How Uber is Impacting Lives in Croatia: Vesna Mačković

Total Croatia News

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Author of the photos: Sandra Šimunović/Pixsell

November 9, 2018 – Uber took me on artistic adventures around the world and now we are bringing art to everyone who has been isolated from it.

Vesna Mačković, a multidisciplinary artist from Sisak, founded ARKTIK – The Institute for the Future, an organization where older people, children, people with disabilities, immigrants can be creative

ARKTIK – The Institute for the Future emerged from anger and defiance. Art is something that I really want to do, that I know I can do and that I have the people with whom I can do it well, but we lack the finances necessary to include more people in what we do and to further develop. I’ve realized that if I want more, I have to stop relying on the state budget, and that it is not OK to expect my works to be fully funded with the tax payers’ money. That’s why we are now looking for support from the corporate sector, and the first company to respond was Uber, Vesna Mačković, a multidisciplinary artist from Sisak and one of the founders of ARKTIK – The Institute for the Future, explains.

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She receives financial support from the Ministry of Culture and the cities of Zagreb and Sisak for her artistic work; but it simply is not enough for her to realize all her ideas.

That’s why she founded ARKTIK – The Institute for the Future, an organization focused on the society and various globally and locally relevant issues that will integrate people from different walks of life affected by these issues into its work. Essentially, Vesna’s idea is to have children, old people, minorities, people with disabilities, immigrants and anyone else participate in performances.

Considering she has difficulty moving due to her problems with bones, in all her artistic adventures Vesna had a faithful companion in Uber. The company decided to support her as a partner in the work of the Institute for the Future as well. In the coming period Uber is going to allow the organization’s members access to its services.

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Vesna loved art since an early age, but life took her in different direction. She had her own company producing multimedia as well as her own finance-related web portal. In fact, everything was fine until the 2008 financial crisis, when all her projects closed down overnight. Though it hit her hard, this breakdown brought her back to her first love – art.

Nowadays, she is into writing, dancing, directing, acting, and experimenting with sound and radiophony.

Vesna performed all over the world and was given free rein and full artistic freedom. Her plays Intenziteti (Intensities) and Pod staklenim zvonom (Under a Glass Bell), video performance Pozdrav (Salute) and many other works have led her to an artist-in-residence program by the great Robert Wilson. He chose Vesna among 800 candidates and built her a five-meter high replica of the Sisak Ironworks– in the middle of Long Island – so she could perform Salute that she had originally filmed with our award-winning video artist Ana Opalić at the Sisak Ironworks.

She performed in Moscow, Kazakhstan, New York, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Saint Petersburg. And she always used Uber.

– I have used Uber from the first day it came to Croatia. Unfortunately, the transport in Zagreb is inadequate for many people with disabilities who are likewise 100-percent disabled. Uber offered acceptable prices, which was a great help financially. It was also the first to launch an app where users can see where their driver was or how to contact them. I find it very difficult to stand for a long time, but with this app I know exactly how long I can sit at home until the driver approaches, Vesna says, adding the she uses Uber in every country she visits. The app is the same all over the world, and it allows her not to have to worry about paying in foreign currencies, or fret over not knowing the local language.

– The drivers have always been very kind to us and would gladly stop for us wherever we wanted it. When you are in Brazil, you don’t want to just speed down the highway. Also, we Croatians are quite exotic to them. They don’t speak Croatian, of course, but when you tell them you’re from Croatia, they always mention Luka Modrić. They also find it interesting that someone would come to their country for theater, says Vesna laughing, and adds that she has never had any problems with Uber drivers in any of the countries that she has visited so far.

– They are always ready to hold my bag or help me out of the car. They are kind and discrete. Wherever I go, I order Uber, says Vesna.

Uber’s support for ARKTIK is extremely important to her because, as an artist, it is important to her to follow all the different types of art and the work of her fellow artists.

– Thanks to Uber, we will be able to quite conveniently follow art events in Zagreb and maybe even farther away. We will no longer have to worry about going to see a play for which we will have to pay both the ticket and our ride to and from the theater. This is a huge financial boost for us. The corporate sector in Croatia isn’t even aware that, apart from investing in football, it is also good to invest in arts and culture. Uber is such a sparkly, positive example and I really hope others will follow it, adds Vesna. She is aware that people are usually skeptical about joining organizations that are turning a new page; however, she is not scared of failing.

– I have nothing to lose. I can always go back, she concludes.


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