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Feature: Belgrade streets glow with creativity in Mikser festival

BELGRADE, June 7 (Xinhua) -- The streets here are aglow with creativity and innovation as hundreds of artists, architects and designers gather to reveal their inspiration during the Mikser festival.

This year's festival, running from June 5-8 under the theme "sustainable utopia," is expected to attract some 100,000 visitors to the Savamala neighborhood along the Sava River to enjoy various schools of art, design and architecture, as well as interdisciplinary projects.

The Mikser festival is one of the most important design and creativity festivals in southeastern Europe, bringing fresh ideas to Belgrade and attracting creative artists from all over the world.

Street performances, street art, rock concerts and DJ performances were a major part of the festival, MajaLalic, creative director of the festival, told Xinhua, adding they were used as "bait" to attract young people and expose them to various kinds of art, design and architecture.

She also said the theme reflected the festival's desire to deal with many different approaches to the development of cities and societies "that are far more human oriented than the one we are living in".

"For example, the floods that have hit Serbia recently show that cities do not mean purely physical construction of thousands of square meters of space, but stronger and more human relations between people who live there," she said.

Due to the torrential rain in mid-May, Serbia was hit with the worst floods and landslides in more than a century, which left at least 51 people dead and caused billions of euros in damage.

"The festival brings out people that already managed to bring their personal and professional utopias to reality and prove that it is possible to reject all those various concepts of development of cities that are being served in this commercial era in which purely economic interests prevail," MajaLalic said.

While streets artists work on large-scale graffiti in back alleys, discussions take place at Mikser House, the festival's central space for exchanging opinions and experience.

Discussions and workshops on topics ranging from architecture, design to creative industries and the future development of Savamala district were held, attracting some 100 experts from Serbia and the region.

In one of the streets, a handcraft bazaar full of well-designed and handcrafted goods is bustling with visitors.

Tijana Jovanovic Petrovic, who makes handcrafted toys for children, said that, in addition to financial benefits, the festival helps her broaden minds and establish contact with buyers as well as the media.

"It is not easy to sell your products to supermarkets and stores, and that's why bazaars are useful. A specific group of people come here because they want things that are well designed and handmade," she added.

This year's Mikser festival has also had a humanitarian hue, as the organizer has decided to donate all ticket income to Serbian flood victims.

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