Island Living

For centuries, Croatian islands had a steady growth rate with different social and economic activities. However, in the last several decades, islands have experienced severe depopulation and a change in socio-economic structure.
Traditional centres on most islands were villages or small towns in the middle of islands with no exit to the sea. I have visited such villages on the islands Brac and Solta in this project. These villages developed due to agricultural activities such as vine and olive growing, fishing and sheep farming, which formed the basis of the islands' economic development. Nowadays, there is a high level of population ageing resulting from the long-term emigration of the young population and low birth rates. There is a lack of working force on the island in these conditions, and the one still there has abandoned agriculture completely. In recent times the population started to depend entirely on tourism. With the development of tourism, the islands are losing their authentic appearance as they become areas for leisure time, with minimal residential function. According to the new construction trends, people are restoring old stone houses by plastering them and painting them in vivid colours. These changes also reflect the gradual disappearance of nonmaterial cultural heritage such as customs, language, and skills.