STRATEGIJA2.6  6/18/03  5:12 PM  Page 157
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
well.
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 
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