how Yugoslavian youth magazine Val changed a Croatian town forever – The Calvert Journal
The book itself offers a revealing account of all that made the 1980s such a turning point in Yugoslav history, a period when increased media freedoms and the flourishing of youth culture went hand in hand with the crisis. economic and political disintegration.
Set up in a small room with a telephone and five typewriters, Val was all the more significant since it was not published in Zagreb, Belgrade or Ljubljana. His home was the port city of Rijeka, the 3rd largest city in Croatia and the 12th largest city in then Yugoslavia.
Although perched on the outskirts of Yugoslavian life, a gruff port town that seemed culturally marginalized and lacked even a decent beach, in many ways Rijeka was nonetheless at the center of the ‘new wave’ to which Jurković’s title alludes. Even today, Rijeka’s reputation as a center of alternative music and alternative attitudes remains a crucial part of the city’s character.
Val (or “Wave” in English) was created by the Socialist Youth League, a seemingly party-controlled organization designed to cultivate the loyalty of the nation’s youth and serve as a training ground for political careerists. The league has also funded the publication of ideologically uplifting youth magazines across the country. But instead of getting the party message across, the Yugoslav youth press – including magazines like Val – ended up eroding it. While most Yugoslav dailies remained loyal to local political leaders until 1990, the country’s youth press freed itself much earlier, exploring the frontiers of critical journalism and political satire at a time when the media ” adults ”were more cautious.