we are pleased to invite you to the opening of the exhibition From baraka to fabrika / Fish processing on the island of Hvar on Tuesday, 14 August 2018 at 9pm in the Juraj Plančić Gallery of Stari Grad Museum. The exhibition focuses on the tradition of fish salting, present on the island for many centuries, as well as the history of the fish processing industry, i.e. sardine factories operating in Jelsa, Vrboska, Sućuraj and the town of Hvar.
From the earliest times, fishing has been the cornerstone of life on the island of Hvar. Abundance of small pelagic fish, especially pilchard, has always been, along with grapes and olives, the backbone of local economy and socio-cultural development. Economically, culturally and symbolically, the most important commodity is undoubtedly pilchard (Sardina pilchardus) and a long tradition of pilchard salting has survived to this day.
The fish was salted in barrels, stored in specialised buildings called baraka, that once existed in all coastal settlements on the island of Hvar. Due to the development of technology and foreign investment, island’s first fabrika (a sardine factory) appeared in the second half of the 19th century. Fishermen from Hvar spread the tradition of fish salting throughout the Mediterranean, all the way to the southern coasts of Africa and the New World, establishing fishing and fish-processing centres and trade. With the emergence of mass tourism in the 1960’s fishing and fish processing lost their economic and social importance. The Common Fisheries Policy of the European Union and the growing concern for sustainable use of maritime resources pose new challenges. After centuries of glorious past of salted pilchard, today there is not a single purse seiner or fish processing company on the island.
The opening of the exhibition will be held with the performance by the members of the Stella Maris Hvar choir, with the repertoire of songs from former factories. It is our pleasure to announce that the exhibition opening will also be a premiere of a comic book in the making A ballad of salted fish by Alem Ćurin. The author of the exhibition concept is Stari Grad Musem’s curator Veronika Gamulin, while the exhibition design is the work of Split artist Viktor Popović.
The exhibition was realised in collaboration with the Croatian Maritime Museum Split, Jelsa Municipal Museum, Hvar Heritage Museum and the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research, and will run until 30 September 2018.
We look forward to your visit!
Check out the exhibition teaser below!