Have a look at photo-documentation and press-cut of UrbanFestival 2006


Barbara Blasin and Igor Markovic

street action:
9 - 15 September 2006 daily from 4 till 7pm
various locations

book promotion:
14 September 2006 at 7pm
public library B. Ogrizovic, Preradoviceva 5

tourist city sightseeing according to The women's guide through Zagreb:
13 September 2006 at 5pm
starting point: literature club booksa, Marticeva 14d, Festival's info-point
organizer: KK Booksa
Iva Caleta's professional guidance will lead you throught "women's" history, location by location, one "women's" story to the other.

The Women's guide through Zagreb is a continued research-artistic project started in 2002/03, first time presented to the public at the UrbanFestival in September 2002 and continued with an exhibition at the Galerija Nova and on the streets of Zagreb in October 2003. The most important aim of this project is to save from obscurity of the past, but also of the conformism of history, contribution, influence and lives of women who had participated in the creation of Zagreb or were "merely" a part of everyday life in that city. Forgotten, anonymous, often suppressed female history is symbolically represented with a selection of "anonymous" biographies illustrating the time in which they had lived.

This project consists of several, mutually related and intertwined activities:

1. Petition signing street action
During this year's UrbanFestival, stands will be put up at some twenty locations in the midtown, where people will be signing a petition for permanent memorials and promo-materials will be handed out. Our aim is to inform the public and to widen its interests for the female history of Zagreb. These materials will include leaflets with a text about the life and/or importance of the chosen woman, and also postcards. Furthermore, at each location, there will be a plaque with textual and visual material on it.
Direct participation of the citizens of Zagreb, i.e., signing the petition, brings about their interaction with the city space and, at the same time, enables the female history to enter the town's locus. First of all, with their signature, these people support the importance of Zagreb's forgotten/suppressed female history and participate in the selection of women/locations for whose permanent memorials it will later be lobbied with the municipal government. Furthermore, through repeated actions of collecting signatures at the chosen locations, temporary hallmarks will be established and a new Zagreb map (history), different from the one we are used to, will be created.

2. Gallery display / book promotion
In almost identical manner, the same materials (including petitions, leaflets, postcards and plaques) as those presented on the streets will be presented at the gallery as well, thus making it a sort of info-point for planning the sightseeing. Still, the gallery remains a traditional exhibition space, as well.
On September 14, there will be a promotion of the book entitled "Zenski vodic kroz Zagreb" ("The women's guide through Zagreb"), which is the first such attempt to collect and introduce the biographies of one part of the women who helped create Zagreb's history, whether they were acknowledged artists, women's rights activists, pioneers in the fields of science and technology "just" women who had lived and worked on the margins of great historical events in Zagreb. This book will be published in Croatian and English.

3. Lobbying for putting up memorial plaques
After the street action, promotion and distribution of the book, the final phase of this project will be introducing the signed petitions to the municipal government and, together with partners, [BLOK] and B.a.B.e., lobbying for putting up permanent memorial plaques. Permanent memorials will be suggested for a smaller number of women, about which the decision will be made taking into consideration their importance but, also, the number of signatures collected from the citizens.

The synergy of various participants in the realization of this project: citizens, volunteers, [BLOK], B.a.b.e., Meandar publishing agency. makes the lobbying position towards the general public stronger and, as a result, makes it possible for the female history to make a physical imprint in the town's space.

Authors: Barbara Blasin and Igor Markovic
Co-publishers: Meandar publishing agency and B.a.b.e.
This project was financially supported by the Croatian Ministry of Culture, Zagreb Municipal Office for Culture, Government Office for Gender Equality/ Quinna till Quinna