This is the first contribution from Croatia to this newsletter and obviously trying to pack more than a month of reporting, but without local Wikimedia affiliates and organized work for a decade, it will not be as huge as imaginable. Though Croatian Wikipedia was often in media focus in the past decade due to its governance failures to self-manage and resist nationalist bias, its recent changes in governance, as well as the first efforts in establishing Wikimedia work beyond on-wiki work, is what marked 2021 a turning point.
The first interactions with cultural institutions were already taking place in 2020 with the first ever Wikimedian-in-residence, done at the City Library of Rijeka (IFLA blog). This, pre-covid, was an experimental effort to capture the momentum of the City of Rijeka being the European Capital of Culture 2020... but one pandemic year later, the partnership was mostly virtual with zoom-based programs for librarians, with exemplary Wiki content and shared promotion and enthusiasm for Wikipedia approaching its 20th year (GkR.hr).
In Spring 2021 we had our first contact with the Ministry of Culture and fixed bad permissions for the use of two of their website content (back from 2008 so a part of 16 thousand articles was in jeopardy of deletion). We approached modern and contemporary art museums, to start planning work for 2022 (the first brief WiR visit from abroad was made in December with MSU.hr).
With the capital also being shaken by earthquakes, floods, turmoil over elections, and city bankruptcy, our focus was on a smaller and more elastic independent culture network, Clubture.org, establishing the basis for the first Wiki-mediation of their archives, as well as the archive of the Center for Documentation of Independent Culture (whose interns and volunteers we trained). We hope to gain support from WMF and CreativeCommons OpenGLAM in dealing with these less obvious subjects and entities.