The festival celebrates diversity and equal opportunities, which must be ensured for all persons with disabilities in Zagreb, he said, adding that all barriers to feeling equal must be removed.
The festival is taking place in Zagreb’s central square until 9 June and has been organised by the Zagreb Association of Physically Disabled for the 20th year in a row. It features more than 900 performers from Croatia and abroad, including 600 persons with disabilities.
Persons with disabilities make up 13% of Croatia’s population and due to countless physical, institutional and social barriers, they are excluded from everyday life and condemned to invisibility, which is a reflection of structural discrimination, so the public does not perceive it as a problem, said Viktorija Lisec, the Association’s president.
The prime minister’s envoy, Culture Ministry state secretary Ivica Poljičak, said the government was doing everything to make everyday life easier for persons with disabilities. Their participation in cultural events stimulates their creativity and contributes to society’s diversity and to raising public awareness, he added.
Science and Education Ministry state secretary Tomislav Paljak said the festival was special because it enabled persons with disabilities to show the talents that equated them with others.
The deputy ombudsman for person with disabilities, Dario Jurišić, said they should have equal rights and obligations, and that the festival’s purpose was a social approach to the inclusion of isolated groups.
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