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Creative social project combines culture and industry


Technical Museum Nicola Tesla
© Technical Museum Nicola Tesla

Nearly 200 women took part in a project designed to bring together the past, present and future of Croatia's textile industry, and to re-establish the link between factory workers and cultural activities

The textile industry in Croatia once employed more than 100,000 people – mostly women from rural areas. Of course, factory work was not easy, but it did have its advantages: as well as providing women with a regular monthly income, and a certain amount of emancipation, the factories provided meals, health care, and a wide range of recreational, social and cultural activities.

The Nikola Tesla Technical Museum in Zagreb invited 195 former textile workers aged over 55 to take part in the ESF-funded project, called Tailored Futures?, as a way to rebuild the link between industry and culture, and to encourage social inclusion. 

By working with artists and using their memories of everyday industrial working conditions, the retired women developed their creative and social skills, producing works of art that were presented at a museum exhibition and in a publication, also called Tailored Futures?.

A series of workshops, aimed to empower participants and provoke reflection, examined the impact of modern technology on the industry – including the implementation of digital technologies in textile manufacturing – and tackled various recycling techniques. 

“Workshops are a complete hit, really something new and interesting, especially for someone our age,” explains one participant. “I'm always happy when something is being done, created, and rethought.”

Project name Tailored Futures?
Duration 2018 - 2019
ESF contribution €61.205,19
Total budget € 72,006.05
Participants 195
Country Croatia
Organisation Technical Museum Nikola Tesla
Social Media
Contact details Kosjenka Laszlo Klemar
Related links 1.1.4. Adapting to change for workers, active ageing