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Operation City

Alliance Operation City (former Alliance for the Centre for Independent Culture and Youth – SZC) was established with the aim of encouraging the development of independent culture and self-organized activity of young people. Its activities, linked to the cultural and youth policies in Zagreb, first took place through the collaborative platform of independent cultural organizations Zagreb – European Capital of Culture 3000. The platform was launched in 2003 by Centre for Drama Arts, Multimedia Institute, Platforma 9.81, and What, How and for Whom / WHW, and was later joined by the Shadow Casters, [BLOK], Community Art, and Kontejner. Before 2005, the platform primarily focused on programme cooperation and afterwards increasingly on the effects of municipal policy on the cultural production and position of youth organizations in Zagreb. Thus, in spring 2005, together with the clubs MaMa, Močvara, and Attack, as well as two national networks: Clubture Network and Croatian Youth Network, it initiated a public debate on the key issues in these sectors. The public debate resulted in a Declaration, which was among others signed by the present mayor of Zagreb, Milan Bandić, who promised nine measures relevant to the problem of facilities, the implementation of the Municipal Programme of Activities for Young People, and the sustainability of independent cultural and youth organizations. However, as almost no measures were eventually implemented, in July 2006 the platform performed an action of crossing out jumbo posters with the mayor’s face with the aim of drawing attention to the impossible situation of independent and youth cultures in Zagreb. The action was followed by an intensification of this advocacy initiative and the separation of its activities in two directions: (1) activities related to urban development and spatial policy (Right to the City) and (2) activities related to the needs of independent cultural and youth sectors. Within this second direction, the cooperation was formalized by establishing an alliance of association with the name Alliance for the Centre for Independent Culture and Youth, later changed to Alliance Operation City. After years of endorsement efforts, in 2009 the Alliance and the City of Zagreb founded POGON – Zagreb Centre for Independent Culture and Youth. Since the foundation of POGON, members of Multimedia Institute have been actively helping stabilize both entities through the work of its members in the Managing Board, by organizing the Alliance’s activities as volunteers, and through the work of Tomislav Medak in the Programme Board of POGON in the period from 2010-2012.