28 June, 2020 - The village of Suscepan, 1.5 km from the center of Herceg Novi, and at an altitude of 300 metres was, according to the architect Marin Đurašin (1954 - 2000), the centre of ancient Troy.
Đurašin’s theory (he also wrote a book on the subject, although his death prevented him from publishing it) was that the whole of Boka Kotorska was ancient Troy, and that Suscepan was its centre. Troy, or Elijah (ancient Greek: Τροία [Troía] or Τροίας [Troías], or Ίλιον [Ílion] or Ίλιος [Ílios]; Latin: Troia, or Ilium; Turkish: Truva or Troya), was a legendary city and the scene of Trojan war, which is partly depicted in Homer’s Iliad, an epic poem in ancient Greek composed in the 9th or 8th century BC.
This assumption did not have a greater impact, nor did it lead to greater tourist interest in the village, which offers a beautiful view of the entrance to and the interior of the Bay of Kotor.
The village of Suscepan was assumed inhabited in the Middle Ages and has been under Turkish, Venetian, Austro-Hungarian rule. It had, in the main, followed the fate of Herceg Novi, then that of the whole of Boka Kotorska and Montenegro.
Until World War II, the locals lived mainly from agriculture and livestock. Olive oil and wine were produced, grain was sown and vegetables were planted. Fruit was also grown - most often figs. A few inhabitants worked in nearby Herceg Novi - mostly in trade and tourism.
Suscepan - Bostanj Spring
Today, no-one in the village is exclusively engaged in agriculture. Most often it is an additional activity or carried out solely to meet individual need.
Until the increased construction at the end of the last century, the village looked like a typical coastal Boka village. The houses were built at a distance of 500 - 700 metres, and the hamlets were connected by paths paved with stone. They were built on slopes and along the perimeter of rare arable land. Today, almost every house has a tarmac - or more often concrete - road.
The few inhabited old houses in the village are built of local stone. Upstairs is a living area for the family, and the ground floor-barn is used to accommodate wine, oil, grain, flour and other foodstuffs. In some houses on the ground floor there are cattle.
In front of the village houses is a part of the yard - terraces - paved with stone and surrounded by a low wall-seat. In some yards there was also a “bistjerna” for collecting rainwater. The terrace was covered with vines and served as a small extension of the house proper, for gathering after a hard day’s work. In the summer, sometimes a table was brought out, so people could eat on the terrace.
The garden also has a threshing floor - a round paved surface covered with stone slabs. This was used for threshing grain.
The village does not have an official centre, but the population used to gather around the Bostanj spring. The spring is channelled, the area around it paved and has a stone wall-seat. In addition to this spring, there is also a spring in Smokovac and Zirina.
Saint Stephen’s Church
During religious festivals, locals gather around the village church of Saint Stephen. The church was built at the end of the 19th century, but it is assumed that there had been a building there previously. The church is a single-nave, vaulted building with an apse of a semicircular base and a bell tower on a pediment with three bell windows. It is built of stone, but all the walls, except at the front, are plastered. According to the motifs from the preserved parapet slab, which is today in a museum, it is assumed that there was a pre-Romanesque church on the site, dating from the 10th or 11th century.
The Church of Saint Stephen
The iconostasis is the work of Corfu icon painter N. Aspioti. Around the church is a gate with tombs. It is thought by some that the church was built by the Bosnian king Tvrtko (founder of Herceg Novi) or Stevan Kosača.
The Legend of the Village's Origin
Legend has it that the Bosnian King Tvrtko I began the construction of the church of St. Stephen in the centre of Herceg Novi, inviting the most famous masters of that time from Kotor and Dubrovnik. But one morning, the stone disappeared from the square and appeared about 1.5 kilometers from the city - in its current location. The king was advised to build a church there, which he did. According to the legend, the settlement that started to grow around the church was named Sveti Stefan (Saint Stephen) - later Suscepan.
Each to Their "Own" Troy
German entrepreneur and amateur archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann began excavations on the hill of Hisarlich in today's northwestern Turkey, near the sea coast, southwest of the Dardanelles under Mount Ida in 1873 and claimed that this was the location of ancient Troy.
Researcher Ilija Ogorelica claims that ancient Troy was located near Belgrade, more precisely on the border of the settlements of Rušanj, Ripanj and Lipovačke šume. Milutin Jaćimović claims that Troy is "the Serbian historical capital of Skadar".
Mexican Roberto Salinas Price (1936 - 2012), philologist and wealthy Mexican passionate homerologist, first put forward the idea in the 1980s that Troy was on the east coast of the Adriatic and that the Trojan War had taken place in the Neretva Valley, and that the holy the city of Troy was on the site of present-day Gabela.
There are also theories that Troy was located at Ljubuški in Croatia, and also in Macedonia,… but with no scientific evidence supporting the claims.
Montenegro's potential as a location also presented at the Film Festival
The "Otter" project directed by Srđan Vuletić and screenwriter Stefan Bošković will be showcased at the "Co-Production Speed Meeting Session"
June 25, 2020 - At this year's Cannes Film Festival, the Montenegro Film Centre will, for the fourth time, present contemporary Montenegrin cinematography within the virtual pavilion, which is part of the online version of the film market "Marché du Film", offered in a different format due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Montenegrin project "Otter" (working title: "Valley of Monuments"), from director Srđan Vuletić and screenwriter Stefan Bošković, and produced by Artikulacija Film from Podgorica, will be presented at the "Co-Production Speed Meeting Session", which will be held for the first time within an online edition of the Cannes Film Festival.
Young director Sara Stijović will be presenting her project "Djina" about Djordjina ‘Djina’ Markuš, with concept and screenplay by Nataša Nelević, and produced by Branimir Žugić and the company "LIVE production", which was selected for the programme "La Fabrique Cinéma de l'Institut Français" within the Film Festival in Cannes. The feature-length documentary "Djina" is the first Montenegrin and the only European project selected this year for La Fabrique Cinéma.
"The virtual environment, running from June 22 to 26, brings together more than 8,500 participants, with 250 stands and 60 pavilions. In order to support the film industry globally, as well as its professionals, the online version of the ‘Marché du Film’ will offer more than 1,200 online screenings for participants, as well as the opportunity to purchase rights to more than 2,300 feature films. More than 150 virtual panel discussions, talks and round tables, concerts and presentations are planned.
At online meetings with film professionals and representatives of institutions from all over the world, the Montenegrin virtual stand offers accredited visitors access to an overview of film projects from the country, which are in various stages of production. Capacities and possibilities of interest to foreign co-producers, production companies and other interested parties will be promoted," the Film Centre highlights. Montenegro has been present at the Cannes Film Market since 2011.
Location potential also presented
This year, for the purposes of promotion, the Montenegro Film Centre enabled accredited market participants to download the electronic version of two catalogues: "Montenegro - Film Destination", which shows the potential for filming in Montenegro, and "Montenegrin Cinema 2020", which presents current film projects at different stages of production.
During the festival, the Montenegrin Media Desk (Creative Europe) will also be active, with representatives participating in panel discussions and online meetings.
June 23, 2020 - A thrilling event "Mountain Festival Orjen 2020" intended for mountaineers, nature lovers, and everyone with a positive and strong will, this year is held for the fourth time in the mountain lodge "Za Vratlom" in Orjen, from June 26-28. This year's program consists of a series of exciting activities such as a presentation to mark the tenth anniversary of the Everest expedition, a presentation of the "Via Dinarica" trail, and the traditional way of life on the Orjen.
"We will promote the new publication of the magazine "Planinarske Novine" and award prizes to the best texts in the competition for a short mountaineering story. We will organize the traditional "Orjen Marathon," a presentation and field testing of the potential centre for vertical sports, a mountain race "Orjensko Srce" (Orjen Heart), and a mounteaineering orientation competition," say the organizers. The Mountaineering Association of Montenegro and the host of the festival Mountaineering Club "Subra" are organizing the festival with the support of the Ministry of Sports.
Note: In addition to the mountain lodge, participants can stay in their tents on the plateau out front.
Contact phone for registration of participants: +38269262331 Iva Verigo
Petar Pejaković on the occasion of this year's Kotor Festival of Theatre for Children
June 14, 2020 - “The Kotor Festival of Theatre for Children will be held for the 28th time in its traditional period from July 2nd to 10th. It is important that the Festival is held on those days, not only because of its long tradition, but also because during this global crisis it is a positive thing to start the entire "cultural summer" in Montenegro with a festival dedicated to children and children’s culture,” said Pejaković.
Youngsters deal best with big things, even when they, like coronavirus, seem like monsters from a fairy-tale. Even as its evil fire burned on all sides, and turned their world upside down, they were patient. And as one of the rewards for their courage, the Kotor Festival of Theatre for Children, as announced by the event’s Director, Petar Pejaković, will also be held this year, from 2nd to 10th July.
Although somewhat redacted, the 27 year-old festival will continue in its attempts to bring to the most sincere of audiences positive creativity for children and young people, both in the drama and in the literary and musical segments. Pejaković spoke further to Pobjeda about this year's programme.
How much, due to the consequences of coronavirus, has this year's concept for the Festival changes, and is it possible to hold it in the traditional period?
The Kotor Festival of Theatre for Children will be held for the 28th time in its traditional period from July 2nd to 10th. It is important that the Festival is held on those days, not only because of its long tradition, but also because during this global crisis it is a positive thing to start the entire "cultural summer" in Montenegro with a festival dedicated to children and children’s culture. Children are also the most impatient and deserve the most attention first, after an extraordinary period in which we were all deprived of many things. For that reason, the motto for this year's Festival is: "Everything has stopped, but the children are still growing". That is, everything can stop, but children cannot. This sounds like a just a phrase, but it's not really, it's already a basic, and if you will, harsh reality. We have an obligation to be aware of this, to respect it and to lend a hand.
Will the youngest audience be able to watch any performances from the region and abroad this year, and will it be possible to organize the competitive part of the programme?
We are still in discussions on performances from the region that will be part of the Festival. We are waiting for the general situation in the region to return to normal in order to bring the best possible performances from neighbouring countries. What is certain is that there will be several professional performances at the Festival coming from outside Montenegro. We have decided that this year there will be no competition taking the format of professional awards conferred by an expert jury. This is not the right time for that, and without participation from international competitors there would be no true or worthy competition. The children's jury will still work this year and will award the "Dragan Radulović" award. Here, the symbolism of this award and the act itself are more important than the competition.
Has the Festival programme already taken shape, that is, has it been agreed what will be performed at the Festival this year?
The programme of the 28th Festival has largely been agreed. There will be 10 performances on the main theatre programme. Most of the theatres in Montenegro, several theatres from the region and some of the best productions of the Kotor Festival of Theatre for Children will be taking part. The festival has striven, especially in the last ten years, towards quality internationalization, that is, towards the opportunity for our children to see and a broad range of quality theatre performances from all over the world. So far, the Kotor Festival of Theatre for Children has been attended by children's artists from 45 countries on five continents. This year, we are, in the artistic sense, in a kind of quarantine, and we rely on our own production and capabilities. We need to make the best of this difficult circumstance. This year we need to turn to ourselves, reflect, and honestly see where we are, what we are doing, and what and how to proceed. In the case of the Kotor Festival of Theatre for Children, it is a good opportunity to get a true picture of the Montenegrin youth and children’s theatre scene and to make the right decisions on how to improve it and quickly and in a quality way, and for sure a lot needs to be done.
Can we expect some local premieres at the Festival?
From 2nd to 7th July, the City Theatre of Podgorica will present two new premieres in Kotor: “Maca papučarica” (The Slipper Kitten) and “Na ivici neba” (On the edge of the Sky). The Nikšić Theatre will perform “Kraljević i prosjak” (The Prince and the Pauper). The Royal Theatre Zetski Dom will premiere the play “Ljubavno doba” (The Age of Love), made in the Drama Studio and intended for young people. In addition to these local premiere performances and several other performances from the region, the Festival will also welcome performances that were previously produced or co-produced by the Festival and the Nikola Đurković Cultural Centre: “Ivo Visin – kapetan od snova” (Ivo Visin - Captain of Dreams), “Lagarije - predavanje o surogatu” (Make-Believe - A Lecture on Substitutes) “Kinez” (The Chinese Man), “Cvrčak i mrav” (The Cricket and Ant) and “Kako rastu veliki ljudi” (How Great People Grow).
How has this year's music and literature programme been designed?
The other programmes will be quite comprehensive, considering this year's situation. A new book will be presented at the Festival for the first time from Ćuk Editions - “Ivo Visin – Kapetan od snova” (Ivo Višin - Captain of Dreams) by Jelena Lela Milošević with illustrations by Đorđe Kalezić. It is a continuation of the publishing endeavours by the Festival, aiming to fill the gap in domestic literary publishing for children. In addition, two more literary evenings are planned, three programmes of children's drama, five music and dance programmes, three exhibitions, animation programmes around the city, film screenings, and over twenty art installations in the Old Town, entitled “Stone Heritage".
How significant are the consequences of coronavirus on the event financially, and did you find support in organizing this year's edition?
The plan is for patrons from the Municipality of Kotor and the Ministry of Culture to set aside 40 percent of the previous sum used to support the Festival, which as part of KotorArt is one of the three festivals of national significance in Montenegro. It is difficult to know how many cuts there will be when it comes to other areas of life, but it would not be positive for culture and children to be most affected by the emergency situation.
Theatre is Resilient
Although we are currently a country without active cases of the virus, and many measures have been relaxed, the situation in the region and the world is still uncertain. Do you have access to alternative solutions if things take a turn for the worse?
We planned alternative solutions two months ago, so we have several scenarios for holding an extraordinary edition of this year's Festival. These include moving it, holding the various programmes separately, and virtual or “guerrilla” editions and programmes for children and youth. Theatre is very resilient, it is used to difficult conditions, and it has high standards and requirements, so it will surely survive and be a guide in terms of other areas of life.
Source: Pobjeda - Svetlana VIŠNJIĆ
June 12, 2020 - One of the world's most relevant comics artists, the phenomenal Cian Tormey, is the new confirmed guest of this year's edition of the Herceg Novi Comics Festival- HSF, which will be held from September 4 to 9 at several locations in Herceg Novi.
The outstanding Dublin-based artist works for the world's two most prominent labels- US giants Marvel and DC. In addition to Batman and titles from the "Batman" universe such as Batgirl with screenwriter Cecil Castellucci and Catwoman with legendary Sean Gordon Murphy and Blake Northcott, Cian Torney is currently working on a new edition of Doctor Doom and Scarlet Witch for Marvel and the latest sequel to the excellent Injustice series for DC Comics.
Before a full transition to Ninth Art, Tormey was a multi-award winning art director in the world of marketing. In parallel with his regular job, he worked on the DC Anthologies comic book series with well-known screenwriters such as Kyle Higgins, Mariko Tamaki, and Paul Dini. His work did not go unnoticed even by competitors Marvel, and he was brought onboard for the Doom story within the critically highly rated saga War of the Realms, and on titles such as Valkyrie and Annihilation Scourge: Alpha.
"As the coronavirus pandemic subsides across Europe, so the number countries to which Montenegro opens its borders is increasing. The last updated list includes the Republic of Ireland, and this is the perfect reason to announce another one special guest of the fourteenth edition of the HSF, which comes from that very country. It is a great joy to have the honour of hosting this artist in Herceg Novi. Thus we further raise the reputation of our festival, which in art circles in Europe already stands as the main summer event dedicated to comics," say the organizers of HSF.
They remind us that the list of special guests announced so far includes the British PJ Holden, Slovenian Izar Lunaček, German Sedat Oezgen, Russian Artyom Trakhanov, and Italians Marco Mastraco and Mario Milano.