28. SLUK – Welcome message

The drops that weave the survival of SLUK!

Dear puppeteers, you can see and feel for yourself that nothing is normal at this SLUK, so please forgive me for underlining it. So, it is not normal that the best puppeteers of Croatia do not all gather in one place every two years, that they do not look at each other’s best things to show in the past two years, that they do not hang out for the entire duration of the festival, that they do not share their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the awarded prizes at the closing evening, not to praise each other for good things and not to complain about bad things to each other, not to sing and dance, it’s not normal for the puppeteers to drip on the SLUK one by one when they arrive and drip the same way when they leave!

Well, good! If they are already dripping on SLUK, let them at least weave the cascade of Croatian puppetry in continuity in that way. What is normal at this year’s SLUK is that it is in Osijek! Then it is normal that I wish you all WELCOME TO OSIJEK FOR THIS ONLY ABNORMAL CHANCE IN HISTORY!

Jasminka Mesarić, president of the Organizing Committee and president of the HC UNIMA

To meet a very unusual SLUK

Dear friends, dear colleagues, here we are at our most important puppet festival, the meeting of puppeteers and puppet theaters of Croatia, our SLUK, a festival we are looking forward to because for many years (there since 1977) it provides us with the most important thing (in addition to performances) – meetings and socializing: in the theater (before and after the performance – this time we will not mention socializing late into the night), waiting for the tram, in the tram – rushing from show to show, along the Drava, at exhibitions….

28. The meeting of puppeteers and puppet theaters will be remembered because it took place at a time that will be remembered for a small virus that managed to completely change our way of life in just one year. We don’t socialize in the way we are familiar with – we greet each other from a distance, we don’t shake hands, we don’t hug, we don’t sit next to each other. We watch performances online, we change festival dates, we organize them remotely, along the way doing everything to live life.

Ahead of us is the rich program of this year’s SLUK. We will enjoy watching twelve plays carefully chosen by Teodora Vigato for participation at SLUK this year. We will enjoy the exhibitions, we will celebrate Branko Mihaljević’s 90th birthday, we will host the fourth edition of SHOW-CASE organized by the Theater Epicenter, hold a meeting of the HC UNIMA Board of Directors, be part of the Vukovar Puppet Spring program and imagine that on all days of the SLUK- and all together in Osijek, because puppeteers are characterized by a rich imagination and cheerful spirit that helps them create the most unusual shows and overcome various difficulties.

Believing in our rich imagination and cheerful spirit, I welcome you to Osijek, to Branko Mihaljević’s Children’s Theater with the hope that this is our first and last meeting in this edition and that the next SLUK will be the old one again and that we will “crowd” and create “shushur”, that we will hug, shake hands, rush from show to show….