Charity Concert in the Croatian Musical Institute

Ruke nade (Hands of Hope – Croatian Baptist Aid) and the Baptist Church Zagreb organized a charity concert on the 22nd of February 2017 with a goal to help the asylum seekers in the process of integration to the Croatian society.

Concert was held by a vocal group Saltshaker. Under the guidance of the art director Kristina Bjelopavlović Cesar the group enthusiastically performed 16 songs from different musical genres, and the audience, filling the Big hall of the Croatian Musical Institute, greatly enjoyed the concert.

All the proceedings from the tickets and individual donations will be used in the projects that Ruke nade is implementing in the Center for the asylum seekers in Porin, Zagreb. Asylum seekers are offered courses in Croatian, German, and English language, computer courses, creative courses, transportation to the specialist doctor examinations, and the support in the process of integration and in finding a new place to live in.

Alongside the concert there was a photography exhibit “In the Eyes of the Stranger”. The photographs shown there were created during a year and a half in 2015 and 2016, in Croatia, during the “refugee or migrant crisis” while the “Balkan route” was opened. Some of the photographs originated in different refugee camps in Northern Greece.

The photographs were taken by “regular people”, in the passage, in some pause between the volunteer duties and being on watch. Those photographs capture significant moments, scenes, and meetings of people with different backgrounds and life stories who, at some point, shared space and time.

The photographs are intentionally set up on a wired fence because in some way it was exactly that fence that stopped hundreds of thousands of people from Asia and Northern Africa on their way to their destinations but at the same time opened up some deep questions about our modern European reality.

Yes, the photographs are amateur, “non-artistic”; they are not to be liked because of their artistic beauty, technical perfection, or a brand-name author. In fact, they are not to be liked at all. They are there to testify to the meetings of people. Unknown people on the road. From faraway foreign countries. People who need help. Help that we can give or withdraw. People whose looks merely give a glint of what made them leave their homeland. The exhibit was called “In the Eyes of the Stranger” because in the eyes of those people – despite all that is foreign, strange, new, anxious, surprising, and painful – we recognized the look of Jesus.

 

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