Popular Engineering Society

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Popular Engineering Society (Ljudska tehnika) was an umbrella organization for a variety of amateur activities in socialist Yugoslavia, including amateur cinema. Founded immediately following the Second World War, its influence gradually diminished, although it was not officially disbanded until the disintegration of Yugoslavia. Very heterogenous by nature, it covered the fields of sport, technology, and the arts. Its basic aim was to provide the general technical education necessary for rebuilding a country in ruins, so it favored technical fields, which soon led to the emancipation of sports and certain art disciplines. Through its cinema clubs and film festivals, the society also provided a stable environment for avant-garde filmmakers, generally ignored by the professional film circles. In the prewar Kingdom of Yugoslavia, amateur photography and film had been the domain of the affluent bourgeoisie, which probably influenced the postwar status of amateur filmmakers, who were then joined by students and other enthusiasts picking up technical knowledge through courses and cinema clubs. (Miha Peče)