After the iconic Kino Europa (Europa Cinema) in Zagreb’s centre closed down (despite huge support for it to remain, as well as protests), many cultural festivals that called the venue their home weren’t sure where they would continue their cultural programmes.
However, many programmes successfully moved on, and the Zagreb Subversive Festival is no exception. The 14th edition of this progressive culture event is making a return to Zagreb and will last from October 3-23.
The Tuškanac Cinema, the Cultural Informative Centre (KIC), the Prosvjeta Serbian Cultural Centre (SKD Prosvjeta), and the Miroslav Krleža Institute of Lexicography joined forces to host the programme. Additionally, the online Volimdokumentarce.net (Ilovedocumentaries.net) programme will live stream online for those unable to attend the events in person.
”The Zagreb Subversive Festival 2021 is a multi-disciplinary platform inside which political theory and film join forces to shake up the status quo, identify the aesthetic of resistance and nurture a more radical approach to film, theory, and practice. We’re interested in the potential transformation of our neoliberal daily lives, and the role art and culture could play in this endeavour,” writes the official website of the Subversive Film Festival.
The festival began back in 2008, marking the 40th anniversary of 1968 global protests, and since then, it has evolved into one of the most important progressive festivals in the region. The festival is split into two sections: The Subversive Film Festival and the Subversive Forum.
The film part showcases movies that deal with topics of social injustice, social change, women’s and minority rights, LGBTQ+, student and workers’ issues and movements, as well as post-colonial heritage. The screenings also have a competitive nature due to the ”Wild Dreamer” Award for the best feature, documentary, and short film categories.
The Subversive Forum portion of the festival holds conferences that present ”tools for the deconstruction of the offered normalised story about the world”, as well as the articulation of a possible alternative reality and its foundation.
Noted international movie directors, philosophers, social scientists, and activists such as Oliver Stone, Toni Negri, Slavoj Žižek, Michael Hardt, and many others have attended and participated in the Zagreb Subversive Festival over the years.
The 14th edition has a central topic, ”A Post-COVID Democracy: The Ethics of Fight and Solidarity Poetics” and thirty movie titles are confirmed for the programme, which will be filled with exhibitions, lectures, and discussions that will stretch throughout the month of October.
Learn more about Zagreb in our TC guide.
For more about culture in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.