The Red History Museum is the newest addition to Dubrovnik’s must-see places
Dubrovnik, July 7 – The Red History Museum, which is the newest addition to Dubrovnik’s cultural offer, has rapidly made a name for itself as one of the most fascinating places to visit in southern Dalmatia.
One of 19 museums in the city, the Red History Museum was opened in April this year and its permanent exhibition describes everyday life in communist Yugoslavia.
Visitors to the popular international travel website TripAdvisor recommend it as one of the three museums and one of the top ten places in Dubrovnik to visit.
Located in the city’s Gruz industrial district, in the inconspicuous basement of the Factory of Carbon Graphite Products, once the city’s most successful socialist factory, the museum was established by five young enthusiasts, who financed the project with their own money.
One of them, Kreso Glavinic, said he was happy that in only one month the museum had received as many comments as some museums received in a year.
Among the 300 items on display are a red Yugo 45 and a K67 kiosk, which was designed by Slovenian Sasa Maechtig and until 1990 was exported to many countries, ending up in the depot of New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).
The museum holds about 1,000 Yugoslav-era items that were bought at flea markets or on the internet.
The choice of exhibits, the museum’s founders say, was determined in line with work done by prominent researchers of political and cultural history and the history of tourism and everyday life.
“We bought a basketball with Drazen Petrovic’s signature from a collector in Slovenia and a portable Iskra TV set from a Roma in Pancevo,” Glavinic said.
The permanent exhibition has been designed in such a way to show an average socialist apartment.
The exhibits, interactive solutions and extended reality serve to acquaint visitors with socialist urban planning and housing construction, self-government and associated work, economic reforms, women’s rights, the 1971 movement calling for greater emancipation of Croatia as a federal republic, as well as with film, media, education, sports etc.
The exhibition also includes items testifying to the politicisation of the youth, youth labour drives, the cult of Tito and the 1980s crisis, which serve as an introduction to the last section of the exhibition, entitled Dealing With Enemies and showing artefacts of secret services and stories about the red era totalitarianism, dissidents and the authorities’ attitude to religion.
“While working on the museum’s concept, we had in mind people without any experience related to socialism – young people, tourists and students. The purpose of the exhibition is to intrigue them without making any final value judgements,” Glavinic said, adding that talks were underway with schools and universities, not only from Dubrovnik or Croatia, on organised visits.