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Welcome to the website of the British Croatian Society

Dobro došli na web stranice Britansko-hrvatskog društva

Croatia is a jewel, increasingly well known in Britain. We aim to further cultural understanding between Britain and Croatia by bringing like-minded people together for a series of lectures, exhibitions, concerts, dinners and other events throughout the year. Please see the events page for a list of forthcoming dates, as well as examples of events we've organised in the past.

Our members have varied interests and backgrounds, and while we have a cultural focus as a society, our events often recognise other aspects of Croatia such as its outstanding natural beauty and thriving tourism industry.

We like to keep our members in touch with items of news we believe would be of interest. Members automatically receive emails from time to time with news and information as well as invitations to events. We also keep our members in touch with additional items of news we believe would be of interest to them.

Becoming a member couldn't be easier. Please see the membership page for details on how to do that.

We hope you enjoy browsing our site, and we look forward to welcoming you to one of our events in the near future.

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Stronger finances have allowed us to have a more ambitious programme bringing speakers from Croatia and to support events such as Bojan Cicic's Instruments of Time and Truth concert in Oxford.

As always one of the key activities appreciated by our email contacts and members has been simply letting people know of Croatian events happening in the UK. We were able to tell people of 28 Croatian events during the year, in addition to events organised by ourselves.

Our 2019 programme started with the ex-British ambassador to Croatia, Sir John Ramsden, talking about his diplomatic career from Hanoi to Zagreb. He illustrated his talk with unique photographs of Hanoi now published in his book Hanoi After The War.

The outstanding violinist Bojan Cicic came to the Society to talk about his career and his music as an Oxford based violinist who performs internationally. He has been working to bring Croatian composers to the attention of the UK classical music public, including a new CD and a Croatia-focussed concert in Oxford at the end of November.

David Mlinaric and Ana Zenic, world-class interior designers, gave an illustrated account of bringing their aesthetic to their own houses in Dalmatia. Both have created houses of distinction while respecting the essence of the old stone buildings they converted. David's house was featured in the September edition of House and Garden.

Flora Turner gave a dazzling talk about Croatian cultural objects that have been returned to Croatia after having come up for auction in London and elsewhere in Europe. If you were not able to attend this event, you can see the text and illustrations on our website (In Search of Art for Croatia).

In the autumn our focus was on twentieth century Croatian architecture and we arranged two talks in co-operation with the prestigious C20 Society. Krunoslav Ivanisin came from Zagreb to bring the architect Dobrovic to the attention of a UK audience. His Grand Hotel on the island of Lopud is an excellent example of 1930's European architecture applied to a Croatian setting.

This was followed by another architect from Zagreb, Darja Radovic Mahecic, known for her monumental work on 1930's Croatian architecture. We are now working with her and the C20 Society to create an architectural tour to Zagreb in the autumn of 2021.

Two outstanding contemporary award-winning novelists, Marina Šur Puhlovski and Olja Knežević, were in conversation at an event that we held at Europe House. Marina worked as a journalist and a literary critic, before turning to writing exclusively prose. She has written stories, novels, travelogues, essays and literary diaries, and has been the recipient of several national awards for literature. Marina talked about her recently published novel, Wild Woman.

Olja Knežević lived in London for ten years, and has an MA in creative writing from Birkbeck College. She now lives in  Zagreb. She is the author of two novels and one book of autobiographical short stories. Her novel Ekaterina Great and Small will be published in English in 2020.

The literary theme continued at this year's British-Croatian Society annual dinner at the Army and Navy Club on Pall Mall in London. The guest of honour was Celia Hawkesworth, honoured for her career long dedication to translation and bringing Croatian authors to the attention of UK readers. Social events also included a BBQ in the summer and regular meet-ups.

Our ever popular annual photographic event, calendarCroatia, took a slightly different form this year. At the launch party, in addition to showing a wide variety of images taken in Croatia in 2019, photographs by Dragan Tomljenovic, Edo Skender and Ninoslava Shah were selected to be enlarged and framed to hang in honour at the Croatian embassy. You can see a selection of the photographs and the calendar on our website.

We will continue to work with other organisations as a way of bringing Croatia to the attention of people in the UK, In addition to the C20 Society, we are arranging events in 2020 with the British Library.