Friday, 7 May 2021

Miroslav Krleža Institute of Lexicography Publishes Book On All things Turopolje

May 7, 2021 - Last month, The Miroslav Krleža Institute of Lexicography had a presentation in Velika Gorica regarding the newly published book on all things Turopolje.

The ever-fascinating region of Turopolje, not so far from Zagreb, as the largest city of the region is Velika Gorica (connected by Zagreb with a regular public service bus) earlier this month good a book that gives an overview of every knowledge collected about Turopolje. Or in a noun: a lexicon.

As The Miroslav Krleža Institute of Lexicography informs on its website, the end of April saw the presentation of the latest work in the edition of the Institute in Velika Gorica.

In respect to the epidemiological measures, the presentation was held among a limited number of journalists and attendees. Nina Obuljen Koržinek, the minister of culture was present along with the mayor of Velika Gorica Krešimir Ačkar, and the head if Miroslav Krleža Insitute, Bruno Kragić. The county ruler of the noble county of Turopolje Mladen Klemenčić was present too and talked about the book. Katja Matković Mikulčić, the headmistress of Velika Gorica City Library and a co-editor of the lexicon, had an opening speech.

The accompanying culture program saw an actor and singer Adam Končić recite poems by Krleža (a famous Croatian writer, poet, publicist, and encyclopedist the Institute was named after) and pupils from Franje Lučić Art School that sing with the back-up of Krešimir Starčević that followed the notes of a famous conductor from Turopolje Franjo Lučić (the inspiration for the name of the art school).

As usual, the Institute was determined to gather as a wider circle of associates as possible, especially the authors. Some of the authors are individuals from heritage, educational, and cultural institutions, but researchers from specific scientific areas and noted publicists contributed to the book as well.

„The project started with the overwhelming support of the City of Velika Gorica, the central administration unit of Turopolje, and the cooperation contract was signed in 2018. With its concept and graphics, this lexicon continues the previous editions of the Lexicography Institute, which focuses on individual Croatian regions (Istria, Croatian Zagorje) or towns (Zagreb)“, the Institute's website quotes the foreword of the book.

When it comes to history, science, and art, museums are great institutions to learn more. You can learn more about museums in Croatia on our TC page.

For more about science in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

French Institute in Croatia Launches Hospitality Programme

ZAGREB, 4 May, 2021 - The French Institute in Croatia has on the occasion of its 100th anniversary launched a Hospitality programme which in cooperation with various institutions enables close public contact with artists.

The programme is adapted to Croatia's specific context, featuring the consequences of the health crisis and earthquakes that hit Zagreb and Sisak and Petrinja in central Croatia and is aimed at developing a programme of valorisation of Croatian artists in the premises of the French Institute where they can present their works and establish contact with a new audience.

The planned encounters are aimed at enabling a privileged experience and relationship with artists and their works, something that has been absent during this period of restricted encounters.

The institute has called on artists to participate in the programme, saying that they will be issued with a 'carte blanche' to take over the institute's premises for specific encounters with the public and to present their works.

For more about diplomacy in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Touch of Baranja Photo Exhibition in Zagreb Until End of April

April 21, 2021 - A Touch of Baranja showcases 20 photos of the Baranja region to promote this rich natural and cultural site to both domestic and foreign visitors.

If you want to experience a touch of Baranja, but you're stuck in Zagreb, the city's Flower square (Cvjetni trg) offers you a compromise.  

Dodir baRAnJe (A Touch of Baranja), an outdoor photo exhibition that will remain open until the end of April, highlights 20 photos of beautiful Baranja.

''A picture says a thousand words, so this is how we decided to present the beauty of Baranja and motivate Zagreb's citizens and their guests to visit the region located between the Danube and Drava rivers next to the border with Hungary to have a proper break,'' says the website of the Baranja Tourist Board.

The Tourist Board, along with Tourist Boards of Draž and Bilje-Kopački Rit hosted the event.

Nenad Milić, Dubravko Franjin, Romulić&Stojčić Studio, Mario Đurkić, and Zvonimir Janković are the photographers whose work is being featured in the exhibition. Below every photo, there is a QR code that offers an explanation of the photo both in English and Croatian, and in the evening, the photos are illuminated by solar power collected during the day.

As written by the Explore Croatia site, Baranja is special for its display of multiculturalism of the people who live there and who have previously passed through the territory. Tradition and cultural heritage in the area have survived the challenges of time, and nowhere is that more visible than in Baranja's cuisine.

Visit_Baranja.jpg

© Visit Baranja 

''Baranja continues to remain a special destination which will tell the traveller various stories about tradition, family, life secrets, love, death, wines, hot peppers, specific fishing, weddings…“, explains the Explore Croatia site.

Baranja also offers the richness of nature as it is surrounded by rivers and the Kopački Rit swamp and bird reserve that is home to a wide and impressive variety of animals and plants, representing a real treat for the dedicated traveller.

When in Baranja, make sure to try the delicious Fiš Paprikaš, Baranja's own local Kulen recipe, and carp prepared in a delicious way only Baranja knows how to do.

Learn more about Croatia's food on our TC page

For more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

VukovART 2021 to Return Art, Culture and Joy to the City of Vukovar

April 20, 2021 - With a five-year tradition already in place, VukovART 2021 promises a month of fun and exciting activities for Vukovar with visual eye candy as souvenirs to last.

A unique concept in the culture and art of Vukovar, the VukovART festival will be held from May 15 all the way to June 15, writes HRTurizam.  

With a five-year tradition, the streets and squares of Vukovar will once again host numerous exhibitions and workshops, debates, children's programs, film, and literary programs, panel discussions, colorful lectures, and concerts. This event, organized by the City of Vukovar and Val Kulture association, co-financed by the European Social fund, promotes Vukovar as a Port of Art, changing the visual identity of the city making it a beautiful place to live. In addition to the local community, tourists also enjoy the eye candy of the city's open-air gallery. Artists Boa Mistura (Spain), BustArt (Switzerland), Jana Brike (Latvia), Mr Woodland (Germany), Victor Splash (Russia), Artez (Serbia), Juandres Vera (Mexico), Kerim Musanović (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Marion Ruthardt from (Germany), and Croatia's own Forest are ten artists who will come this year to give their contribution to the growing visual content of the city.

The festival will be opened by a beloved Croatian band Vatra (Fire), with performances of Mia Dimšić, musical composition CLUE, and vocal composition Watercolor in the following days too. During every larger event of the festival, „a superb craft scene and street food“ offers will be offered to visitors too. 

VukovArt_-_Art_Harbour.jpg

© VukovArt - Art Harbour

Famous Croatian singer from Psihomodo Pop with a neck in painting as well, Davor Gobac will exhibit his paintings and also host Motivational and Art Workshop for children.

„There will also be an active weekend led by the Vukovar Half Marathon, and for a slightly more relaxing activity, a bicycle race will be organized to tour previous works of art“, says HRTurizam article.

Domagoj Jakopović Ribafish, Dusan Bučan, and Robert Knjaz will host travel lectures and the full program and more details can be found on VukovART official website and on social networks.  

Learn more about Croatia's festivals on our TC page.  

For more about Made in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

 

Friday, 19 March 2021

International Poetry Day Croatia: Non-Croatian Poets about Croatia

March 21, 2021 - In honour of International Poetry Day Croatia, TCN's Ivor Kruljac met with non-Croatia poets to share their views on Croatia through their art.

Since 1999 and the 30th General conference of UNESCO, March 21 is recognized as International Poetry Day. As said by the United Nations official website, the date was dedicated to poetry to celebrate „one of humanity’s most treasured forms of cultural and linguistic expression and identity“, which history remembers practiced in every culture on every continent. 

„Poetry reaffirms our common humanity by revealing to us that individuals, everywhere in the world, share the same questions and feelings“, states the UN.

Supporting linguistic diversity and an opportunity of endangered languages to be heard within their communities along with encouragement to bring back the oral tradition of recitals, the promotion of poetry teachings and poetry in the media, as well as connecting this ancient art form with other art forms such as music, painting, and theatre, are all goals of the International Poetry Day. And here at TCN, we want to do our part and connect poetry with what we always struggle to report on: Showing all aspects of Croatia.

To the fans of contemporary poetry, it's no secret that poets today are very much alive, productive, and regularly present their work. If not in books then at poetry events, open-mics, and on social networks – either from their private accounts, blogs, or in groups dedicated to this wordy-art.

We asked non-Croatian poets through social networks and private group chats dedicated to poetry who either visited Croatia or know about Croatia to send us poems about Croatia with a promise that the top 5 will be published and authors presented. Now, to be fair, while the author of this article is a poet, that is far from being a legitimate poetry critic and the rest of the TCN's editorial team (at least to public knowledge) aren't even poets. The idea was to pick the poems based on how it resonates with us as individuals who gave the art a chance. The academic acknowledgment is nice, but resonating with the audience, the everyday people, should be the goal of any art publically displayed, right?

To be honest, there wasn't really any competition as, by the end of the deadline, we received only four poems. Nonetheless, the beauty of these poems and great resonation with TCN was there and we are happy to publish these poems and ranked them, from fourth place to the very best. You can decide for yourselves which poem you like best (and the messages you see in their work), but here the four poems that „knocked on the doors of our mailbox“ (metaphorically, quite poetically, speaking).

#4: „Croatia“ by Jesus McFridge 

Poets such as Charles Bukowski and Walt Whitman are very well known by their name, but just as in many other arts, poets are no exception in sometimes preferring to use pseudonyms to present their work while keeping their identity unknown and privacy secured. Such is the author that goes by the name of Jesus Mcfridge. Quite active in a Facebook group Poetry Criticism For Cool Cats, he revealed in his application that he is from California and described himself as a „24-year-old American that watches too much television“. He added that his knowledge of Croatia is limited to the country at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but he has fallen in love with the Croatia national football team's checkered uniforms. Despite never visiting Croatia, after „Croatia's tragic loss in the 2018 World Cup final“, he found himself also crying just as many Croatians did.

„In this poem, I have attempted to capture the feeling of this tragic loss that we have shared together, despite the vast seas that separate us“ concluded Mcfridge in his application.

His bittersweet poem simply titled „Croatia“ indeed brings some painful memories but presented in a short and funny way allows us to look at the past in a brighter way, bring back smiles, and give us the strength to cheer for our Croatia national team as they prepare for the next trophy hunt.

 

Croatia

They

Almost won

The world cup

But

Mandzukic scored

An own goal.

Jesus_Mcfridge-c-_Jesus_Mcfridge.jpg

Jesus Mcfridge © Jesus Mcfridge

#3 „Daniela's song“ by Christian Sinicco (English translation by Daniela Sartogo)

Christian Sinicco was born in Trieste, Italy, and his poetry is published in various anthologies and magazines and an editor of the magazine Argo with which he has dealt with the widest overview of poetry in the Italian dialect from 2000 to the present day. He published three books of poetry: „Passando per New York“ (Lietocolle, 2005), „Ballate di Lagosta“ (CFR, 2014) and „Città esplosa“ (Galerie Bordas, 2017). He won the first Italian Slam Poetry Championship and served as the president of the slam poetry association LIPS - Lega Italiana Poetry Slam (2013-2014) and is the current vice president of Poiéin. He is also active in a global initiative of slam poets organizing the world slam championship which early results can be followed on Twitch.   

He participated in numerous book festivals including four festivals in Croatia: Zagreb Contemporary Poetry Festival, Forum Tomizza (in Umag), Pula Book Fair, and Rijeka Book Fair.

His second book of poetry „Ballate di Lagosta“, translates as Lastovo Ballads and it's actually a preview while Sinicco plans to soon publish the full book dedicated to this beautiful Croatian island on the southern coast.

„I was on Lastovo several times. I know a poet from there, Marijana Šutić and I spent a vacation there with other poets such as Ivan Šamija and Silvestar Vrljić“, said Sinicco in his application where he offered a poem from „Lastovo ballads“ which already seen its presentation on a prestigious literary site Versopolis.

„Daniela's Song“ may not bring out the most visual and most explicit Croatian motives, but the discrete and specific localization of Croatia is there all wrapped in a love poem to touch the heart and help us remember the summer sweethearts and romance in Croatia.

Daniela's song

I.

She talks about how beautiful it is without knowing where to go

perhaps into the water of the sun like her cheek

simply necessary as the wet dream

in a wider galaxy if it can be understood,

she seduces you through valleys and dusty vineyards

with eyes towards the bay with the waterfall:

Za Barje the sign said, and so also barked the dog tied

under the cypress – his teethed mouth was the buried reason

the fishermen had left him there – near a house

covered with ivy and blackberries, in which had grown

an apple tree with sour fruits and roses

that only you will taste:

avoiding the asphalt and dirt road holes you followed Daniela

targeting yourself and the asphyxia of your life

that follows the path to erect the intelligence of the species

that on the concept of work has built its republic of theft,

then you saw her dancing on the beach between the warm rocks

and the boat pulled out of the lobster pot, the fishermen are back:

good and evil are triangles of waves that spread

on the sea towards the two islands where we swam

– the fish are not aware of it,

and so the man under the pine and his child

with the mask, another fisherman with the fishing line,

only you maybe on the petals you bite as the words

 

II.

after quite a while we are outdoors and eat figs

at dusk time on this meadow

sliced on the wooden bowl,

we take the bread and tear it many times

because paradise is close to the fire

and the village to our left rises white in pink

made with scales like the barracuda

Korčula has no intention to leave our sight

I shouted as my usual self

you lit the candle and made me notice

we are not alone, but you can stay calm

slowly also the hut

and its fire have become attractive

calming the natural tension

of a darkening sky, not preventing us

from tasting the happiness

of a grilled fish, of tomato and capers

you are attractive when you smile

with a glass of water on the lips

too quietly they get up,

wanting to be born in the response they seek outside

the people at the tables next to us, and from the cottage

where they grill they come to clear up

a woman and the cook, as in a ceremonial

we ask for the check with the hands

they will be intertwined when we emerge from the field

toward the parking lot where we’ll get in the car

and head out to the highest point

of a series of bends, before descending to the valley

the vault of stars surprises us

we stop everything, propped on pillows of a land

that is still hot, we’re sure

that the star will fall, and it comes true

 Christian_Sinicco-c-Daniele_Ferroni.jpeg

Christian Sinicco © Daniele Ferroni

#2 „The Lakes of Plitvice“ by Vanni Schiavoni (English translation by Graziella Sidoli)

Born in Manduria, Italy, but living in Bologna, Vanni Schiavoni published five poem collections: "Nocte" (1996), "The Suspended Balcony" (1998), "Of Humid and Days" (2004), "Salentitude" (2006), and  "Walnut Shell" (2012). He also published two novels "Like Elephants in Indonesia" (2001) and "Mavi" (2019) and edited the poetic anthology "Red - between eroticism and holiness" (2010). Most recently, he also published poetical plaquette „Croatian Notebook“ which features twelve poems dedicated to six Croatian sites: Plitvice Lakes, Kornati, Šibenik, Trogir, Split, and Dubrovnik. Schiavoni wrote the "Croatian Notebook" after a week-long journey in the summer of 2017. His birthplace Manduria is located in the region of Puglia which is 30 miles away from the Pelagosa (Palagruža), the most distant Croatian island, and his surname originates from the name of the Slavonia region in Eastern Croatia.

„For me, it was not just a holiday trip but a journey in and out of everything that I am, a travel diary through which to bring out the game of mirrors between me and that place, between what I am and where I come from and what I have encountered“, said Schiavoni. This journey impacted him with images of the signs of Italy engraved in stone, mournings of the war, communist history („most heretical Communist party in the east in front of the largest Communist Party in the west“, as Schiavoni puts it) and as he added, „the same Adriatic Sea which gives both of us fishes and earthquakes“.

His poem „The Lakes of Plitvice“ is a lovely description of the mixture, the game, and visual eye-candy of the waters in Croatia's oldest National Park, and it linked with a search for bravery and the encouraging point that good and beauty can defeat evil and change it to something better.  

THE LAKES OF PLITVICE

The first day they always plunge down into the same spot

the river rapids that come to the encountering

of the white river with the black river

and the more we think ourselves ready with our shrewd eyes

the fewer the adjectives made available to us before that wonder:

the green rush pushes our pupils towards a wild frenzy

it pushes them inside the tearful torrents by our feet

in the shrouded darkness of the sequential caves

and in the vertical caverns sculpted

as if by a hand capable of it all.

Yet Judas must have passed by this place

and though perhaps not the one with burning lips

a simple Judas must have become lost

in this mysterious grid of remorse.

These lakes fall into lakes as lashings on yielding branches

they flow into other waters and so they rain

endlessly

and perfectly untouched.

Vanni_Schiavoni-c-Dino_Igmani.jpg

Vanni Schiavoni © Dino Igmani

 

#1  „Dubrovnik Rock“ by William Vastarella

After Schiavoni and Sinicco, our first-ranked poet is the conclusive evidence there is something so incredible about Croatia it really inspires poetically-inclined neighbors across the Adriatic. Born in Napoli in 1974, William Vastarella is a teacher of Italian Literature, geography, and History. He's has a Ph.D. in semiotics from the University of Bari and writes for several literary and cultural magazines in Italy. He also edited several poetry anthologies as well as semiotic essays. Vastarella visited Croatia several years ago and had a cultural and relaxing holiday on the seaside. „I found her so full of the Mediterranean spirit that I wrote a poem in Italian. I tried to translate it in other words, trying to leave intact the sounds of that memory“, said Vastarella about his poem on Dubrovnik.

The poem „Dubrovnik Rock“ is fantastic in the way, Vastarella visually invokes the images from the history of Dubrovnik (Ragusa) Republic and the relationship it had with Italians at that age with the waves of the Adriatic Sea as the link between Italy and Dubrovnik but also between past and present.

 

Dubrovnik Rock

Other singers claim to feel

singular vibes in the waves

Nearby this shore,

and so do I.

Ragusa, Dubrovnik

A name is not enough

To trap a soul.

I ask myself

Who’s the other side

Of the other side

As the seawater shuffles.

I touch with my finger

and now I know it’s real

the steel and the wood of the boat

powerful works of man

that wipe out weapons

and I ask no more.

I realize

we have been both

pirates and emperors

centurions and barbarians

through the centuries

each one to the other

a flurry flow

of slavers and Slavs,

slayers and saviors.

Sometimes when the north wind blows,

melting the white in waves,

painting clouds of amazing blues

mirroring the water in the sky,

space seems to become so narrow,

so easy the neighborhood,

then all

the voices of the ancient age

of an ancient game

of thousands lost

in that spot of time,

that spot of sea,

mutate in a mute roar singing

in which merge the rage of riot

and the call for help of a lot

castled in the rock

waiting for a drop of rain to drink

or friend sails on the horizon.

 William_Vastarella-c-_Vito_Signorile.jpg

William Vastarella © Vito Signorile

For more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 5 March 2021

Opera Singers to Help in Post-COVID Rehabilitation

ZAGREB, 5 March, 2021 - Several professional opera singers on Friday launched the "Breathe" campaign to help as of 8 March in the rehabilitation of people who have recovered from COVID-19 but still have difficulty breathing.

The initiative came from Croatian National Theatre (HNK) Zagreb singers Ljubomir Puškarić, Adela Golac Rilović, Ivana Lazar, Ivica Trubić, Tomislav Mužek, Luciano Batinić, Tvrtko Stipić and Ozren Bilušić, and HNK Osijek singers Martina Puškarić and Berislav Puškarić, Ljubomir Puškarić said on Friday, adding that singers from all of Croatia were joining the initiative.

Puškarić said a Facebook group was created for everyone who had experienced serious COVID-19 symptoms and had difficulty breathing even after recovering.

He said those joining the group would obtain information on breathing exercises used by opera singers and be able to work with instructors, all professional operas singers, based on one-on-one online consultations.

To begin with, each participant will get at least one session a week in agreement with an instructor. The therapy is planned to last six weeks. The idea comes from England and a survey has shown that the psychophysical condition of persons working with opera singers has improved.

Sunday, 13 December 2020

Zagreb Lauba's Revolutionary Redesign by World-Famous Japanese Architect

ZAGREB December 13, 2020 – .One of Croatia's best-loved gallery and event spaces will undergo a revolutionary new facelift at the hands of a world-famous architect. Zagreb Lauba's new look comes at the hands of internationally acclaimed Sou Fujimoto. A serial award winner, the architect's prominent works are found all over the world.

Newly-released images of how Zagreb's Lauba will look show an incredibly imaginative redesign. Echoing the avenue of trees that runs by the side of the gallery and event space, Sou Fujimoto has planned an oval-shaped garden roof space for the building in which trees will also be planted. The inspiration for the design came from Zagreb Lauba's name – it is a colloquial word used to describe a certain circular area of trees, the architect being informed of this by gallery owner Tomislav Klitschko.

laubynew22.jpg© Sou Fujimoto Architects / Lauba

According to Jutarnji List's coverage of the redesign, by journalist Patricia Kish, the new roof garden space will be accessed by stairs and lift. Zagreb Lauba's design as it stands today was originally made by Alenka Gačić-Pojatina, who will collaborate on the new additions by Sou Fujimoto.

Zagreb Lauba's story dates back to 1910 when it was constructed by Emil Eisner and Adolf Ehrlich for use as a stables and riding school for the Austro-Hungarian army. It later became the weaving mill of the Textile Combine Zagreb, which it remained until being converted to a gallery and event space in 2008.

laubynew3.jpg© Sou Fujimoto Architects / Lauba

Sou Fujimoto is one of the most celebrated architects of Japan. He has won several prestigious awards for his work and the acclaim has made his designs much in-demand around the world. Often working with wood and natural materials, his designs can be found in London, Paris, Budapest and soon, at Zagreb Lauba's hands, in Croatia.

Lauba is a contemporary art gallery and its mission is to discover artistic expression by Croatian visual artists, and also participate in international cultural trends. Set in a huge black building near Črnomerec its exhibitions usually change around every month. In recent times it has also played host to large-scale electronic music events.

1620px-Final_Wooden_House_2008.jpgOne of Sou Fujimoto's previous designs © Kenta Mabuchi

Wednesday, 2 December 2020

PHOTOS: Huge New Street Art by Zagreb's Lunar in Rijeka and Dobrinj

December 2, 2020 – Streets have been noticeably quieter over recent days, although not by one building in Rijeka and a roadside in Dobrinj, Krk island, where renowned street artist, Zagreb's Lunar, has left two huge new murals

The cafes are closed but, what's more, there's a chill in the air. It's not only the lockdown that has made the streets of Croatia more quiet than usual at this time of year. Over recent days, temperatures have dropped to around zero when the sun falls. And it falls early. The light can be gone by 5pm.

tall127280197_1098489500609588_3642240075077466328_o.jpgRijeka

Exercise or a simple pleasant stroll around the Christmas lights have been all that's been drawing folks out onto the streets after dark, save for the food delivery guys whose bikes whizz past you faster than ever in the chill. Even during the day, the streets of Croatia are quieter than normal because of the lockdown.

DamirJevtic128877245_155090619694446_7351410046623027566_o.jpeg
Dobrinj

But, these days haven't been anything other than normal for acclaimed artist Slaven Kosanovic aka Zagreb's Lunar. The cooler temperatures have only meant wearing more clothes and the quieter streets have not made his careful craftsmanship any quicker. His sometimes vast murals often require him to be above pedestrians passing below, up a ladder or even on a crane.

Kulturni Dobrinj128523235_153713856498789_2905816790945272195_o.jpgDobrinj

The two new paintings of Zagreb's Lunar definitely fall at the larger end of the works he has produced over the last 25+ years. One towers above street level on an entire building facade in Rijeka. So tall is the painting that trying to take it all in could strain your neck in the wrong wind. The other piece, in Dobrinj, Krk island, is just as epic, although this vast canvas lies horizontal, by the roadside.

wide126953963_1098489497276255_8725607179832799540_o.jpgThe Rijeka mural is dedicated to the city's music scene - you can spot some of the names of famous Rijeka bands in the painting

The Rijeka mural of Zagreb's Lunar, which he painted alongside his brother, with whom he often collaborates, is a four-story wall of cats dedicated to Rijeka's famous music scene. The mural took two days to complete. In the mural, you can spot the names of many Rijeka music groups like The Siids. Let 3, Denis & Denis and Jonathan. The mural is another part of the manifestations organised in celebration of Rijeka 2020 Capital of Culture.

withcar128110244_153713663165475_3924298655060837569_o.jpgDobrinj

Krk island is a well-known tourist destination, but the pretty inland village of Dobrinj is far from the regular path of visitors. Anyone travelling past the enormous mural Zagreb's Lunar and his brother have left here will surely remember the name of Dobrinj. It may well entice some to come looking for it – it is by far the largest piece of public art on the island. It was facilitated by the community organisation Kulturni Dobrinj.

croppy128427057_153713673165474_3680630515522620610_o.jpgDobrinj

All photos © Antonija Diklic (Rijeka) Damir Jevtic (Dobrinj)

croppedKulturni Dobrinj128425032_153713356498839_3649981858921297334_o.jpgDobrinj, with the artist, Slaven Kosanovic aka Zagreb's Lunar, on the right

Friday, 28 August 2020

Split Open Jazz Fair 2020 Begins!

August. 28, 2020 - On Thursday, August 27, 2020, with the opening of the exhibition "Jazz Greats in the Ethnographic Museum", the Split Open Jazz Fair 2020 began. It is a photographic exhibition of portraits of jazz musicians by Davor Hrvoj from Zagreb, the doyen of Croatian jazz journalism ("It's time for jazz").

IMG_9184.jpg

Hrvoj started working in journalism in the 1980s and published his works in numerous Croatian newspapers, such as Jutarnji list, Vijenac, and Gloria. He was a member of the international jury for the  European Jazz Prize and is currently a member of several cultural councils and a leader of jazz events in Croatia. Besides, he is a permanent member of the Croatian Journalists' Association as a freelance journalist and the Croatian Music Union, the Croatian Society of Composers, and the Croatian Association of Independent Artists.

IMG_9200.jpg

"Why portraits? Because in this way, with the help of a telephoto lens, it's possible to get closer to the gestures of artists and the spirit of jazz music and what musicians feel and the way they think. Unlike most other photographers, I like to wait for the end of a concert, when artists are already losing control of their behavior and their gestures. Then I catch them in those moments when they are truly natural when they are truly what they are", the author explains.

IMG_9211.jpg

After the opening, there will be two concert evenings at Đardin as part of the Urban Culture Review - EVO RUKE 7 with, as always, free admission. The exhibition is open to visitors until 18.09.

"Since jazz is my life, as is theirs, this is how I try to capture the essence of jazz", Hrvoj concludes.

The program for two evenings of the concert program can be found below.

On Friday, 28.08.2020. perform:

21:00 - Peter Smith & The Hosters, Split,
22:00 - Elena Stella & A.J.Jazz Trio, Zadar/Biograd

On Saturday, 29.08.2020. perform:

21:00 - Doringo, Zagreb,
22:00 - Just Jazzy, Split

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

Read the Croatian Travel Update in your language - now available in 24 languages

Join the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community. 

Friday, 24 July 2020

Art Corner: Follow Your Heart, Act with Humility and Gratitude… Words and Interview from Broken Isn’t Bad.

24th July 2020, The world is a crazy place to be right now, let’s pause for art, beauty and truth – an interview with ‘Broken isn’t bad’.

Let’s face it, there is a lot going on in the world, so I wanted to write something a little different and promise not to mention Corona (Covid 19) too much but it is where this story starts so bear with me for a second.

Lockdown was a very personal experience for everyone, my time was relatively pain-free (you can read my impressions here) and led me to re-evaluate every area of my life, particularly how I spend my time and where I spend my money. With so much extra time on my hands and social media being a vice (for many, I’m sure) – I decided to ‘clean out’ my social media so it provides more value.

I started following more thought leaders, writers, poets and artists. I have always loved art but once I started following more artists, I realised just how much joy (and inspiration) art brings me. I stumbled across an artist that I loved on first sight, made better by the fact that all of the illustrations are accompanied by a wide range of deep, thought-provoking or spiritual poems and texts (all the things I love in one place). In line with reassessing my other value – ‘where I spend my money’, I decided to buy a piece of art. Only upon looking further at the Instagram account did I see that this artist was in fact, from Croatia and then after messaging, I discovered that Sanda (the artist behind Broken isn’t Bad) lives in the city of Čakovec (90 km North of Zagreb).

The account is called Broken_isnt_bad and has an impressive 525,000 followers, how could I not reach out for an interview? In these crazy times, where so many are struggling, particularly artists, I wanted to share a success story and hopefully some words of inspiration.

 

How long have you been an artist and where did you study?

I studied graphic design at the Faculty of Graphic Arts, University of Zagreb from which I graduated in 2012 and, in 2016, I opened my Instagram account and started posting my drawings under the pseudonym Broken isn’t bad, while simultaneously working in a big corporation as a graphic designer. It was a period of my life when I felt quite depressed and unmotivated. I was really unhappy with how everything works in those big companies where you cannot express your creativity as you’d like to, and where you must obey those above you who don’t have a bit of creative talent but think they know better than you. Also, my long-term relationship ended in quite a bad way and I felt really broken in a psychological sense, so it’s amazing how my artistic profile actually showed me how to move forward and regain happiness and peace in my life.

 Broken isn't bad, bloom.jpg

"Bloom", Broken isn't bad

Did you always know this is what you wanted to do or did you try your hand at other careers first?

Not at all. I never thought I would make a career as an artist nor had I planned it. I had been searching for my passion for quite a long time and since I’ve always loved creatives stuff, handcrafting and drawing, graphic design seemed like the best choice to study at the time. During my student years, I started to be more interested in art in general; especially illustration, tattoo and street art and I started learning to draw in creative software such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. I found a job as a graphic designer soon after I had graduated, but had never been able to fit in, so I started drawing as a hobby, just for myself, in order to find a way out of that uptight place that suffocated me, but have never expected it would lead me to the place I am right now.

broken isn't bad, cat girl.jpg

Cat girl, Broken isn't bad

I see you have a strong social media following; how long have you had your Instagram page and when did you first start seeing movement on your page and reactions to your art? That must have felt so rewarding?

I opened my Instagram account in January 2016 at the urging of a friend who was among the first ones I showed my drawings to. As I can recall, it was only a few months after opening it that I started receiving positive comments, tattoo, and commission requests and started seeing a linear growth in following. Since then, everything has been surreal and happened so fast. I’m not sure how exactly I’ve built my loyal fan page, it somehow happened by itself, maybe because I wasn’t expecting anything and was true and honest with myself, so people found something familiar in my work, something to relate to. It has been definitely rewarding!

broken isn't bad, happiness (424 x 600).jpg

"Happiness, Broken isn't bad"

Being an artist or creative is never an easy path in regards to making a living, and Croatia is a country which can be tough in general. How has your journey been and can you make a living just doing what you love?

The first year (2016) was the most difficult because I needed to balance my day job and my hobby (I mostly drew in the late evenings and nights), but at the same time, it was most enjoyable because I was working just for myself and didn’t worry about how many people liked my work or were buying from me. But the most challenging was quitting my full-time and well-paid job in 2017. If you're going to dedicate yourself to starting your own creative business, it's impossible to manage another career/job. In other words, you have to quit your day job and walk away from a steady long-term opportunity for something unpredictable and scary. You never know how profitable your business will be in the future, will you be able to give yourself a pay-check every month or whether customers will like your products. That was the greatest challenge I’ve experienced so far, but I’m so happy I followed my heart.

In 2018 I opened a legal small business here in Croatia, and I am now able to make a decent living by selling my prints and working on customised artworks. It’s the most rewarding and enjoyable job ever. Being my own boss, I love that I have flexibility in schedule. Having that work-life balance keeps me engaged and excited.

Coming from NZ which, in general, has a very optimistic attitude and moving to Croatia, one of the biggest differences I noticed was the mentality. I dont know how many times I have heard the phrase “ne može to” or “that wont work” – did you find the same in regards to pursuing a life in the arts?

Being born in the northern part of Croatia - Međimurje, I am lucky enough to be raised with a different mentality than it is in the south. To be honest, I have never heard the phrase “ne može to” here where I live, and I didn’t have any difficulties in regards to pursuing a life in the arts – especially not coming from other people telling me that it won’t work. My family and my friends have never discouraged me, just the opposite - they have been there on my side from the first day. When I told them that I was planning on quitting my job before I found a new one - they were nothing but reassuring, believing in me, my talent, and abilities.

broken isn't bad, I trust you.jpg

I trust you, Broken isn't bad

Social media is a powerful platform (its how I found you on Insta!) has this been one of your strongest tools or how else have you marketed yourself and your art?

Instagram has definitely been my strongest promotional tool since I opened it in 2016 and it keeps being such. I made Facebook page a year later, but it’s not that powerful and I don’t spend as much time there as on IG. I get most inquiries for commissions, tattoos, and prints, as well as nice words of support from my followers, via Instagram and it’s the easiest way to communicate with them.

broken isn't bad, Love is love.jpg

Love is Love, Broken isn't Bad

You have some beautiful, thought-provoking and powerful pieces; I loved seeing the same-sex option for your artwork in regards to love. In a very conservative country, this is a bold (and beautiful) move, what are your thoughts on this?

Sexuality for me means revealing the inner self and showing your vulnerability but at the same time, embracing it as your greatest strength. Most of my illustrations depict naked women and I try to mix eroticism with familiarity and surrealism – to show we are so much more than just skin and bone. With my illustrations I try to help individuals feel good about themselves, to find that invincible power which connects them with their inner selves in order to create a positive relationship both with themselves and with their partners – and I don’t want it to be exclusive to heterosexual people/couples – we are all human being and deserve the right to express our own sexuality.

Fortunately, majority of my following is from the US, Australia, Canada or Western Europe where those “controversial” pieces aren’t an issue. Growing up in Croatia where everyone who does not look or behave in accordance with general social norms provokes negative glances and cannot feel safe in their own neighbourhood, definitely plays a role in what people find offensive, provocative or controversial. I understand my work can be seen as a direct insult to peoples’ religious beliefs, but I try to ignore the negative comments and reactions and focus on an audience that values freedom of expression.

broken isn't bad, lotus love men (424 x 600).jpg   

"Lotus Man", Broken isn't bad

I saw on your page that you are inspired by your own thoughts, experiences but also by a lot of poetry are these your main inspirations and who are you favourite poets?

For me drawing is a form of meditation. I mostly create for myself (at least that was in the beginning) in order to express what I see and feel for my own self-healing purposes. Ever since I was little (and used to read a lot more than nowadays), I have been writing all those wise words from books, articles, songs, movies in my diaries. It was the quotes that led me to drawing and made me discover my true passion, so for me, it isn't just about quoting somebody else's words, it's about creating something out of it and healing myself at the same time.

My greatest source of inspiration has been words from poets and writers, like Rumi, F. Pessoa, P. Neruda, M. Angelou, E.E. Cummings, R.M. Rilke, O. Wilde, R. Payne, H. Murakami, F. Scott Fitzgerald, just to name a few, but I am also interested in yoga philosophy, astrology and spirituality, therefore, the quotes from motivational and spiritual speakers/teachers have also influenced my work quite a lot.

meditation (424 x 600).jpg

"Meditation", Broken isn't Bad

Which Croatian artists or authors do you admire or have been the greatest inspiration for you?

My greatest inspirations have been tattoo artists across the world who I have been admiring on Instagram and other social media for years. I’ve been always a big fan of tattoos and would say that tattoo art actually drew me to my style. Unfortunately, not many Croatian tattoo artists are there that would inspire me, since the scene is still quite small in our country. But I’d love to mention a few other artists who I admire very much; Korovles, Maja Tomljanović, Lara Zigic, Kvar illustration, Klarxy, 3Oko, Hana Tintor…

In these crazy times of the coronavirus pandemic, many are losing their jobs but I see it could be an opportunity for some especially in regards to online work or using social media to our advantage. If you were to give one piece of advice to the youth of Croatia in regards to the opportunities that exist (if you believe they do), what would that be?

I would say go for it! Go for your dreams and follow your passion - there’s nothing to lose! Honestly, I don’t think I would have an art career without Instagram. It has definitely been vital for turning my hobby into career, and I’m always happy to see and be able to follow new young illustrators/painters/DIY workers/musicians/hand-makers etc., especially from Croatia.

Permanent Internet access and use of social media have played a big role in artistic world and have opened up the opportunities for many people to curate their own personal gallery on social networks, build their own client base and spread their artistic message into the world. Even artists who use traditional techniques increasingly use digital technology to expose their work making it more approachable to a wider audience. Art is becoming more popular and we are starting to see a wider array of artist and their vision that otherwise would be overlooked.

broken isn't bad, escape the ordinary.jpg

"Escape the Ordinary", Broken isn't bad

What would you say to anyone else who has an artists heart but doubts they can make it?

Do not compare yourself to others, you are neither better nor worse than those next to you – we all have our place in this world. Pave your own way and most importantly – be honest with what you create, stay humble, grateful and aware of your mistakes as well as your achievements. It always shows new potentials and ways to evolve and grow your craft. Magic happens when you step out of your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid.

broken isn't bad, i dont owe you.jpg

"I don't owe you", Broken isn't bad

Closing comments

The world is undoubtedly an uncertain and scary place at the moment but words (and art) like this remind me that there is still beauty in the world. This is by far one of my most favourite interviews, a breath of fresh air with honest and inspiring responses – follow your heart, stay true to yourself, take the risk, act with humility and gratitude… timeless messages that we all need to be reminded of from time-to-time. If you want to see more from Sanda, you can find her works on Instagram under broken_isnt_bad or check out her website for prints and more information.

 

 

All images were provided by broken_isnt_bad and are subject to copyright.

Page 2 of 9

Search