The International Association of the Biennial
of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean (BJCEM) was born in Sarajevo
in July 2001. The aim of the Biennial was to reinforce the joint work and the relations among the different institutions and associations operating in the cultural field from the
Euro-Mediterranean area today. The BJCEM Association is a network, which gathers 71 members from 20 countries including local groups, ministries, associations, cultural institutions and is open to the membership of local and national bodies from Europe and the Mediterranean.
The main targets of BJCEM are to promote young artist’s creativity, to encourage international exchanges and the development of pacific relations across the Mediterranean area. The BJCEM is a wide network, encouraging the intercultural exchanges through the political and geographical frontiers. The structure of the Association promotes cultural exchanges beyond the existing political and cultural borders, thus presenting a Europe and a Mediterranean dialogue and joint working practice.
The Biennial of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean was founded in 1984 by ARCI Kids. ARCI focused on young people, aiming to allow young European and Mediterranean artists to meet periodically in the main cities around the ‘mare nostrum’. At this time young creation was regarded as a marginal sector in the world of art and in the cultural market.
In parallel the youngsters of Barcelona, Marseille, Turin, Zagreb and Alger began to share projects and languages, developing a common feeling welcomed and amplified by
the Biennial. The first Biennial was held in (Barcelona in 1984) where the International Committee of the Biennial was founded and became the BJCEM Association. The first Biennial featured artists of 6 different countries (Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, and Yugoslavia) who met together with some guests from Arab and Balkan countries.
Over its history, the Biennial has been considered as the main platform for the creation and presentation of artists between 18 to 30 years working in a wide range of disciplines. The Biennial of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean has taken place in Thessaloniki, Barcelona, Bologna, Marseille, Valencia, Lisbon, Turin, Rome Sarajevo, Athens, Naples and Bari.