Ana Hušman & Dubravka Sekulić
– 2020 | 20′ 00” | stereo | 1920 x 1080
The Pioneer City was the product of both political and societal necessity — and it built and was built with the idea that education has to leave the confines of the ‘school’ and enter the city, i.e. everyday life, and thus produce the ‘new’ human for the new socialist society.
When in 1947 groups of voluntary youth brigades gathered on a hillside next to the stream, in the vicinity of Zagreb to build the Pioneer City, besides an architectural plan for a city dedicated to education of the youngest population, little else was certain about what that space would actually be. However, one thing was well understood — it was to be a site of education from the moment the first shovel hit the ground, and it was an experimental school, a laboratory for the pedagogical reform in progress from 1951 to 1961.
Layering the fragments of recollections by Jelena Hušman and a history lesson with a historian Sanja Petrović Todosijević over existing spaces, the film asks “what was experimental in the experimental school?” Through the film, authors stumble over the future as a concept which in the past was an inevitability and gave society and its approach to education a clear sense of direction, and which for them stands for uncertainty. The hope for a better future, progress, prosperity and certainty of the future which was foundational for the generation of Jelena Hušman had disappeared and was transferred through the uncertainty of our everyday lives to the non-existent future of new generations.
stills from video:
Director of photography: Ivan Slipčević
Editing and image postproduction: Iva Kraljević
Sound design and mix: Ivan Zelić
Sound recording: Hrvoje Nikšić
Sound postproduction: STUDIO NAZOR
dr. Sanja Petrović Todosijević, INIS
Doublebass: Oskar Hušman Domes
Arrangement and doublebass coach: Dejana Sekulić
Design: Ana Labudović
Translation: Mark Brogan
Baramba – pioneer and scout song
Josip Broz Tito, Speech at the Split waterfront, 1962.
At the end of this year, the construction of the Pioneer City will be completed, 1948
Production: Studio Pangolin
This film is licensed under the Creative Commons attribution – share alike 4.0 Hrvatska
the film is supported by:
Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), Berlin and Harun Farocki Institut, Berlin in the context of the exhibition and research project Education Shock. Learning, Politics and Architecture in the 1960s and 70s (January 29—May 02, 2021, HKW), curated by Tom Holert
Education from Below, collaborative project organised between the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam, MACBA, Barcelona and WHW, Zagreb.
Dubravka Sekulić is an architect who researches the transformation of the built environment at the nexus between politics, law, and economy. After spending four years as Assistant Professor at IZK – Institute for Contemporary Art at Graz University of Technology, this summer she joined the School of Architecture at the Royal College of Art, London, as Senior Tutor. Sekulić recently defended her PhD dissertation, “Constructing Non-alignment: The Construction Enterprise Energoprojekt 1961–1989,” at the gta Institute for History and Theory at ETH Zürich. She was a co-curator of the conference Life of Crops: Towards an Investigative Memorialization, held in Graz in 2019, and continues to be a core member of the research team at IZK. Together with Milica Tomić, she coedited “Exhibiting Matters,” GAM.14, Graz Architecture Magazine.