8.1 General context
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Main trends in young people's creativity and cultural participation
Research on cultural habits of young people
Culture in youth-related research is largely analysed in the context of leisure time rather than as a separate creative and cultural experience. Leisure time research includes participation in different type of activities, including cultural and artistic ones.
According to the research report Generation of Disillusioned Youth in Croatia at the Beginning of the 21st Century (Ilišin and Spajić-Vrkaš, 2017) young people who spend their leisure time in cultural and artistic activities (such as going to a theatre, artistic exhibitions, concerts, cinema, listening classical music, and reading books), form so-called “elite pattern.” “Elite” refers to the type of activities but also to the young people’s social background. Statistical analysis indicates that socialization in families with higher social status and in urban environments as well as the higher level of academic achievement impacts strongly students’ participation in cultural activities.
A survey on cultural needs and cultural capital of young people gave more specific results on the interest in culture and habits of young people (Marcelić, Tonković and Krolo, 2020). The survey from 2016 encompassed high school students from the cities on the Adriatic coast. The research has shown that young people in Dalmatian towns are extremely uninterested in cultural content. According to the survey, 46% of high school students from Split have not once been in the library in the year before the survey, while in Zadar, 63% of high school students have not visited the theatre in the past year, while 43% of them have not visited museums or galleries.
Challenges to young people's participation in cultural experiences
A research on young people’s problems and needs has shown that "about a quarter of respondents are satisfied with the way they spend leisure time, while the majority of respondents (just over 28%) point out their dissatisfaction of offered desired content, followed by a lack of money (about 20%), time (about 16%), and a combination of dissatisfaction caused by all three factors - lack of money, time and adequate places“ (Buković, N., ed., 2010).
This issue is also highlighted by the situation analysis in the chapter Culture and Youth of the National Youth Program for the Period 2014 to 2017 (Nacionalni program za mlade za razdoblje od 2014. do 2017. godine): "Their approach is often very endangered for various reasons: lack of time and/or money, offers that do not match the real needs of the youth, inadequacy and insufficiency of organizational resources, inadequate support for cultural and artistic expression of young people and for young people, geographical constraints - life in poorly developed environments, inadequate public transport, etc.“
The Strategy for Protection, Conservation and Sustainable Economic Utilisation of Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Croatia (2011-2015) (Strategija očuvanja, zaštite i održivog gospodarskog korištenja kulturne baštine Republike Hrvatske za razdoblje 2011.–2015.) defines cultural heritage as “all material and non-material traces, remains and products as a result of human agency through the evolution, or it will become such at the certain point.”
Culture is permanently placed in a marginalized position in the Croatian context. The position of culture in Croatia is best described by the fact that its current stake of funding is at the level of 0.5% of the total state budget. Additionally, the allocation of resources available to the Ministry of Culture and Media, about 20% of funds are spent for programme needs, while 80% of funds are intended to cover cultural costs (staff salaries, maintenance of premises, overheads, etc.).
The largest number of cultural institutions and actors are concentrated in the City of Zagreb. This is why residents, including young people, outside Zagreb are in a disadvantageous position in relation to the opportunity to participate in creative and cultural experience.