In the City of Zagreb, which is also the capital for integration of refugees and migrants in Croatia, we are enriched with atelier that hosts and organises activities where everyone are invited to step in and join. The name of this place is Living Atelier. Living, refers to a living organism that develops, communicates, adapts itself and shapes the environment. Atelier, is a center of creation, experiment, camaraderie and collaboration. Collective gathered around Living Atelier works in two levels: with vulnerable groups – in a created safe environment; and with local community – like the Bazar event. Having an opportunity for women to participate not as people receiving a service but as people hosting, giving, showing their work helped to build a sense of agency, dignity and connection to the wider community from sharing time over drinks and snacks, exchanging words or learning/teaching phrases in various languages, and listening to diverse music.
Bazar gave an opportunity for various people to come together, interact, and strengthen the sense of community and belonging among the regular attendees of Living Atelier programs. The sense of community-building and connection to Živi Atelje DK among the various members was more noticeable in that more people volunteered to be at the bazaar during opening hours for various shifts and do the various tasks from setting up, serving drinks/snacks to newcomers, making sure there was enough seating for some of the events, providing information regarding the art and crafts pieces on display, to cleaning up and shutting down at the day’s end.
Living atelier has in 2019 organised third yearly bazaar in a row. The 2019 edition was by far the most successful in terms of number of people attending events during the bazaar and visiting the bazaar itself, in terms of the amounts of art and crafts sold, and especially in terms of the non-tangible and qualitative community-building aspect especially with and including members of the No Borders: Women to Women collective. Continuous attendance and the amount of traffic generated on social media, added to the success.
- FRIDAY, 13.12 // 19:00–21:00; Opening of bazaar; Well attended by both members, those who participated in the various programs and new people who heard about the bazaar from social media.
- SATURDAY, 14.12 // 16:00–21:00; Presentation on tea, herbs, traditional healing, and tea tasting with herbalists Maja and Amanda of ‘Baba Čaj‘, Slovenian mountaineers, from 17:00 to 19:00. (Language: Slovenian, with Croatian & English translation).
- SUNDAY, 15.12 // 16:00–21:00; Presentation and tasting of Iraqi tea and music, starting at 18:00. This was a very popular event with people from different countries.
- MONDAY, 16.12 // 16:00–21:00 Zbor Domaćigosti (choir) came to sing from their rich international repertoire starting at 17:30.
- TUESDAY, 17.12, WEDNESDAY, 18.12, & SATURDAY, 21.12 // 16:00–21:00 Ivanka Pašalić from Udruga Stakleni svijet gave several 30-minute glass-blowing presentations.
- THURSDAY, 19.12 // 16:00–21:00 Storyteller Marijana Mrvoš started her stories at 19:00.
- FRIDAY, 20.12, SUNDAY, 22.12, MONDAY, 23.12 // 16:00–21:00
Bazaar was well-attended by people coming for a sense of holiday cheer away from the crowds of the center of the city and by those looking for last-minute gifts. Wandering Art Tea Academy members served tea while each day people involved in the Women to Women Collective attended to the bazaar visitors.