In the frame of the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage the International Folklore Festival, in collaboration with the Croatian Heritage Foundation, is staging a number of major events that aim to raise public awareness of the importance and significance of cultural heritage. The I Proudly Wear the Croatian Folk Costume exhibition recently opened at the CHF and on the 20th of June we hosted a round table on Heritage and Migration in collaboration with the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research, the Ethnographic Museum of Istria in Pazin and the chair for minority cultures and communities of the department of ethnology and cultural anthropology of the University of Zagreb’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Speaking on behalf of the host organisation Ms Snježana Jurišić, the head of our culture department, introduced the participants of the round table. On hand to present their findings were Marijeta Rajković Iveta PhD of the chair for minority cultures and communities of the ethnology and cultural anthropology department at the University of Zagreb’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Lidija Nikočević PhD of the Ethnographic Museum of Istria in Pazin, and Tvrtko Zebec PhD of the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research and the artistic director of the festival.
The 52nd International Folklore Festival, to be held from the 18th to 22nd of July, is dedicated to the theme of Heritage and Migration.
Festival artistic director Zebec noted that the Heritage and Migration theme aims to pool groups that perform folklore traditions from their lands of origin irrespective of when they or their ancestors moved out of their previous homeland. It is known that migrations ensued as the consequence of war, colonisation and agrarian reforms and for economic motivations and we can—in this sense—speak of collective migration events among individual communities. Also relocating, however, are people creating a new home in the place of resettlement and whose activity is a stimulant to creative work that promotes the cultural heritage of the country from which they draw their roots (Irish dance in Croatia for example). There are fascinating examples of Croatian emigrants that have successful integrated into the life of their new homeland and they will appear at the festival performing the dances they learned and adopted there. In collaboration with the Croatian Heritage Foundation the intention is to include in the festival programme those Croatian groups from the diaspora communities that will be in the former homeland in July of 2018. The festival programme will also showcase elements of culture that, thanks to the migratory journey of the people of that culture, also travelled and were adopted in a given area over time as local expressions of an element of cultural heritage (for example the bećarac and polka dances in the Slavonia, Lika, Ravni Kotari, Dalmatinska Zagora, Herzegovina and Kordun regions).
The event programme of 2018’s 52nd International Folklore Festival will be a collaborative effort pooling the resources of ethnography museums in Zagreb, Split and Pazin, the Klovićevi Dvori gallery, the Croatian Heritage Foundation, the State Office for Croats Abroad, the Matrix Croatica organisation, the Academy of Music, the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research, the Hungarian Institute in Zagreb and the embassies of the countries from which the participating ensembles from abroad come from.
Written and photographed by: Naida Šehović