STRATEGIJA2.6  6/18/03  5:12 PM  Page 158
stantially,  at  least  conceptually. The  reduced  perception  of  desirable  relations  between
culture and society proceeded from the assumption that only a free, independent culture
and the arts (as well as science and education)   in a special relationship toward society
and the state, a relationship devoid of political and ideological claims   could enable the
development  of  their  autonomous  values,  and  only  through  such  unadulterated  values
could culture and the arts truly contribute to overall development. 
If only one overall change is clearly detectable in today s cultural relations in Croatia,
then it is undoubtedly that which can be described as the liberation of culture, liberation
of art, namely, a specific quantitative (measurable) and qualitative (immeasurable) accel 
eration of the production of books, films, theatre performances, fine arts and musical
events, including the liberation of the profession, expert and scientific, of cultural, and
even media production (including criticism), freedom from any form of public coercion,
particularly  by  the  state. This  liberation,  however,  was  not  only  spontaneous     it  was
stimulated as well. Indeed, it seems that an important quantitative aspect of that libera 
tion is linked to the marked increase in state financial incentives allocated for numerous
cultural programs, which increased by nearly 50% after 2000. 
These  changes  are  visible  not  only  in  the  type  and  volume  of  new  programs,  ranging
from  cultural  industries  (revival  and  enhancement  of  publishing,  new  films  and  film
forms,  more  intensive  investments  in  programs  of  cultural  infrastructure  development
and restoration of cultural heritage, etc.), through the sudden flourishing of new artistic
organizations (over one hundred in the registers of the Ministry of Culture), new festi 
vals and other events, to music and stage arts on newly acquired alternative locations in
cities, the return (even extravagant ones) of internal or external, voluntary or involuntary
exiles to the culture scene: The change is felt also in the cultural orientations and aes 
thetics.
How, then, is it possible   while fully respecting everything that can be termed as an ori 
entation towards the autonomy of culture   to speak of cultural policy within the context
of the strategy of cultural development? It is a question that, on the one hand, places the
methodology of working out a cultural strategy in a rather specific position in which the
protection and assertion of creativity become more important values than prescribing the
directions  of  and  solutions  for  cultural  creativity.  Contrary  to  non intervention  in  that
respect, we postulate the possibility of cultural planning in an environment conducive to
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