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News 02 Sep 15

Balkan Leftists Head for Festival on Croatian Coast

A festival for alternative and leftist intellectuals, held in the Croatian seaside town of Sibenik, is putting the stress on antifascism and rising nationalism in the region this year.

Sven Milekic
BIRN
Zagreb
FALIS festival logo. | Photo by Facebook

Leftist thinkers, journalists, writers, radical priests and historians from all over the western Balkans, Greece and Germany, are descending on Sibenik in Croatia for four days of debates, round tables, lectures, exhibitions, book promotions and movie projections.

The big event is the third annual festival of the alternative and the left, called FALIS, which started on Wednesday in the Croatian coastal resort town.

This year’s festival is dedicated to the theme of antifascism and the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, while also commemorating a famous Yugoslav Partisan battle on the river Sutjeska, in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In this battle, 18,000 Yugoslav Partisans escaped encirclement and destruction at the hands of 127,000 Nazi forces, albeit at the loss of a third of the troops.

The logo of the festival features a Partisan red star containing figures of people from Sibenik who participated and died in the battle.

Festival organisers say they are homing in on the idea of antifascism this year because they say nationalistic rhetoric is growing in the region.

In previous years, the festival was dedicated to factories from the Socialist era that went out of work.

The organizers are Bosnian writer and journalist Emir Imamovic who lives in Sibenik, Croatian writer and editor Kruno Lokotar and the Croatian philosopher and publicist Srecko Horvat, a co-author along with Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek of “What Europe Wants”, which was published in 2014.

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