ALU / MET 2020 online

Annual student exchange facilitated by Nicole Hewitt and Ben Cain.

During an exceptionally difficult period that included a pandemic and earthquakes, along with various other challenges, BA Art students from Zagreb Academy of Fine Art and LondonMet found ways to communicate, to share times, spaces, ideas… and to make work together over distance. Ordinarily -and this has been happening for more than 10 years now- this is an exchange project that involves real physical travel between London and Zagreb. On other occasions this project would also include an exhibition event at GMK Zagreb. Travel restrictions and social distancing have meant that we have had to manage the project very differently this year. Instructions, links, images, sound, text etc. were exchanged online, and following remote discussions on various platforms people responded to each other’s prompts and started making work. Much of that work dealt with changing conditions for interpersonal contact, and with world-changing situations at home and on the street (the period of the exchange coincided with the murder of George Floyd). Some of that work is easy to call collaborative, and some of it perhaps isn’t, but everything that’s presented here has developed from a shared space of remote contact and from attempts to exchange in a meaningful way over distance at a time of immense and intense change. 

List of participants: Sunčica Svilković, Isabel Southey, Luka Tomić, Stuart Lee, Ante Dujmović, Karla Labrador, Mayara Garcia Deo, Marijeta Mikačić, Jilly Topping, Ingeborg Reichel, Eun Howie, Karla Zrinščak, Konrad Jabukowski

Eun Mi Howie

When the George Floyd incidence had happened, the writing was one of the ways to express and support the protest. In this video, cutting and throwing letters is a metaphor for violence and division from the communities and the race. The echoing voices is a metaphor for the people’s voice integrated with one rather than individuals; having a sense of community is more potent than a sense of individuality. In this context of my poem, the virus indicates inequality. I hope one day we all have an equal society regardless of the colour of skin and be kind to others.

Sunčica Svilković

Isabel Southey

These x 4 films are a collection of short stories based on my childhood memories. Each story is a merge of fantasy and fact. The films explore the ‘murkiness’ of my memory. To emulate this I have created fictional characters that are personal to me. I decided the best way to articulate these memories was through audio. There is something comforting about stories being told to us. Perhaps this derives from childhood. The images accompanying each story are specific places or symbols, relevant to each story.

Karla Labrador and Konrad Jabukowski

here’s a universal song all can understand and sing along to!

Following the entirety of this project, there were many misunderstandings and miscommunications from all parties and individuals involved, in some way, shape or form. While discussing this and similar topics, Konrad and I settled on a common theme of native tongues, language and translation, so I worked from these concepts to develop this audio track. The song is by a popular band Hladno Pivo ( and it was the first Croatian track that came to mind. The lyrics in the video were a result of YouTube’s automatic translation tool, translating the lyrics it heard from Croatian to English. I converted the original Croatian track to a MIDI, which is why it sounds so garbled, and put an automated voiceover by Google Translate to read over the translated lyrics of the song. It sounds like a confusing mess, language and audio wise, and for me that encompasses and really catches the feeling of what it’s like having things lost in translation, which is obviously what happened in the process of automated translation. MIDI is also a technical audio standard, a “language” of its own, because it connects different instruments, computers and devices in a way in which they can all comprehend and process the same audio information. The same way the English language is a lingua franca for us, MIDI is also a common language for technical devices, which is why I used it as an analogy for connecting different native speakers with the same tongue.

Karla Labrador

Konrad Jabukowski

The Genesis of Language

The animation was created as a response to a series of conversations with Karla about language, translation and communication. My interest navigated towards music as a medium of universal language. In particular Grime’s Genesis song. I thought about ‘overlapping spaces’ where all the facilities coincide. Finally deciding on color and geometry as expressive agents as well as conceptual signifiers of a theoretical representation of a precursor to language.

Here. There. Now.
Or a Stream of Consciousness regarding Mourning, Collaboration, Performance, and Hope
(pdf link)

instagram acc
youtube channel

Jilly Topping
They Draw the Woods Around Them

I was led into the Marjan forest in Croatia by fellow art student Marijeta. She told me stories and shared her memories from a past life. Without knowing anything about each other our paths crossed over and we both found ourselves searching for the mystical forest sprites. My response created a ‘cut-up’ poem, a lockdown garden photoshoot and a little magic from Photoshop. Thank you Marijeta, for my long-distance, forest bathing journey.

ALU/MET blog

The ALU/MET2020 project was supported by the City of Zagreb.