Autonomni kulturni centar – Attack & AKC Medika
At this conference Attack! and Medika are represented by Sanja Burlović, Coordinator.
social / community center (art, culture, but also other fields)
Attack! is a non-profit association / NGO, established in 1997 by a group of citizens
Medika is an informal structure established in 2008 by various organizations, groups and individuals
ATTACK! is a non-governmental, non-profit, volunteer organization that creates, shares, and supports political and cultural alternatives as well as an alternative economy, giving physical and public space to all who wish to express themselves creatively and working on a local level that leads toward a free society. Aims: protecting human rights the and development of human freedom; gender politics; protecting the environment; protecting animal rights; supporting citizens’ initiatives and citizens’ rights to self-organising in the development of an autonomous civil society; rejecting violence and developing non-violent methods; connecting and cooperating with similar civic, cultural, and art organizations in Croatia and all around the world.
Attack! coordinates AKC Medika which aims to revive a policy common in most European cities, that is: recycling old and abandoned spaces, having them revitalized by different art and cultural collectives, producing important programs and actions for independent culture and civil society; creating a meeting place for cooperating and sharing ideas and exchanging projects.
Decision-making: All decisions are based on consensus. All teams are autonomous, with meetings open to everyone and where everyone can participate.
Organizational openness: The Autonomous Cultural Center Medika (AKC Medika) was founded on an open-door principle, whereby anybody may develop an artistic discourse – be it of a cultural, educational, or any other humanitarian nature – in the hope that our provision of space for such activities will be used accordingly. AKC Medika offers its space without any unified concept, in order to continually develop diversity among the programs and projects held therein.
Venue/s / resources: Today AKC Medika consists of several units led by autonomous teams under the coordination of Autonomous Cultural Centre – Attack!. These units are:
- Jogurt gallery – exhibitions (once a month or more), the Antibiotik project, residencies by foreign artists, artistic transformations of space
- Hall for performing art – used by different organizations and collectives for rehearsals, productions, juggling and circus art
- 3 group ateliers – smaller places used by artists for their work
- Atelier / lab – used by a group of young artists, designers, programmers, and photo artists, working on projects connected with new media, technology and fashion
- Photo and video studio – used by a group of young film artists for producing low budget films, workshops, editing
- Club – a place for presentation of different audio-visual programs, either by young artists and musicians or by those who are well-known and already affirmed on the underground scene
- Hall for projections / theatre – space for theatrical performance or film projections
- Rehearsal space – used by several bands
- Hacklab01 – place based on do-it-yourself politics; used by young activists who made cyber café, lecture room, playroom, library
Budget: less than €100.000.
Hosting: Organizations or collectives related to independent culture, the civic scene or young people may use our venue for any kind of projects. They contribute to monthly costs through donations. Organizations or independent collectives using the club for night events pay its nightly running costs.
Services: Several different NGOs and initiatives use Medika’s premises for their offices. There are 5 art studios used by different artists and art groups.
International collaboration: In 2010, we began a cultural exchange project with similar autonomous centers. AKC Medika’s program and production was presented in Zurich and Geneva in September 2010, and on the return leg of the exchange in December we presented the work of art collectives that act and function in the autonomous centre L’usine from Geneva and squat in Binz. This allows us to exchange experiences, accept independent cultural centers’ models of functioning, present work, and make new collaborations and productions.
Participation: We organize different workshops – art, film, animation, open source, theatre, juggling… – that aim to involve mostly young people, but are open to everyone.
Gathering citizens: In 2010, we organized several debates and lectures about unemployment, the Holocaust, workers’ rights, student activism, and LGBTO rights. In future, we plan to extend these activities into women and gender politics, recycling, and permaculture.
Neighborhood: We have arranged a few cabaret and circus performances for local residents and their children.
Municipality: Our relationship with local government is unsatisfactory. We have no support for building maintenance and services. All repair works must be made through our own resources, and almost all jobs are on a voluntary basis. Project implementation becomes harder every year because of the city council’s policies towards the independent cultural scene – cutting its budget.
Advocacy / activism:
The non-governmental organization Autonomous cultural centre – Attack! and the pioneers of the Zagreb squatting scene acted together for a few years to create temporary autonomous zones – occupation of abandoned spaces (factories, warehouses, yards) for one night of audio-visual art