Numerous projects and interventions took place at Zagreb’s various squares in the 12 years of UrbanFestival, and the new edition of the festival, formatted within a three-year period for the first time, is entirely devoted to the subject of squares. Its duration from 2013 to 2015 allows for a longer exploration of the phenomenon of squares and its reflection in the present dominance of the neo-liberal paradigm that dissolves the city’s potential for political mobilisation, as well as for the development of art and other collaborative projects through several phases. With its title Back to the Square!, UrbanFestival13 directly refers to the eponymous documentary by Petr Lom in which the author follows several politically engaged stories of the citizens in post-revolutionary Egypt. Bearing in mind the demonstrations in Tahrir Square as well as the fight for the preservation of the public space at Cvjetni trg in Zagreb, we intend to examine which political and economic changes affected the transformation of this urban unit’s political function. Whilst wondering about the possible ways of reclaiming the square as a public space and a place of political confrontation, we explore squares in different parts of Zagreb. Through workshops and artistic performances from June to December 2013, in the first phase of the project, we open up a space for the re-examination of the function of those squares where the trend of privatisation of the public space is obvious and already notorious, as well as the discovery of new points and new modes of action.
curated by: Ivana Hanaček, Ana Kutleša