Sajmište (Old Belgrade Fair) – Back to the Future

  • Location: The Residence of Princess Ljubica, Kneza Sime Markovića 8
  • Date: May 20 – June 20, 2017
  • Organisation:

    Belgrade City Museum, Faculty of Architecture and Museum Night Art Production Group

The exhibition Sajmište (Old Belgrade Fair)– Back to the Future is the final stage of the eponymous project, jointly organized by the Belgrade City Museum and the Faculty of Architecture in Belgrade, with the support of Museum Night Art Production Group. The exhibition was set up by the Master’s students of the Faculty of Architecture under the guidance of their professors and the curators of the Belgrade City Museum.

The most significant contribution of the project are students' works: a 1:100 scale model of Sajmište made in accordance with the reconstruction of the Fair, foreseen by the 1992 Detailed Urban Plan of Belgrade; a virtual walk through Sajmište, and 3D models and drawings of the fairground pavilions. This segment of the exhibition will enable visitors to get acquainted with the establishment of the Old Belgrade Fair and its future design, but it will also help them experience its atmosphere and architecture. The establishment and the activities of the first Belgrade Fair between 1937 and 1941 are shown through seven representative events that vividly illustrate the events at Sajmište, as well as its importance for Belgrade and its citizens.

Visitors will be able to see how the regular, spring and autumn, international fairs, held every year, looked like, who were their participants, what was displayed, and what kinds of satellite events were organized. Furthermore, sport activities are also shown, as the first indoor tennis court in Belgrade was located at the Old Fair. It hosted well-attended boxing tournaments, which also featured international boxers. Car fairs were certainly the best-attended and the most popular events at Sajmište. They were organized for three years in a row and presented all the most important car manufacturers from Europe and the United States. The huge International Aeronautical Exhibition was also organized, where Belgrade’s citizens were offered an opportunity to get acquainted with the history and development of aviation and they could also get into airplanes and test the commands, try riding a plane or parachuting from a 70-metre high tower built specifically for the exhibition.

At the exhibition, the audience will be able to see how the First National Crafts Exhibition looked like. It presented practically all crafts, from woodcarving, through goldsmith’s trade, pastry-making, car mechanics and cleaning products manufacturing. The First National Hunting Exhibition was also organized and it basically put on display the national pavilion presented at an international exhibition in Berlin, featuring the hunting catches of the royal family members and award winning hunting trophies. A particularly well-attended event at Sajmište was the Festival of Folk Dances and Songs, which presented performers from all over the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and for which the Belgrade audience bought all available tickets every night.
Thanks to the Yugoslav Film Archive, visitors will also be able to see films about the construction and opening of the Fair.