Lifestyle

15 Jul 2020, 18:35 PM

July 15, 2020 - The Festival of the Mediterranean Theatre Purgatorije in Tivat should start on August 1 with a reduced program and conditions that are not limited to specific dates or the realization of the entire program. Whether and to what extent the language of culture must be redefined - whether muses are permitted to remain silent while plagues are raging - whether long-term abstinence from art can atrophy the need for it as a haven for the mind and soul... All of this, as well as the virtual dimension of culture and this year's Purgatorije program were the topics of the interview by Radio Tivat with Neven Staničić, Director of the Cultural Center of Tivat.

"On an individual level, it is impossible to stifle creativity in any condition. It even inspires and heats up, but collective projects in the cultural industry are a problem," Staničić believes.

"It is impossible in these conditions to coordinate guest appearances from several countries in the region in important international cultural festivals. It is difficult to imagine a theatrical event taking place with the obligatory application of all protection measures.

For the audience, it could be managed somehow, but how will a love scene take place on the stage without respecting physical distance, for example? Culture cannot do without an audience and direct contact. Although we received great reviews from all over the world for the online version of our Guitar Fest, I am not a fan of such an experience, which cannot be compared to listening and watching a guitar master from a few meters away.

We will try to realize the program as we know and can, in coexistence with the coronavirus. Sometimes it seems easier to deal with it than with cultural alternatives, and we want to stay at the level we have maintained for many years. Today we have surrogates at all levels. We have streets instead of assemblies, fights instead of matches. So, instead of the culture we are used to, we may get an adequate solution," says Stanicic, who is probably the main "culprit" behind Tivat having one of the most important theater festivals in the region.

The Purgatory Mediterranean Theater Festival 2020 starts with the theater's premiere play "The Other Side of the Wind" on August 1 on a small stage in the summer house Buća. It is a marine theme with an engaging text by Miroslav Antić, directed by Branko Ilić, in which students of the Cetinje Faculty of Dramatic Arts play, for whom it will be an exam, and graduation play. The rehearsals are going according to plan in the main hall of the local Cultural Center.

"Tivat Cultural Center has always been a place where young actors start their professional lives, and so far, we have done three such projects. "Tre Sorelle" is an excellent example, it is a show with excellent ratings, a large number of performances and awards, so we hope that such a fate will befall the "Other Side of the Wind".

The second premiere, "Application Volant" out of four planned for this year's Purgatorije, is scheduled for August 5. The rehearsals are taking place in Sabac, after which final rehearsals should continue here in Tivat. The play comes on the back of the celebrated "Jami District", with the same production team and author team. The text is signed by Minja Bogavac, and directed by Kokan Mladenović.

"It's about the impact of mobile phones on our daily lives, with a projection on the future. In the play itself, the audience will have to use their phones on which they will install the play's required application to start," explains Staničić.

This summer, local plays will be performed: "Filomena Marturano", "Bokeški D-mol", "Little pirate", "Tre Sorelle", "Jami District" with the celebration of its 100th performance. The repertoire also includes several guest performances - "Don Quixote" by the City Theater from Podgorica and the Bar Chronicle, "Twilight of the Gods" by the Belgrade Drama Theater and "Colonel of Birds" by the City Theater from Podgorica.
This year's Pugratorije will have its own literary and musical segment.
"On August 3, we planned to honor the audience on the Summer Stage, especially the women, with the musical-poetic evening of actor Ivan Bosiljčić, which would be a kind of replacement for the musicals that have marked the beginning of each edition of Purgatorije."

The music segment of Purgatory, the festival "Mediterranean Notes", will most likely be held from August 18 to 22 with three to five concerts, and with guests, world-renowned violinists - Nigel Kennedy and Stefan Milenković. The contracts have been signed, and the relevant Ministry is interested in helping to keep the festival going.

The program of this year's Purgatorije is much reduced, as well as the budget and financial outcome.

"The problem is not that we are now postponing, moving and reducing some things, but that we, even if the coronavirus disappears very quickly, will not be able to return to the level of 2019, but we must go back and start some things from scratch. We should be more than optimistic and expect the same budget for culture as it was at the beginning of 2020 if we know that we have reduced it by 80% at this time.

Perhaps it is now a consolation to be proud of what we have done so far, to have fond memories, and to know that we will have new beginnings. We're not going to move any more now from where we left off. I'm afraid it will be a few steps below. But we have enough experience, and we hope that it will help us quickly reach the level we once had," concluded the Tivat Cultural Center's Director, Neven Stanicic, in an interview with Radio Tivat.

Source: Sonja Štilet, Radio Tivat

14 Jul 2020, 22:22 PM
July 14, 2020 - The film "Forever Hold Your Peace" (Živi I Zdravi), by Montenegrin director and screenwriter Ivan Marinović, was supported as a minority co-production within the competition of the Czech Film Fund of 3.5 million kroner (about 130,000 euros), which is the most significant amount awarded in this competition.
 
In a communication from the Commission, they explain that the author of the film, Ivan Marinović, who graduated in film directing at FAMU - the famous Czech film academy, returns to his homeland with a bitter wedding comedy after the internationally successful debut film "The Black Pin" with the screenplay "Forever Hold Your Peace." Analog Vision, produced by Veronica Kuhrova, has applied for support. Evaluating the script as excellent, and with the desire to enrich the repertoire with quality comedy, the Commission assessed the connection with FAMU as positive, alongside the desirable additional representation of Czech filmmakers in the project.
 
According to Marinović, the competition's result is much above the expectations and hopes with which the production applied. "Currently, the situation in cinematography is global, and we are approaching all the necessary competitions with great caution to assure the film's financial configuration. Such strong support from the Czech Fund encouraged us because it means recognizing quality, especially if you look at the well-known names of other winners. We're still rather modest in the world of cinema though, and we're not used to this kind of victory. For me, as a Prague student, this is also significant on many levels. I feel a kind of pride and gratitude because the film, as a minority co-production, will formally become a part of great Czech cinematography, whose creators have always been my role models."
 
Shooting for the film "Forever Hold Your Peace" is planned for 2021. It has been recognized with the Krzystof Kieslowski Awards at the Script East Script Development Program in Cannes in 2019, as well as the Excellence Award at the Cinelink Co-production Market in Sarajevo the same year.
 
Marinović's second feature film "Forever Hold Your Peace" was supported for production by the Film Center of Montenegro. So far, the co-production participation of Sense Production- Milan Stojanović has provided funds through competitions for minority co-productions of the Film Center of Serbia, and support for development competition from the European umbrella institution MEDIA. Development support was also received from the European SEE Cinema Network organization. "Forever Hold Your Peace" is a production of the Adriatic Western Company, and the primary producer of the film is Marija Stojanović, with whom Marinović successfully collaborated on his debut film.
 
Although the Covid-19 pandemic has somewhat slowed down production preparations, filming is planned in the Bay of Kotor and is expected to be completed in 2021.
14 Jul 2020, 15:02 PM

Solana shut down, 1.3 million Euros’ worth imported.

14 July, 2020 - A combination of state negligence and deals with the boss of Eurofond have destroyed a promising industry. From being a significant producer and exporter, Montenegro has become dependent on salt imports and is the only Mediterranean country that does not produce its own.

According to the Statistics Office Monstat, Montenegro last year imported 1.3 million Euros of edible salt from as many as 29 countries and four continents.

Now closed and demolished, the Ulcinj Saltworks used to produce up to five times more salt than that consumed in the whole of Montenegro.

Eurofond interested purely in Solana land

Solana was state-owned until 2003, when, after voucher privatization, the largest owner became Eurofond, owned by businessman Veselin Barović, investing about 800,000 euros. Barović gradually increased his ownership in the company through various recapitalizations over the following years.

Solana manages 14 million square metres of state land in the hinterland of Long Beach (Velika Plaža), which the management of Eurofond wanted to turn into construction land for the building of apartments and hotels, and also to bring it under the ownership of the company.

Solana filed for bankruptcy in 2005 with a debt of 13 thousand Euros, the year in which its book value increased from 22.6 to 31.2 million. DPS votes in the Assembly changed the named purpose in the spatial plan and Solana became construction land, however the implementation of the plan was prevented by the NGO sector and representatives of various embassies.

Meanwhile, those in charge of Solana’s bankruptcy administration attempted to sell the land as construction land, first for 250 million, with the price later dropping to 160 million.

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Eurofond only interested in turning millions of square metres of land over to construction: Former Solana Administration building, photo: Solana Administration building

 

If the plan had come about, most of the money would have ended up in the pockets of individuals connected to Eurofond, explaining the lack of interest in salt production.

The last salt was harvested in 2013, after which the pumping of sea water into the saltworks stopped, leading to environmental problems. National Parks took over the management of Solana as a protected area in 2015, allowing seawater to be pumped into the salt pans, but not salt production.

At one time, 70 percent of the salt was exported.

Former manager of Solana Saša Mitrović recalls that they produced an average of 10 to 15 thousand tons of salt.

"Montenegro's needs for edible salt were at the level of three to three and a half thousand tons, approximately 30 percent of our annual production. The rest, some 70 percent, went to the markets of the countries of the region and Europe," stated Mitrović to Vijesti, adding that there was also more than enough salt for the roads.

"If Solana was 'alive', we wouldn't need a gram of imported salt," Mitrovic points out.

But, while Ulcinj's Solana was still producing, salt of a much lower quality was also imported from various places in Montenegro. And yet Ulcinj salt was of the highest quality, as evidenced by numerous accolades won by the now-defunct factory at many competitions in Montenegro and beyond. 

Leading Ulcinj ecologist Dželal Hodžić says that for years no one has been considering quality, only price.

"However, wider Yugoslavia knew and appreciated the Ulcinj product as the healthiest and highest quality in the country, because in the southern Adriatic the concentration of salt in the seawater was the highest and purest. The fact that the housewives from Gevgelija to Triglav used our salt for the winter speaks volumes, because their produce spoiled after only a few months using other products," recalls Hodžić.

Imports mostly from Germany and Egypt

According to Monstat, last year Montenegro imported the majority of its edible salt from Germany and Egypt, a total of 256,076 and 235,594 Euros respectively, and the least from Sweden and Russia, 48 and 83 Euros respectively.

We also imported 128,389 Euros’ worth from Albania, 181,758 from Austria, 108,092 from Bosnia and Herzegovina, 401 from Bulgaria, 453 from China, 42,354 from Croatia, 225 from the Czech Republic,1,940 Euros’ worth from France, 12,308 from Greece, 17,413 from Hungary, 1,990 from India, 9,627 from Israel, 10,396 from Italy, 392 from Latvia, 590 from Malaysia, 25,513 from Pakistan, 2,755 from Poland, 165,231 from Serbia, 5,312 from Slovenia, 1,675 from Spain, 28,402 from Tunisia, 72,593 from Turkey, 222 from North Macedonia, 764 from the UK and 986 Euros’ worth from the USA.

Although the norms for edible salt have now been tightened due to its allegedly harmful effect on the human body, Mitrović claims that even that would not jeopardize, or even affect the profitability of Solana's business.

"The saltworks has, and can still produce, a wide range of products - from table and road salt, through sophisticated items for the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, and even to the animal husbandry business. I remember, seven or eight years ago, we sold huge quantities of salt, truck loads, to the then Mesopromet - for tanning leather," recalls Mitrović.

The only country in the Mediterranean without its own salt

Ornithologist Darko Saveljić, who has been protecting birds at Solana for 20 years, but also studying the work of salt pans in the region that work on the principle of biodiversity sustainability, said earlier that Montenegro is the only country in the Mediterranean that does not have its own salt production.

“Sea salt from Ulcinj's Solana is made from the purest water of the Adriatic Sea and is produced from the sun and wind. It contains 97 percent sodium chloride, and the rest is magnesium, zinc, bromine - all the supplements that we buy in pharmacies. It is a healing salt. Montenegro now imports salt from Egypt and China that can be very dangerous. Slovenia has branded salt as a product, although their salt from the Adriatic Sea comes from unclean water and is of far lower quality," said Saveljić at the time.

Ulcinj saltworks "Bajo Sekulić" is still in bankruptcy, with Eurofond and related companies owning a majority share, around 75%, while the management of the National Parks expires next month. The dispute over land ownership, between Eurofond and the state, continues.

Continuing production is a prerequisite for the survival of nature.

Hodžić says Solana is not for sale because it is a national asset, like lakes and rivers.

"Continuation of salt production is a prerequisite for the survival of nature in this area, for birds to remain and in breeding-quality lagoons for white fish and crabs. In addition, if we start production, we also have high-quality peloid (medicinal salt mud), which we still have in unlimited quantities, and some hoteliers import it for eight euros per kilogramme," states Hodžić.

He claims that it is difficult to maintain the land as it is without production.

"We may end up in a situation where our saltworks turns into a swamp and becomes a source of infection and malaria," warns the ecologist.

He points out that he himself does not know whether production would be profitable, but that experienced financial and commercial experts would be charged with that task. As a parallel, he cited the example of a Slovenian saltworks near Piran.

"It was state-owned and operated with a deficit for several years. The state helped the company from a special fund all the time, while the managers devised a way of survival. Today, the factory sells salt in packs of 100 grams, as well as various souvenirs and has tens of thousands of tourists. They got back on their feet and make hundreds of thousands of Euros, and we all know very well that our saltworks has five times more potential than this," claims Hodžić.

 Producing one kilo of salt costs two cents. Mitrović says that Solana can operate profitably without any problems.

"The maths is clear - the price of salt with all the costs on an annual basis, including the harvest, cannot exceed two cents per kilogramme. So, if we sell it for roads - we earn 100 percent, and if it is for human consumption - the profit is many times higher," explains Mitrović, mentioning that a 25-kilogramme package of table salt has a retail cost of 2.5 Euros, and per kilo 30-40 cents.

He adds that in Solana, the biggest cost has always been the salaries of workers.

"If Solana had 70 workers as was the case when it closed, we would need to sell 500 tons per month from a harvest of 10 to 15 thousand tons, which means 50 thousand Euros if the average selling price is 10 cents. About 35 thousand Euros would go on employee salaries, while the rest would be used to cover other costs," claims Mitrović.

He highlights that Solana, even when it had 450 employees and produced 20 thousand tons of salt 20 or more years ago, operated with a profit because it had a wider domestic market.

"The then Director of the company, while we were in the community with Serbia, said publicly that while the Ulcinj saltworks maintains production, the country (FRY) does not have to worry about edible salt," says Mitrović.

Montenegro now imports salt from Serbia, which is not a producer but only repackages imported salt.

13 Jul 2020, 21:37 PM

July 13, 2020 - Today, Montenegro celebrates the Statehood Day, remembering the two most important dates in its history - on this day in 1878, the Berlin Congress recognized its independence. On July 13, 1941, the people of Montenegro led the peoples of Europe to resist fascism.

"O smallest of nations, the hard rock of a harder country, the throne of freedom, you great Montenegro," sang the English poet Alfred Tennyson. All that strength and freedom of a small - big nation seems to live forever in one date - July 13.

While number 13 is associated with the superstition that brings bad luck, it is unique for Montenegro - on that day in Berlin's Razeville Palace, in 1878, Montenegro's independence was recognized, and 63 years later the first nationwide uprising broke out in enslaved Europe.

Little Montenegro deserved to be written about by the London Times and The New York Times. The French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre said that the July 13 Uprising is one of the greatest achievements of the libertarian tradition of the 20th century, and his compatriot, former president Francois Mitterrand, that it was the most significant event of World War II.

And one of the dates on which a consensus was reached mainly in Montenegro -that the July 13 Uprising is an event of the most significant national pride.

"July 13 meant a lot to the people in 1941. Not only to us, but to everyone in Europe. While there was Tito, there would be no other greatest statesman, nor was there before him, at least for me, but also for many, because that was the time when we were all friends, we were all one, and we did not see any divisions, we paid great attention to 13 July. Later, some meetings or ceremonies were held in the theater, which I did not attend because I was not part of the theater, but again that date is always marked ", Danilo Miljanic from Niksic, who turned one hundred this spring, told "Vijesti".

He remembers a lot, records a lot, and leaves some things, as he says, to silence. Although the people in Montenegro took up arms on July 13, Uncle Danilo says that he had already seen weapons some twenty days earlier.
"I enrolled in the Officer School in Bileća, and at the end of March, we were deployed in military units. They sent me to the third company in Risan and charged me with a machine gun. We waited for the war there, but we were told that an agreement had been made with the Germans. After the bombing of Yugoslavia, they sent us home. I asked for a rifle in exchange for the machine gun, but it wasn't there, so I left the machine gun because I couldn't carry it. "

Miljanic recalls the Ustasha massacre of the Serb people in Herzegovina in early June and says many survivors fled to Montenegro.

"Immediately, fifteen of us from Muževica went to the border, and there we found Miljanić from Dubočak and formed the Miljanić company, whose commander in the first days was Risto Mashutov. My father was with me too. The Miljanic company, together with the companies from Grahovo, Tupan, Golija, was in that part towards the border. There we heard that on July 13, there were armed conflicts, that the whole of Montenegro rose. We were already under arms then," Miljanic recalls of the first days of the war.

Milovan Djilas came to Montenegro after the extended session of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (CPY), at which a decision was made to start an armed struggle. The people "reluctantly" accepted the idea, so instead of guerrilla actions, there were thirty thousand armed people, about 65 percent of the able-bodied population.

"Because of that uprising, the Italians had to withdraw six divisions from our side to appease Montenegro. The revolution lasted until mid-August when a strong Italian offensive suppressed it. It meant a lot that the whole nation stood up. The formation of the battalion began the following year, and in April, seven Montenegrin battalions were formed in the Niksić district, two in Velimlje and five in Niksić. July 13 meant a lot then, and it seems to me that it still does today," says the old man who was awarded the Medal for Courage for his success in the National Liberation War.

The President of the Association of Fighters of the People's Liberation War (UBNOR) and anti-fascist Nikšić, Slobodan Bato Mirjačić, said that July 13 was the brightest page in Montenegrin history because, on that day, Montenegrins rekindled their freedom.

"The platoons of the first Montenegrin insurgent rifles resounded in enslaved Europe. In a few days, most of Montenegro was liberated. It was the first popular uprising against the occupiers in Europe, an authentic Montenegrin event. Bearing in mind that the insurgents inflicted significant losses on the occupier and thwarted their political and military plans, the uprising was a unique phenomenon of the Second World War. It united the peculiarities and values ​​of Montenegrin history and preserved its libertarian continuity," Mirjacic points out.

He recalls that Jean-Paul Sartre said about the uprising: "The July 13 uprising in Montenegro can serve the pride of the peoples of Europe."
"The uprising loudly announced that Montenegro would play a much more important role in the People's Liberation War, and thus in Yugoslavia, than the one that would belong to it in terms of population and size of its territory. With its participation and the sacrifices it made during the Second World War, Montenegro paved the way for the equality of its people in the new Yugoslavia. "We must preserve the achievements of July 13, for which many lives were given, to preserve the achievements of anti-fascism and independence, while nurturing the multiethnic and multi-religious harmony of all citizens of Montenegro," Mirjacic said.

Radislav Stanisic, President of the Central Committee of the Yugoslav Communist Party of Montenegro, said that the Montenegrin people, led by the communists, responded with an uprising to the decision of the Montenegrin Parliament on July 12, when Italian fascists and separatists decided to declare independent Montenegro.

The next day, with shots fired at Italian strongholds in Čevo, Virpazar, Košćeli, Crmnica and other places throughout Montenegro, with the song 'Without a spring, there is no water, no life without freedom,' the Montenegrin people said with gunfire that only they could decide their fate, and not a handful of separatists led by Sekula Drljević. Montenegrin fighters fought equally for every inch of Yugoslavia, not distinguishing the Karavanke from Lovćen, nor Zagreb from Podgorica, so the blood shed of fallen soldiers obliges us to do everything to prevent the destruction of the achievements of the People's Liberation War and the socialist revolution. The communists remind us that the people who won freedom with blood and built the country with sweat do not need any dictators."

After the Second World War, the Montenegrin government adopted a special law establishing July 13 as a national holiday. On that day, ceremonial academies, lectures, cultural and sports events were held, while the state leadership of Montenegro would attend the central celebration of the Uprising Day. It was recorded that on July 13, 1946, ten thousand people were present in Podgorica, eight thousand in Nikšić, five thousand in Danilovgrad, and about ten thousand in six municipalities in the Durmitor region.

Along with these large numbers, it was celebrated in other cities of Montenegro.

The following year, on July 13, Josip Broz Tito came to the then Titograd, and in 1948, on that day, the Titograd-Nikšić railway was opened.
Since 2006, when Montenegro became independent, July 13 has been celebrated as Statehood Day.

The month of freedom in enslaved Europe
According to historical sources, the Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia for Montenegro and Boka unanimously accepted the Central Committee's decision on the uprising, made on July 4 in Belgrade, on July 8 in Stijena Piperska, near Podgorica. In addition to Djilas, the meeting was attended by Bozo Ljumovic, Blazo Jovanovic, Radoje Dakic, Savo Brkovic, Budo Tomovic, Vido Uskokovic, Krsto Popivoda, and Perisa Vujosevic.

In Cetinje, on July 12, 1941, at the Petrovdan Parliament, the "Greens" decided to annul the Podgorica Assembly from 1918 and repeal the Constitution of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and all its institutions and declare the Independent State of Montenegro under the jurisdiction of fascist Italy.

In the early morning of July 13, the uprising began. Already on that day, Virpazar, Čevo, Rijeka Crnojevića, and parts of the coast from Miločer to Sutomore were liberated. Guerrilla fighting turned into a nationwide uprising on July 14, 15, and 16, historians say.

During July 15, Mojkovac, Bioče, Spuž, and Lijeva Rijeka were liberated, and a motorized battalion of the Italian division "Messina" was attacked near the village of Košćela, killing 70, wounding 110 and capturing 290 Italian soldiers.

Andrijevica was liberated on July 16, as were Bijelo Polje, Berane, Danilovgrad, Zabljak, Kolasin, Savnik, and Grahovo soon after.

One of the most significant battles was in Brajići, between Cetinje and Budva when a substantial Italian motorized column was attacked from an ambush - 220 Italians were thrown out of line, and insurgents had two dead and seven wounded.

A good part of Montenegro remained liberated until August 14, when significantly strengthened Italian troops quelled the uprising.

Translation of the text "July 13 lives, the achievements die out," Svetlana Mandić and Slavko Radulović, Vijesti

13 Jul 2020, 21:11 PM

July 12, 2020 - The exhibition, held on Dvorski Square in Cetinje, is part of the annual programme organized by the royal capital on the occasion of the 110th anniversary of the restoration of the Kingdom of Montenegro, and will run until September. The exhibition, entitled "Restoration of the Kingdom of Montenegro and the 1910 Jubilee Celebration" is being organized in cooperation with the State Archives of Montenegro, and the city's Tourist Board.

The exhibition includes more than 120 documents and photographs from the State Archives, which illustrate numerous events related to the jubilee ceremonies and the restoration of the Kingdom of Montenegro in 1910.

In 1910, on the day of the Feast of the Assumption, Montenegro was proclaimed a kingdom, and Prince Nikola was proclaimed King. At the ceremony that was organized at that time, half a century of the reign of King Nikola and the golden wedding of the royal couple were also celebrated.

Information for the exhibition states that the jubilee of 1910, according to many experts, is one of the most significant events in the history of Montenegro.

In the media of that time, both throughout Europe and on other continents, much was written about the fearless nature of the Montenegrin people "who have been fiercely guarding freedom in the Balkans for centuries."

The highest-ranking officials in European public life - emperors, kings, prime ministers, ministers, writers, artists and scientists - express their recognition and admiration for the Montenegrin people and their sovereign in many ways, the information reads.

The official opening ceremony of the exhibition, with guests present, was cancelled due to the worsening epidemiological situation linked to coronavirus.

12 Jul 2020, 18:03 PM

July 12, 2020 - As part of the cultural-educational project "Roads of Boka Croats", the exhibition "Partenza", by Croatian artist Renata Poljak, inspired by her family history, was opened on Friday at the Cultural Centre "Nikola Đurković" in Kotor.

The project "Roads of Boka Croats" is held under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Croatia Zoran Milanović and the President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović.

The central focus of the exhibition is the film of the same name, "about expecting, waiting for a person who is to arrive over the seas", based on the story of the artist's great-grandfather who, due to poverty, left for Punta Arenas in Chile in the early 19th century, a journey which was to prove fatal, leaving her great-grandmother alone with two children.

As is made clear, this film is a universal story about waiting, about women who stayed and men who left, and at the very end, when it changes from black and white to colour, a parallel is drawn with the present.

The artist says that personal experience is always a part of her art projects that speak of the wider social picture; in that way the audience can more easily identify and feel true emotion. Through "Partenza", which means departure in Italian, she wanted to talk about the current migrant crisis, where thousands of people dying at sea.

"At that time, as today, it was very topical and infinitely tragic. After all the wars and everything we have survived, I was personally deeply affected by human suffering, migration, the huge number of people drowning and the Mediterranean, which has truly become a mass grave," said Poljak.

In addition to the video "Partenza", which is the beginning of the film trilogy, a series of photographs has been produced, and collages created, during the shooting. Photographer Dinka Radonić produced a set of photographs from which Poljak made collages.

The author considers the photographs to be particularly important "because when the audience leaves the hall, which is darkened, they still remain immersed in the emotion of the film, and the photographic collages complete the exhibition as a whole".

Renata Poljak was born in Split in 1974, where she graduated from the School of Fine Arts, and received her Master of Arts Degree from the École Régionale des Beaux-Arts in Nantes.

For her work, she received the Gold Black Box Awards at the Black Box Festival in Berlin (2006) and the T-HT Art Award (2012). She has exhibited in Croatia, but also in major world art centres such as Paris, Tokyo and New York.

Her Montenegrin exhibition will be open until July 20th.

12 Jul 2020, 17:33 PM

July 12, 2020 - Although music fans are used to the eleven-day festival of classical music starting in the second week of July, the International Music Days Festival has been postponed to the autumn, the festival's organizing team and producer “Herceg Fest” announced.

The event’s Board, headed by President Milena Lučić and Artistic Director, pianist Boris Kraljević, made the timely proposal to the sponsors to move the festival from summer to autumn, given the epidemiological situation across the country, region and indeed world. The proposal was met with support from the representatives of the Municipality of Herceg Novi - the general sponsor of the festival - headed by Mayor Stevan Katić, as well as the Ministry of Culture of Montenegro, the announcement states.

The numerous faithful fans of the Herceg Novi Music Festival will be given further information on a new date, participants, and the programme of the festival as soon as it is available. A major part of the programming will be dedicated to the 250th anniversary of the birth of the great Ludwig Van Beethoven.

12 Jul 2020, 16:58 PM

July 12, 2020 - "I'll tell you a story" is the title of the exhibition of paintings by Hana Mirkov, which opened last weekend in the exhibition space of the Tivat Municipal Museum and Gallery.

"Hana's specific expression in her paintings is recognizable not only in this city or this country, but also abroad. Each of Hana's works is a separate illustration of an event, a legend, a specific part of the city, a tradition, a situation or a universal value. According to the motifs, like the scenography, that she places on the canvas, even those who do not know the legend, story or sights of a city, can get to know it through her paintings. Of course, Hana's ability to sensitively choose themes and motifs leaves a really positive impression on all those who view her work,” stated the Director of the Municipal Museum and Gallery Jelena Bošković, on the occasion of the opening of the exhibition.

She highlighted that the inspiration for 25 exhibited works in acrylic, pencil, and combined technique - pencil, ink and pen, came to Hana with the reading of the book "Antique Bassoon" in which well-known Tivat journalist and publicist Mašo Čekić draws together numerous stories and interesting legends from the history of the Bay of Kotor and the former way of life of its inhabitants.

“The story I told in these works is colourful, removed from the expected context, it makes us who we are and inspires our lives with new energy. This amazing book with wonderful stories strongly encouraged me to create because while reading, the pictures came to me on their own and I simply had to produce them as I did,” said the artist, Hana Mirkov.

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Photo - Hana Mirkov

 

Mirkov was born in Split in 1989. She finished art high school in Cetinje in 2008, from where she graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts. She continued her education at the Accademia di belle arti di Bari, Italy. She lives and works in Tivat. She has participated in numerous collective and solo exhibitions, both in the country and abroad, as well as dozens of artists’ colonies in Montenegro and Serbia. She has been a member of the Association of Fine Artists of Montenegro since 2012.

10 Jul 2020, 16:35 PM

July 10, 2020 - Blue Flag coordinators in the Mediterranean region have gathered together during the Covid19 pandemic to raise environmental awareness. The Blue Flag, as with all programmes of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), leads to increased awareness among locals, local authorities, tourists and all users of beaches and marinas, so that they take a more active role.

Ten national Blue Flag operators have called on local communities, NGOs and the general public to join forces and contribute to Mediterranean Blue Flag Week, held in the second week of July. Due to the pandemic this year, no beach cleaning activities will be organized, but an educational campaign will be held on social networks - #BlueFlagMedWeek -, according to Saša Karajović, the national coordinator of Blue Flag Montenegro.

Join us under the slogan "Caring for the sea that unites us!" Every day during the week, we will be dealing with one of the important issues in the Mediterranean; posts shared on social networks should be tagged #BlueFlagMedWeek.

Daily topics:

6th July – Microplastics 

7th July – Cigarette Butts

8th July – Covid Waste 

9th July – Biodiversity 

10th July – Health and Safety 

11th July – Floating Debris 

12th July – Environmental Education 

The photos used in the campaign were provided by the national Blue Flag and Young Eco-Reporters operators from ten Mediterranean countries.

The photo for the topic of microplastics was taken by Marija Kazimirova (Knightsbridge School, Tivat), for which she won second prize at the Young Eco-Reporters of Montenegro Competition in 2019.

07 Jul 2020, 21:59 PM

July 7, 2020 - The start of the International Festival KotorArt Don Branko's Music Days is planned this year for Wednesday, 15th July, when the audience at Boka Cinema will have the opportunity to view a film production by the German media house Deutsche Welle. The documentary "Symphony for the World" is a unique production that speaks of the power and universality of the language of music and its strong messages that are understood the world over, regardless of cultural, religious, national, ideological, geographical and any other differences. Specifically, the documentary is about Beethoven's famous Ninth Symphony and its multiple meanings. The partner of this project is the Kotor Cultural Centre "Nikola Đurković".

“We have moved our traditional opening concert of the Festival to August, as for this event we are already accustomed to a large audience - we are acting responsibly given the current situation and we are respecting all NKT measures, as well as responding to all challenges swiftly and competently. We plan to be able to completely control all aspects of the organisation process of the concerts, and implement all the precautionary measures prescribed by the NCT. At a time when the whole world, including our society, is going through a period of uncertainty and insecurity in many aspects of life, we want to provide a piece of what many call “food for the soul,” and at least a little of the everyday joy that until recently was a part of our daily lives. We understand through experience that mental and spiritual health is as important as physical health, and art has always, as evidenced by many examples from the past, helped to overcome many difficult periods in the history of mankind. We hope that our events will provide local people with a slightly brighter, more humane and beautiful everyday life. We hope that we will be able to provide some comfort, some affirmation of the special threads that bind us together, threads that remain even when we are not allowed to hug because of distance measures, when we cannot recognize each other because of protective masks, or when we are in quarantine, keeping ourselves away from others. The art of music is one of those threads.” says a statement by the Festival’s PR service.

“The audience of KotorArt Don Branko's Music Days has become accustomed to receiving information about the programme for the forthcoming summer in March. This year, due to extraordinary circumstances, we ask our audience to follow the official website of the Festival, www.kotorart.me as well as social networks - Facebook and Instagram pages, where we will publish possible, or more likely probable, programme changes. There are several Festival teams that closely follow the recommendations of the NKT and adjust every aspect of the Festival to these.”

“The ceremonial opening programme of the Festival, planned for 14th July, has been moved to close this year's event. Considering that the evening is completely dedicated to Beethoven, we believe that it will be a beautiful and fitting way for the Festival to ensure a dignified celebration of his 250th birthday. On the occasion of this anniversary, as well as facing the challenges of life, and given the position and message of art in this unusual moment for the entire world, the festival is preparing additional activities and programme events that will soon be announced to the general public.” the Festival PR service added.

KotorArt Kotor Children's Theatre Festival has already begun in Kotor. All large-scale performances have been postponed until August, but the accompanying programmes and workshops with children from Kotor have been launched, to the great joy of the children, who are reacting superbly in new circumstances and are quickly adapting to their "new reality".

06 Jul 2020, 17:05 PM

July 6, 2020 - Mackerel is swimming 20 meters from the shore in Muo. Shoals of sardines surround the octopus relaxing in the shallows. Hundreds of kilos of mullet just waiting to be caught, while a beautiful sea turtle roams in Stoliv. Are these direct results of the coronavirus impact on the sea ecosystem, or is it a natural cycle conditioned by factors outside the influence of man?

It is still too early for scientists to give reliable answers, but commercial and leisure fishers alike agree - marine life has returned to the Bay of Kotor because there is space to return to. There have been no cruise ships for almost five months, yacht traffic is negligible, and our shores are not primarily parking lots for boats and yachts.
 
"Something is happening with the ecosystem. Reduced human activity has influenced the living world, not only of the Bay of Kotor but of the entire Adriatic, and it is now returning to activities unhindered by anthropogenic factors. So, wherever man is present, wherever human activity is current, there we have a shelter of the living world and an escape from our actions. This situation, and the peace that has lasted for months - no cruise ships, reduced activities of all vessels at sea, definitely benefit the fish populations and other living organisms in the bay. There is no noise, no artificial movements of water, no lifting of sludge from the bottom. So fish and other marine organisms can live peacefully and expand their habitat where, precisely because of these human activities, they could not exist before, "explains the Director of the Institute of Marine Biology in Kotor, ichthyologist Dr. Aleksandar Joksimović.
 
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Photo by Zdenka Janković
 
"The conversations I had with the fishermen were sporadic. Coastal fishermen who fish with a rod or from a single line onshore, say that for a long time they had not noticed even those species of fish that are characteristic of the shoal - catfish and other species that live by our shores, and in Mandraći in stone cavities. Now they are slowly returning. At the same time, there is information from commercial fishers that shoals of blue anchovies and sardines have appeared in the bay. We have now entered the spawning period of many species of fish, so it is evident that the young fish are coming to shallow waters. They are now using the littoral part of the Bay of Kotor as their habitat. Therefore, definitely - and based on our preliminary analysis and conversations with fishers - we can conclude that something has happened in the marine ecosystem. We do not know how long it will last, how long this situation will continue. But, based on this research, when we write a report we will be able to say something concrete about the situation. Of course we will need to process the data collected, and compare them with previous data and reports, and for this we will need a long series of data to be able to adequately and scientifically explain some changes and new situations. We will need to use data series from far back into the past, based on the cyclical changes and natural fluctuations in the ecosystem, and the so-called Adriatic ingressions that penetrate the Adriatic Sea every nine to 11 years. The East-Mediterranean saltier and warmer water penetrates our sea, bringing phytoplankton and other nutrients - which makes up a large proportion of the food for both small and large fish. Only based on the analysis of all these circumstances, will we be able to put together a complete picture and finally say whether something has happened and why," explains Joksimović.
 
sea zdenka 3
Photo by Zdenka Janković
 
However, we can already conclude from conversations with fishers and local people - the sea is clearer; there are more marine organisms along the coast. Does it mean that a short hiatus is enough for ecologically endangered areas to begin to recover from the effects of anthropogenic activities? The question is whether these observations, especially the detailed scientific analyses and the resulting recommendations of experts from the Institute of Marine Biology, can have a direct impact on decision-making when it comes to sustainable marine and coastal management. The Director of the Institute of Marine Biology, Aleksandar Joksimović, explains:
 
"Our scientific-research activity should lead to that goal - to give scientific recommendations, i.e., scientific opinions. Unfortunately, their further implementation does not depend on us. We are not an institution that can mandate follow-up on our own advice. Based on scientific data we provide, and our participation in working groups for Mediterranean fisheries, biodiversity protection and Adriatic protection, alongsite those for negotiations with the European Union - all bodies dealing with marine issues within the system should heed our recommendations as a postulate and incorporate them into plans and strategic documents emanating from Montenegro. Our opinions are not based on emotion or supposition; they are the result of many years of experience and scientific work and data exchanges that we have almost every day with similar institutions in the region. It is also the fruit of our participation in numerous international projects aimed at creating common platforms and recommendations for responsible relations and use of the Adriatic and the whole Mediterranean. All this is proof that our data is valid. Our reports have scientific weight and should be incorporated into documents to become a template for our future actions, in order to change our awareness of and attitude towards nature, here specifically towards the bay and our sea."
 
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Photo by Zdenka Janković
 
Unfortunately, we are witnessing a disregard of many scientific recommendations in the race for short-term economic interests, without realizing that the current treatment of marine and coastal ecosystems is unsustainable and leads to the destruction of these resources both ecologically and economically.
 
What we can do at the moment is enjoy the sea, which is much less polluted and muddy than in previous years. We can sample more delicious fish because it seems that there is indeed more there than in recent years, and even complete novices will be lucky if they try their hand at fishing.
 
"The fact is that some species of fish have returned to the bay and no one bothers them. No one prevents them from being closer to the shore in their life cycle. No noise, no sea turbulence, no excessive activity around them. I guess that makes for happy fishermen and good catches," concluded the Director of the Institute of Marine Biology of the University of Montenegro in Kotor, Dr. Aleksandar Joksimović.
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