Friday, 2 January 2015

Reading competition for Serbian children in diaspora

Reading competition in Serbian language Čitalići 2015 category Čitalići Slovca for children studying Serbian abroad is coordinated by and is open until March 1, 2015. The propositions are given in Serbian in Slovce blog ’Smotra čitalaštva Čitalići 2015 i decu u dijaspori’.

Monday, 29 December 2014

Friends' Club of the Gallery of Matica srpska

The Gallery of Matica srpska founded the Friends' Club in 2006 in order to improve its work in accordance with the trends in museum practice in the World. It is intended that the activities of the Club develop the co-operation between the Gallery of Matica srpska and individuals or economic corporations ready to help the preservation and presentation of the national cultural heritage. By founding the Friends' Club of The Gallery of Matica srpska we wanted to indicate how important and significant it is to make donations and invest in the preservation of the national art, as a witness of the past centuries.
The members of the Friends' Club can be commercial institutions, non-profit organizations and individuals ready to contribute to the preservation and work of the Gallery of Matica srpska with their money, services or engagement.
All resources collected in the Friends' Club are invested in four main projects: maintenance of the building, adding to the collection Restoration of works of art and protection of the collection, programme activities (exhibitions, publications, educational programmes)
Become a member of the Friends' Club of the Gallery of Matica srpska, participate in its activities and become a part of one of the leading national cultural institutions.
Note: The above text was copied from the Gallery’s website.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Recovery from the floods in Serbia (from Slovce website)

The message below is a copy of a message at Slovce website:

Terrible floods in May, 2014 afflicted Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia and made enormous damage.
Website Slovce is focused on the Serbian language and culture, but the site also supports initiatives to help flood victims. In addition to collecting humanitarian aid, there are also initiatives for collecting money to help the economic recovery.
Here is a link to a crowd funding action for Obrenovac, the city that was the most damaged by the floods: The action lasts only a month (only in June 2014). All money raised will be invested in the recovery of small companies.
Money can be donated through the site: (in euros) or (in U.S. dollars).

Sunday, 23 June 2013

EXIT festival and Galerija Matice Srpske

Galerija Matice Srpkse invites visitors to the popular EXIT music festival 2013 in Novi Sad (Serbia) to visit their museum. Their motto is 'Take a Break - feel the art’.
Accept their invitation! Their collection is worthwhile.

Monday, 5 November 2012

In Europe: Novi Sad

Dutch journalist and writer Geert Mak travelled throughout Europe looking for traces of 20th century history. Based on these quests Mak published in 2004 a bulky book called In Europe, Travels through the twentieth century. Mak also visited Novi Sad; the first time in March 1993 and the second in December 1999, during the wars in Yugoslavia.

In Novi Sad 20th century history had also been written: during the Second World War, for instance, and even recently. During spring 1999 NATO-fighters bombed Novi Sad for three months at a stretch, destroying all bridges across the Danube. These attacks turned out a traumatic experience for the inhabitants of Novi Sad. See my post To survive a bombing.

In Novi Sad Mak met with, amongst others, Sarita Matijević, a former television journalist, Želimir Žilnik, a movie and documentary maker, and Aleksandar Tišma, the well-known novelist from Novi Sad who died in 2003. Sarita Matijević takes Mak along to café Sax to meet local intellectuals, to her family, where it turned out that daughter and father had different views about political reality in Serbia, and to hairdressing salon Pramen where Mak asks the hair stylist and her customers about their plans and wishes for the future. Mak walks with Želimir Žilnik along the Danube in which the bridges reduced to ruins earlier that year still lay, and talks with a woman who, living next to the Danube, had experienced the bombings personally. With Aleksandar Tišma Mak discusses the political situation in Serbia and Serbia’s position within Europe. Tišma tells Mak an anecdote in which he compares the position of Serbia in Europe with that of his dog on an ice floe in the Danube. Mak used this anecdote for his Dutch language publication De hond van Tišma (The dog of Tišma), about the consequences of a possible European collapse.

Some parts of his chapter about Novi Sad Mak published more extensively in the Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad, for example the story about Saša and Miša, two war resistors, who Mak met in Amsterdam. Mak’s story of their lives in Amsterdam did remind me of the story of Filip in Borislav Čičovački’s novel called Sleutelkruid in Dutch and Raskovnik in Serbian.

In his report Mak writes about the consequences of the Yugoslavian wars for the people of Novi Sad and about the causes of these wars. Four wars of independence were waged: about the separation of Slovenia in 1991, about the separation of Croatia in 1991-1992, the war for Bosnia-Herzegovina from 1992 till 1996 and finally the war for Kosovo in 1998 and 1999. Mak shows that these wars had a complicated and long-time past history. Mak refers in this also to the views of such prominent writers as Ivo Andrić, György Konrád, and Mark Mazower.

Mak also refers to a book, written by the Vojvodina-born writer Danilo Kiš, called Hourglass. In this book Kiš presents a long list of persons who lived and worked in Novi Sad during the thirties and forties. Mak uses this list as a prelude to his description of the Novi Sad raid in 1942. Aleksandar Tišma gives in his The Book Blam a similar list: about the fate of citizens War who worked in the same street in the centre of Novi Sad during the Second World.

Mak didn’t write a historical study about Yugoslavia; Mak wrote loosely connected journalistic stories. Perhaps this is the reason why I think his chapters on former Yugoslavia to be interesting, informative and very readable. If only because of these chapters, the expense of In Europe is worth the buy.

Saturday, 27 October 2012


Publishing house Arhipelag in Belgrade recently published Raskovnik, a novel by Borislav Čičovački. The book is about the life of a young man who – when he was student biology in Novi Sad – fled Serbia in 1991 to build a new life in Amsterdam. Originally this book was published in the Dutch language, called Sleutelkruid. I wrote about this book in my Dutch language weblog post Sleutelkruid. Highly recommended!

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Monastery Guide to Fruška Gora

Most of the monasteries in national park Fruška Gora, south of Danube river near Novi Sad, are interesting from a cultural and historical point of view and worth a visit. Sajkaca, the alias of a Swiss architect, has published nine informative posts about these monasteries at her weblog Nothing against Serbia. Recently she compiled these posts into an easy to use little travel guide (to be downloaded for free and easy to print), with the title Monastery Guide to Fruska Gora. A welcome initiative as handy-sized information about these monasteries is, as far as I know, not available. Up till now, I’ve visited three of them – see my post Monasteries in Fruska Gora – so I’ll be happy to make use of Sajkaca’s booklet.