Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Art Caffe - Croatia's World of Arts Brought to Life Through Interviews

June the 21st, 2022 - Art Caffe, an initiative of Unimedia owner Nikola Mihaljevic and former Dubrovnik Summer Festival director and war veteran Miso Mihocevic, aims to shine the spotlight on those involved in the Croatian arts scene through a series of interviews.

Anyone who has spent any time whatsoever in Croatia can see that this country is awash with culture and arts. From theatre to painting, and from painting to sculpting, and then again from sculpting to acting, singing and the world of performance - this small country packs a punch. 

What better way to get to know the names and faces behind some of Croatia's arts scene than through a series of personal and light interviews held in the perfect surroundings and ambiance of the Croatian National Theatre (HNK) in the heart of Zagreb?

The initial idea for the Art Caffe concept came from Nikola Mihaljevic and his Unimedia Studio, who was inspired by the permanent need to talk about arts and culture, to point out just what this country has to offer in that regard - which is abundant. While the galleries and the performances themselves are well known, much less is known about those who stand behind them, the artists, singers, actors, their assistants, their education and professions. Their lives.

Art Caffe's overall concept is to present those individuals and their work, their slot in the rich world of art, their inspirations, artistic and life philosophies, struggles and achievements. The idea was enhanced and its materialisation accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic, when artists, especially those who freelance, had their entire existence seriously called into question in a manner that could never have been predicted.

ArtCaffe was offered as a chance to give them opportunity, a voice, for better visibility in the country's collective consciousness. 45 minutes offers time enough for one person to say a lot, indeed - the opportunity very few people are lucky enough to have, but one each person involved in Croatian arts deserves.

''The title is descriptive in its own merit - sitting in a cafe and talking about arts. It's as simple as that,'' explained Art Caffe's anchor, Miso Mihocevic, who has spent all his life in both arts, and in cafes.

''I'm a big fan of talk shows (if done well and without pretensions), I've watched thousands over the years. By watching them, I was involuntarily learning and preparing for something I never thought I'd do. When I was offered to anchor Art Caffe, I was slightly anxious and had lots of questions roaming in my mind, however, I knew I was ready. To try, I mean. It turned out pretty well from the start, which encouraged me and made me want to talk more and more with those lurking behind the scenes.

Art Caffe is simple as a format, and so am I as its anchor - there are no pre-prepared questions. Questions must arise from the conversation, in order to get something logical, smooth and easy going. My preparation is simple as well - God bless Google for some general (or even detailed) information, and a chat before the shooting.

The rest, as said, comes out of the conversation, the questions I ask are inspired by the interlocutor and nothing else. There are no agendas. I therefore see Art Caffe as a conversation, not as an interview. With that warm feeling of giving a chance to people to introduce themselves by saying precisely what they, and not what you, want.

In this world obsessed with the pandemic, the war, the economy and oil prices, an artist can hardly make the news through any contact with the public, and to an audience without whom the arts make no sense whatsoever.

If you understand Croatian, you can follow Art Caffe on YouTube by clicking here.

Sunday, 18 October 2020

Police Prevent Gathering of Young People Outside HNK in Zagreb

ZAGREB, October 18, 2020 - In the night from Saturday to Sunday around 20 police officers were patrolling the area around the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb to prevent a mass gathering of young people who used to gather there in the past five months.

The latest epidemiological measures, defined by the national coronavirus crisis team, went into force on Saturday, and they envisage, due to an increase in new infections in the capital city and the rest of the country, control of informal gatherings in public areas, as well as the wearing of masks outdoors where physical distancing is not possible.

The HNK square was almost entirely empty at 1 a.m. on Sunday after in the past five months several hundred or even up to a thousand young people used to gather there in the evening every weekend and sometimes on workdays.

Police last night were sending away young men and girls who as in previous months started arriving at the HNK square around midnight.

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Experts Call on Minister to Protect HNK

ZAGREB, Oct 13, 2020  - A group of experts has called on Culture Minister Nina Obuljen Korzinek and the Zagreb city authorities to do something about disorderly gatherings of young people outside the HNK (Croatian National Theatre) and protect the city's cultural heritage and enable dialogue between different social groups.

"The HNK and the surrounding area has become a place of nightly gatherings of young people... some of whom are active perpetrators of violence who are noisy, who smash things, throw up and urinate on and around the HNK building while others ignore it, minding their own business," the group, called "Let's Renew Zagreb", said in a statement.

All of this happens without any municipal control or police intervention, they say, stressing that squares are not zones where spontaneous gatherings are banned.

Noting that the square where the HNK is located was a place of spontaneous gatherings in the early 1980s, they say that at the time there was municipal order and a sense of the importance of the city's cultural heritage.

"The national theatre - the HNK - has now become a disgrace and a public toilet," the group says, noting that municipal services and police as well as political stakeholders at the city and national levels, had completely failed with regard to control and facilitation of nightly gatherings outside the HNK.

It calls on the minister to find, in cooperation with the city department for culture, appropriate locations where citizens will be able to gather and have fun outdoors without destroying a centuries-old cultural setting and hurting other citizens' feelings.

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Sunday, 11 October 2020

Mass Parties Outside Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb in Time of Corona

ZAGREB, October 11, 2020 - The Croatian National Theatre (HNK) in Zagreb has recently become a popular place for outdoor gatherings, where people gather every weekend, especially after midnight, when many bars close due to coronavirus measures.

Mass outdoor parties have been taking place in Republic of Croatia Square where the HNK building stands since May, when epidemiological measures were relaxed, and about 500 people gathered there last weekend as well.

Even after midnight when, according to epidemiological measures, all social life and entertainment in the city should stop, young people gather in groups, drink alcohol and listen to different genres of music.

Next to one of several speakers is 19-year-old Antonio, and asked why he is there, he told Hina that he currently has nowhere else to be.


HNK and social gathering

Sociologist Dino Vukusic from the Ivo Pilar Institute of Social Sciences commented on the diversity of young people gathering in front of the HNK building.

According to him, the HNK is not a new place of gathering, but this particular HNK was created during the pandemic. He thinks it is interesting that these spontaneous gatherings still persist.

There are many different people there now -- some belong to subcultures that have gathered outside the HNK before, and there also those who will, once night clubs reopen, go to night clubs, Vukusic said, adding that they are a very heterogeneous group of people.

The music and the style of the HNK gatherings are driven by the hedonism of young people and they are a cry for spending free time in a hedonistic way at a time like this, he said.


Residents request protection

The noise, mess and urinating that take place on green areas around the HNK have been disturbing the residents of Republic of Croatia Square, and they are calling for some protection despite the fact that there are only about ten of them.

One of the residents, Melita Kovacevic, who often cannot fall asleep because of the noise, told Hina that in the last few months, she and her neighbours had been reporting everything to the police.

Zagreb police told Hina that from May 1 to September 30, they intervened about 50 times around the HNK following reports of possible disturbing of the peace. However, they have filed misdemeanor charges against only six people.

The Cistoca city sanitation company told Hina that their employees had been intensively cleaning the HNK location and they had asked those gathering there to use bins to dispose of their litter, although there are just a few smaller bins around the square.

Saturday, 28 March 2020

HNK Zagreb Online Performances Have Almost 300,000 Views

ZAGREB, March 28, 2020 - The Croatian National Theatre (HNK) in Zagreb, in cooperation with the 24 sata daily newspaper, has made some of its most popular performances available online, attracting almost 300,000 views in just over a week.

It has been just over a week since the Zagreb HNK, in cooperation with the 24sata editorial board, launched the project "HNK in Zagreb fighting against the coronavirus". Performances by opera, drama and ballet troupes, as well as the Philosophical Theatre programmes, are available every day on the 24sata YouTube channel, 24sata website, and the HNK Facebook page, the HNK said in a press release.

"Theatre in the homes of our viewers has thrilled all performing arts enthusiasts and attracted new audiences, those who have not had a chance up to now to see a play at the HNK in Zagreb. Up to this day, our performances, released on the 24sata YouTube channel, have attracted 299,168 views," the HNK said.

In this way, the HNK has been able to re-establish communication with its audience in this tragic time of isolation, after it was closed on 12 March, but also to cross virtual borders and become present in numerous European and world cities and on different continents, the theatre said.

More coronavirus news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Friday, 1 November 2019

Nikola Šubić Zrinski Opera to Be Live-Streamed Internationally

ZAGREB, November 1, 2019 - The opera titled "Nikola Šubić Zrinski", written and composed by Ivan Zajc in 1876, which will be performed by the Croatian National Theatre (HNK) in Zagreb on Saturday (2 November), will be live-streamed on the OperaVison platform in parallel to a global audience.

Thus, this opera which the platform describes as "Zajc's patriotic opera" will be available to millions of viewers.

The platform that promotes opera music informs viewers that this Croatian opera "retells the story of Nikola Šubić Zrinjski’s daring leadership and heroic sacrifice during the real-life Siege of Siget."

"Packed with powerful music – including the rousing male chorus ‘U boj, u boj!’ – it has held a treasured place in the Croatian repertoire ever since its wildly successful premiere in 1876."

Saturday's rendition in the HNK will be under the baton of maestro Nikša Bareza.

This opera will be available at this website: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBTlXPAfOx300RZfWNw8-qg until May next year.

More culture news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Friday, 1 November 2019

Wiener Osiguranje Becomes Sponsor of Nutcracker at HNK Zagreb

The weather is gradually getting colder, the very first snow has already fallen on Sljeme, and as Poslovni Dnevnik/Sergej Novosel Vuckovic writes on the 1st of November, 2019, we're now nearing the time of year when many of Zagreb's citizens queue up at the Croatian National Theatre (HNK) in order to obtain tickets for the globally beloved Nutcracker, which is traditionally one of the most sought after cultural events during the Advent period.

Wiener Osiguranje has become the sponsor of this, otherwise the most frequently performed ballet in the entire world. According to the manager of the Croatian National Theatre, Dubravka Vrgoc, the ballet will be performed about twenty times at the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb, which is in itself a kind of record.

"Sponsorship of the most popular and most frequently performed ballet is the crown of our celebration of twenty years of doing business in Croatia, and it's a great honour to be part of this wonderful Christmas story," Wiener Osiguranje's Jasminka Horvat Martinović said, adding that the representation of culture and art is of great importance to Wiener Osiguranje as a company.

This insurer, which is part of the large Austrian group Vienna Insurance, had a premium last year of 891.5 million kuna (an increase of fifteen percent when compared to the previous year), with a net profit of 59.4 million kuna, which ranked it in fourth position on the Croatian market. In the life insurance segment, for example, it has done even better, coming second (with a premium of 548 million kuna), just behind Croatia Osiguranje.

Wiener Osiguranje is, interestingly, also the insurer of the construction of Pelješac bridge down in Dalmatia, a strategic project for both the European Union and Croatia, and the largest infrastructure project in Croatia to date. The insurance company was hired by the contractor, China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBD) as the insurance contractor for the whole operation.

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Tuesday, 9 May 2017

6th Codeanywhere Shift Developer Conference Expects 1,500 Speakers and Visitors

On June 1st and 2nd, the Codeanywhere Shift Conference will take place in Split where more than 1,500 visitors and speakers are expected to attend.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Condoms Fill the Sky to Mark Month of Activist-Artist Interventions in Split

Yesterday at noon, a handful of inflated condoms sailed the skies above Split, marking the opening of the event ‘Period - 28 Days of Activist-Artist Interventions in Public Spaces’, which was held at Trg Gaje Bulata in front of HNK.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Official Program for 27th Days of Marulić is Here!

The 27th Days of Marulić, the festival of Croatian drama, begins tomorrow in Split.

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