The Mixer Festival in 2021 was held under the slogan “Embrace” from May 26 to 28 in Zornić’s house, and as in the previous year, the Festival was opened by promoting a positive image of older persons and strengthening intergenerational cooperation.
The panel that opened the Mixer Festival was called “The Right Age”, and the participants were: Brankica Jankovic, Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, Mr. John Kennedy Mosoti from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Prof. Dr. Dragan Radovanovic,and Mr. Bora Dugic artist.
The moderator of this panel was Natasa Todorovic, expert associate of the Red Cross of Serbia, who pointed out at the beginning: If we look at our years through the perspective of the life cycle, the best years are the ones we are in now and that is why a person must live in the here and now, using her or his experience, and on the other hand we need to preserve the curiosity that inspires us to learn and thus keep alive the child in us regardless of age. Kenneth Koch, poet, professor and playwright, said: “You aren’t just the age you are. You are all the ages you ever have been.” These simple two sentences tell us about our lives, about the right or best years.
In the last year, we have faced a global crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic was both a wake-up call and a kind of magnifying glass to better see the good sides but also the shortcomings in access to the human rights for older persons. So the panellists answered questions regarding the current situation.
Brankica Jankovic, the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, spoke about the forms of discrimination that older people have faced during the last year.
John Kennedy Mosoti spoke about the importance of intergenerational solidarity and its importance for the development of the individual and the development of society.
The Red Cross as part of a global movement that inspires solidarity and volunteer work is the most obvious way in which people join in solidarity. In this sense, Prof. Dr Dragan Radovanovic, President of the Red Cross of Serbia, spoke about what it means to be a volunteer and whether there is the best age for a volunteer. He also talked about how motivated young volunteers were to help older persons during this year when they were at the highest risk.
Bora Dugic spoke about how much the use of digital technologies helped him communicate with his son who lives in the United States, and also answered the question whether there is the best age for creativity.
At the end of the panel Prof. Dr Rosvita Topolac, physics professor played several songs on the accordion as the best example that creativity is not related to age, but also to the profession we are engaged in.