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New Film – Help Build A Roadmap For Croatia’s Future – Croatian Studies Zagreb
The Croatian Film Institute (Texas, USA) announces a new short film directed by Nikola Knez (President of iFilms LLC,USA and Chair of Board of Directors of the Croatian Film Institute, entitled “Study of Demography and Croatian Emigration”, which you can watch on the institute’s website http://www.hfi.mobi, more precisely at http://hfi.mobi/page-45.html or
University professors and students from the Faculty of Croatian Studies, University of Zagreb, in this short film of about 17 minutes duration, share their vision of the mission of a new academic discipline that addresses the effect of emigration of generations of talented Croatians on their beautiful homeland. They extend a heartfelt, inspiring invitation to youth and émigrés to join and support their new program–Demography & Croatian Emigration–at the University of Zagreb. This field of study prepares a future generation of policymakers, researchers and professionals who will use scientific projections and models to make decisions in the best interest of people, shifting away from political stalemates and power struggles that have hampered the country’s progress and created a 21st century diaspora of the best and brightest.
“In this film, university professors and students share their vision in a new academic discipline that deals with the problem of emigration of generations of talented Croats from their beautiful homeland, the Republic of Croatia. Despite having all the natural and human components for the successful development of society there is a political status quo between forces that want to fully embrace a democratic, productive, demographically inclusive free market economy and those seeking only their own interests, rooted in the past of privileged communist elites.
This has resulted in growing dissatisfaction of the population with state decision-making and governance, tolerant officials and thus promote eligibility over quality, and corruption over transparency and accountability. All this leads to the stagnation of democratic, economic, and demographic development and the emigration of a large number of young people. In an attempt to scientifically solve this problem and for science to offer solutions that would determine the future of the Croatian state in this aspect, the University of Zagreb established the Croatian Studies, and recently the Department of Demography and Croatian Emigration.
Therefore, professors and students extend a cordial, inspiring invitation to young people and the diaspora to join and support their new program – the Study of Demography and Croatian Emigration – at the Croatian Studies, University of Zagreb. This study prepares future generations of public policy makers, researchers and experts who will use scientific projections and models for decision-making in the best interest of the Croatian people.
On the website of the Croatian Film Institute, in addition to film, you also have a link to studies so that all those who are interested in this topic can directly contact and see opportunities for study or other types of participation.
The aim and goal of the Croatian Film Institute is to inform and encourage cooperation and qualitative action to stop the emigration process, stimulate the return process and to build Croats together, across the diaspora and in the homeland to build a better, better and happier Croatian state. ourselves and the whole world,” says the iFilms/Croatian Film Institute Press Release January 2022.
According to the latest census from 2021, there are just over 3.88 million people living in Croatia. Croatia has lost 395,360 inhabitants in the last 10 years. This negative trend of depopulation indicates the importance of the Study of Demography and Croatian Emigration. It is expected that the Government of the Republic of Croatia will take urgent and decisive measures for the benefit of Croatia and the Croatian people, which will alleviate the outflow of population if it does not stop it completely.
While improving in many spheres of living Croatia still lags behind other developed countries in the realisation of its potentials. Population is the key factor in the development of a nation, of its society and space. The demographic problem Croatia has been facing for quite some time (e.g. the fall of natality rate, large emigration or exodus numbers of people etc) had become an urgent problem to solve and, hence in 2019 University of Zagreb had founded the Faculty of Croatian Studies via which the demographic problem has been lifted to academic level. While Croatian studies stream had soon after becoming an independent state, since 1992, existed as part of larger Faculties of the University of Zagreb it was thus almost three decades after becoming an independent state that Croatia had opened a new, distinct, and dedicated avenue of studying and perhaps coming up with solutions in addressing demographic problems, including studying one of the richest diasporas in the world relative to the population numbers in the homeland. The short film tells us that this new Faculty, Croatian Studies, had set the directions of its activities. And they are:
- Research and study the Croatian society, its population, culture, and its diaspora
- To create scientific knowledge about the Croatian civilisational and historical heritage that contributes to the development of an independent Croatian state that nurtures Croatian national and cultural identity in the European and world context.
- Research current demographic and migration trends and their consequences.
The key role in this scientific project would essentially need to have and head the newly formed department of demography and Croatian diaspora. Doc dr. sc. Stjepan Sterc, an assistant professor of that department considers that “the Croatian diaspora is the wealth of Croatia and that the total development of Croatia must be founded on the functioning of the domicile and emigrated populations and on that basis, we have formed the study streams within this Faculty so that we may best be able to acquaint ourselves with all aspects of associated issues…”
The study of demography and Croatian emigration is a scientific novelty at Croatian universities vis-a-vis importance and general interest and in terms of importance for Croatia and emigration issues.
Doc. dr. sc. Goran Rados, assistant professor, says: “It took many years for the study to be established, although phenomenology had been studied for emigration for a long time. In the last seven or eight years, there have been significant movements of emigrants, but in a bad direction, which means that Croats have begun to emigrate from Croatia more than they immigrate to Croatia. These phenomena can be studied at the study from all aspects – economic, political, legal … mainly through social interdisciplinary sciences …”
In the past ten years and according to the Census 2021 Croatia has lost around 400,000 of its people mainly due to emigration but also due to the fall in natality rate etc. Given that Croatia had a population of 4.2 million from the last census the recorded loss calculates to 10% of the total loss of population in ten years. The force of high emigration in recent years has begun to jeopardise and threaten the fundamental systems upon which the Croatian state rests. With the current population of Croatia being 3.8 million it is without a doubt that the population of people of Croatian descent through to, say, fifth generation, living in the diaspora is far greater than the population living in Croatian.
Doc.dr.sc. Wollfy Krašić, assistant professor, says: “The aim of this study is to attract young Croats from all over the world to come here to study and then stay in Croatia or return to their communities and then be guardians and promoters of Croatian national identity, culture and language.”Doc. dr.sc. Stjepan Sterc Photo: Screenshot iFilms/Croatian Film INstitute
Doc. Dr. sc. Stjepan Sterc: “So this is a very beautiful story that is extremely important to direct towards Croatian emigrants so that Croatian emigrants see that we here have not forgotten, among other things, what they did with their idealism towards Croatia in the 1990s and what they do every year through remittances sent very extensive through the financial system of the Republic of Croatia and larger than all modes of foreign investment. This only proves that this idealism in the emigration still exists and that it is only a question of the political attitude towards them as it will look like in the future.”
Become a student of Croatian Studies. Visit www.hrstud.unizg.hr
Help build a scientific roadmap for Croatia! Ina Vukic
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