SILVIJA TOMCIK on Wed, 11 Feb 1998 08:46:52 +0100 (MET)

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<nettime> About ATtack (Zagreb, Croatia)

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## Original Author:
Evo kako sam ja to prebacivala u word ispravio kompjuter neke rijeci i  

About Attack/Autonomous Cultural Factory

Some time now on civil/NGO scene in Zagreb there is a great need for open  
social space, where different initiatives and actions(exibitions,  
performances, discussions...) could take place.Alternative political and  
artistic scene for years have not the independent and specific place to  
work and present itself to wider public. Especially young people today  
don't have a chance to express their creativity, to get informed and  
educated about civic activism.It is crucial to offer such a possibility  
now in the post-war situation, with increased street and domestic  
violence, crime, drug abuse, and general low level of political tolerance  
and democracy.
Autonomous Cultural Factory - Attack is oriented towards multicultural and  
trans-national exchange and cooperation, and with it's activities can  
contribute to democratization and opening of Croatian society. Attack is  
supported by 20 different civic groups (women, peace, human rights,  
ecological, artistic...) and in this way foresters the networking of the  
existing NGO scene. Our actions and activities were covered by major media  
(all daily newspapers, HTV - national TV, OTV - independent TV, several  
radio stations...), which helps in bringing civic values to wider  

Short history

Initiative has started around political pop mega.zin Arkzin in September  
1997. In very short time many groups and individuals get involved, and  
financially supported the project by becoming the members. First public  
action was flee-market, held on October25th. With this initial money we  
started to search for the space to rent. In the meantime we used the  
Antiwar Campaign office for our weekly meetings. Very soon the e-mail  
mailing list was created on Zamir BBS. In order to keep public attention,  
we organized weekly street performances (in cooperation with several  
alternative theater groups). First issue of Attack newsletter was  
published in the end of November. More and more people from different  
Croatian towns are calling and offering support and benefit actions. Our  
plan is to develop a broad network of similar initiatives all over Croatia  
and to support (financially and by offering programs)similar centers in  
other towns.
The action group is formed, 40-50 people are regularly taking part on the  
meetings - and we decided to start with the workshops for the group  
building and nonviolent actions (in cooperation with Volunteers' Centre  
and Peace Studies), and we had 5 workshops already.
In the end of November we have found the space in former Factory of  
computing machines (TRS)  in the center of Zagreb, but the owner of the  
building canceled the signing of the contract, after reading the (very  
positive) article in the newspaper in which the journalist mentioned as  
supporters of Attack, among other 20groups, one lesbian and one anarchist.  
(This was first big obstruction we've faced and which showed us where  
possible problems in future can appear: prejudices about minority groups  
and values systems). Next day we held the peaceful demonstrations in front  
of the building. Ten days later, in cooperation with women and human  
rights groups (B.a.b.e. - women's human rights group, Contra - lesbian SOS  
line, Electra - women's art center, Group for direct protection of human  
rights, Amnesty International...), on 10thDecember (International human  
rights day), we organized whole day event Right to be different.
During December we were invited to organize Attack-week in student club on  
University for philosophy. Group of young people from Donji Miholjac  
organized benefit concert for Attack in the end of December.
Inspired by recent street violence between skinheads and punks, we started  
the series of talks and workshops about urban violence, and  with the  
preparation of the team, which will held different actions(one of the  
planned activities are talks on nonviolence with pupils in high schools).
Since the end of January Attack has one hour weekly program on Radio  
Student. Second issue of Attack newsletter also appeared(again designed  
and supported by Arkzin).
Beside all this activities, people involved in Attack are more and more  
getting involved in ongoing projects of existing NGO's (like Iskorak u  
sutra, Miramida plus, Green action...).
As you can see, Attack has in very short time attracted a lot of young  
people (not engaged before), successfully created a lot of events and  
activities, showed a high awareness about self-organizing and media 
self-presentation. All this has been done with out almost any external 
financial support. Among the people involved, there is a high level of 
motivation and serious approach to the project. It shows that Attack 
became huge School of activism and has a great potential to  
influence social improvements.


After 4 months of searching - we have finally found the space and signed  
the contract (it's part of the Toys factory close to the town center). Now  
we can start with some of the planned and wished programs (info-shop,  
exhibitions, round tables, lectures, workshops,promotions, video- 
events...). While waiting on substantial financial support, we plan to  
organize different benefit actions in order to collect necessary  
equipment, furniture and money. We'll continue with all established  
activities (newsletter, radio program, street performances, workshops...).
The registration of Attack as separate NGO is in process.

Attack newsletter

As a part of our activities around ATTACK we have started a monthly  
newsletter. The newsletter editorial board is formed and meets regularly  
in Arkzin office. Two issues have been published so far (both in 5.000  
copies, second on increased number of pages).Beside posting it to the  
members, we distribute it mostly during our street actions.
The aim of the newsletter is to inform wider public as well as the members  
of Attack, about all events, activities and discussions held on our weekly  
meetings and internal e-mail list. Reactions of the public were extremely  
positive and it shows that producing of newsletter is very good way of  
keeping the public attention on the project and attracting new members  
(which is essential for the future of Attack). Beside that, participation  
in the production of the newsletter is very good way to educate young  
people about journalism and using of new technologies.
We plan to continue with producing it on monthly basis. Beside the  
information about Attack activities, interviews with people involved,  
theoretical discussions connected with our activities and goals,  
announcing the monthly program, we'll try to include more and more  
information about whole alternative scene. So, we hope that after few  
months, we'll be able to produce commercial product, which can be sold.
The planned preparation period for commercial production is 6months,  
during which we have to find financial support for basic expenses, which  
includes pre-print and printing costs.

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