Vicinities II, the second season of the region’s hard-hitting news talk show, impressed young government officials from the Western Balkans who not only saw the programme but also got a taste for what it might be like to be a guest.
Vicinities Editor in Chief Zvezdana Kovac, in Berlin, introduced the second season with a video montage from the show’s rehearsal and presented four key Vicinities guests, who engaged the young officials in lively debate and conversation about prejudice and identity, just as is expected on the show itself.
The guests were Ambassador Ernst Reichel, who spoke on behalf of Germany’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Biljana Vankovska, Professor and Head of the MA Program in Peace and Development at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Skopje; Nenad Sebek, Executive Director for the Center for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeast Europe; and Sandi Blagonic, a cultural anthropologist. The participants were part of the Fellowship for Young Government Officials in the Western Balkans, held in Berlin and Potsdam from April 5 to 16, and sponsored by the University of Potsdam and the European Fund for the Balkans.
Vicinities was the first news talk show to bring together guests from across the Balkans in one room, for a weekly debate and conversation about a topic of real relevance, broadcast simultaneously in a number of countries. All the guests spoke in their native tongue, as the languages are mutually understandable, and presented their own ideas and opinions. The result was real reconciliation and a critically acclaimed show that left viewers asking for more – leading to Vicinities II.
The second season will be even more ambitious – last count, eight TV channels across the region will broadcast the series, which will take on difficult but necessary topics.