Banja Luka 2024

European Capital of Culture

Candidate city


“Opposites attract” refers to the phenomenon of electromagnetism, which turns an inanimate metal object into an electro magnet that attracts at the moment electric current passes through its opposites poles. Following this analogy, we see our city-Banja Luka as an inanimate object, or a plain rod, culture as the coiled wire that conducts the energy necessary for the new identity, and the European Capital of Culture project as the battery that ignites the first spark and serves as the driving force of the entire transformation process.

This means that these elements are interlinked and without them Banja Luka simply cannot become the magnet we want it to be because without the battery, and its opposite poles, Banja Luka would be just a plain nail wrapped in coiled wire, like it is today. The opposites in this slogan refer to something that is not necessarily “negative” or “positive”, but which is simply different (from the other). By putting them together, it is our intention to create something new. The concept of our artistic program relies on this metaphor.

In the spirit of physics and fun we have divided it into two programme poles. First pole refers to our weaknesses, to capacities we wish to revive, while the second one refers to our resources we often neglect, our potentials we wish to energize. Each of these poles is divided into two streams of projects, which summed up together makes four programme streams – Alternating current, Charging the battery, Spark and New Energy.


Alternating current creates an electric field by periodically reversing its direction. But to reverse one’s direction is not an easy task. Therefore, “Alternating Current” wishes to make the first and necessary step in turning Banja Luka, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the country that disrupted the longest period of peace in Europe, into open, multicultural European society.


Spark happens when two unlikely bodies are put together. By influence, the neutral body will be charged by the charge of the opposite sign and together, in synergy, they will discharge common electricity thus creating a spark. By bringing together our cultural heritage and our contemporary art practices, which is the main goal of “Spark”, we will ignite new ways of culture production, unlocking their full potentials.


Charging the battery is needed every once in awhile, no matter what the circumstances might be. People, spaces and the connections are the essence of any community, of any society. That said, “Charging the Battery” is a stream of project that tackle the challenges of the city, our lack of capacities whether it is about people, spaces or connections.


The key to creating new energy is to make something move. In our case, to take the first step. “New Energy” brings culture and art into nature, to unexpected, unlikely places. It focuses on our natural heritage in the attempt to raise awareness of the emerging need to protect and truly see the world we live in

The strategy of our artistic programme, guided by the leitmotif of facing, and working under slogan opposites attract, is based on four key points:

Unity in diversity

Banja Luka 2024 - koncept

A meeting point

Banja Luka 2024 - koncept

Returning to Europe, discovering a new narrative

Banja Luka 2024 - koncept

City as a workshop

Banja Luka 2024 - koncept
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