Culture Shock Festival

Culture Shock Festival is an international cultural and educational festival taking place in the city of Križevci in Croatia since 2005 (usually in March, except for 2005 –2007, when it was held in May). A whole month of youth activism – involving different workshops, exhibitions, concerts, public discussions and performances – makes the city come alive with events connected to non-formal education, cultural exploration and quality pursuit of free time.

The festival is organized according to the “8-it-all” conceptual model (the theme of the paper published and presented at the international interdisciplinary conference), offering exciting cultural, artistic and educational programs divided into the following groups: public discussions, concerts, audio sessions, movie projections, performances, theater and workshops.

Culture Shock Festival is the result of the joint efforts of two local non-governmental organizations: K.V.A.R.K. and P.O.I.N.T. Their activists, volunteers and associates work together every year to make “The month of cultural shocking” a reality, where everyone can join and participate in the exciting ways of building new approaches to culture and education.

The project is aimed at ameliorating the scarcity of high-quality urban programs in the area of culture and education for youth, especially programs which are informative, motivating and discussion-driven when it comes to important social topics (independent culture, non-formal education, contemporary art, popular science, new media). Despite the fact that such projects are commonly held in larger urban areas, the two associations recognized they have enough human, technical and other resources for its realization.
The project indirectly targets the whole population of the City of Križevci, but offers programs which are directly tailored to the needs of pupils and students. The number of direct participants or persons attending the festival is around 900-1200, in all program units.

Križevci, Croatia

The central place of the festival is the Culture Club in Križevci, run by the K.V.A.R.K. association. It is situated on the ground floor of the Croatian National House, Mažuranić Square 1, Križevci and boasts a multifunctional hall for concerts, theater shows, projections and exhibitions, as well as press conferences and various workshops. In addition, there is an informatics classroom with free internet connection, an audio-video laboratory and a management office.

Križevci is a town in Central Croatia with a population of 22,324 (2001). It is the oldest town in the Koprivnica-Križevci County. Križevci is also the birthplace of Marko Stjepan Krizin, a Catholic priest who died at the hand of Calvinists in Košice in 1619 and was subsequently canonized because of his martyrdom. This event is commemorated every September 7th in Križevci.

These days the town is pretty much oriented towards mass entrepreneurship, but it still boasts a plethora of valuable and old monuments (both in the town and its surroundings). Križevci has eight beautiful cathedrals, built mostly in the Middle Ages. The Gothic Church of Saint Cross with its important Baroque paintings and a marble altar dating back to the 18th century (by Francesco Robba), as well as the parish Church of St. Anne from 17th century are especially interesting.

Culture Shock Festival is a cultural-educational mix of events for the local community that lasts for more than a month, offering content that is missing or not present enough in the community and focusing predominantly on the youth of our town. With its unique high quality program, the Festival enhances the visibility of the civil sector in Križevci and Koprivnica-Križevci County. The most important thing is that more and more youth is taking part in the Festival each year, actively participating in the betterment of our community.