OPEN CITY DAYS
PROJECT AUTHOR/PRODUCER: DUBRAVKA VRGOČ, ANICA TOMIĆ, IVICA BULJAN
DATE: 3 - 4 June 2023
TIME: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
KING TOMISLAV SQUARE
BAN JELAČIĆ SQUARE
ZRINJEVAC PARK - MUSIC PAVILION
FACEBOOK / INSTAGRAM
The Open City Day project, created and conducted by Dubravka Vrgoč, Anica Tomić and Ivica Buljan in October of last year, offered numerous art programs dedicated to the City of Zagreb at various locations in one day. Because of the great public enthusiasm, the Open City Day transformed into Open City Days, which will take place on 20 and 21 May in seven different locations across Zagreb.
All interested people are invited to Tomislavac (King Tomislav Square) to shake hands with one another as a sign of solidarity and empathy. Zrinjevac will be home to Zagreb chansons performed by Ivana Starčević and Matija Antolić as well as stories about Zagreb read to the audience by actor Marko Petrić. The Ban Josip Jelačić Square will host a large choir led by conductors Heda Gospodnetić and Vitomir Ivanjek, accompanied by the youngest choirs in Zagreb. Simultaneously, a dancing surprise will be organized on Dolac for market visitors on Saturday. Evenings on Zrinjevac are reserved for all our fellow citizens who wish to dance like in the good old days. The “plesnjak” (dance) will be accompanied by Robert Mareković and his band the Swingers. Sundays are for a sports morning on the European Square! Everybody, from the little ones to the elderly, can join in exploring various recreational activities designed and organized by members of the Croatian Deaf Sports Association. Later on, there will be a performance by talented pupils from the School for Classical Ballet on Cvjetni trg (Flower Square). The final chapter of this year’s project is the Enchanted Forest in Tuškanac, where the best Croatian actors and actresses, hidden in the secret nooks of the well-known Zagreb promenade, will surprise you with unexpected poetry and storytelling.
Zagreb will again take on the role of a stage, with artists, citizens, tourists, performers and the audience sharing the space of an imaginary auditorium in the same manner that they share the space of the city. A two-day program that offers a lot of excitement and fun will showcase Zagreb’s past and present, hidden and public locations, repressed and revealed stories as well as those directly recounted by the city itself. Residents of Zagreb and tourists will see the city from some new, more interesting perspectives.
SATURDAY, 3 June 2023
Zajedništvo / "Gathering"
LOCATION: KING TOMISLAV SQUARE, 11 a.m.
The Gathering event is envisaged as a “live chain” of citizens, tourists, immigrants or passers-by who “draw” an impressive line across the Square while holding hands. In recent history, King Tomislav Square has been a place for various gatherings that unite people in the progressive idea of togetherness and a better future. At the same time, its grassland is a place where immigrants from all around the world wait for transit for a better future. Its identities changed throughout history. Thus, in addition to being a “gathering place of various travelers” in search of a better future, it is also an enchanting ice rink that brings people together during Advent and echoes with children’s laughter.
The Gathering event is a symbolic statement of what the future brings. It is only through togetherness and empathy that we can change the world for the better.
The value of this event is significant in the social context as it raises awareness of the moment we live in and some values that we as a society need to fight for.
Oda mladosti (Ode to Youth)
LOCATION: BAN JOSIP JELAČIĆ SQUARE, 12 p.m.
An event called “Ode to Youth” will take place in Ban Josip Jelačić Square. It is envisaged as a kind of dialogue of solidarity and connection through music. The choir, led by Heda Gospodnetić and accompanied by musicians Vitomir Ivanjek and Ivan Petranović, will perform famous songs from the olden days as well as modern-day songs. There will also be songs dedicated to Zagreb, and random passers-by are invited to join the singing. The performance itself maintains the element of spontaneity and participation in this way. This event serves as a reminder of the fleeting nature of time, both then and today. It forces us to stop and share a moment with our fellow citizens and the city we live in. Apart from the senior-age choirs, the Square will also host Zagreb primary school choirs. This will foster intergenerational dialogue, which is essential in these challenging times.
LOCATION: DOLAC MARKET, 12.45 p.m.
Dolac Market is a symbol of the life of the city and a meeting place that attracts the most people on Saturdays. Exactly at the time when Dolac is bustling with locals buying fresh ingredients or visitors snapping photos of the most picturesque market in Zagreb, a flashmob will take place.
The artists’ performances will intrigue the buyers and make them want to dance.
In this way, there will be an unexpected interaction between artists, citizens who regularly visit Dolac, but also those who sell their products on it.
Because there is a surprise element to this event, we only reveal the location to the public, not the contents. Therefore, citizens are invited to visit Dolac but have no idea what awaits them.
LOCATION: ZRINJEVAC PARK, 7 p.m.
Dance was brought to Zagreb through the noble salons and thanks to the cheerful Countess Erdödy, the first dance under the masks was held in Zagreb in 1749. Since then, the history of Zagreb frequently makes reference to the so-called “plesnjaci”, organized dances in which the citizens participate. There have been attempts to bring this tradition back to life, but the continuity failed. The idea is to revive the retro trend of dances as a platform for socializing and togetherness.
Every citizen is welcome to the dance at the Lower Town plateau, where they will have the chance to dance like in the good old days with Robert Mareković and his band the Swingers. As for the music, there will be hits from the period of the 60s and the 70s of the last century.
SUNDAY, 4 June 2023
Zagrebačka šansona (Zagreb chanson)
LOCATION: ZRINJEVAC PARK - MUSIC PAVILION, 11 a.m.
Zagreb chansons performed by Ivana Starčević and Matija Antolić await us on Zrinjevac. Along with them, Marko Petrić will read passages from books about old Zagreb (such as August Šenoa’s Zagrebulje, Milčec’s Greetings from Zagreb, Stories from Old Zagreb by Krešimir Kovačić, etc.) and ask citizens to share their personal stories about the city. This event is a hommage to our city.
Sportska matineja (Sports matinee)
LOCATION: EUROPEAN SQUARE, 12 p.m.
Sundays are for a sports morning on the European Square! Everybody, from the little ones to the elderly, can join in exploring various recreational activities designed and organized by members of the Croatian Deaf Sports Association. Citizens will be invited to participate. Sports activities will thus become a community event with the goal of attracting as many citizens as possible to participate in artistic and sports performances. In this case, the goal is to promote togetherness through sport.
LOCATION: FLOWER SQUARE, 4 p.m.
In cooperation with the School for Classical Ballet of Zagreb, a stage will be set up for the implementation of a ballet program – from ballet exercises to pieces from popular ballets.
Back when the Open Square Day was taking place, an improvised ballet stage with pieces from popular classical and modern ballets attracted people of all ages on the grass on the left side of the Croatian National Theater in Zagreb. The goal of this event is to promote ballet art in one of Zagreb’s most popular squares, as well as to draw the attention of citizens of all ages.
Začarana šuma (Enchanted Forest)
LOCATION: TUŠKANAC PARK , 6 p.m.
The stage event, directed by Ivica Buljan, will take citizens on a walk through Tuškanac Park in search of performers who will be “hidden” in various locations reciting poetry, excerpts from famous dramatic literature by Shakespeare, Chekhov or Molière, as well as performing improvised situations from everyday life in small groups.
The encounter with actors in an unexpected place, hidden in the park, makes this event authentic and allows citizens not only to interpret literary works differently but also to interact with performers in a non-traditional theatrical setting.