Bilja Krstić from Serbia. The music performed by Bilja Krstić & Bistrik Orchestra is a fusion: a blend of traditional ethno music, a cappella songs and ethno grooves with elements of improvisation and modern music. The famous musical formation ‘Bistrik Orchestra’ aims to translate folklore into contemporary art, and for performances to awaken the heart and also to celebrate nature around us. Bilja’s sincere stage presence and beautiful voice received great acclaim at thousands of concerts across the world. Bilja Krstić & Bistrik Orchestra
We are pleased to have with us Igor Paspalj, who was named Best Guitarist of the World in 2020. He is joining our struggle to make Balkan rivers free! With the melody of the famous Smetana composition “Vltava” (Moldau), Igor speaks about the wild rivers in his home region – especially the river Sana in Bosnia – which are in danger of vanishing. “Let us all unite and say no to dams!” he calls out. Igor Paspalj
Srdjan Gojkovic - or Gile - is the front man of the cult band Električni Orgazam which marked the history of the Balkan rock scene. It is impossible to talk about Rock 'n' Roll in the Balkans without his mention and music. After 40 years of connecting people trough music all over the Balkans, today, Gile has important message for all of us: we have to raise our voices and save Balkan rivers! Srdjan Gojkovic
Bosnian director and supporting Artist for Balkan Rivers Jasmila Žbanić was nominated for two Oscars for her film "Quo Vadis, Aida?". Last October, she spoke up about Bosnian rivers and against their destruction in the N1 Bosna i Hercegovina interview. “Constructing these mini-hydropower plants on our rivers is really a crime, I mean its a murder and anyone who gives such permission is, for me, a complete criminal. I hope people will be smart and realize that once a river is destroyed, it is destroyed forever and that we have to fight for them, just as we fight for our children - I don't see any difference at all” she says. Jasmila Žbanić
Back in 2017, artists started to join forces and spread the news about the catastrophic plans of dams on the rivers across the Balkans. In 2018, Damir Imamović, Eda Zari, Rambo Amadeus and Tamara Obrovac sang in Sarajevo to stop the hydropower tsunami which destroys the rivers in the Balkans. The wonderful world of sevdalinka is inspired by many Balkan rivers, as you have probably already noticed. Culture and art are permeated by the rivers whose freedom we want to preserve. This time, instead of a song, Damir sends us an appeal: “We all have to raise our voice and defend rivers. Let’s protect the rivers of the Balkans and the rivers of Bosnia & Herzegovina” Damir Imamović
It is enormous honour to have Haris Pašović supporting us, one of the leading theatre directors in South-East-Europe for more than three decades. He has directed a number of shows and participated in many festivals worldwide including Edinburgh International Festival; Festival d’Avignon; UK City of Culture; Napoli Teatro Festival Italia; National Arts Festival of South Africa; Singapore Arts Festival and so on. As an artist, Haris has already sent so many strong messages through his global artworks and social art initiatives, but we feel this one is special and very unique. Why artists play an important role in politics but also in preserving Nature, you can find out in Haris Pašović’s festival "Sarajevo Fest - Art and Politics" Haris Pašović
Milan "Mile" Kekin is a Croatian musician, lead songwriter, singer and a frontman of the rock band Hladno pivo, as well as a solo artist. "The ruling elites have infected us with a fatal combination of cynicism and apathy by forcing the mantra that nothing can be changed because they are all the same. It is time to get out of that roundabout," he says. Mile is actively involved in the green movement in Croatia and is well aware of the mass destruction of the rivers in the Balkans. He happily supports our campaign for their protection. Milan "Mile" Kekin
Poet, literary critic and journalist Adisa Bašić with a master’s degree in Human Rights and Democracy has a very strong message for all of us: “We demand an immediate moratorium on mini hydropower plants! Not for a day, or a year, but forever!” Adisa won many literary awards and read her poetry with great joy in many different places: at the prestigious Poets House in New York, at Harvard, at socialist Nazim Hikmet Cultural Center in Istanbul, under a Tuareg tent near the small town of Lodéve in Provence, at various bookstores and pubs, at Zagreb Močvara, at the UT Connewitz in Leipzig, or at the Belgrade poetry festival Pesničenje. Adisa Bašić
Rambo Amadeus is a Serbian recording artist from Montenegro, composer and performer, living and working in Serbia. A self-titled "musician, poet, and media manipulator", he is a noted artist across the countries of former Yugoslavia and internationally. Not only is he know for his exceptional music and lyrics, but also for his dedication to raise ecological awareness. In 2018, he performed at the Concert for Balkan Rivers in Sarajevo. Rambo Amadeus
Darko Rundek is a famous Croatian rock singer, songwriter, poet, and actor. His music career started as the front man of the rock band Haustor. Rundek has written and produced film music, occasionally appeared as an actor, and directed around 50 radio-plays and documentaries for radio Zagreb. He is currently performing with his new band Darko Rundek i EKIPA. He speaks out against the destruction of Balkan Rivers by hydropower projects and says: “It would be better if we consumed less electricity rather than destroying this magnificent planet Earth” Darko Rundek
“Take care of rivers”, Dado Džihan urges in his artistic video supporting the Blue Heart of Europe. Dado Džihan (Waves and Patterns) is a remarkable artist – composer, music producer and sound master from Bosnia and Herzegovina. He is well known member of New Primitives, Zabranjeno Pušenje band, and Top lista nadrealista - an art movement of Sarajevo of the early 1980s. Dado lives in London, where, in addition to his own music projects, he also creates film music and collaborates with famous names in world cinema. Dado Džihan
“Our rivers can’t defend themselves. We must help them!” Selvedin Avdić calls on everyone. Selvedin is an author from Zenica/Bosnia & Herzegovina. His debut novel Seven Terrors (2010) was widely acclaimed beside other books including a short story collection called Tenants and other Phantoms. Apart from significant literature contributions, Avdić runs (and writes for) the Žurnal online magazine, rare example of quality journalism in BiH. Lots of Žurnal’s published articles are dedicated to a hydropower related crime in BiH. Selvedin Avdić
“Water is life. It is a precondition for human, animal and plant life as well as an indispensable resource for the economy and tourism of our region. Water also plays a fundamental role in the climate regulation cycle. We need free rivers, lets stand up to protect it!” Aleksandra Nina Knežević says. Check out her third beautiful illustration for the Blue Heart of Europe. Aleksandra Nina Knežević
"The rivers of the Balkans are too valuable to destroy - we must keep the Blue Heart of Europe beating", says Aleksandra Nina Knežević as she shares another beautiful animated artwork in support of the still vibrant, but threatened Blue Heart of Europe - Balkan Rivers Aleksandra Nina Knežević
Sloboda rijekama balkana – Freedom to Balkan Rivers! The artworks of a designer Aleksandra Nina Knežević are characterized by a pure and modern idea, they simply communicate in international visual language, and they are presented through playful typography and illustration. She has received numerous international recognitions and awards for her work, and her works have been published in many journals specializing in art and design. She made this beautiful illustration to show her support for the Blue Heart of Europe! Aleksandra Nina Knežević
“Let’s stand for a righteous system. Let’s stand for saving our rivers. Let’s be for when we sit in the sun like this, that we can go and swim in this beautiful river without having to stumble upon a concrete block!" says Orhan Oha Maslo, as he sits in front of the river Bunica. Oha is a musician, producer, founder and manager of Mostar Rock School in Bosnia & Herzegovina. His entire working life is connected to music, but also the desire to empower young people with the same interests and to build a system that invests in the urban musical and cultural development of young BiH generations. Orhan Oha Maslo
"I don’t agree with the destruction of rivers and building of mini hydro plants in Balkan Rivers. Let’s raise our voice and protect our rivers” Selma Spahić, one of the most staged female theatre/movie directors from Bosnia & Herzegovina, urges. Selma s the artistic director of the International Theater Festival MESS Sarajevo. She has received numerous awards at festivals in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region, and has participated in some of the most important European festivals in countries such as Germany, Switzerland and Poland. Selma Spahić
“Rivers can shape a person in many ways. It is important in a cultural way. When we speak of Mostar as a town of poets, I think Neretva is the main reason for the development of this poetic nerve” says Marko Tomaš as he sits in front of his beloved Neretva. Makro is a poet from Bosnia and Herzegovina who grew up by the river Neretva. He is not only read by passionate poetry lovers, but is often called a folk, pub punk poet. He has published ten books of poetry, ran the famed bookstore Utopia in Split, is one of the editors of the magazine Kolaps and one of the initiators of the music festival Beton in Mostar. Marko Tomaš
“By building those plants we will destroy the natural paths of rivers. Stop mini hydro plants!” Muhamed Kafedžić demands. Muhamed is a painter from Bosnia and Herzegovina whose work is influenced by and dedicated to Japanese art and history. His paintings are usually dominated by flatness and strong emphasis of drawing. He enrolled in the Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo twice, gaining BA in Art Education and Master Degree in Painting. Muhamed Kafedžić
“The consequences are foreseeable and irreparable. That’s why I’m saying stop to hydropower plants!” urges Elma Tataragić to save Balkan Rivers. Elma Tataragić is a screenwriter, screenwriting professor from Bosnia and Herzegovina and selector of the Sarajevo Film Festival. Her films are internationally recognized and won numerous awards. Elma Tataragić
“If we let the destruction happen, we’ll leave nothing to future generations, and that is the only thing we can leave them – healthy rivers and nature” warns Milutin Sretenovic as he speaks out for #BalkanRivers. Milutin is the lead vocal of the band Mostar Sevdah Reunion (BiH). His interpretation of Sevdah and Gypsy songs reveal the tremendous beauty and tragedy of the Balkan region at once. One of the best ways to feel Balkan in its depths without traveling in times of this pandemic is to listen to Sreta singing. Milutin Sretenovic
“Water created all life on this planet. Let’s not mess with water!” Enes Zlatar advises in support of the Blue Heart of Europe. Enes is an artist from Sarajevo mostly known as front man of the legendary band Sikter. Furthermore, Enes is a composer, author, musician and documentarist, film producer and founder of SCCA/ from Sarajevo with a rich artistic background. Enes Zlatar
Srdjan is the front man of famous Kultur Shock band, a Seattle-based gypsy punk band which specializes in mixing music like rock, metal and punk with traditional Balkan music. “Our politicians are criminals who are selling our country piece by piece. Let’s save our beautiful country and our beautiful rivers” he says in support of the Blue Heart of Europe. Srđan Jevđević
From the Cetina river, the band M.O.R.T. calls on everyone to speak out against hydropower: “We are asking you to raise your voice. This concerns us all! Your voice counts”. M.O.R.T. is an uncompromising punk – blues band from Sinj, (Croatia) with intense sound and passionate live performances. Their uniqueness and authenticity are reflected in their growing popularity all over the Balkans. The band, never deviating from its own principles, has joined our campaign for the protection of Europe’s last free-flowing rivers. M.O.R.T.
Selma Alispahić is a famous BiH actress, winner of honorary award Actress of Europe 2018. She collaborated with internationally accomplished actors as well as with prominent directors. Apart of her status of the Principal Actress at the Sarajevo War Theatre, Selma was cast for internationally awarded short and feature films. „ Accumulation is the antithesis of a river. The essence of a river is to flow, while the essence of accumulation is stillness.” Selma quotes in support of #ArtistsForBalkanRivers Selma Alispahić
“Let’s save our rivers so that they can save us!” urges Marko Feher in support of "Artists For Balkan Rivers". Marko is young, ambitious fashion designer, based in London but originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was awarded Perwoll New Generation 1st Place/ Best see designer timeless – wearable art category. His unique style has been recognized locally and internationally. Marko Feher
In her contribution to "Artists for Balkan Rivers", Smirna Kulenović raises awareness about the deadly fate so many rivers are facing in the wake of the dam tsunami. “This is the sound which slowly disappears. This is the image which dries out”. Smirna is a young BH anarchist-oriented interdisciplinary artist, activist and curator working in a wide range of media; from conceptual art, performance art, sound art, film and text - to guerilla activism and direct actions/interventions within the public space. Smirna Kulenović
Expressive and bold, Jelena Milušić is a singer from Bosnia and Herzegovina who easily transforms her voice to the needs of various genres. Being fluent in Blues, Jazz, Rock to traditional Balkan and World music, she has performed in a wide variety of musical styles and settings. Now she is speaking out against the destruction of Balkan Rivers from hydropower development. “Let´s stand united and say no to hydro plants on our rivers!” she says. Jelena Milušić
With the song “River Sava, I am mad” (Rijeko Savo ja sam lud), the Croatian band Yola Yola from Zagreb supports #SaveTheBlueHeartOfEurope. The punk rock band was formed in the early 90s and reunited in 2019. “The song River Sava I am mad is our attempt to relate the society with river and its waters. The song tries to present that healing of our society is in a close relation with healing of the river.” Yola Yola
This song aims to give a voice to the threatened rivers Vjosa and Valbona in Albania and create a deep echo of awareness in the public. Eda Zari, Elina Duni, Linda Rukaj, Rhani Krija, Vlashent Sata, Emiljan Dhimo, Shpat Deda, Gert Kapo, Henning Jung, Kleidi Eski, Sokol Çunga, Mikaela Minga collaborated to produced this amazing song and video.
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