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Student's Tolerance Poster in Zagreb Vandalized


Inspired by the travelling Tolerance Poster Show, Tomislav Bobinec, a professor at FH JOANNEUM Design & Kommunikation in Graz, Austria, came up with the idea and organized a workshop with design students from the Institute of Design & Communication of the FH JOANNEUM in cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences Dortmund, Germany, the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia and the School of Design University of Zagreb, Croatia.

Posters created at the workshop are of a wide range of design approaches and became part of the “Students for Tolerance” exhibition.

After being exhibited in Graz at the Design Monat festival, in Berlin during the Berlin Design Week and in Ljubljana, the exhibition took place in the Republic of Croatia Square in Zagreb, which is in front of the School of Applied Arts and Design and the Museum of Arts and Crafts. 

This morning, a “citizen” told the police that one of the posters from the exhibition offended him with its content. Later, a group of grown men covered the cross symbol on one of the posters with markers and scribbled “LGBT” on the same poster. Then they covered it in white fabric and taped it close so that passers-by could not see it. The organizers later removed the cover. Later that day, the poster was vandalized.

The group of men subsequently announced their act in the media and on social media.So far, none of the posters shown in Austria, Germany, and Slovenia has been damaged or called out in this way.

On the same day, two homophobic and xenophobic posters with the coat of arms of Zagreb, the Star of David and the inscription “Zagreb for equality” appeared in the city centre of Zagreb.
The first poster tries to connect the LGBTQ community with paedophilia with the caption: “Support the LGBTQ+ community - Children have the right to love adults!”

The second poster reads, “Let’s accept migrants together - Welcome new Croats”. The poster depicts a crossed-out photo of white blonde girls (Hitlerjugend) and two other photos, one showing riots involving black people and the other protests in Asia. In the background is the painting Antemurale Christianitatis (Antecedents of Christianity), from 1892, by painter Ferdinand von Quiquerez-Beaujeu. It is an allegorical depiction of Croatia as the defender of Christian Europe.

Although this is an apparent attempt to suggest that these are official posters by the city authorities, the city authorities stated that they had nothing to do with it and would start removing them immediately.


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