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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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?
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.