More than Words

Do you want to experience the 80s? Visit the New Wave Museum

When we first hear the word museum, we usually think of the traditional concept of looking at pieces of historical, cultural, artistic or scientific importance. However, we now see a rise in new types of museums. Museums that offer interaction, besides the art displays. For example, in Zagreb, at Vlaška 67, close to the famous Jelačić square, you can visit the Museum of the New wave. The museum opened its door for the very first time in November this year. 

At the Museum of the New Wave, you can admire a synergy of 80s art in Croatia: from musicians, journalists, photographers, actors and directors, to numerous other artists.

For every rock music lover, or ultimate 80s fan, the museum is a must-visit when in Zagreb. It will take you through a period when rock music, tight ripped jeans, big hair, leather jackets, and glasses were a must in every wardrobe. 

As the famous Croatian song goes: "The 80s were the years when..."

Photo credit: Muzej novog vala

The museum showcases the New wave period through several artistic levels: practical everyday objects, programmatic publications, documents, musical instruments, famous photographs, and much more. A popular Croatian song says: „The 80s were the years when…”. The museum will finish the sentence for you.

Every piece in the museum has a personal story. For example, the story of a note to a girl, that became a popular song, or a magazine that marked the childhood of many. In front of the museum, you will even find a Stojadin, a famous Yugoslavian car. The museum also offers presentations of books and records, unplugged gigs, and debates.

Everyone who has new wave belongings like their trinkets, badges, concert tickets, or anything like that can bring them to the museum and share them with the visitors. The museum is constantly evolving. You can find new pieces very often and every visit is a new experience.

Memories in the drawers

Photo credit: Muzej novog vala

Photo credit: Muzej novog vala

An interesting fact is that every piece that you will see is donated. Lovers and admires of the New wave period had to take a peek into their attics, basements, and drawers. If the collectors hadn't saved these memorable pieces we wouldn’t have an opportunity to explore the 80s in such a fun way.

The handwritten lyrics of the famous song Nikol, a jacket that belonged to Davor Gobac, frontman of the famous rock group Psihomodo Pop, and Davorin Bogović’s hat from the video for the hit 80s song Black&White World - are only a few pieces that you can admire. These are pieces that present a cultural transformation that shaped the older generations and the new ones to come. 

The new wave in Croatia refers to the period of transition from the 1970s to the 1980s. A period that every generation likes to revisit. While younger generations are idolizing that period, older ones are sentimental and like to think about their carefree younger days. The generations that grew up during the New Wave were the first ones to directly criticize society and abandoned the uniformism while exploring the new musical and social trends. 

More than observation

Photo credit: Muzej novog vala

The New wave isn’t only a museum made for observing- it is about the interaction between past and future. When you visit the museum, you will hear lines like: "Do you remember this?" or "This was when we…" or "I used to love this record".

It seems like visitors are put into a time machine that takes them back to the unforgettable 80s. Younger generations also visit to admire the spirit of resistance and the new civic consciousness that marked the 80s. Aside from admiring the art pieces, you can hang out, talk, listen to music from the records on the gramophone and simply enjoy the atmosphere of a different era.

Zagreb has a lot to offer. Traditional dish štrukli, interesting history, monuments, and now a fresh look into the culture that marked the end of last century. So, when visiting Zagreb put this Museum on your list of must-visit places and connect with the experience of music, art, and everyday Croatian life in the 80s. 

Header photo credit: Muzej novog vala

Author: Monika Jugović