Croatia Full of Life-Mediterranean As It Once Was
‘Društvo i prostor’ kolektiv is a newly formed team of architects/urbanists trying to join forces to accomplish bigger impact of their shared projects. Team members possess diverse experience in architectural/urban, research, educational, participative and art projects, many of which were shared between different members. Among the teams’ goals are reflection and action on various themes concerning urban planning and regeneration, social sustainability and urban justice.
This project has three corresponding goals. Firstly to gather and structure the diverse opus of modernist documentary films made about the ex-Yu coast which have been lost in collective memory. These films, made around the 1950s, show the state of the Adriatic coast before the construction of the Adriatic highway which triggered rapid urban and economic changes in these areas. They can clearly show changes that happened and are still happening today, through different aggressive economic and urban processes. Secondly, to identify the narrative about the coastal development or the phenomenon which Gerhard Nebel explains as follows: “A land which bares itself to tourism veils itself meta-physically: it sells scenery at the expense of magic.” The ideas of development changed with the political narratives and can be traced to “spatial reality”. Finally, to educate and promote awareness of the urbanization of the coast among the wider population through film screenings and discussions, which allows us to show and deepen the analysis. These events organized in certain affected locations serve as education on urban planning processes and policies with the main goal of strengthening social agency and empowering various individuals and groups to act politically in the best interests of their local community, urban space, and the environment. We believe this can be achieved through historicization, which allows us to collectively contextualize the processes that affect us today, using the medium of film. Also, a publication is planned which would serve as a toolkit to help fight the new Croatian Maritime law which degenerates the idea of the sea coast as a common space and allows private occupation. This theme is not as represented in the European urban and architectural discourse, and this project serves as a starting point for a wider discussion on the topic of the exploitation of touristically attractive spaces and the effect it has on the identity of local communities.