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Jonathon Bousfield on the Heyday of the Iconic Yugoslav Record Label, Jugoton

Jonathon Bousfield recounts the rise of Jugoton, the iconic Zagreb-based Yugoslavian record label that both brought Western music to Yugoslavia and later was at the forefront of the massive post-punk and new wave scenes in the region.



 

What is a song without a sleeve? Jugoton’s place in art and pop

Zagreb record label Jugoton didn’t just nurture a unique music scene. It also set new standards in Croatian design

During the Seventies and Eighties Jugoton served as a prime conduit for the flood of original music coming out of Croatia, and the label became synonymous with local pop culture at its most innovative and authentic.

Almost thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Cold-War divide still colours our perceptions of cultural history. People in Western Europe had all the sex, drugs and rock and roll; people in the East just gritted their teeth and carried on queuing for sausages. The former Yugoslavia, with its quasi-consumerist version of Communism-Lite, stood somewhere in the middle. But what if we re-drew the continent’s historical geography according to which countries had the biggest record industry, which countries underwent a punk-rock revolution in the late Seventies, or which countries produced the largest proportion of Eighties’ synthesizer bands? By any of these criteria, the Croatian capital Zagreb would have to be moved into the same camp as London, Manchester or Berlin; while large tracts of Mediterranean Europe would find suddenly themselves on the far side of the Urals.

Yugoslavia enjoyed a popular-culture boom in the Seventies and Eighties and much of its most exciting music was released on Jugoton, the Zagreb-based label that became synonymous with the restless energies of the local scene. The company didn’t just play the leading role in nurturing local rock-and-roll talent; it also set new standards in Croatian design, producing album covers that became every bit as canonical as the music contained within. Trawling through the Jugoton archives today reveals how popular music and its increasingly stylish packaging served as mirrors of a changing society, and goes some way to answering the question of just why Yugoslav socialism could boast so much in the way of wop bam boom.

 

Read the rest here 

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Vlaho Bukovac Exhibition Opens at the Art Pavilion

Vlaho Bukovac (1855 - 1922) was one of Croatia’s most famous and prolific painters. He came from humble beginnings, but his raw talent was recognized by a mentor and with some financial help, he went to study painting in Paris. This exhibition features a collection of Bukovac’s paintings alongside paintings by his influential Art Professor at the Ecole de Beaux-Arts, the French painter, Alexandre Cabanel. The exhibition is now open at The Art Pavilion and runs through January 6th, 2019.

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Jonathon Bousfield's Take on the Croatian Cultural Landscape in 2018

What could possibly tie together island musicals, political thrillers, 60s Yugoslavian culture, contemporary Croatian authors, graphic novels set amongst a backdrop of urban decay, Le Cobustier inspired architecture and a classic 20th century author’s firsthand account of 1920s Russia? Proving that he really does have his finger on the pulse of Croatian’s cultural scene, Jonathon Bousfield expounds on all of this and more in his 2018 Croatian Cultural Guide, check it out in the link below.

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Jonathon Bousfield Reviews the English Translation of Krleža's Journey to Russia

Krleža, a giant of 20th century European literature, is woefully undertranslated into English. Read Jonathon Bousfield’s compelling review of the master Krleza’s part travelogue, part prose account of the time he spent in Russia as a young man in the mid-1920s, Journey to Russia, which is accessible to English readers for the first time.

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Mirogoj Cemetery: An Architectural Jewel

Going to a cemetery may not be the first idea that pops into your mind when visiting a new city. But the stunning Mirogoj cemetery in Zagreb, which was designed by the renowned Austrian architect, Herman Bolle, is definitely worth a bit of your time. Read more below to find out why.

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You Haven't Experienced Zagreb if You Haven't Been to the Dolac Market

Dolac, the main city market, is a Zagreb institution. Selling all the fresh ingredients you need to whip up a fabulous dinner, from fruits and vegetables to fish, meat and homemade cheese and sausages, the sellers come from all over Croatia. Positioned right above the main square, the colorful market is a beacon of a simpler way of life and is just as bustling as it was a century ago.

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Croatian Phrases Translated into English

Do you find phrases and sayings give personality and flair to a language? Have you ever pondered how the culture and history of a place shape the common phrases? Check out some common sayings in Croatian with their literal translations and actual meanings below.

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Discover Croatia's Archaeological Secrets

Discover Croatia’s rich archaeological secrets, from the well known ancient Roman city of Salona near Split or the Neanderthal museum in Krapina to the often overlooked Andautonia Archaeological Park, just outside of Zagreb, which boasts the excavated ruins of a Roman town or the oldest continuously inhabited town in Europe, Vinkovci.

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Hollywood and Dubrovnik

The medieval city in Croatia is having a geek-culture moment as the setting for King’s Landing in the HBO series “Game of Thrones”.
Hollywood seems to have discovered Dubrovnik. Parts of The Last Jedi, the eighth episode in the Star Wars saga, also take place in the fortress town. Filming wrapped this year on a new Robin Hood film starring Taron Eagerton, Jamie Foxx, and Jamie Dornan (and produced by Leonard DiCaprio). The 25th James Bond film is reported to begin shooting in the city in January 2018.
But not everyone appreciates all the attention.

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Great films shot in Zagreb

There's a surprising raft of indelible productions shot in and around Croatia's capital, like the world-dominating spy-caper 'James Bond: From Russia with Love' and Orson Welles' interpretation of Kafka's absurd, existentialist novel 'The Trial'...

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A very rough guide to LitLink. The Author's View. By: Joanna Kavenna

Each night there is a bilingual Croatian-English event. Translations are projected behind the writers as they read. It becomes apparent that many contemporary Croatian writers are high ironists, forging dark comedy from aspects of life that most disturb them – war, corruption, the riotous hypocrisy of those who claim to govern us.
The tour runs from Zagreb to Pula to Rijeka...

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Croatian Sites on UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

A little know fact is that Croatia, together with Spain, have the most cultural and historical heritage under the protection of UNESCO, and Croatia has the highest number of UNESCO intangible goods of any European country.

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Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb

The National Theater in Zagreb, Croatia’s capital, is one of those things which always finds its way to every visitor’s busy schedule.

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Zagreb Festivals and Cultural Events

Numerous festivals, shows and exhibitions are held annually in Zagreb. Search our what's on guide to arts & entertainment.

Authors' pages

Književna Republika Relations Quorum Hrvatska književna enciklopedija PRAVOnaPROFESIJU LitLink mk zg