1. Who they are

During the last decade, Subversive festival in Zagreb became one of the reference points on European landscape, as a platform and place where a variety of left, environmental and progressive communities and individuals, both scholars, activists and politicians interact, discuss and debate about new ways of cooperation in the future. Subversive festival is officially managed through association ”Bijeli val” (White wave), but operates as a broad and diverse network of associates and contributors that are involved in programming and implementation. Since 2008, while it contains a variety of formats (political debates, workshops and meetings, film program, book promotions), one of the central points of Subversive festival is the Subversive forum that unfolds different topics (such as Balkan Forum, Alter Economist Forum, Mediterranean Forum etc…) in order to provide educational opportunities for the grassroots movements.

 

2. What they did

The experiences gained through the Subversive forum merged in the organization of a two-day-specific program during the festival that focuses on the development of a joint strategy in local struggles for trade unions and social movements around a number of industrial and labor issues in the Balkans. Activists and trade unionists from the region met with scholars, researchers, and feminists to collectively analyze urgent topics like debt and slavery legislation. The program involved 15 trade union and social movements’ activists from the Balkans region together with 20 more activists based in Croatia to foster peer to peer learning among them and strengthen their cooperation in the Balkans. Apart from activists from Bosnia and Serbia, few more activists from Slovenia and Hungary joined to share experiences from the CEE perspective.

3. Why is this relevant to the FundAction community?

The framework of the Subversive Festival has been seen as a chance to contribute and support the peer-to-peer exchange among activists, feminists and scholars engaged in struggles that are relevant both from point of social movements and mobilizations, which are the main ingredient of democratic life and progressive counterhegemony. It combines both continuations of the struggle for economic and social rights but also makes a step further toward democratic innovation and exploration of alternative economic models that could substitute current unsustainable and devastating models and mechanisms.