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cultural change and cultural strategy
The major political, social and state related changes that Croatia experienced in the ni
neties brought about substantial cultural changes too; conversely, perceptions, concepts
and manifestations themselves powerfully impacted upon the shaping of general social
awareness asserting, or seeking, not only new cultural values, but political changes as
Croatian culture, or rather culture in Croatia is by no means synonymous with ethnicity,
environment, religion or nation: it has heterogeneous regional, not only dialectal but cul
turological and ethnic, religious and national, as well as international, communicational
and multicultural foundations. This diversity does not obliterate Croatian cultural identi
ty; on the contrary, it enriches that identity.
Within the multinational Yugoslav state, characterized by powerful and homogeneous ide
ological and political pressures and operating within a broader communicational (partic
ularly linguistic) environment that provided not only for cultural particularities and con
frontations but for inter permeation too, Croatian culture had quite a prominent position,
frequently emphasizing its Western character. It is also necessary to point out that
throughout this period, sometimes more liberal, but more often than not distinctly re
pressive and totalitarian, culture was not a mere transmission of ideological or political
will but also a somewhat separate sphere of creativity, at times even critical of society.
As early as the 1950 s culture began breaking free from political control, while some
artistic activities (for example, visual arts or music) followed and at times marched in
step with the most modern world trends. Especially from the late sixties, more explicit
political and national demands began to be voiced in Croatian culture, starting with the
language issue, and directly shaped the broader national political movement that cul
minated in 1971 when key national cultural institutions became the proponents of the
newly formed political will.
In the relatively short ten year period that is now behind us, during which time we also
experienced war and occupation, culture in Croatia evolved from the Yugoslav (multina
tional), one party environment to the Croatian (national) multi party system, and within
that system, once the war had ended, to Croatia's new pluralism in the year 2000. During
that period not only did the formal and actual territorial framework of Croatian culture
change, but its internal political system and system of values were transformed as well.
The political program of changes in 2000, as far as culture was concerned, changed sub