The world of labour has never been more exciting. … and the world of leisure has never been so depressing. How does Rijeka’s future look now with twenty thousand students instead of twenty five thousand industrial jobs lost over the last twenty years?

Work is dead, long live work!

Dopolavoro is a school of thought regarding former and current work types and conditions, emphasising the relationship between work and technology, which is deeply ingrained in Rijeka’s industrial and technical heritage. There is, however, a certain enthusiasm ignited by the freedom of the digital communications sector, a diverse start-up scene in the city, co-working, and the economy of sharing. Artists and non-sentimental researchers play an important role in this post-industrial period. It is typical of people working in culture to observe things from an unusual perspective, to ask questions, provoke and design. We have therefore invited several famous Croatian artists/researchers, both local and national, to invite their closest European colleagues to bring the topic of work to life with performances, media works, public sessions and street activities. We expect a gathering that will cause changes and remind Rijeka of its complex relationships towards work.

Impulse: Work is the basis of existence, an act of creation. An intrinsic human right. Homo sapiens is also homo faber, a labourer. Work is at the same time boring, an effort, a necessary evil. Work is hard, idleness is a nightmare.

Rijeka is a city of labour. Population growth depended on industry, the port and their related work opportunities. Most of those workplaces have disappeared over the last two decades. Rijeka has been deindustrialised, but it has never transformed from and industrial centre to a centre of knowledge. Rijeka and its immediate cultural surroundings is a region with one of the highest unemployment rates in Europe, with a devastating unemployment rate among young people. Precarious work has become a rule in the European south.

Contemporary society is no longer able to support permanent employment. Despite our planet’s incredibly abundant eco-system, the manufacturing sector stumbles, people are being pushed out of the labour market, institutions of solidarity are crumbling, and marginalisation is rampant. Work in its traditional sense is no longer an instrument of social development. Who better to tell this story than artists and creative minds who have always survived using irregular and inadequate support for their work?