The 16th Ogulin Fairy Tale Festival was held from 11th to 13th June. Theatre and street performances, workshops, dance performances, painting exhibitions, quizzes, adrenaline points, storytelling, tours, a climbing and storytelling tour of Klek mountain and many other fun activities and events were performed at the already well-known festival stages and locations. It was, as usual, joyful, colourful, instructive, mystical and interesting.

Storytellers: Sabina Gvozdić, Perry Ground, Sandra Vukoja

DMC Open Land accompanied us on the way to Klek, and for the first time they offered and presented the offer and luxury of Ogulin’s narrative art, nature and gastronomy. So at this year’s Festival, I told two fairy tales: The Witch by the author Ema Božičević on top of Klek and Reygoch by Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić in the beauty of Đula’s park. Our appetites were whetted by the Ogulin “masnica” – a traditional savoury cake that has delighted guests all over Croatia, and gathered at Klek for stories and cakes.

For the first time this year, the Festival will be held on two occasions: the second time during the second weekend in September, and applications for artistic and commercial content can be found on the website of the Tourist Board of Ogulin.

We continued to pass on the living word, and so at the opening of Margaret’s Summer in Bakar on 26th June, we told the biographical story of Ivan Čop, a blind water carrier who, with darkness in his eyes but light in his heart and mind, carried water to Bakar’s wealthy families and in that way provided for himself and his family. What makes this story so special is that some of his healthy and wealthy fellow citizens remain indebted to him even today. The all-day programme in Bakar is marked by the character of the blind watercarrier through a series of workshops, storytelling, exhibitions… I especially liked the theme of this year’s Margaret’s Summer because it indicates that there are stories that are neither beautiful nor fair, nevertheless, they need to be told and in this way perhaps (hopefully) encouraged to be thought about. How? Let everyone judge for themselves.

Storytelling at Bakar’s Magaret’s Summer

After that, we jumped to Zagreb, to Mažuranac, where this year Caffe de Matoš is held: an open-air café with artists, singers, poets and art exhibitions in an attractively landscaped park in the centre of Zagreb. The outdoor space, which is decorated in an industrial retro style, leads you to find a spot (deck chairs) and look through all the countless details in the park full of light, objects from Hrelić, exhibited poems, lamps and glitter, as befits the location and time of year. Very urban and pleasant, time flies there. They say: “It’s needless to waste words on having to come to @caffedematos, so just come. “I agree! And there, on 7th July, I told the fairy tale The Witch. We treated the fairy tale subtly and carefully. It was a wonderful summer night full of laughter, joy, and a urban and pleasant vibe – the best of the city of Zagreb. The audience enjoyed the fairy tale very much.

Caffe de Matoš, Zagreb

I am also proud of my collaboration in Elvis Bilalić’s documentary Waterways, which will soon be premiered on national television. It encompasses all the rivers and lakes that begin and end in Croatia, and carries a strong ecological message, and a call to preserve our natural treasures and phenomena. I proudly participated and contributed – with my voice.

The summer in Ogulin is organised in such a way that every weekend several free activities are offered, and you can check everything on the Facebook page of the Tourist Board of the town of Ogulin. Many young and old lovers of nature and intangible cultural heritage have passed through Ogulin so far, and I try to make everyone take home a memory as a souvenir, their own image of the experience in their head, and that’s forever!

Lively summer – part 2 😉

Translation by Martin Mayhew