Yoko Ono has revealed an artwork to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty Of Versailles, as part of the First World Peace initiative at Serbia’s Petrovaradin Fortress, ahead of this year’s EXIT festival.
The work, entitled ‘One day…’ and inspired by the traditional boat chaika once used by Serbian frontier patrols during the Ottoman Empire, was unveiled on June 28 at the fortress with Ono speaking to the crowd via video message and a local children’s choir singing John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’. “It’s a piece about hope and survival,” she explained, “peace is power.”
The idea is for the artwork to promote Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad as the Peace Fortress, since the fortress has never been part of any battle since its construction in the 18thcentury. The project, intended to promote peace and connect young people via music and culture, is the latest in EXIT festival’s two decades of political activism – the festival itself started life as a veiled protest against the Milosevic regime, and the event has maintained its political edge ever since.
“EXIT was the first mass event to gather the young people of ex-Yugoslavia in one place after the wars of the 90s,” says founder Dušan Kovačević. “Petrovaradin Fortress became the Fortress of Peace already then, and it is my exceptional pleasure that one of the most influential women of modern times recognised our social activism and decided to join us in such a significant project.”
The festival began last night (July 4) with a headline set from The Cure and continues until Sunday (July 7). Other major acts appearing include Skepta, The Chainsmokers, Carl Cox and Greta Van Fleet.