Social Fringe: Interesting Untold Stories

National Network

Zelenjak 69
10000 Zagreb

+385 917645924
Organisation Type
Non-Governmental Organization
Year of Establishment
Fields of Activity
  1. Arts
  2. Heritage
  3. Others
  4. Research
  5. Youth and education
General Information

The internal structure of the NGO SF:ius is based on clearly delegated organizational responsibility and intelligibly determined roles. The principle of horizontal hierarchy enables the right to decide and act to all of its members in order to create an inclusive space for debate and creative cooperation. In 2015, three of seven SF:ius members have been employed as NGO staff members. Sources of funding: BAC-COLABs, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, Kultura Nova Foundation, City of Zagreb, private donations, membership fees. Programs and projects that SF:ius implements rely upon scientific, research, artistic, advocacy and activist work. Topics and content of the programs cover the current problems in the fields of philosophy, art practice and theory, memory studies, history, politics and social theory. Main partners involved in the organization’s projects/activities: Group of Architects (Serbia), Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Museum of Modern Art Ljubljana (Slovenia), Solidarnost (FYRO Macedonia). Main Croatian partners: Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology (University of Zagreb), ICOMOS Croatia, Roma Youth Organizations (ROM), ARCHIsquad, Miroslav Kraljević Gallery.

Mission and Objectives

MISSION: The mission of SF:ius is to promote and improve equality, the egalitarian distribution of power, equal opportunities, sustainable future, social justice and innovative solutions for social tensions. OBJECTIVES: SF:ius achieves sustainable and positive change through participation in the establishment of platforms, including advocacy and collaborative platforms, e.g. Inappropriate Monuments.

Main Projects / Activities

Roma Urbanism / Marginality The emergence of contemporary city with its rapid changes, constant mobility and strict division of labor increased frequency of marginality. The project explores the extent to which a particular communities are spatially marginalized, ghettoization of areas of the city in which they live, why did that happen and what is the real image of the city. First case study inquires spatial marginalization and ghettoization of Roma settlements within the city - marginalization and ghettoization of Roma community is an example par excellance, since Roma live in these areas for at least 700 years and there is no process of integration with majority population (according to some authors, they refuse integration) like there is with other minorities. The project aims to get a direct insight into the daily life of the Zagreb Roma community and to establish direct communication with the Roma population for the purpose of finding the proper solution to enhance Roma living conditions in Zagreb. Through implementation of project activities it aims to improve Roma housing integration by educating about the use of residential buildings and environment. Also, one of the expected results is the presentation of research results and workshop activities to general public through discursive gallery programs and publication that will be published in December 2015. This aims for cooperation with other civil society organizations in order to develop the project and disseminate activities. The project starts with research and assessment of the situation on the ground which includes review of the existing literature on this topic, visits to Roma settlements, photo material of the present situation, mapping architectural and urban data analysis, dialogue with the settlement members on life conditions and methods of current construction. Two series of workshops will be held in the settlements;  first one by anthropologist Bojan Mucko, which aims to open the interaction with Roma community and direct conversation about problems; and second one by ARCHIsquad group of architects that will address possible solutions and better use of available construction materials. In addition to that, round table will be held in the gallery premises with experts and general public as participants, which aims to present Roma housing problems and combat racial and other discrimination. At the beginning of 2016 publication that contains results of research and implemented activities will be printed out. Inappropriate Monuments  The regional platform Inappropriate Monuments was created to establish a framework for the long-term collaboration of organisations from the EU and the Western Balkans dealing with the revalorisation and protection of their anti-fascist heritage and monument heritage connected with the Peoples’ Liberation Struggle. Members of the platform include: Group of architects, Belgrade, The History Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, Modern Gallery (MG+MSUM), Ljubljana and Social Fringe: interesting untold stories (SF:ius), Zagreb. With the collapse of Yugoslavia the interest in this heritage practically disappeared and the status of the monuments became the subject of controversy and a target of revisionism. Protection is inadequate; there are no clearly developed criteria for their restoration or strategies for revalorisation. Many of the monuments are partially or permanently destroyed, and others are neglected and left to ruin. Research made in the successor countries are not integrated and difficult to access – there has never been a complete register of the monuments. Initiatives aimed at the protection of NOB monuments have, until now, mainly emerged outside of official channels, for example under the initiative of individuals. These individuals then face a number of difficulties including their own shortcomings and the lack of interest from legislators in supporting them. The goals of the platform are to connect institutions and independent organisations to strengthen their capacity and distribute the results of research projects in order to advocate for a regulated international strategy regarding anti-fascist heritage. Through activities carried out by the platform including: research and mapping heritage monuments, interviewing people and representatives of the institutions responsible for their erection and maintenance, holding workshops for students, conferences for experts and exhibitions and art conferences, the platform will examine the economic, political and ideological conditions surrounding the emergence of monuments, monument complexes and memorial complexes. It will also examine their contemporary reception and the conditions under which this occurs. Considering the growing interest and fetishisation of NOB monuments in western countries, and socialist heritage in general, the platform is seeking possible models of revitalisation and methods of management. Through a comparative analysis of the situation in former Yugoslavia, the platform aims to draw parallels between the transitional periods of the members of the former state and the treatment of heritage monuments connected to NOB and the anti-fascist struggle, thereby showing that these processes can only be explained through interactive research. The web-portal, is conceived as an on-line database for the activities of the platform and its members and as a virtual archive of documents and photographs.    Institutions of Memory Project sets up a framework for high school students to critically examine ideological, daily functioning of institutions of memory and their creation of historical narrative. The importance of memory institutions in the contemporary social and political context is demonstrated through their construction of collective memory and presentations of ‘official history’ which they use to occupy a crucial role in the symbolic center of the nation. Post- conflict and post- socialist context of Croatia contributed to enhance intolerance, hatred and misunderstanding towards memory of past polities, social and political governance organization and minority social groups. Influenced by the works of historian Pierre Nora, sociologist Maurice Halbwachs and anthropologist Paul Connerton we look at history and collective memory as one of the most important elements in construction and homogenization of modern democratic communities and also in negotiation of collective identities. Collective memory is established through the assumption that each social group develops the memory of its own past, it emphasizes the uniqueness of this community and achieves its own identity and image to be transmitted to future generations. Institutions of memory such as museums, archives, schools or public service media are seen as places of gathering, storing, reinterpretation and dissemination of public knowledge about past events and they are, as Pierre Nora would say, physical or imaginary spaces that can always be visited or re-visited in search of history and memory. Given the absence of courses that deal with these questions, IM forwards democratic constructions of memory by promoting inclusiveness and equality, as opposed to hegemonic, one-sided and 'useful' narratives. The project aims to STRENGTHEN students for an active democratic participation, EDUCATE them about multiple process of construction of collective memory and history in post-conflict societies, RAISE AWARENESS about marginalized social groups, collective amnesia i the effacement of minority histories from dominant narratives. By connecting institutions and organizations the project develops a long-term and sustainable cooperation network between teachers, scientists and other professionals who approach the education of youth about questions and problems of social memory in an engaged and critical way.

How can you contribute to the Network in your country?

For SF:ius, working in the discursive space of the “social fringe” represents non-party and independent deflection of established social paradigms and an orientation towards subjects and topics left out of, or insufficiently represented in the dominant structures of knowledge and meaning production. By using interdisciplinary methodology, which includes, but is not limited to artistic practice and political analysis, SF:ius aims to face challenges for social cohesion. The programs that SF:ius implements are built upon the critical analysis of the social transformations taking place in Croatia and other countries in the Western Balkans. With it’s experience, SF:ius could help AFL Network to respond to social challenges and improve intercultural dialogue in the region. Together with it’s growing regional platform Inappropriate Monuments, SF:ius could help disseminate AFL values and facilitate various activities in the community.

Why do you want to join the ALF Network?

NGO SF:ius  aims to promote and improve equality, the egalitarian distribution of power, equal opportunities, sustainable future, social justice and innovative solutions for social tensions. SF:ius achieves sustainable and positive change through participation in the establishment of platforms, including advocacy and collaborative platforms. The most prolific platform SF:ius has established or participated in is Inappropriate Monuments — the regional platform created to establish a framework for the long-term collaboration of organisations from the EU and the Western Balkans dealing with the revalorisation and protection of their anti-fascist heritage and monument heritage connected with the Peoples’ Liberation Struggle. By including diverse stakeholders, the platform fosters intercultural dialogue, fights socially regressive trends — i. e. historical revisionism — and reinforces positive relations towards this heritage. Since one of the main goals of the organisation is to expand its regional collaboration activities, joining ALF Network will have positive effect on networking, capacity building, mobility and exchange of ideas, and could open access to funding opportunities. Joining AFL Network will enable SF:ius to continue to foster innovative research practices, introduce regional high level advocacy strategies, and gain international recognition among other member organizations.

Contact (1) Full Name
Ena Grabar
Head of the organisation
Ena Grabar
Contact (2) Full Name
Lana Lovrenčić
Job Title (2)