The Domaćigosti chorus gathers lovers of singing who contribute to the musical and cultural diversity of Croatian society, singing songs from all over the world. The idea for the establishment of the chorus emerged in 2015, but it was only in September 2016 that a mighty brave bunch of people gathered to implement the idea. The initiative stemmed from the Centre for Peace Studies, the organisation addressing the integration of refugees in Croatia for the past fifteen years.
The underlying idea was to use the potential of music to establish a connection between different people and cultures. The main objective of the chorus was to contribute to the integration of refugees and asylum seekers, as well as other persons who came to Croatia from other countries to seek a new home. The chorus focuses on creating a safe and stimulating environment in which refugees express themselves freely through music and make connections with ‘hosts’ and the local community. Domaćigosti is a place they can belong to. The other, equally important objective of the chorus is to contribute to reducing prejudices and xenophobia in Croatian society through intercultural exchange. We meet the other and the different by socialising with different people, as well as by way of music and language, i.e. the song typical of the countries the chorus members come from. The chorus has included members from different countries like Afghanistan, Germany, Serbia, Pakistan, Syria, Turkey, Iran etc.
Their eclectic repertory could be best described as ‘a little bit of everything’. They don’t limit themselves in terms of music type or genre, but rather sing what they like. They currently enjoy in different musical treats: from pop songs in Arabic, to reggae standards, Zulu chants and traditional melodies from all the latitudes and longitudes.
The chorus mistress is Jovana Lukić, an amazing singer, musician and ethnic music expert. Her explosive energy is contagious, and even the shyest and quietest chorus members soon seem to find their voce. Under Jovana’s guidance, they say, they have all become better singers and, thanks to the chorus, better people as well, they hope.