IRMO is grieving the loss of our esteemed colleague, Biserka Cvjetičanin, an Emeritus Research Adviser, and long-term Head of the Department for Culture and Communication (1985-2000) at the Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO), Zagreb, Croatia. In addition to being an outstanding scholar and expert in the field of cultural policy, she held the position of Deputy Minister of Culture of the Republic of Croatia (2000-2004). During her mandate at the Ministry, the Croatian cultural policy was profoundly developed and advanced, introducing democratic standards in decision-making, as well as opening and positioning the Croatian cultural sector on the international scale.
Biserka’s educational path took her from the University of Zagreb to the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Sorbonne, Paris, and the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. She held a PhD in African Studies (comparative literature) from the University of Zagreb (1980) and was a recipient of the University of Zagreb Award for Scientific Research (1989). Her research work left an invaluable contribution in the field of cultural development, cultural diversity, cultural policies and intercultural communication. Some of the key authorial and editorial publications from her rich opus of studies and articles include Cultural Policy in Croatia – the National Report (1998), The Mediterranean: Cultural Identity and Intercultural Dialogue (1999), Dynamics of Communication: New Ways and New Actors (2006), Networks: The Evolving Aspects of Culture in the 21st Century (2011), Kultura u doba mreža / Culture in the Age of Networks (2014), Cultures in cooperation: realities and tendencies (2021) etc.
Biserka Cvjetičanin was member of the Scientific Council of the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe (2013-2016) and member of the UNESCO Administrative Council of the International Fund for the Promotion of Culture (2004-2008) as well as member of the Advisory Committee for UNESCO World Report on Cultural Diversity (2006-2009). She was the founding director and long-term executive coordinator of Culturelink – the Network of Networks for Research and Cooperation in Cultural Development, established in 1989 by UNESCO and the Council of Europe with its focal point at IRMO. Her relentless dedication to international cooperation in cultural policy studies and research promoted and affirmed numerous cultural policy scholars from all corners of the globe through networking activities, events and projects. She served as member of the International Advisory Board of the journal L’Observatoire des politiques Culturelles, Grenoble, France since 2007. The significance and exceptional merit of her work in promoting international cultural cooperation and weaving links between Croatia and France has been recognised by the French Legion d’honneur awarded to her in 2003.
Biserka’s work left a momentous legacy for IRMO, which shall be treasured and fostered with great honour and gratitude.
We will miss her dearly.
May she rest in peace.