Umreženi identiteti (Networked Identities) is a three hundred page collection of publicist works published by the CHF. To date the author has published several hundred reviews and feuilletons in Croatian and English in magazines and miscellanies published in Croatia and abroad, a monograph and her work in Croatian dailies and weeklies. She has also collaborated in with state operated broadcaster Croatian Radiotelevision (HRT).
Vesna Kukavica’s second book, Umreženi identiteti (Networked Identities), was published this year by the CHF. Editor and journalist Kukavica’s three hundred page collection of publicist works follows on her to date several hundred reviews and feuilletons in the field of culture in Croatian and English in magazines and miscellanies published in Croatia and abroad, a monograph and her work in Croatian dailies and weeklies. She has also collaborated in with state operated broadcaster Croatian Radiotelevision (HRT). The latest work is a collection of articles penned by Kukavica, the long-standing editor of the Croatian Emigrant Almanac and head of the CHF publishing department, and published in the Global Croatia column in Matica magazine over the past five years. Her contributions in the column have been inspired by migrant and émigré themes.
The book is edited by Ivan Čizmić DSc of the Ivo Pilar Institute of Social Sciences and is reviewed by Željko Holjevac DSc of the Faculty of the Humanities and Social Sciences and by Božo Skoko DSc of the Faculty of Political Sciences, both of the University of Zagreb.
The material of Vesna Kukavica’s latest book, along with selected feuilletons and reviews, covers some sixty essays on the global and well-networked Croatia of the descendants of Croatian emigrants and contemporary Croatian migrants – who have achieved affirmation in various fields of human endeavour. They introduce a new spirit into venerable emigrant communities and create modern bridges, both between the older Diaspora and the Homeland, and between Croatia and the contemporary world. (…)
In his review Skoko notes that this book factually corrects deeply entrenched stereotypes and expands and offers an entirely new image of Croatian emigrants in the 21st century. This is by no means an enervated Diaspora slowly and forever lost in the processes of integration and assimilation, lamenting lost opportunities and exasperated with the immaturity and lack of national integrity and vision among Croatian politicians – living some sort of virtual Croatia, isolated from contemporary global trends and opportunities. (…) Finally, this book also offers us the always fascinating fates of common, and yet supremely unique people, who had the courage and strength to take a step into uncertainty, into new cultures and challenges, investing all their energies, not only into their new homelands, but also into Croatia, and that have of late dreamed of or achieved a return to the native land.
In his review Holjevac notes that there are various aspects of identity, for example, personal, gender, status, professional, religious, national and so forth. We often speak thus of multiple identities, and when they are conceptually systematised one can speak of “networked identities.” This, then, is the topic and title of Kukavica’s latest book, which communicatively mediates to the potential reader a wealth of content contained in a selection of publicist works: fifty-six essays, five feuilletons and five reviews. (…)
The author is often intrigued, it should be noted, by the fringe social and cultural phenomenon of the present day in which our contemporary migrants are participants, from adventurers to the migrant workers of the 21st century with university diplomas, who meet across sundry meridians with the members of the older heterogeneous Croatian emigrant communities between the North and South poles, inspiring individual immigrant achievements by people of our extraction in Croatia or, at least, an adventitious joint endeavour. (…)
In conclusion, observes Holjevac, Umreženi identiteti (Networked Identities) is targeted to all those interested in the situation among the current Croatian emigrant communities and individuals, and radiates an unconcealed sympathy towards the common person and the curiosity and courage they demonstrated when venturing into new horizons and different cultures.
This collection of publicist efforts, selected by the author, successfully broadens the frame and tears down the stereotypes by which the Croatian Diaspora, its stakeholders and heirs, have been viewed, treated and described in Croatia. With a new century, it is time for a new perception – innovative and creative. Kukavica’s well-networked Croatia is formed by the descendants of earlier Croatian emigrants and our contemporary, established emigrants – reinvigorating venerable emigrant communities and building new links between themselves, the old homeland and the world around them.
This is an opportunity that ought to be utilised in shaping our contemporary and future Croatia.
Text by: Diana Šimurina-Šoufek