The second in the series of public debates of the NUL Foreign Croatica Collection
The National and University Library in Zagreb hosted the second in the series of public debates dedicated to Croatian emigrants and organised by the NUL Foreign Croatica Collection. The debate took place on 8 April 2014 and it was moderated by Željka Lovrenčić, Head of the NUL Foreign Croatica Collection.
This time the debate presented Vesna Kukavica, a long-time active participant in the Croatian cultural sector, journalist and Head of the Croatian Heritage Foundation Publishing Department, and her latest book entitled Umreženi identiteti (Networked Identities).
The book brings a selection of publicist works which undermine common and widespread stereotypes about Croatian emigrants and paint an entirely different picture of the Croatian diaspora in the 21st century. This innovative and creative diaspora uses challenges that it faces to find opportunities for permanently preserving its bonds with the homeland and successfully making the Croatian name known around the world. Apart from selected feuilletons and reviews, the book includes some sixty essays on a global and well-networked Croatia made up of the descendants of Croatian emigrants and contemporary Croatian migrants, all of which have built successful careers in various fields and professions. This new generation brings new spirit to traditional immigrant communities and builds modern bridges both between the old diaspora and the homeland and Croatia and the rest of the contemporary world. The book also includes interesting stories of the fates of common, yet exceptional people who had the strength and courage to set out on a journey towards new cultures. Umreženi identiteti was written as part of the evaluation of the traditional programmes of the Croatian Heritage Foundation and the planning of the strategy for the CHF’s new activities involving Croatian emigrants in oversees countries in the digital era. The book was edited by Željko Holjevac, from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science, and Božo Skoko, from the Faculty of Political Science, both of the University of Zagreb.
Vesna Kukavica (b. 1961) was educated in Zagreb, where she studied at the Faculty of Special Education and Rehabilitation (Speech and Language Pathology) and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (Comparative Literature, Phonetics), and graduated in 1985. She completed her postgraduate studies at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (Department of Linguistics) by defending her thesis on the special features of the teacher’s voice (Posebne značajke nastavničkog glasa) in 1990. She subsequently undertook an academic training programme in Edinburgh, Scotland. Kukavica worked as a journalist and Director of Culture Department at the legendary Zagreb Omladinski radio radio station (1984 – 1986) and since 1994 she has been working at the Croatian Heritage Foundation. Since 2000 Kukavica has been Head of the CHF Publishing Department and Editor in Chief of the Croatian Emigrant Almanac. She edited some thirty books and brochures and published several hundred reviews and feuilletons in the field of culture in both Croatian and English magazines and miscellanies, as well as a monograph dealing with the culture of Croatian diaspora.