Healing Voices – Serbian choir heals the wounds of a fragmented society


However, she said that all of these difficulties have gradually disappeared with mutual patience, perseverance and nurturing communication in which everyone respects everyone, while setting clear boundaries that contribute to everyone’s well-being.

“Working with them reinforced my belief that all children have very similar needs, no matter where they come from, that poverty and discrimination can happen to anyone, but also that intolerance, racism and other negative phenomena can happen to many people out of ignorance – and it is very important that through research, understanding and warmth we try to build a better society, ”Curcic told BIRN.

The enthusiastic music teacher doesn’t just work with at-risk children. The “Art Aparat” association that she formed is a grassroots organization behind everything. Next to “Svi UGLAS! », She organizes choirs with old people and women from rural areas.

“After 15 years of learning music and 12 years of music pedagogy, I am convinced that music is a very powerful tool not only for acquiring knowledge and skills but also for fostering social change, and that today ‘ hui more than ever art can help us to tackle difficult problems which we are all more or less confronted with.

Singing songs has a therapeutic effect

Whether they come from the stigmatized Roma community or from Serbian families in the south of the country, all members of “Svi UGLAS! give BIRN similar answers about what the choir means to them.

“Hanging out with people and singing, meeting new people, that’s the best. Singing makes me so emotional that sometimes I cry. But after a session, I feel much more relieved than before, ”says Albert, 20.

Another choir member, Miroslava Nikolic, came to Belgrade to study in Nis, in southern Serbia.

Passionate about music and singing from an early age, she joined the choir in March 2020, just as the coronavirus pandemic struck. While working on a theater show, Maja Curcic invited her to join “Svi UGLAS!” just for one session.

“I went to a rehearsal and it got me going. You always feel respected and there is always something interesting, ”she says.

“It’s positive, joyful and encouraging. Even when someone is not in the mood, at the end or even during the rehearsal, everyone feels better, ”adds Nikolic. “I have a feeling that if anyone needs anything everyone will help them,” the 25-year-old told BIRN.

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