MREŽA SOLIDARNOSTI (Solidarity Network)
Mreža Solidarnosti (Solidarity Network)
is a group of art activists whose goal is to consolidate public with powerless workers in troubled Croatian factories such as Dalmacijavino, Jadrankamen and UZOR, and also to create new open spaces of democracy. Through public discussions, performances, public art and exhibitions we are pointing out problems that workers are facing each day such as not received salary, mass decommission, company bankruptcies caused by illegal actions of the company owners etc. All of these problems have their roots in contemporary political and social relations so we think that the only possible answer is developing new relations based on civic solidarity with an accent on communication, mutual education, open discussion, direct democracy and resistance to dysfunctional social and political structures.
Over the past year Mreža Solidarnosti organized several exhibitions, art protests, public actions, happenings and open discussions which successfully slipped through media censorship. In March, after Croatian government announced bankruptcy proceedings for drinks factory Dalmacijavino, in collaboration with a factory workers, we took one of factory branches and made it a temporary autonomous zone guarded by workers, artists and citizens. During 'occupation period' we set an exhibition in which over 60 visual artists and musicians participated showing their solidarity with concerned workers. It is important to say that the artworks which were presented there were conceptual, not describing physical facts but rather presenting ideas and definitions based on our view of contemporary capitalist society. These artworks are (mostly) avoiding academic forms, imaginary conceptions and constructs, and by using elements of „real" they are creating critical images/ideas. Brought into the factory or public space these artworks transform it's worn out nature into something different and active. By this we are giving this space a new meaning and a new function. Besides established art program, there were also daily organized round tables for discussions about possible solutions of a problem.
Result of our action was a government decision of keeping factory alive by temporary reducing part of its production and a future possibility of increasing it back where it was before.
Using the same model we spread to other factories, in summer 2012 we went on island Brač to support workers of Jadrankamen, factory which is producing white stone from which many of cultural sites and statues in Mediterranean are made of.
Currently we are in collaboration with a textile company UZOR for which was also declared bankruptcy.