FESTIVAL OF CULTURAL ACTIVISM VIDIK fest
The Croatian activist festival VIDIK fest with its diverse content that includes forums, films, educational workshops and cultural content aims to raise the awareness of citizens about burning social problems and various opportunities for social action with the aim of strengthening of civil society, the culture of dialogue, integral development and promotion of common good. With its rich programme the festival provides the necessary information on using available mechanisms of democracy in order to launch various initiatives and development projects. Since 2013, the festival is organized in Split by the Croatian association Benedict, on the initiative of Silvana Dragun, cultural manager and founder of the festival.
Socially engaged activity is necessary in every society because without engaged individuals and communities there are no positive social changes. Various topics of public interest are discussed at the VIDIK fest, which are analysed from different aspects, from urban communal problems to environmental, bioethical and global challenges. In the centre of interest is the complete development of a person based on integral humanism. There is no healthy and developed society without freedom, respect for human rights, culture of life and true brotherhood. With these manifestations, we want to encourage citizens to actively participate in social processes through various forms of public action, the work of civilian associations, scientific symposia and congresses, political organizations. Many of our citizens in our society complain nowadays that the times are difficult. There is a war raging in the east of Europe, huge inflation in our country! We have not recovered from the corona crisis, and maybe a new pandemic awaits us. All of that is “maybe”! But, let’s remember, St. Augustine had said that it wasn’t the fault of the times! As we are, so are the times because we make the times! Our battle today is fought against closing our eyes to the truth, suppression of freedom, social inertness and indifference.
An important feature of civil society is public action to promote the common good. In civil-social action, there are always present some principles and values that citizens promote and refer to. On a conceptual level the VIDIK fest can be viewed as one of the stages in the process of developing social awareness and responsibility. That process includes several important points: faith, idea, social perspective and cultural reform according to the method see-judge-act. The belief that bad trends can be changed through the active efforts of various actors is an essential prerequisite in the creation of a social climate without which there are neither development initiatives nor any will to initiate a reform. Each individual can contribute to illuminate important social topics from different points of view. The Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset in his book Revolt of the Masses (La rebelión de las masas, 1930) emphasized the importance of the role of intellectuals in public discourse. While "politics is in a hurry to turn off the light so that all cats are the same", intellectuals must not succumb to a political struggle that boils down to the falsification of the present and the past. Intellectuals must not get involved in demagoguery, which, as Ortega says, is "the beginning of intellectual degradation". VIDIK fest is interested in what lies behind superficial and subjective judgments, political and media manipulations, behind divisions and conflicts. This interest stems from the principle of responsibility. The basis of social responsibility is social love, which starts from small steps and an action plan at a micro level. Concern for the bonum commune (common good) is inscribed in people's conscience. Authentic and complete development presupposes freedom and in Christian humanism starts from the double order of ordo naturalis (natural order) and ordo supernaturalis (supernatural order). Friar Špiro Marasović (1944-2013), whose figure and works are remendered this year at the VIDIK fest 2023 on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of his death, often spoke about this. Fra Špiro Marasović was a member of the Commission of the Croatian Bishops' Conference Justitia et pax, head of the Department of Moral Theology at the KBF (Catholic Faculty of Theology) in Split, member of the National Bioethical Commission for Medicine, associate of the Franciscan Institute for the Culture of Peace and one of the founders of KRAK (Christian Academic Circle). He published numerous articles in which he openly criticized immorality and corruption, political abuse of position and that what Pope Francis is talking about today, the "economy of exclusion and inequality" (Evangelii Gaudium, 53). He advocated for the Franciscan ideal of brotherhood and peace, boldly exposing political demagoguery, often stepping out of his comfort zone. His example is a model for us on how to promote the values we stand for through public action without deviating from the line of credibility and intellectual honesty. Faced with the challenges of the times, citizens today have two options: either do nothing and criticize, or resist and act! We choose the latter because, as Stéphane Hessel says, "To create is to resist; To resist is to create''.