Nevena Škrbić Alempijević participated in the international scientific conference “Town and its Inhabitants in the Perspective of Ethnological Research: Festivals and Leisure Time”. She delivered a plenary speech titled “Urban Festivals and City-making in Croatia”. The conference took place in Vilnius, Lithuania, November, 5-6, 2015.
More on the conference
Urban Festivals and City-making in Croatia (Summary)
In this paper I approach urban festivals as arenas that possess ability to transform locations and attach new meanings to the cityscape. My focus will be on contemporary street and open-air festivals in Croatia that produce diverse perceptions of and practices in the urban public space. I analyse, on the one hand, the link between city branding and festivals, which I observe as a means of creating the imagery of an attractive tourist destination. On the other hand, I examine the role of festivals in the processes of identity construction and the production of social memory within local communities. My research encompasses cultural policies related to festivals, through the overview of strategic documents and interviews with political agents. Also, it takes the bottom-up approach by raising the question whether urban festivals provide local citizens with an opportunity to observe and experience their hometown in a different way.