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…just a kiss away… just a shot away…


      Gimme Shelter

    June 21-23, 2024.

In front of the Museum of Yugoslavia, Mihaila Mike Jankovića 6, Belgrade

Dear friends,

Here we are for the sixteenth time since the now quite distant 2009, when we began our festival in significantly different social and political circumstances, with hope for a better regional and global future. So much has transpired since then that the world we live in today is, in many ways, a different place. Yet, we are still here. We gather and strive to empower those who share our values, and we persist in insisting that, despite everything that systemically drains us, it always makes sense to fight for a better world. The feeling of togetherness is an additional wind at our backs, and it is often the secret ingredient we all desperately need.

The thought that Armageddon is upon us, the eerie feeling shared by practically all inhabitants of planet Earth today, is further intensified here, in the southeast of Europe, by the constant effects of local tensions, unresolved conflicts, and carefully nurtured mutual hatreds. Sometimes one truly thinks that retreating into micro-worlds is the only thing that can save us from all the madness that so immoderately entangles our reality. The cataclysmic consequences of global warming, various climate disasters, new viruses that can easily decimate the human race, ongoing wars and the acute fear of a new nuclear conflict, deep fake political campaigns, the introduction of new values created by artificial intelligence that change our basic cognitive awareness, genocide, refugee crises that literally replace one another, casting waves of powerless people around the planet in search of personal happiness and at least a little peace, violent demonstrations against political powers, protests crushed in blood, mass murders, executions of the innocent, assassinations, demolished residential neighborhoods, entire cities burning, mad dictators and autocrats at podiums… The fact that, due to the speed and ease with which information reaches us, we participate in events in real-time and are equally affected by them, that we are overwhelmed by an acute surplus of everything but also by the ultimate inability to do anything, greatly resembles the state of mind in which people found themselves at the end of the 1960s when the wave of development and optimism that had swept the world (or at least its western hemisphere) after World War II finally dried up, and the sudden development of electronic media created elementary modern neurosis and fear of reality and the terrifying feeling that everything is at the same time …just a kiss away… just a shot away… — as the lyric from the famous song “Gimme Shelter” by The Rolling Stones, after which we named this year’s festival, goes.

Like last year when we made a vigorous shift and significantly changed the concept of the KROKODIL Festival, this time you can expect three rich full-day program events: an exciting morning and afternoon program in the Debate, Kids, and Chill Out Zones, as well as a fantastic evening literary and music show on the main stage. With book sales on the spot (so you can rush to get an autograph from your favorite author), a diverse offer from our food court and the KROKODIL Café and Deli bar, DJ sets, creative and educational programs for all generations, is there any reason not to join us?

So, stroll to the Museum of Yugoslavia with your children, family members, friends, and/or pets, and don’t forget to bring your favorite blanket to picnic with us in the park’s shade and enjoy the free daily programs. Also, make sure to secure tickets in advance for yourself and your loved ones for three unforgettable June evenings at the amphitheater in front of the Museum of Yugoslavia, with the scent of linden trees and yet another gathering with a spectacular selection of writers, musicians, and other KROKODIL guests.

The evening program on the “stage in the fountain” this year brings four luminaries of contemporary European (and not only European) literature. Mathias Enard from France, Arnon Grunberg from the Netherlands, Iraqi-Finnish author Hassan Blasim, and our well-known friend from Ukraine, writer and translator from our language, Andriy Lyubka, will present themselves with short talks with hosts and readings from their most prominent works. On the famous KROKODIL sofa we will talk with legendary rock photographer Brajan Rašić, historian Dubravka Stojanović, and actor and writer from Sarajevo, Feđa Štukan. Musical performances will be provided by the unique Duda Buržujka, the refined Jelena Petošević, and Ane Paška, who combines elements of music performance and theatrical spectacle in her always exciting mini-shows. The already legendary feminist storytelling festival PičPrič, led by the absolute literary star of this region, Rumena Bužarovska, will present storytelling in its newest and most unexpected form. On the KROKODIL stage over three evenings, we will also see young local literary scene star Nađa Petrović, KROKODIL audience favorite Marko Tomaš, the phenomenal and refined Faruk Šehić, the unusually productive and energetic Filip Grujić, internationally known Macedonian poet Nikola Madžirov, and last but not least, Dora Šustić, a shooting star of the new Croatian literary scene. All this will be masterfully hosted by the duo very well known to the KROKODIL audience – Mima Simić and Daško Milinović.

Regarding the daytime programs in the Kids, Debate, and Chill Out zones, there are also plenty of excitements. Together with our youngest guests aged 2 to 14, we will have fun in various workshop programs led by our esteemed guests such as renowned children’s writer Jasminka Petrović, Desa Muck from Slovenia, Merce Gali from Spain, Arianna Papini from Italy, Cirkusfera, Marina Čabrilo, Svetozar Stevin from Novi Sad, and Marija Trkulja, aiming to develop numerous skills, from creative creation to the art of embroidery, pet therapy, and circus skills. In this zone, we will also have entire exciting open-air theater performances – “Forest Fairytale” and “The Princess and the Pea” performed by the Touring Theater Ćira.

In the Debate zone, for the first time, there will be B2B meetings of local, regional, and international publishers under the name Meet me in Belgrade, which we hope will become a traditional program of our festival. There will be One-on-One conversations with some of the most prominent authors from the evening program, we will watch the documentary “The Stolen Children of Ukraine,” discuss the future of literary and translation residencies, and talk about hidden influences on the rise of violence in our society through the series Why Do You Say Love When You Mean War?, debate about civil rights today in Serbia, media literacy, disinformation, and attempts to change our basic cognitive awareness through various media, as well as about the theatrical novelty/antiquity – the format of staged reading of dramatic texts.

For all these reasons, we invite you to carefully study the detailed festival program and choose your favorites. Come to KROKODIL and enjoy top-notch programs. Everything that follows, after all, is just a kiss or just a shot away from us. What we choose between the two, perhaps more than we think, depends precisely on us.

Vladimir Arsenijević, Program Editor of the KROKODIL Festival

You can download program HERE

Important information about the ticket sale for the evening program

  • Tickets are required only for the evening program of the KROKODIL Festival, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 21, 22 and 23. Admission to other programs is free.
  • Tickets will be on sale from Monday, May 20 at 5 p.m. through the Gigs Tix sales network and online at new.gigstix.com, as well as at KROKODIL Center (Karađorđeva 43) from Monday, May 27, every workday from 12 to 8 p.m.
  • One-day ticket price if purchased by June 10: 750 RSD. Three-day ticket price if purchased by June 10: 2100 RSD.
  • One-day ticket price if purchased from June 10 to June 21: 900 RSD. Three-day ticket price if purchased from June 10 to June 21: 2500 RSD.
  • One-day ticket price if purchased at the venue on June 21, 22 and 23: 1000 RSD.
  • One-day ticket price for students and pensioners: 600 RSD.

The organizer of the KROKODIL Festival is Association KROKODIL.

The Festival is supported by: EU in Serbia, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, ERSTE Stiftung, Terre Solidaire, Heinrich Boll Stiftung, European Cultural Foundation, Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation, European Union through the READ project, European Commission through the Creative Europe program that co-finances Ulysses’ Shelter and LIT-UP projects.

Program partners: Museum of Yugoslavia, Booka, Belgrade Center for Human Rights.

Media partners: Danas, Nova, City Magazin, Radar, LiceUlice, Tampon Zona. 

Technical production: Production Pool.

The KROKODIL Festival (an acronym that stands for Literary Regional Gathering That Alleviates Boredom and Lethargy) is a literary festival presenting in a unique and original way local, regional and international literature in its full scope – without generational, poetic, gender, or any other form of exclusion. With its modern and dynamic approach in presenting writers, consisting of readings with the use of modern video and audio media, musical and stage performances, and a broad selection including poetry, prose and drama, since its founding in 2009 the KROKODIL festival has become one of the most successful literary events in the region. Fifteen summer festivals have been organized thus far, and over twenty guest editions of our festival in nine European countries, with the participation of nearly five hundred writers from the country, region and Europe.

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