May 26, 2023 – The city of Osijek truly lives its urban vibes. Last weekend at Osijek’s Ante Starcevic Square, Osječka Tvornica Ideja (the Osijek Idea Factory) gathered 20 artists from 7 countries, leaving visitors of the Oscans graffiti jam speechless and delighted.
What was it all about? As we wrote, Osijek hosted a festival of urban art and culture – the Oscans graffiti jam, organized by Osječka Tvornica Ideja and Sugar Factory. The event was conceived to popularize street art, and as the organizers themselves said, no one hid their satisfaction.
The whole thing started at 10 a.m. with workshops for the youngest and knowledge transfer sessions. The judges of the afternoon’s main event held a graffiti school where they taught the little ones about the basics of graffiti, art and behaviour, and culture on the streets. The workshops were packed full, whether due to the opportunity to learn from the legendary artists Dalet, Atek, and Mr. Pain or the Ledo ice cream, which all participants were gifted. Parents and children expressed their great satisfaction with the opportunity to learn and the need for more such workshops on an annual level.
The main event started at 1:30 p.m., and just an hour before the competition, the artists received the official theme of the battle – 50 years later.
In this way, the organizers wanted to emphasize that graffiti and street art are an excellent medium for sending a message and for intervention in space and society. The task for the contestants was to show the world 50 years from today. Will it be happy and cheerful or dark and apocalyptic? What is their vision? What message do they want to send to the public?
For an hour, the graffiti artists sketched their visions on paper and figured out how they would stand out from the others and win valuable prizes. The local Osijek scene was represented by Rebus and Wasko and Moler and Heir, Croatia by Tramsky and Rancho, Hungary by Coke and Suzie, Slovenia by Azram and Boriz, Slovakia by Doke and Rems, Serbia by Wunste, Junk, Hope and Noks, Italy by Ypsilon and Dr8ste. There was a Greek-Croatian combination there as well, Snuz and Sec.
With the strike of the Osijek co-cathedral at 3 p.m., the Oscans graffiti battle began. The artists hastily took the spray cans and started sketching on the tram and two buses. As the hours and minutes passed, the vehicles received a new face, and several thousand visitors stood and enthusiastically observed what was happening and what all those patterns and lines would grow into.
At 19:00, the competition was officially over. The judges entered the scene, facing the huge challenge of choosing the best of the best. All the competitors came to their aid and participated in the evaluation by ranking their competition. The fact that only one or two points decided winners and places also speaks volumes about the level of the competition.
The team from Slovenia took first place, making the duo €800.00 richer, plus a LELO sponsorship package and a golden plaque from the School of Applied Art and Design. The second place went to the team from Serbia, Noks, and Wunste – €400.00, a rich sponsorship package, and a silver plaque. The third place went to the Greek-Croatian sensation, who received €200.00 and also got a rich sponsorship package and a bronze plaque.
In addition to the graffiti jam itself, visitors had the opportunity to enjoy the Artbeat exhibition, a breakdance competition, and the sounds of hip hop along with a relaxing chill zone and Beck’s – the official beer of the festival. The festival was fully rounded to celebrate 50 years of hip-hop culture and put the city of Osijek on the map as the center of one of the main urban spots in Europe.
But what was the “sweetest” thing for all artists? The after-battle after-party, of course. The day after the competition, most artists gathered and decorated a wall, the “Dale Hall Of Fame,” and another van. In a relaxed atmosphere, many artists left a lasting mark in Osijek. They expressed their desire to come again, which speaks of the sheer quality of the organization and Slavonian hospitality.
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