POGON (which means both “drive” and “production plant” in English) is a hybrid cultural institution, based on a new model of public-civil partnership, established and managed jointly by Alliance Operation City (local network of youth and cultural associations / NGOs) and the City of Zagreb (municipality).
It was initiated by independent cultural and youth organizations and is rthe esult of an advocacy camp (2005 – 2008). The institution was formally registered in February 2009.
POGON's mission is to support local independent organizations’ programs in diverse contemporary arts and cultural disciplines as well as their youth activities. They provide venues and help build their local capacities, as well as advocating their interests on both local and European levels and facilitating their participation in international cultural cooperations.
The institution provides the drive for boosting the Zagreb independent cultural and youth scene.
Core activity: Center for programs of independent organizations
POGON manages two venues that are used by 40-50 different organizations for 250 – 300 various events and projects per year.
POGON Jedisntvo was opened in September 2009 and is a former water-pump factory situated on the Sava riverbank. In its two main halls (80 and 450 square meters) it hosts various events: exhibitions of local artists, international festivals of visual and performing arts, concerts and parties, theater and dance shows.
POGON Mislavova, located in the city center, is an office space with a conference room, altogether 120 square meters. It has been in use since June 2009 and serves as POGON's headquarters, temporary offices for NGOs, serves as venue for informal education programs, public presentations and meetings.
Artists-in-residence: partnership with Akademie Schloss Solitude
In 2009, POGON established a partnership with the German institution Akademie Schloss Solitude and became a member of the Eastern European Network, exchange program of the Akademie Schloss Solitude for young artists in the extended European Union, and the already selected Solitude fellows. The program consists of two 3-months residencies per year in Stuttgart and Zagreb and was started in 2010 when ASS hosted Croatian artist Zvonimir Marcic, meanwhile POGON hosted USA artist Lan Tuazon.
It is a new initiative that explores regions far away from the cultural, political and economical centres of Europe, so far unknown to many. It is designed to encourage inspiration and provide artists knowledge of the rich diversity in the vast European cultural space. Presently the regions we are focusing on are in the Balkans, the East, Caucasus and the North.
CORNERS is an intercultural arts project, created and developed by six partners: Intercult (Stockholm), Umeå 2014, Exodos (Ljubljana), Drugo More (Rijeka), Pogon (Zagreb) and Gdansk 2016.
The first phase, CORNERS Research & Development (R&D), consists of four Xpeditions to the outer regions of Europe. More than 40 artists and researchers will travel in each region for almost two weeks to encounter culturally/socially/politically active citizens and organizations and learn about their regions. From this experience, inspiration for new artistic productions will arise. In the Second Phase of CORNERS these tentative productions will be co-produced by the partners in the project and distributed across Europe.
- Developing a resource service for programs of independent culture and youth,
- Encouraging the development of independent contemporary art scene and helping its integration into European exchange and cooperation flows,
- Contributing to strengthening the capacities and position within the system of Zagreb organizations of independent culture and youth.
- Member of Culture Action Europe (with a representative in the Executive Committee),
- Partner in the project CORNERS,
- Member of the Eastern European Network, an exchange program of Akademie Schloss Solitude,
- Part of a group of organizations that will host the IETM meeting in Zagreb in 2012.