Operation City (formerly: Alliance Operation City; Alliance for the center for independent culture and youth – SZC) was founded with the purpose of supporting the development of independent culture and self-organized activities of youth. The organization realizes its goals by gathering organizations and individuals, and organizing various cultural activities, from manifestations and public discussions, through educational and research programs, to publishing. It currently has 27 members.
Operation City advocates innovation in the field of participative governance in culture, promotes equal access to culture and strives to improve the working conditions of independent culture and youth organizations.
Independent culture and youth as influential actors of local community development
Institutional innovation and cultural policy
Strengthening local cultural scenes, transfer of knowledge and networking
Member organizations work in the sector of independent culture and the youth. These organizations implement projects and activities in various fields, such as active participation of youth in society, youth culture and creativity, urban culture, contemporary art, theater, dance, performing arts, non-formal education in various fields, providing information to youth, new media and technology, youth mobility, youth policies, cultural policies, architecture and urbanism, music culture, film and video etc.
Operation City was established by Zagreb-based organizations, which, in early 2005, initiated a public discussion and an advocacy campaign to improve the position of non-institutionalized culture and youth in the City of Zagreb. The initiators are: two national networks (Clubture Network, active in the field of non-institutional culture, and the Croatian Youth Network, active in the youth field), organizations gathered in the cooperation platform Zagreb – Cultural Capital 3000 (Autonomous Cultural Center Attack, Shadow Casters, BLOK, Center for Drama Art, Multimedia Institute, Platform 9.81, Culture Development Association "CDA", WHW) and Zagreb-based non-profit cultural and youth clubs (MaMa, Močvara and Attack!).
Following a series of public discussions, as part of the platform Zagreb – Cultural Capital 3000, the initiators organized a ten-day manifestation called Operation: City, which took place in the abandoned industrial complex Badel in Zagreb, in September 2005. Operation: City gathered 26 organizations and initiatives for the purpose of promoting new models of cultural programming, innovative models of using spatial infrastructure and broadening public space. Considering the local cultural and political context of the time, the project had a strong focus on raising the visibility of independent cultural production in the broader public and on advocating the needs of the local cultural and youth sectors.
The informal initiative was registered under the name Alliance for the Center for Independent Culture and Youth on August 16th 2006, while the founding assembly meeting was held on June 1st 2006. From that day until 2009, the activities of Operation City were primarily focused on establishing POGON – Zagreb Center for Independent Culture and Youth in Zagreb as a hybrid institution (civil-public partnership) based on an innovative model of programming and governing.
Together with the City of Zagreb, Operation City co-founded the public institution POGON – Zagreb Center for Independent Culture and Youth in 2008 which is co-governed by the two founders. One of the main functions of the organization is to gather in its formal membership the beneficiary organizations of the Center. By becoming a member of Operation City, organizations participate in the governance of the Center, which implies, among other things, discussing and passing key governing decisions (eg. appointment of the director), establishing the model of resource allocation and decisions regarding the program, as well as permanent evaluation and improvement of that model.
Therefore, in 2009 and 2010 the organization significantly increased its membership. Since the Alliance for the Center for Independent Culture and Youth achieved its primary objective by establishing the institution, the organization changed its name to Alliance Operation City and redefined its goals as follows:
In 2021, the organization changed its name to Operation City.