Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Croatian Artists Taking Part in Rencontres Internationales Festival in Paris

ZAGREB, February 25, 2020 - The new edition of the audio-visual arts festival called Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin is being held in Paris from February 25 to March 1, and artists from Croatia are participating as part of the cultural programme of the Croatian presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The Croatian Ministry of Culture says in a press release that the festival includes the screenings of feature and short films, performances and concerts, and the venues are the Louvre, the Grand Palais auditorium, the Goethe-institute, the Swedish Institute and the Cite international des Arts premises.

Among the 107 programme works from 33 countries, Croatia will be represented by artists Mate Ugrin and Ana Husman.

"The Rencontres Internationales traces the specificities and convergences of contemporary practices of the moving image, examines new artistic forms and their critical approaches, and provides the necessary time for points of view to meet and be exchanged," according to information on the festival's website.

More festival news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Sunday, 23 February 2020

Traditional Bell Ringers in Matulji Part of European Capital of Culture Programme

ZAGREB, February 23, 2020 - A festival dedicated to the tradition of bell-ringing in the area of Rijeka is taking place in the municipality of Matulji on 21-25 February within the "Bells and Nothing Else!" programme, which is part of events celebrating Rijeka as the European Capital of Culture 2020.

"Bells and Nothing Else!" is a programme which brings together 22 local council committees of Matulji, a community northwest of Rijeka.

The traditional carnival processions in Matulji, as the local annual carnival bell ringers' pageant from the Kastav area, are part of UNESCO's list of intangible heritage.

During the January carnival period, bell ringers march through the villages that dot the Kastav region. Clothed in sheepskin throws with bells around their waists and sporting distinctive hats embellished with sprigs of evergreen, two to more than thirty ringers swagger in groups behind a guide carrying a small evergreen tree.

Groups may also include theatrical characters such as a prankster ‘bear’ who regularly escapes the control of his two 'guards', according to the description on UNESCO's website.

"With variations distinctive to each village, the annual carnival bell ringers’ pageant is a way to strengthen bonds within the community and a valuable means of renewing friendships among the towns in the region while integrating newcomers into its traditional culture."

During this year's marches, cooperation has been developed with the Academy of Performing Arts and the Department of Alternative and Puppet Theatre in Prague, the organisers of the "Bells and Nothing Else!" festival say.

More news about the European Capital of Culture can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Monday, 10 February 2020

Open Day at Old Slavonic Institute for Croatian Glagolitic Script Day

ZAGREB, February 10, 2020 - On the occasion of the Croatian Glagolitic Script and Glagolitism Day, the Old Slavonic Institute in Zagreb will have an Open Day on 21 February, the institute announced.

The Institute will be open to the general public on 21 February from 1 pm to 7 pm.

Apart from guided tours of the palace Škrlec-Balbi where the Institute is located, visitors will be able to view the Institute's latest editions and Glagolitic reprints, the library and documentation collection, and the Glagolitic lapidarium, as well as play games with Glagolitic characters.

The Old Slavonic Institute invites visitors to get acquainted with the work of the Scientific Centre of Excellence for Croatian Glagolitism, attend interesting lectures given by scholars from the Institute, see the virtual exhibition on the Zgombić manuscript, one of the most important non-liturgical Old Slavonic text collections, hear the Croatian Old Church Slavonic language, take a look at the Glagolitic Script and learn to write their name in it, or learn to write a Glagolitic character they like the best.

The Old Slavonic Institute is the central Croatian academic institution for researching Croatian Glagolitism. Members of the Institute research the Croatian Glagolitic heritage, with a special interest in the Croatian Old Church Slavonic language and all texts written in the Glagolitic script.

The Institute was founded in 1952, taking its basis from the Old Slavonic Academy from Krk, as a referential place for collecting, researching, and publishing Old Slavonic and Old Croatian written heritage.

It has been amassing a specialised library for decades, and more recently it has been digitalising Glagolitic heritage.

The Scientific Centre of Excellence for Croatian Glagolitism, which has been headed by the Institute since 2014, is developing a model of multidisciplinary research of the Medieval Glagolitic scriptorium.

Two projects funded by the Croatian Science Foundation will be conducted by the Institute in 2020.

More news about Glagolitic script can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Monday, 10 February 2020

Fraktura's World Literature Festival Shortlisted for International Excellence Awards 2020

ZAGREB, February 10, 2020 - The London Book Fair has published the shortlisted entries for the International Excellence Awards in 2020, and one of them is the World Literature Festival that is organised by the Fraktura publishing company in Zagreb every autumn.

According to the information available on the website of the London Book Fair, "the hugely-popular International Excellence Awards are now in their sixth year. Celebrating global markets and showcasing the wealth of success and innovation in the world’s publishing activity outside the UK, over 50 nations have received recognition at LBF since the awards started."

"Held in partnership with The Publishers Association, The International Excellence Awards are a grand celebration of publishing and related activities outside the UK," the London Book Fair says.

Winners will be announced in a special ceremony at the London Book Fair that takes place 10-12 March 2020.

The Zagreb-based festival, whose first edition was launched by Fraktura in 2013, has been shortlisted for the category "Literary Festival Award".

In 2015, the Fraktura publishing company won The Bookseller International Adult Trade Publisher Award at the London Book Fair.

More culture news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Monday, 20 January 2020

More Than Three Million Users of Croatian Free e-Book Project

ZAGREB, January 20, 2020 - The project Free Electronic Book (BEK) had more than three million users by the end of 2019, the Society for Promoting New Media Literature, the coordinator of the project, launched 18 years ago, reported.

"Thirty percent more users read 16% more e-books and downloaded 2% more e-books in 2019, and the number of newly-published titles rose by 23 to 242, just as the number of new users grew by 583,000 to more than three million," the Society reports.

As many as 52 titles had more than one thousand readers last year. There are now more than a hundred selected works of contemporary Croatian poetry available. On average, the project had more than 150,000 users per year and each title had more than 7,500 readers.

The most read fiction book in 2019 was "Sloboština Barbie" by Maša Kolanović (6,164 readers), followed by the novel "Ljubav je sve" by Krešimir Pintarić (4,822) and the memoir "Walden" by Henry David Thoreau (4,002).

The most read poetry books were "Tri jeseni" (Three autumns) by Anna Akhmatova (4,224 readers), "Tour de force" by Krešimir Pintarić (2,047) and "Gledaj me u oči" by Mario Brkljačić (1,580).

The most read nonfiction titles were "Četvrti svjetski rat / Drugačiji svijet je moguć!" by Dražen Šimleša (7,980), "Mediji, propaganda i sistem" (Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda) by Noam Chomsky (7,617) and "Zapisi iz treće kulture" by Darko Polšek (7,068).

More culture news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Japanese Kodo Drummers to Perform in Zagreb on February 9

ZAGREB, January 19, 2020 - Japanese Kodo drummers will perform their new show "Legacy", marketed as a spectacular synthesis of some of their most popular pieces and new compositions, at Zagreb's Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall on 9 February.

The drumming troupe, whose name means "heartbeat", are masters of the art form who have catapulted the ancient Japanese culture straight to the 21st century. Since they started performing in 1981, the Kodo ensemble gave more than 6,000 performances in 50 countries all over the world.

"The legendary drumming sensation has been thundering throughout the world for 40 years, leaving audiences breathless," states the concert announcement. Their giant drums unearth a treasure trove of images and sounds the group has created in almost 40 world tours.

Legacy, Kodo's new show to be staged at the Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall, is a combination of some of their most popular pieces and new compositions, focusing on the limitless possibilities of their drumming.

"Japan's legendary Kodo drummers return to their roots with a physically stunning and musically sensational show. Legacy puts Kodo’s huge drums centre stage and reworks their treasure trove of signature pieces created over almost 40 years of international touring," it is stated in the announcement.

"Balancing a deadly aggression with utter tranquillity, Kodo’s sound stretches from the lightest of rainfall to cataclysmic thunderclaps, from silence to a wall of sound, as high, frightening and impregnable as a mountain," writes The Guardian.

More culture news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Saturday, 18 January 2020

500 Performers at Inauguration of Rijeka as European Capital of Culture

ZAGREB, January 18, 2020 - Around 500 performers will stage 70 events at 30 venues in the northern Adriatic city of Rijeka on 1 February 2020 as part of a day-long programme inaugurating that port city as the European Capital of Culture, and the central event will be Opera Industriale, to be staged at the city port.

Rijeka Mayor Vojko Obersnel told a news conference on Saturday that on 1 February Rijeka would be one of the most entertaining and one of the liveliest cities, not only in Croatia but in Europe as well.

More than 40 artistic organisations, associations, businesses, individuals and institutions will be taking part in the programme, he said.

Obersnel added that he was glad about the enthusiasm demonstrated by citizens and their response to the public invitation to participate in the opening ceremony.

Emina Višnić, director of the Rijeka 2020 company, which is the organiser of the European Capital of Culture project, called on Rijeka residents and guests to attend the opening ceremony, which will also be taking place on January 31 and February 2.

The opening ceremonies will start in the morning of 1 February with a get-together at the city's Skradin bar and city bus tours, with actresses Tanja Smoje and Jelena Lopatić as guides. This will be followed by numerous music and dance performances, open-air exhibitions and other events in the city's streets and squares.

The official part of the inauguration will be held at the Croatian National Threatre (HNK) in the afternoon, with a representative of the European Commission presenting city officials with a European Capital of Culture plaque. Members of the diplomatic corps, government officials, 16 EU culture ministers and representatives of previous and future European Capitals of Culture are expected to attend.

The central event of the opening ceremony, Opera Industriale, to be stage-directed by Dalibor Matanić, brings sound, music and noise as well as effects resulting from a combination of light and darkness and strong symbols of Rijeka and Europe. It will involve more than 120 performers as well as the audience, as several hundred bells will be distributed to parents with children at one moment so they can join in the programme.

The slogan of Rijeka as the European Capital of Culture 2020 is "The Port of Diversity". The city shares the designation with the Irish town of Galway.

More Rijeka news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Culture Minister Refuses to Censor “Communist” Sculpture

ZAGREB, January 15, 2020 - Culture Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek said on Wednesday she would not be the one to decide what an artist would think or do, thus responding to a query about a five-pointed star sculpture to be displayed as part of the Rijeka 2020 - European Capital of Culture project.

"In 1990, we decided to live in a state which would be democratic and which would not censor artists," she told MP Zlatko Hasanbegović during Question Time in parliament, adding that "artists will decide what an artist in Croatia will think, do, how they will act, not a minister or a commissary."

Hasanbegović complained about plans to place a concrete five-pointed star sculpture by Nemanja Cvijanovic on a high-rise in Rijeka.

The minister said that under the rules of the European Capital of Culture project, the city chose its artistic director and project team and they conceived the programme.

"As to whether something will or won't be done to a protected culture monument, if we receive a request, we will consider it, of course, taking into account whether it endangers the monument, and make a decision," she said.

Hasanbegović said he was sure the minister would eventually exert her authority and prevent the five-pointed star installation, firstly because of Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, who he said would not disregard numerous European resolutions on dealing with the consequences of communist totalitarianism, and secondly because of Italian minority MP Furio Radin.

More culture news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Saturday, 4 January 2020

Rijeka, Galway Hold European Capital of Culture 2020 Title

ZAGREB, January 4, 2020 - As of January 1, Rijeka, Croatia and Galway, Ireland hold the prestigious European Capital of Culture title.

"Thanks to their title of European Capital of Culture, Rijeka and Galway will be harnessing the full potential of culture to enrich our life experience and to bring our communities closer together", Vice-President for Promoting our European Way of Life Margaritis Schinas has said.

"Promoting culture as a core element of our way of life has many positive impacts on society, in terms of social inclusion, integration and economic growth. It enables people to gain new experiences, skills and opportunities to participate in society and to make our societies fairer and more inclusive," he added.

"A successful Capital of Culture is inclusive and meaningful to its citizens. It is also open to the world, illustrating our Union's willingness to promote culture as a driver for peace and mutual understanding worldwide whilst bringing long-lasting socio-economic benefits to its region," Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Commissioner Mariya Gabriel has said.

Rijeka is the first Croatian city to be awarded the European Capital of Culture title.

The "Port of Diversity" cultural programme presents Rijeka and its specificities while at the same time focusing on current European cultural-social issues.

Three themes have been chosen as symbols of the merging of Rijeka's identity and contemporary Europe: water, work and migrations. They are reflected in exhibitions, shows, operas, conferences, concerts, festivals, guest-appearances by international and Croatian artists, projects by local organisations, interior design, sculpture, book launches, and encounters between the people of Rijeka, the region, Croatia and Europe.

This year Rijeka will host nearly 300 cultural programmes with more than 600 events. Over 300 partner organisations from 55 countries from around the world are involved in the organisation of the programmes.

More Rijeka news can be found in the Lifestyle news.

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Architecture of Early Modern Adriatic First Croatian Humanities Project Funded by ERC

ZAGREB, December 10, 2019 - Architectural culture of the eastern Adriatic between the 15th and 18th centuries is the first Croatian humanities projects to receive funding from the European Research Council (ERC), Zagreb's Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences said on Tuesday.

The project, led by Jasenka Gudelj of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, is one of the 78 projects selected among 674 that were submitted in the field of social sciences and humanities. The projects are financed by the ERC from a 600-million-euro budget through the Horizon 2020 programme.

"We expect that the results of five years of work will help in safeguarding and evaluating the early medieval architectural heritage of the Adriatic. We are excited about this success and the possibilities that are opening up for us," Gudelj said.

The research team includes Ana Marinković and Neven Jovanović from the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities in Zagreb, Laris Borić from the University of Zadar and five young researchers. They will be working with the Archaeological Museum of Istria in Pula, the Croatian Museum of Architecture, the National and University Library, and other Croatian and foreign institutions.

More science news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

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