RIJEKA Cultural Scene Designed For the Future

Author(s): Olja Ljubišić Photographer(s): commons.wikimedia.org
James Hopkin reveals for the Guardian true nature of ' left-leaning, punk-loving city' Rijeka and its cultural scene supported by Dubrovnik-born Slaven Tolj. 

One of the key experts that worked on the Rijeka’s cultural programme for the ECC is Dubrovnik born Slaven Tolj. Tolj is a multimedia artist recognized for its installations, body art and performances and one of the founders of Art Workshop Lazareti, a key institution for contemporary art scene in Dubrovnik.

In Rijeka, he worked with Mani Gotovac, Oliver Ferljić, Idris Turato, Ingeborg Fulepp and Kristian Benić on the development of the vision of Rijeka for 2020.

Guardian's Hopkin reports Rijeka is ' for those seeking an alternative travel experience’ as it’s ‘a shipbuilding port with indie attitude’.

‘Because of its port, Rijeka has always been a melting pot of people and influences, giving the city its rock’n’roll edginess. Local band Paraf played the first punk gig in eastern Europe here in 1977, part of our influential punk-rock scene. Croatia’s leading anarchist outfit, Let3, hail from here, and they’re still going strong after 30 years. It says everything about our city’s independent spirit that former member Ivan Šarar is now general manager of Rijeka 2020,’ Hopkin explains.

‘Following the city’s successful bid to become European Capital of Culture 2020, there’s a buzz of activity as former industrial complexes are being transformed into art spaces and new bars and restaurants spring up alongside the city’s Austro-Hungarian palaces, Venetian townhouses, baroque cathedral, Roman fortress and Tito’s concrete curios. Yet this punkish, post-industrial city also has a dazzling seafront. After strolling along Korzo, a promenade lined with cafes, it’s only a 10-minute bus ride to swim off attractive pebble beaches with views of the Učka mountains and the island of Krk,’ Hipkin states about ‘red’ (for its left-leaning views) Rijeka.

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