Foundation for Partnership and Civil Society Development in collaboration with the Istria County, the City of Pula, and the Archaeological Museum of Istria had organized an exhibition on philanthropy in Pula and Istria called “#philanthropy...?”. The exhibition was open from October 2 to October 31 in the Sacred Hearts Museum Gallery in Pula. The entrance and guide through the exhibition, in the spirit of its theme, was free of charge.
The main objective of the exhibition was to raise awareness of citizens on the importance of philanthropy and charity and to encourage them to operate in the community using this principle. Therefore, the exhibition raised questions like the one in the spotlight “What can YOU do?”.
This exhibition is an integral part of the Philanthropic Fund “Together for Community” financed by the Thematic Fund of the National Foundation for Civil Society Development: “Democratization and Civil Society 2.0”.
- AQUEDUCT CONSTRUCTION – one of the exhibits allowed visitors to jointly build a Roman aqueduct and clean the Roman city of Pula. By inserting stones on a pile in a glass model of aqueduct the formation was built and a video animation was initiated showing the cleansing of the Roman city that had no water before, and building of an aqueduct bringing water to the people. The animation was developed by members of Sonitus association from Pula. An Italian artist and archaeologist Francesco Corni in the spirit of philanthropy granted permission to use his drawing of the ancient city of Pula to construct the animation.
- LARGE WOODEN PUZZLE - In several places in the exhibition area, a large wooden puzzle that formed the amphitheater, an aqueduct, and a lighthouse were placed so that the visitors, young and adult, could construct these three buildings which some of the philanthropists presented in the exhibition have helped building, financing or dedicated their work to save them. Wooden puzzles for this occasion were hand-made by an artist Duško Ilijević.
- THE IRON LIGHTHOUSE – The central item of the exhibition and its initial motivation was a wooden lighthouse, a replica of the lighthouse that stood in the Pula City in 1915, raised by the Red Cross Ladies Committee for War Help. By buying iron, gold, or bronze nails and hammering them into the lighthouse, the citizens could donate to charity. One year later the lighthouse was completely covered in nails and about 100.000,00 Austro-Hungarian Krones were fundraised to help war widows and orphans or families who had lost their members. On the exhibition, the goal was to make the visitor hammer as many nails as possible during one month so that the wooden lighthouse, just as the one placed in Pula in 1915, would become the iron lighthouse, representing the charity work any of us can do. The three meters high wooden lighthouse was made by a local artist Korana Šuran. In the thirty days of the exhibition, a total of 1340 nails was hammered into it.
- COLOURING THE DRAWING “CHARITY PARTY IN THE VALERIA’S PARK” – A huge canvas with a drawing of one of the charity parties in Valeria’s park was placed in the “Valeria’s park corner” at the exhibition. All the visitors had the opportunity to participate in coloring the canvas with oil pastels placed aside. Once finished, the drawing was given to the Education and Training Centre from Pula.
- COLOURING PHILANTHROPY – a drawing and coloring station was placed in the creative-interactive part of the exhibition to motivate children (and adults!) to color monuments and buildings which were built or financed by philanthropists. The drawings and coloring pages authors left in the gallery were later displayed as a mini-exhibition becoming thus a part of the grand exhibition themselves.
- COLOURING THE DRAWING “CHARITY PARTY IN THE VALERIA'S PARK THROUGH A CHILD’S PERSPECTIVE” – one of the creative stations allowed coloring a big canvas showing a drawing of the charity party in Valeria’s park made by a young student Mia Duić of primary school Kaštanjer under the supervision of her teacher Korana Šuran.
- PHILANTHROPY PUZZLE – a wooden puzzle that ultimately forms a heart – the part of the body that leads us in philanthropic activities - was placed near the coloring stations. In this way, some could color while others do the puzzle.
- CALLIGRAPHY CORNER AND STAMPS – Calligraphy was once used in writing deeds of donation. In this section, visitors had the opportunity to try out the art of calligraphy writing down their name using the alphabet template and take it with them as a memory and a souvenir. Also, visitors could stamp different buildings and motives related to philanthropy on their “certificate” or plain paper.
- JOINT CREATION OF LARGE MOSAIC “INDEFINITE JOURNEY TO LOVE” – during the exhibition a great mosaic was made (4m²), which will be given to the Department of Pediatrics of the General Hospital Pula. The symbolism of the mosaic is that no one can do everything, but everyone can do something. The mosaic consists of 36 parts. Each part was made by a group of children or adults from kindergartens, schools, or faculties. Once the group came to visit the exhibition, their part was placed at the grand scheme of the mosaic on the 1st floor. All the necessary material with specific instructions was given to groups that had applied before the exhibition started. Art Studio association prepared and is completing the mosaic before it will be given to the hospital.
- MODELS OF PHILANTHROPY – INTERACTIVE WORKSHOP – The groups visiting the exhibition could apply for a workshop designed in a way that the students could discuss philanthropy and different ways they help someone around them.
- Collecting clothes and plastic packaging – In cooperation with the charity association “Naš san njihov osmijeh” (“Their dream is our smile”) and the Red Cross Society of Pula, an action of monitoring of collecting clothes and plastic packaging was organized. The number of collected plastic bottles and clothes was shown on a display at the exhibition for one month. As a part of the exhibition, it was talked about just like any other exhibit and explained, to motivate people to donate. The intention was to engage the visitors in daily charity action. Total figures surprised everyone: The action of collecting returnable plastic bottles gathered 315 bottles and the action of collecting clothes and footwear resulted in 3029 kg of clothes being collected.
- Fundraising for shoes – During the tour, most of the visitors were caught by a photograph showing a little boy immensely happy because of his new shoes. This photo was made in 1946 in front of the children’s orphanage “Am Himmel” by an Austrian photographer Gerald Waller. The boy was a war orphan, by the name of Werfel and at the time the photo was taken he was six years old. The shot was taken while he was hugging a pair of new shoes, obviously the first new pair after a long time, judging from the shoes he is wearing in the photo. Underneath the photo, there was a small chest in which visitors could insert metal chips or real coins. Once the coin was inserted, an animation was initiated where a sad boy with old scrappy shoes was given a new pair of shoes and his face turned from sad to smile. The touching animation and the boy's story animated a lot of visitors and by the end of the exhibition the chest contained 2.194,00 HRK (about 292 Eur) and the plan of buying shoes for the children of the local children’s home was to be fulfilled. Thanks to the shoe company Pittarosso Ltd. which had agreed to join this charity action by giving a free pair of shoes for each pair bought in their store, and with the help of its workers who also joined with their private donations, we managed to buy the total of 11 pairs of shoes for the local Children’s home.
For all interested citizens, free expert-guided tours were organized every Sunday at 12.00. The first such was held by the author of the exhibition Andrej Bader. Associate Tina Širec was employed for the other guided tours.
For schools and larger groups (maximum 30 students, kindergarten or primary/secondary school children) free guided tours were organized from Monday to Friday three times a day. A total number o 94 group visits were organized from 8 secondary schools, 16 primary schools, 10 kindergartens, and 3 university groups.
During the exhibition, the students visiting the exhibition, as well as others, could send their literary essays on philanthropy, charity, and active society and thus participate in the literary competition for the best essays. A total of four essays were awarded - two in Italian and two. The authors of the essays received their awards and had the opportunity to present their work at the final presentation of the results of the exhibition.
Winning students are:
(Category 1st to 4th grade / Italian language – 4th-grade primary school Edmondo De Amicis Buje; Mentor - Cristina Springer)
(Category 1st to 4th grade / Croatian language - 4th-grade primary school Vladimir Nazor Krnica; Mentor: Gordana Antunović)
(Category 5th to 8th grade / Italian language – 6th-grade primary school Kaštanjer Pula; Mentor: Alda Trbojević)
(Category 5th to 8th grade / Croatian language – 8th-grade primary school Veli Vrh Pula; Mentor - Igor Jovanović)
During the exhibition, an on-line quiz about philanthropy was organized. Primary and secondary school students could participate in the quiz. Out of a total number of 106 students, one from each category was randomly chosen as a winner.
The winners of the quiz:
Category 1st to 4th grade / Primary school Mate Demarin Medulin
Category 5th to 8th grade / Primary school Divšići
Category Secondary School / Secondary school Mate Blažina Labin
Foundation for Partnership and Civil Society Development and Tourist Office Pula presented a new product, unique in Croatia: a tourist itinerary that presents different philanthropists in Pula, guiding the visitor through the city focusing on the donated buildings and places. The presentation of the itinerary was held in the week that marks World Tourism Day, and also the Week of Philanthropy, with special emphases on Philanthropy Day marked on October 1st.
Pula philanthropists, the benefactors of the three millennial cities, can be found almost everywhere. On one hand, the itinerary shows the location of philanthropic works and buildings and on the other visitor can find short notes on them. The map is interactive – visitors can play a game answering the questions on the map and thus participate in a contest. The map can be obtained at the Tourist Board of the City of Pula.