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Croatia Mary Crnkovic Pilas street performance

CEST IS D´BEST

MARY CRNKOVIC PILAS

// Mary, originally from Sydney, Australia, has lived in Zagreb, Croatia since 1992, where she joined the Zagreb Photo Club. Though she is most interested in black and white street and documentary photography, she shared a colourful series of fire and light artistry from the annual Cest is d´best festival in Zagreb.

Occasionally Mary dabbles in colour, and for performances such as these, colour really is essential. She took these photos in 2018 and 2019 during the “C’est is d’ Best” street festival in Zagreb.


“Playing with fire is bad for those who burn themselves. For the rest of us, it is a very great pleasure.”

Jerry Smith


What draws you to the arts?

“For me, art, be it musical, visual, literary or otherwise, is like breathing – without it, I would not be able to live.  The sensory, intellectual and emotional stimulation one gets from experiencing art of all kinds draws me to it.” 

What impressed you most about this street festival?

“Several years ago, I used to busk on the street and have always loved street artists of all kinds. For me, they are the most democratic artists – you can watch them for free and if you wish, can pay them for their efforts. Hence, every year I visit the Cest is d’Best street festival.“

Derived from European urban festival traditions, the creators of this international street festival, the musicians and street artists Zlatko Petrović – Pajo and Miran Hadži Veljković – Hadži, came up with Cest is d’ Best as the first of its kind in Croatia in 1997. The festival promotes and creates street cultural expressions and has become a tourist magnet in Croatia´s capital city.

The artists captured by Mary here are Chris Blaze, the “fire ninja” who performed in 2018, and Eisuke Saito, who put on a magical LED light show in 2019.


Click on the photos to see the full image.

All photos © Mary Crnkovic Pilas

To see more of her photography visit Mary´s Instagram page.

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