ROAЯ festival

As part of its strategic goal to become an open and socially responsible university, the University of Rijeka is dedicated to improving gender equality in the academic and broader community. Within the framework of the SPEAR project (Supporting and Implementing Plans for Gender Equality in Academia and Research), the University of Rijeka drafted and adopted its Gender Equality Plan, which gave a boost to the development and strengthening of structural support for the implementation of gender-aware policies, ensuring the gender dimension in research, continuing and institutional processes, as well as the harmonization of the personal and business life of members of the university community.

The gender equality festival, ROAR, organized within the scope of the SPEAR project, promotes the theme of gender equality and gender equity through plays, movies, and dialogues in the community.


16/3 / Play / The colour of nurture

When: 12.00 PM
Where: Croatian Cultural Centre Sušak (HKD)

The play by the Tirena Theatre from Zagreb questions the topics of gender roles and gender stereotypes and is intended for school (12+) age children and other interested parties.

About the play: We live in a world that “gifts” us with a package of rules, instructions, and expectations even before we are born. That package covers everything – from how we should look, how we should behave, how we should think, and even what we should feel. It predetermines our position in society and prescribes what is permitted and what is forbidden. Why are women’s “packages” pink and men’s blue? How did it come about that colors became gender markers? And what happens when Blue and Pink decide one day that they have had enough of everything and try to quit their jobs?! The colour of nurture is a play for teenagers that deals with gender roles and gender equality and problematizes harmful stereotypes associated with the male and female genders. More about the show at the following link.

The play is supported by the Office of the Ombudsperson for Gender Equality.

The play is free of charge, but an advance notice of arrival should be sent to press@hkd-rijeka.hr.

17/3 / Lecture / How to understand toxic masculinity: influences of popular culture

When: 12.00 PM – 2.00 PM
Where: Student Centre’s Café “Akvarij”, UNIRI Campus

The lecture is intended for students and other interested parties.

The lecturer is Nikola Vučić, TV journalist, researcher and publicist, editor, and host of the show “Izvan okvira” on N1 television in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He studied comparative literature at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Sarajevo, and as a journalist, he was awarded two professional awards in the field of reporting on gender discrimination and gender-based violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

About the lecture: What is toxic masculinity? How does this phenomenon become part of public discourse and what makes it so viral in the context of popular culture and new media? What makes the difference between toxic masculinity and alternative models of social maleness? These are the questions we will address during the lecture on toxic masculinity with researcher and television journalist Nikola Vučić, author of two books: “Kritika toksične muškosti” (2021) and “Feminizam i muškarci: kratki vodič za početnike/ce”.

Due to a limited number of seats, please confirm your attendance by March 16 at 11 AM via the following link.

The lecture is part of the activities of the University of Rijeka within the UNIGEM project (University and Gender Mainstreaming), coordinated by the TPO Foundation from Sarajevo, with the support of the Government of the United Kingdom.

20/3 / Public discussion / An intergenerational perspective of feminism and the topic of gender equality

When: 11.00 AM – 1.00 PM
Where: Student Centre’s Café “Akvarij”, UNIRI Campus

A roundtable discussion intended for the academic community and citizens.

What do philosophers, scientists, artists, translators, leaders, and feminists have to say about feminism and gender equality? Find out from Nadežda Čačinovič, Snježana Prijić-Samaržija, Ankica Čakardić and Hana Samaržija. The discussion will be moderated by Sanja Bojanić.

After the discussion, all participants are invited to stay for refreshments.

Due to a limited number of seats, please confirm your attendance by March 17 at 11 AM via the following link.

21-23/3 / Movie nights at Art Cinema

Ante Tomić, Snježana Prijić-Samaržija, and Jurica Pavičić choose and talk about films in which the topic of gender goes hand in hand with one’s work, health, and aging as frequent grounds of discrimination. All visitors will have the opportunity to see short student films from the International Student Film Festival (STIFF), selected by Maša Drndić.

The opening of the will be marked by a gathering with DJ Mirilo.

During the movie nights of the ROAR Festival, the visitors can also see the work of Rijeka artist and sculptor Nives Žarković called “Sram te i stid bilo”, inspired by a personal experience of virtual abuse. More about her work at the following link.

You are all invited to attend the movie nights, and all students and members of the Art Cinema Film Club are entitled to free tickets upon presentation of their student card. Book your seat at ulaznice@art-kino.org.

Tuesday / 21 March / 19.00 (7.00 pm) / Movie nights festival opening

Conversation: On women and movies
Participants: Ante Tomić, Snježana Prijić-Samaržija, Jurica Pavičić, moderated by Jelena Androić

I’m not a robot, Lina Tsivian, Israel, 2017, animated film selected by Maša Drndić (STIFF)
Petrijin venac, Srđan Karanović, SFR Yugoslavia, 1980, feature film selected by Ante Tomić

Hanging out with DJ Mirilo.

More about the movie at the link.

I’m not a robot (synopsis): By collaging the iconography of social networks, ads, and classics from art history, the author builds a dystopian portrait of a contemporary society ensconced in the illusion of authenticity and free will. Link to the movie trailer. More about the film and the director here

Wednesday / 22 March / 19.00 (7.00 PM)

Lili Alone, ZOU Jing, China, 2021, feature film selected by Maša Drndić (STIFF)
Vera Drake, Mike Leigh, United Kingdom, 2004, feature film chosen by Snježana Prijić-Samaržija

Snježana Prijić-Samaržija’s comment on the movie: Vera Drake is a film about the fantastic strength of an ordinary woman, who is anything but ordinary. Mike Leigh is fantastic in portraying the heroism of ordinariness. Vera Drake is a woman from the working class who works, cares for, and structures the life of all family members, giving them the necessary framework and sense of security, helping her relatives, but also performing illegal abortions for free during the dark times when they were forbidden. She does all this stoically, with quiet conviction and without bitterness. Although this is a movie that thematizes abortion as a women’s issue and a social challenge, it highlights a much bigger story – the one about women’s fate, solidarity, and sense of duty of many invisible and silent women who lead real lives.

More about the film at the following link.

Lili Alone (synopsis): Lili, a young mother, lives with her gambler husband in a remote part of Sichuan. A lonely and poor girl goes to the city to earn enough money to save her dying father. Link to the movie trailer. More about the film and the director here.

Thursday / 23 March / 19.00 (7.00 PM)

Fragile, Tomislav Šoban, Croatia, 2019, feature film selected by Maša Drndić (STIFF)
Uzavreli grad, Veljko Bulajić, SFR Yugoslavia, 1961, feature film selected by Jurica Pavičić

Jurica Pavičić’s comment on the movie: The name of director Veljko Bulajić is usually associated with one genre in Yugoslav and Croatian cinematography: that of the partisan epic. The genre was, in a sense, created by Bulajić with the film “Kozara” and brought to a climax with the film “Battle on the Neretva”. Bulajić buried that genre with the aesthetic and economic tails that trailed behind the last such epic – “Veliki transport”.

However, the work of the Montenegrin director cannot be reduced only to war spectacles. Bulajić, especially in the early period, should be considered perhaps the best Yugoslavian follower of Italian neorealism, a style he acquired at the source as a Cinecittá scholar. In his first films, Bulajić is a great chronicler of Yugoslav modernization, a director who is interested in the movement of the masses and the post-war transformation of society. His movie “Uzavreli grad”, a film about the emergence of industrial Zenica, also deals with this topic.

“Uzavreli grad” fascinates the viewers with the unexpected gender perspective. For Bulajić, a movie about the birth of a city is indeed a movie about the birth of its citizens, especially female citizens. It is a movie about the female working class from the patriarchal rural world. Upon their arrival in the city, they discover the elements of urban life, from literacy and dancing to city gardens and hairdressers. In such a young society, these women are discovering their new place and their newly acquired rights, including the most important one: salary for their work.

In the often very macho Yugoslav cinematography, “Uzavreli grad” stands as a surprising exception, almost a feminist film unaware of itself. At the same time, it is an exciting probe leading us to the moment that created today’s Rijeka, Split, Zenica, Tuzla, Niš, or Skopje. This is a movie that, like a distant mirror, helps us to understand our (great)grandfathers, and especially (great)grandmothers.

More about the film at the following link.

Fragile (synopsis): Alma, a young girl who recently graduated in acting, goes through a series of auditions and projects while looking for an apartment, and her best friend moves to Belgium. More about the film and the director here.

Organizer: University of Rijeka – SPEAR project. More about the project is available at the link.
Partners: Art-kino, Croatian Cultural Centre Sušak (HKD), STIFF, TPO Foundation (UNIGEM), SOS Rijeka

Festival organizing committee: Snježana Prijić-Samaržija, Daria Glavan Šćulac, Lea Jurin, Ivana Klarin, Ana Tomaško Obradović

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