Social inclusion through music

The program was created with the idea that music can help us acquire much more than learning to sing or play an instrument- it has the power to connect people, give a voice to those who in society do not have the opportunity to be heard, it can bring people together and cultivate empathy, solidarity, tolerance and help us get to know different cultures. We have been working passionatelly for years to develop an approach that would help people from different backgrounds learn about each other and nurture mutual support through joint artistic creation.


Work with the Roma community

Svi UGLAS(Everyone in Unity) is an unusual musical choir. It helps Romani children and young people develop their talents, but also gives an opportunity to all people who love to sing and want to learn about Roma culture to meet, create and perform together with the Roma community, thus fostering empathy, tolerance and solidarity in society.

Who are our participants?

Romani children and young people who are members of our choir most often come from extreme poverty, attend school irregularly and are often victims of labor exploitation. These children live on the margins of society and do not have many opportunities to socialize and exchange outside their community. Through singing, professional recording, concerts and other activities, our choir helps them to strengthen their confidence and develop their work habits and psycho-social skills – it teaches them to be part of a group and help each other, a stronger sense of trust and community and to value their own culture. 

The choir is equally important to members of the general population who sing with us. These are people of all ages, who get to know the Roma culture directly through socializing and who, through art, are sensitized to all the problems that Romani people face in Serbia. In this way and through artistic creation, the gap between people is reduced and through friendship, exchange, mutual understanding and learning are encouraged.

Since 2016, over 400 Roma children and 200 members from the general population have been involved in the project. So far, we have held six concerts (the last two at the National Theater in Belgrade) and professionally recorded various materials – films, songs and radio dramas in Serbian and Romani languages. 

Are we just singing?

Apart from musical activities, through this project the emphasis is on the presentation and promotion of Roma culture and community. Participants thus have the opportunity to meet Romani artists, learn about Roma culture through texts, video works and other artistic content created in our production, attend public events, discussions and debates and in other ways raise awareness of the position of Roma men and women in Serbia.

Work with youth from the refugee population

Refugee population faces many difficulties on the way to a better life, which often makes negative impact on the psychological health of the people on the move. Spending sometimes several years in Serbia before continuing the journey to the EU, members of the refugee population often live isolated from the local community, which has a very negative effect on both them and the whole society. Due to the segregated life, it is common that racist and discriminatory attitudes in the majority community occur, due to which cultural diversity becomes impossible.

Art Aparat dealt with this problem through several projects, which helped connecting members of the refugee population with people from Serbia and encouraging intercultural learning and building togetherness.

Art Aparat participated in the organization of several concerts with members of the refugee population, we produced theater plays and other artistic content such are video works and songs. Our partners for this topics are the most recognizable organizations in the field – We collaborated with Belgrade Center for Human Rights, ADRA Serbia and others organizations from Serbia.

Work with seniors

Members of the elderly population in the entire Balkan region, due to various reasons, very often face loneliness and exclusion, which makes a negative impact on their psychological and physical health. Also, people from all generations don’t get enough opportunities to meet and interact the elderly and in that way get a eider perspective about the society. We find the intergenerational exchange and dialogue very important in order to improve the quality of life of the members of all generations and believe that there is much to learn from the members of the elderly population, so we designed a project that focuses on these topics trough music and art.

The project –Ima neka tajna veza (There is a secret connection)- is made together with the Association Naš most from Zenica (BiH). The projects gives the members of the elderly from BiH and Serbia the opportunity to respond to this problem through singing and painting workshops and they are encouraged to learn and express themselves creatively and find their own artistic expression. Besides that, people of all generations can participate, learn about joint cultural heritage of the Balkans from the elderly and familiarize with aging and everything that aging brings with it.