The People's Smart Sculpture

Zagreb Upper Town: Change of Heart

Zagreb Upper Town: Change of Heart

The subproject “Change of heart” topographically refers to the Upper Town (Gornji Grad), the heart-shaped, historical centre of Croatia’s capital. It also symbolically emphasizes the need to foster new emotionally engaging, participative practices as crucial elements of the (re)construction of the Upper Town’s public sphere and its image in the perception of its citizens and visitors. Zagreb’s historical centre is, at first sight, just another scenic, administrative, tourist-attraction-laden heart of a Central European town. Governmental institutions, museums, unused public and deserted private locations are common in the picturesque scenery but seem devoid of “real life” and storytelling capacity all too often. The protests, strikes, tourist guided tours and summer festivities turned the layers of social memory and present life invisible.

The sub-project ‘Change of Heart’ aims at broadening museum’s symbolism (broken relationships) for rethinking the heartbeat of the Upper Town and intensifying people’s connection with this part of the city.

Through the engagement and collaboration of different target groups who are each in their own way (as individuals and as a group) “in relationship” with this part of town (residents, students and school pupils, working population, city and government officials, artists) we want to set in motion the mini-processes of questioning, unveiling and re-sculpting the intimate identity of the heart of Zagreb. The methods we put an emphasis on are processes that empower audiences/participants not as “consumers” of cultural content but in the role of architects of memory, identity and content. The practices performed by curators and project leads are mainly designed as a trigger for more open, dialogue driven practices based on two key axis: storytelling and emotional mapping of the Upper Town.

Our main methods for reaching those objectives include artistic interventions, installations, workshops and lectures that question the public space, its role and use. The activities were planned to be carried out through participation of local community and drawing inspiration from their personal memories (in collaboration with international artists).

Implemented by


  • Central State Administrative Office for State Property Management (DUDDI)
  • City Council of Zagreb
  • Elementary School Lauder Hugo Kon
  • Zagreb Observatory
  • Meteorological and hydrological service
  • Fajn Bistro
  • The Upper Town High School
  • Cafe Škrabatorij

Duration: 2015-2017
Number of artists/creatives involved: 30
Ends with exhibitions in public space and MBR


Wishing to remind the public that Zagreb’s Upper Town is much more than a tourist attraction or a political hub, on May 15 2016, Museum of Broken Relationships introduced a series of events under the name ‘Change of Heart’ which took place in the Upper Town’s streets and squares and which were featured in the 24-hour programme of experimental radio station.



  • experimental radio art
  • art interventions in public space
  • participative public events

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(c) 2015 Museum of Broken Relationships