The pavilion connects people and fosters a culture of reading. It offers a book exchange and a one-month free access to a local digital platform for reading in Serbian, including a number of activities related to reading culture and literature.
The Europe Readr mobile pavilion was presented in all its glory on 10 September 2021 at Republic Square, the most visited square in Belgrade. When people make plans to get together in the city centre, the meeting place is almost always “under the horse”, which is the square’s distinctive feature. The Slovenian Embassy in Serbia has created a unique project together with the Faculty of Architecture in Belgrade and other local partners – a mobile pavilion providing access to the Europe Readr digital platform via free Wi-Fi and printed books.
Damjan Bergant, Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia to the Republic of Serbia, addressed the distinguished guests, reading enthusiasts and other visitors at the opening ceremony, expressing his hope that the pavilion becomes a meeting point for book lovers and those who are yet to become avid readers using both the digital platform and printed books. Vladan Đokić, Dean of the University School of Architecture, commended the response of students who applied to the mobile pavilion competition and the excellent cooperation with the embassy. Chief Urbanist of the City of Belgrade Marko Stojčić examined the pavilion with great enthusiasm, noting that Belgrade was pleased to support this reading project.
The visitors were able to pick one book to take it home free of charge, but were asked to bring a book they no longer needed back to the pavilion to participate in the exchange of books, an activity that is popular worldwide.
The event was concluded with a quote by Nobel Prize winner and diplomat Ivo Andrić: “Remaining indifferent to books means recklessly impoverishing your life.”
Great place for various events
The mobile pavilion serves not only as a sitting area where visitors can read books available on the Europe Readr digital platform and printed books provided by local partners on a daily basis, but also stages various events. We organised a book signing and a discussion with German author Tom Schulz in cooperation with Goethe-Institut and the Treći Trg publishing house. We also presented the publishing activities of the Faculty of Architecture in Belgrade, showcasing student research and projects on the topic of “Architecture students on Belgrade.” As Europe Readr is focused on the “future of living” as its central theme, the event was aimed at educating the general public in the context of developing critical reflection on society and cities in the future and at promoting a public debate on European values and sustainability by discussing projects and ideas.
Šindelka’s writing is truly something to behold, and that’s why the book is worth reading [...] what makes it work are the long passages in which the author describes train stations, flooded cities, greenhouses, and the plants therein [...] the language is crisp and clear and frankly quite beautiful, a tribute to both the author and Nathan Fields, the translator.