Zagreb Spring School: Context Matters | April 28 – May 3 2017
Zagreb Spring School opened April 28th with six architecture students in attendance: 3 each from University of Detroit Mercy and University of Zagreb. It began with a historical context lecture by Josip Jagić on Yugoslavia in WWII. It gave the American students a brief glimpse into the past of the prior state. Moving on there were lectures on the Development of Memorials and Monuments between 1940 and 1960, Development of Memorial Areas & Parks and lastly The Destruction of Partisan Monuments. The lectures flowed into each other, speaking first to how there was to be 6000 monuments erected in Croatia between 1946-1965 and how there were different periods, such as abstraction of the monuments. Secondly about how the communities financed their own monuments and what they stood for–for the future and not just a place to lay flowers. Monuments grew in their functions as well, adding things so that people would stay, such as libraries, theaters and hotels. The last lecture expressed the downfall of the monuments beginning in 1991, where 3000 monuments were destroyed by many forces, and a Typology of Deterioration arose. Ending the first day were two workshops with Erika Lindsay, a photography workshop on the different rules and tips of placement of subject and balance, as well as settings and what they affect, then a graphics workshop sowing the many principles of design.
Saturday included two tours, the first half of the day was spent at The Memorial Park Dotrščina, followed by lunch, then a tour of Zagreb’s City Center. We learned a lot about the different meanings the abstract, crystal forms in The Memorial Park Dotrščina took on and their significance at the time they were built. Additionally, we learned about the history of the city center and its specific construction.
Sunday, we had group discussions over readings pertaining to monuments and the different emotions they evoke. We read: The Role of the Counter-Monument Movement in Germany’s Collective Memory, How Societies Remember, Reflections on Urbanism, Monument, Territory and the Mediation of War Memory in Socialist Yugoslavia, Between Memory and History and Memorijali Revolucije. These readings sparked deep conversation about many monuments, both standing and demolished
Monday and Tuesday were the two biggest days, the first including the tour of Petrova Gora, both to the Partisan Hospital and Vojin Bakic’s monument. They were equally just as amazing, the history and need for the Partisan Hospital and its surrounding buildings, and the monument itself architecturally grand in its own way, they are mutually important to the people, past and present. Tuesday began with a presentation of a project: Festivalization of a Neighborhood and Anti-gentrification Insights by Dafne Berc, Bojan Mucko and Dino Belamarić. After that we went straight to work in international pairs on our projects and presentations on our choice of revitalization projects for Vojin Bakic’s monument to successfully end the workshop.