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Jana Elisa Falkenroth Robert Bosch Cultural Manager at Drugo More

2011-2013 – Rijeka, Croatia

Jana Elisa Falkenroth worked freelance in Berlin for various film festivals and culture projects primarily related to Eastern Europe, before moving to Rijeka as a Robert Bosch Cultural Manager. Her interest for this region stems from her studies of political science and history, where she specialized in South Eastern Europe. Already as a student, she worked in cultural and arts management – experiences that shifted her academic attention to the complex relationship between culture and politics and their mutual interaction. She gained international experience studying, working, and living in Germany, Sweden, Austria, Italy, and Australia. As a cultural manager for Drugo More, Jana Elisa Falkenroth’s main concern be-

came attracting wider audiences for programs and contents in the field of contemporary theater and art. Accessing new audiences locally and building lasting relations between German and Croatian artists was at the heart of her work through which she tried to convey a positive image of Rijeka and its potential in the local arts scene.


“As a cultural manager, I believe in art’s potential to affect the way we think and live and therefore regard it as always political. But changing one’s perspective can be an uncomfortable process, hence my task is to make art as accessible as possible and to actively facilitate its reception. Complex mechanisms of localization have left Croatia and Rijeka with a particular inferiority complex to-

wards everything more ‘European’. From my outsiders perspective, I tried to emphasize the many assets of Rijeka and tried to pass on my verve for this place.”

Drugo More

Drugo More was founded as an NGO in 1999 and has since realized numerous art projects, locally and internationally. The organization is a key actor in the city’s cultural landscape and the only one dedicated to connecting Rijeka to artistic and theoretical discourses in South Eastern and Western Europe. Two annual festivals, the ZOOM Festival for contemporary experimental theater and Mine Yours Ours, an interdisciplinary art festival, are the organization’s core activities and attract local as well as international audiences. In addition, the small team is involved in various international projects like Balkan Can Contemporary, a magazine on the post-Yugoslav

performing arts scene accompanied by guest performances, and in the Performance Studies International (PSi) conference. The Refleks program of lectures and artist talks presents up-to-date topics and current developments in the arts to the local cultural scene.

Above: Drugo More members Davor Mišković, Petra Corva, Jana Falkenroth and Ivana Katić Left: Guerrilla graffiti for ZOOM Festival, September 2012 Cover: Curtain in Teatro Fenice, photographed by Stephan Bögel during the expedition Abandoned Premises, May 2013

Abandoned Premises – An aesthetic exchange between Rijeka and Berlin Photo expedition with photographers from Rijeka and Berlin, exhibitions in Rijeka, Zagreb, and Berlin

Abandoned premises are witnesses to and remnants of societal and economic change, left over and left behind, secretly sinking into oblivion. Surrendered to decay and re-conquered by nature, these buildings slowly disappear from public consciousness. Unused and untouched for decades, they develop an attractiveness and a magical atmosphere that compels so-called urban explorers to hop fences and climb walls just to take pictures and leave behind nothing but footprints in the dust. The rediscovery of such places has become a trend in cities like Berlin, which has put them back on the map and returned them to public awareness. In some cases, as with the abandoned amusement park Spreewald, a site’s use can be re-envisioned. Since its rediscovery, the park has served as a location for fashion photo shoots and performance festivals. In Rijeka however, such

Left: Photographers Mario Pučić, Ivan Vranjić, and Marin Mešter at work in an abandoned swimming pool during the expedition, May 2013 Right: Photographer Elena Capra taking a picture in Rijeka’s Hartera complex, May 2013

buildings are increasingly disappearing from collective consciousness. By photographing them, the buildings are conserved and their stories retold. The project brought together four photographers from Berlin and four from Rijeka to explore and document the city‘s abandoned premises. In a fourday expedition, the group visited industrial heritage sites from the early 20th century, abandoned hotels from the 1960s, a torpedo launching ramp, a nightclub, and even an empty swimming pool. In their close collaboration, the photographers shared working procedures and aesthetic values. The resulting exhibition was displayed in Rijeka, Zagreb, and Berlin.

Resistant Aesthetics? Four responses from Croatia to Hans-Thies Lehmann’s lecture “The Aesthetics of Uprisings? Crossing the border between politics and art in new social movements”

Hans-Thies Lehmann is one of the most prominent theoreticians in so-called post-dramatic theater, a term he himself helped to coin. In his newest work, he distinguishes between the aesthetics of uprising and the aesthetics of resistance to illustrate two of theater’s assumed functions: to reflect and to intervene. Based on these assumptions, the publication incites a vivid and bold debate among four of the most up-to-date theater makers active in Croatia: Una Bauer, a journalist and founding member of Zagreb’s famed BADco theater collective, demands the emancipation of blue stuffed toy rabbits; Bojan Djordjev, a theater director and author from Belgrade, throws capitalism into the black hole of theater; Oliver Frljić, a theater director known for his merciless portrayal of the deficits in Croatia’s society, unmasks political axioms; and Tomislav Medak, a

Left: Draft design for the cover of the publication Resistant Aesthetics? by Ana Tomić and Marino Krstačić-Furić Right: Volunteers, equipped with crowbars, waiting for their entry in Janez Janša’s show Who is next?, ZOOM festival, September 2012

political philosopher, author, and performer, defends political theater from over-generalization. With a preface by Miranda Jakiša, a professor of Slavic languages and cultural science at the Humboldt University Berlin, this bilingual publication is the point of departure for a discussion not only about the localization of contemporary theater in Croatia and the post-Yugoslav region, but also a statement from a new generation of rebellious theater artists. The booklet is available for download at Presentations will be held in Rijeka, Zagreb, Split, and Berlin in the summer of 2013.

Impressum Robert Bosch Cultural Managers in Central and Eastern Europe A program of the Robert Bosch Stiftung coordinated by: Eastern Europe Center (770) University of Hohenheim 70593 Stuttgart Images: cover: Stephan Bögel | page 2: Ivana Katić | page 3 (above): Kristijan Vučković | page 3 (below), 4, 5, 6: Jana Falkenroth | page 7: Ana Tomić and Marino Krstačić-Furić

Jana e falkenroth bosch cultural manager presentation web  

Presentation of my work as Robert Bosch Cultural Manager in Rijeka, 2011-2013

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