Art Caffe – Croatia’s World of Arts Brought to Life Through Interviews

Lauren Simmonds

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Screenshot/YouTube/Art Caffe
A conversation with Bozo Skoko, professor of public relations at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb
A conversation with Bozo Skoko, professor of public relations at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb

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.


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