Biennale of Western Balkans

Ioannina, Greece

Culture sub-Program

Strand/category: European Cooperation Projects

Deadline: Autumn/Winter 2019

Cultural operator(s) 

Name: Biennale of Western Balkans

Short description  

The Biennale of Western Balkans (BoWB) is an initiative of the History of Art Laboratory in the School of Fine Arts at the University of Ioannina. It is a new arts and cultural event and institution, hosted for the first time in the city of Ioannina, region of Epirus in Northwestern Greece, in October 2018. The vision is to bring intangible cultural heritage and community values in the contemporary context, in connection with art and new technologies. The aim is to support and present contemporary art that can engage aspects of intangible cultural heritage of the Greek and Western Balkan communities, and of the European and international field as well. Moreover, BoWB wishes to create a critical framework for the dissemination of contemporary thought and research in art and culture, open technologies and the commons.

Programme: The artistic program of the previous Bienanale comprised three categories:

Main event: Inspired by the traditional Balkan Festival, the main event of the Biennale combined tradition with arts and new technologies, including the creation of large-scale installations (pavilions) in public space, for hosting community lead activities and fostering civic engagement.

Exhibitions: A programme of three exhibitions was created that explored intangible cultural heritage through art and technology: Sonic Minds: Mnemonic Passages, Weaving Europe, Weaving Balkans, Common Myths. The exhibitions were concerned with concepts and practices linked to the immaterial cultural forms and ephemeral traditions: the concept of myth, the culture of weaving and collective memory through sound.

Talks & Workshops: The workshops conceived as creative social spaces open to experimentation, where art and tradition can intersect with other fields by promoting interdisciplinary dialogue, research and contemporary thought, with three modules for the wider public and for professionals: Visual Ecotopias, Un-co-nference, Intangible Meetings 

Location: The festival was set up in several locations of the city of Ioannina, some of which were opened for the first time for the public after several decades.

Preview: The second edition of the BoWB will be held on October 2020 and will offer a wide-ranging programme that will reflect the great diversity and innovative potential of the intangible cultural heritage of the Western Balkans area, alongside with community values in the contemporary context, in connection with art and new technologies. In the meantime an intermediate programme for the Spring 2020 has been prepared. 

Contact details

Address: History of Art Laboratory, School of Fine Arts, University of Ioannina, University campus, PO 1186, 45110 Ioannina, Greece

E-mail: Christos Dermentzopoulos

Fotis Skouras 


Social Media:


Field(s): Intangible cultural heritage, contemporary art, digitization, creative industries, education, community


BoWM is interested to be engaged as a partner in projects related to cultural cooperation, covering cultural heritage, contemporary art, new media, audience development, development of new cultural business models, development of innovative educational methodology.

Partners searched

Countries: All eligible countries with a special focus on the countries of Western Balkans


We are looking for partners who share similar interests and ideas, including NGO’s, public and private bodies, cultural centers and institutions, ICT’s, touristic organizations, festivals, biennials, museums, universities or companies with focus on digital and immersive arts and commons.

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Логотип Українського Культурного Фонду
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Логотип Міністерства Культури України