What would Kosta say now ?

For years I have been obsessed with this graffiti on the facade of the ruins of Abrašević : « Šta bi sad Kosta rekao ? », « What would Kosta say now ? ».

I am not sure what he would say, but I’m sure he would be quite pleased if he had spent the 3rd day of the Anniversary of the Center that wears his name since 90 years with us.
Under the name « Od nas prema gradu » (« From us for the city »), an audio walk in the Abrašević neighborhood was organized. You have to download 7 short stories on your phone, you are given instructions of where to go and where to stand to listen to the stories, headphones, and off you go in a neighborhood that you think you know.

Instructions for the audio walk.

The 3 fisrt locations are inside Abrašević itself, looking at the ancient wardrobe of the theater group, in the corridor that links the Bulevar to the courtyard of Abrašević (and ultimately to Šantićeva Street) and in the middle of the courtyard itself, around the foundations of what was suppose to become the ballet hall.

Our friend, Ronald Panza, an oldtimer in Abrašević before the war, has written truly beautiful texts, in an elegant and poetic language, describing the atmosphere of the Center but also, other locations of our Street.

It was indeed very surprising to realize that for more than at least 6 years, I hadn’t been further in the street than the crossroad with Carinski Bridge, 300 m away from the Center, either turning right to cross Neretva and go to the bus station, either turning left to go to Splitska Market or to visit friends in the Rondo or Stadium area.

More surprising on the last part of the walk was coming back to a group of buildings recently rebuilt and realize while I had had the curiosity to go inside when they were in ruins and empty, I hadn’t had the same curiosity once they were rebuilt and inhabited.

After a short pause in front of the former Kino Partizan (cinema hall Partizan), we came back to Abrašević and listened to the last text, back in our corridor.

Our corridor.

 Titled, « Goodbye Utopia », the text reminisces about the last days of Abrašević and how changes come without a warning. Before we closed the corridor, mostly for security reasons, I had spent a lot of time hanging around in our ruins, taking pictures of our walls, our ground. I picked up a numerous amount of items : account papers, notebooks, member cards. I always thought we would organize to pick up everything we could and take care of it as archives. We didn’t really.
Yesterday, at the begining and end of the walk, we came back to the corridor. Miran opened the wooden door that closes the building and I had a look inside for the first time in almost ten years.
Looking at the floor ground, what is left of the ceiling, the walls, the red doors of the classrooms, hesitating to get in.

Classroom Red Doors.

In my headphones, I was listening to the voice of Ronald, telling how he came to Abrašević for the last time before the war. Opened doors, empty building, no light in the corridor and how a note was left to say that there would be no music class until further notice.

Since yesterday, I look at our building in a different way, again. I fell asleep last night asking myself who were the first soldiers who entered the building ? Were they from Mostar ? Did they know about RKUD Abrašević ? Did they find the note cancelling the classes ? Who stole the bust of Kosta Abrašević ? Where is it now ?

Kosta.

I remembered my first time in the ruins, the silence, traces of war and music lessons. I fell like I was violating a secret place, a source of great memories for so many, of hell for others.
Finally, I fell asleep with a strong desire of hugging the whole building, not to keep it for me, just to make sure I would forever remember every detail of it.
When a day starts, you never know how it is going to end. Yesterday, I’d have never bet I was going to fall in love with this place.

Again.



90 years of Abrašević !

[A MOSTAR RADIOGRAPHY] will follow and report the 90th Anniversary of Abrašević through short chronicles and photos.

You will find below the concept behind these celebrations as well as the program of those 4 important days in the life of Mostar. (translation in English : OKC Abrašević)

90 Years of Abrašević.

90 years have passed since the establishment of RKUD Abrašević. Since then, the organization has offered workers and citizens supplementary education, entertainment, and a place to explore their cultural curiosity. This month, we will be showcasing some of our valuable archives and the rich history of our presence in the community for the past 90 years.

We want to celebrate this Anniversary by examining the forgotten ideas of the working class and the right to free time before and after work. The time when a worker could become an actor, a jazz musician, a dancer, or singer in the choir, the time where he could explore, be aware, and experience some other individual or collective identity. A time where he could be regenerated through culture. Did people have to share culture collectively because it was the social rule or was it genuinely how they wanted it to be? We intend to analyze this relationship between free time and culture through articles, lectures, informative manifestos, sound, and performances to discuss how these ideas apply in a contemporary world where work increasingly predominates one’s life.

Members of RKUD Abrašević on Musala Square, Mostar, 1st of May 1949

This anniversary is an opportunity for our young members and visitors to learn more about the significance, meaning, and history of Abrašević. The program will contrast historical information with contemporary presentations and productions put on by Mostar youth. We hope this will facilitate the passage of information about Abrašević’s legacy from the old members to a new generation.

In addition to the normal monthly program celebrating 90 years, December 20-23 OKC Abrašević is putting on a series of events dedicated to the idea of “The Under Class.”

Here are a few events, of many, that will be taking place this week.

From Us To The City: Sound Walk At Abrašević And Šantić Street

Every Day, December 20-23

17:00-19:00

From Us To The City is a documentary audio story about the architecture of OKC Abrašević, where the former RKUD Abrašević was located. On the walk, the listener will move through a series of locations and will have the chance to hear the story of places, that now seem like only ruins, as well as the concepts behind places that were never completed. This is how we want to remind you that the culture of Mostar, after the world wars and before restoration of institutions, was first taken care of by Abrašević, and later spread around the city. This process that started was never actually finished, and in this way can be viewed as utopian. The story ends on Šantić Street to show the direction that this spreading of culture is going and the connection between these spaces which have long been merely yards for dreamers.

The walk begins at Kafe Kosta in OKC Abrašević.

Unfinished Story: Sound, Concert, and Stories

Every Day, December 20-23

19: 30

Unfinished Story is a collage of performances that follow the story of how RKUD Abrašević and OKC Abrašević have evolved over the years. We will be moving through a series of free associations with a focus on important places, the development, and realization of ideas from the day we were established 90 years ago until today. This story will be told through the connecting elements of storytelling, performances, and concerts by performers and authors who in some way have marked this institution since its reestablishment. After each performance, a guest musician will continue the evening.

Every Evening, December 20-23

The Workers’ Canteen 

December 23rd

19:00

The Workers Canteen is a reminder to us all of the power workers have when they stand in solidarity. Abrašević staff will be preparing food to serve to the public in this spirit.

After The Worker’s Canteen and socializing, an event called Innovation A will follow, which is the presentation of entrepreneurial and artistic initiatives in Mostar such as BrainFart Merchandise, Cycloscopia, Hub 22, and Pyromania.

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