Meet the People

15 Feb 2019, 17:00 PM

February 15, 2019 - The sea captain, Tomo Katuric, is the president of the Alliance of the Philatelists of Montenegro, but also a member of the Royal Philatelic Society in London and the European Philatelic Academy in Paris. His great successes recommended him also to be a member of the jury of the World Association of Philatelists FIPA.

Tomo is one of the two people from Balkans to become a member of the Royal Philatelic Society in London, sponsored by Queen Elisabeth II. The Society was founded in 1869 under the patronage of the royal family and consists of 1609 members.

“I become a member in January 2007 with the recommendation of Mr Alan Higgins, an English Lord- one of the leading persons in the world of English philately, as well as at the recommendation of the President of the Philatelists of Italy- Alessandro Agostosi. It was an honor and a pleasure because you can be recommended there only through your success, and by that time I had already had two world gold medals- from Washington and Malaga,” explains Tomo Katuric.

“The gold from Washington is very special to me because it stands as the first gold medal engraved in the culture of Montenegro - as the first gold medal coming to Montenegro after the referendum on independence,” says Tomo. The World Philatelic Exhibition, held in 2006 in Washington under the patronage of the President of the USA, was also the first public solo performance of the Montenegrin Postal Service at a philatelic exhibition after 1897. Tomo won the Gold medal among 650 exhibitioners from 70 countries presenting his unique collection “The Postal History of Boka 1809-1875.”

He is the successor to the old Captain's family from Kamenari in Boka Bay. About 50 percent of philatelic collections that he now owns with his wife and son succeeded, while the rest managed to upgrade to world auctions, thus reaching the world's largest philately class.

“The Katuric family arrived in Boka in 1697 during the Turkey-Venice wars, also known as Moreja wars. They were mainly sailors and merchants. My great grandfather Mato was a sailing ship captain, my grandfather Tomo was a merchant, inherited by my father Djuro, also inheriting the bar in Kamenari in 1906 which has been opened ever since,” explains Tomo.

He started exhibiting in 2001, but he took on philately in 1974 when his uncle Lazar “handed” his collection to Tomo to continue the tradition which had been started by his great grandfather Mato. Katuric’s collection is unique, and its big part comes from the family correspondence letters.

tomo katuric postal history of bokaFrom the collection "The Postal History of Boka 1809-1875", Copyright: Boka News"

"Today, Tomo owns up to 15 gold medals from world exhibitions. The greatest attention and acknowledgment is drawn to his main philately collecting collection from the days of Napoleon and the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. The collection "Postal History of Boka Bay 1809-1875" contains 250 letters, or 128 pages from the Napoleon era. It includes the first postmark issued in Austro-Hungarian 1850, as well as letters from the time Napoleon ruled over these areas. Until 1850, the letters were only sealed, qualifying as pre-philately, but in the collection, there were also letters with stamps, that is, after the founding of the Post Office of the World in Bern in 1874, when Montenegro was one of the 22 founding countries.

The family of Katurić is a collection of four collections, and besides mentioned, Tomo owns a philatelist collection "The Boka and Montenegro Occupation 1941-1945." The son Djordje has a collection of "The letters of the Bokelian Sailors 1839-1880", and his wife Jelisaveta achieves remarkable successes on the world exhibits presenting her collection "The Letters of Sailors from the Austro-Hungarian Fleet 1914-1918". According to FIPA rules, one man can exhibit a maximum of two, and a family of four collections. The Katuric family is also unique in our country and can boast of over 40 of the most significant recognitions of European and world exhibitions.

It is interesting to point out that the post office in Boka Bay, or more precisely in Herceg Novi, has been open for 70 years longer.

"The post at Herceg Novi was opened in 1804, 70 years before Cetinje. This shows us the history, culture and the mail of these regions. This kind of information cannot be praised by most of the 92 member states that are gathered by the World Philatelist Organization."

All collections of the Katuric family talk about Boka Bay and its maritime history, which is not surprising given that the love for collecting and seafaring are the inseparable segments of their members' lives for more than two hundred years.

Tomo is delighted to bring the story of the culture of our region around the globe, even after the celebrated era of the Bokelian maritime affairs. “I have been to and exhibited on all the continents, except Arctic and Antarctica. Thanks to philately and sailing, I have visited more than 200 cities and have seen five out of seven world wonders, proudly representing my home place Kamenari, the town of Herceg Novi, the Boka Bay and Montenegro.”

There is no rule to the profession most commonly dealing with philately. Still, within the circle of the top world philatelist, Tomo is the only seaman. “It is interesting that I am usually not called by my real name but “Bocca di Cattaro”- after my collection,” Tomo proudly marks.

08 Feb 2019, 10:52 AM

February 8, 2019 - We are introducing you Kristina Skanata, a specialist in media and public relations, a passionate traveller and a great fan of Boka Bay. She began her career as a journalist at Budva Television and has been part of the Porto Montenegro PR team for six years. Kristina's creativity is at work, in her recognisable style of dress, entertainment, and decision to indulge in real adventures by travelling to distant and exotic destinations.

TMN: You started your career as a TV journalist. For six years now, you’ve worked in the PR department of Porto Montenegro. Can you compare the two roles and explain your decision to move away from TV? Do you miss being behind the screen from time to time?
Kristina SkanataKristina Skanata, photo by ZOAN Photography
Kristina Skanata: Public relations are an exciting, intense and unpredictable industry - it is a fusion of communication skills and creativity, visionary ability and cause-and-effect relationships. A typical day covers press releases, copywriting, giving speeches, composing creative media campaigns, conducting interviews, producing press clipping reports, as well as working on Corporate Social Responsibility projects. We also have a strong focus on events, which we design and execute to form the lifestyle experience at our superyacht marina village. "Truth well told" is my PR motto, and it works pretty well in all spheres of public relations, especially in a PR crisis. My passions are copywriting and luxury travel videos - that's what I miss most from my previous role in television. It is for this reason that I approach creative photo and video projects for Porto Montenegro with great enthusiasm.
TMN: Your job is very creative. How important is it to be a team player when you are part of a big company? How do you find working in an international environment? Does it impact your everyday life?
Kristina Skanata: The international professional experience gained through growing up in Tivat is a benefit to all of the locals working on the Porto Montenegro project. I enjoy all of the rituals of everyday life - cycling to work my favourite (of course, with my heels in the bicycle basket), and enjoying a coffee and croissant while reading the daily newspaper on the waterfront. I love the hustle of the office - we work intensely and proactively on all aspects of marketing and PR. Amongst the creative "chaos", we have to make time for whistle-stop tutorials on film premieres, fashion collections and good books, and my personal favourite, the so-called daily sugar fix, from the local pastry shop. All of this creates a good foundation for brainstorming, team synergy, motivating one another and creating an environment fit for professional and personal development – it all forms part of a very "ordinary" working day in Porto Montenegro.
kristina Zajedno za zajednicu opsta fotografija"Uplifting the Community" project, Kristina Skanata
TMN: You always have to come up with new ideas to meet your corporate and public needs. It’s this creativity that gave birth to your plan for the "Uplifting the Community” project. How easy or hard is it to determine which campaigns will work best?
Kristina Skanata: Porto Montenegro is undoubtedly the local leader and innovator when it comes to philanthropy - so far, over 3 million Euros have been invested in the local community. Part of this investments has been acquired through donations and sponsorships of cultural, sports, health and educational institutions, the other part being a more immaterial donation in the form of supporting education and creation of cultural capital. 
A project that enjoyed my particular attention was the "Uplifting the Community" initiatives, where Porto Montenegro employees received a paid free day to participate in activities to support the local community. I am most enthusiastic when working on projects relating to the renovation of schools, their grounds, parks and sports facilities, which bring long-term benefits to the local population and incentivise all affected to work towards creating a better everyday life of all citizens.
kristina Torres del Paine PatagoniaKristina Skanata, Torres Del Paine, Patagonia, private photo collection
TMN: Outside working hours, you get to enjoy your free time. What are your usual weekend plans? Do you attend shows/manifestations?
Kristina Skanata: The Mediterranean village of Gornja Lastva, perched on a hill overlooking the Tivat Riviera, is a lovely spot to get headspace. The Verige Strait offers perfect views of Perast and two charming islands: Our Lady of the Rocks and St George. For a social time, I tend to choose a relaxed tavern environment with friends - "Bokeski Gusti" in Prcanj is one of my favourites. I love urban lounge-jazz, so you can probably guess that Casper in Budva is one of my summertime hideouts. On weekends, I’m most likely to "escape" to Ada Bojana. For the best evening out with great entertainment, I recommend a performance at the Mediterranean Theatre, Purgatorije, during the Tivat Festival. 
TMN: As a student, you drew inspiration for your creative work from the natural and cultural heritage of the Boka Bay. Is it the same when it comes to working?
Kristina Skanata: For years, international media publications have featured articles on Porto Montenegro and the Bay of Kotor, as written by the most respected travel journalists, from Conde Nast Traveler, RobbReport, Tattler and Boat International. It’s always a pleasure to convey the "rhythm” of the destination, from the perspective of National PR Manager of Porto Montenegro, as well as a local girl portraying the ‘Boka’ way of life. To give journalists a rustic understanding of the region, I like to relay the maritime biographies of Ivo Vizin, Jacinta Kunjic, and Penelope from Boka, as well as retell local legends like that of the Three Sorelles. Both the Boka Bay and PR are my way of life - I take great pleasure in their synergy.
TMN: Do you find that Porto Montenegro is becoming an integral part of the Tivat Community?
Kristina Skanata: The years of development of the Porto Montenegro village have seen the transformation of Tivat, maximising the town’s potential, and elevating its traditions and nautical heritage - the fusion of the city with the PM project creates innovation and a "City of the Future" atmosphere, which Tivat indeed is becoming. Many locals from Tivat and the wider Boka region, amongst them, myself, now have the opportunity to work in an international environment, with exposure to luxury brands and different industries, as well as the chance to open private businesses in a stable economy that complements the Porto Montenegro project and tourism influx.
kristina pustinja Wadi Rum JordanKristina Skanata, Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan, private photo collection
TMN: You're passionate about travel. But are you a traveller, or a tourist?
Kristina Skanata: I strongly support my theory that the best life stories are "sealed" within your passport cover – and crafted in the deserts, rainforests and when faced with miracles of human civilisation. I am not a tourist, but a traveller - I like to meet local people and experience their typical rituals of everyday life. I spent half a day at a Cambodian school where some of the children saw a camera for the first time. My landlord, Manuel, from Havana, guided me to a tobacco factory and taught me how to tell a real Cuban cigarette from a fake; in Petra, the nomads led me to hidden fortifications that you would never find in a tourist brochure.
kristina Tajland TigarKristina Skanata, Thailand, private photo collection
Such stories epitomise the essence of what is often the most beautiful, and sometimes risky, life experiences. From moments of great courage and madness whilst stood next to a tiger in Thailand, I also dared venture into one of the most dangerous favelas in Rio de Janeiro with my friends - a place that even the Brazilian postmen tend to avoid – where the nearby clashes of local gangs could be heard from only a few metres. 
kristina Venecija ItalijaKristina Skanata, Venice, Italy, private photo collection
Aside from the above, I'll always choose to return to New York! Just enough to become reacquainted with the concrete jungle, sayings like "have a nice day", bright yellow taxis and friendly drivers, Starbucks coffee (which somewhat subjectively never tastes the same outside of New York), the fast-paced lifestyle, all-glass skyscrapers and smiling doormen in their uniforms… a place where I reenact scenes from episodes of Friends and Serendipity and connect with Sex & City. The famous shops and "artistic" part of the city, Greenwich Village and Soho are known for their European architecture, small brick houses, the artists that inhabited them, and the richness of identity, subculture, colours and design.
01 Feb 2019, 13:17 PM

February 1, 2019 - Zoran Nikolic from Prcanj is one of the most famous Bokelian photographers whose landscapes of Boka Bay stop the breath of the audience from all meridians. This lover of nature and humans records the game of light and shadow on the slopes of the rugged mountains, and their reflection on the sea surface with a lot of patience and knowledge. As he said, he records the beauty of which we cannot escape in Boka Bay, wanting to awaken a beautiful feeling in people. He is entirely successful in this, often answering the question of where this "area of the miracle of beauty" is, as the poet Frano Alfirevic characterized Boka Bay in the 19th century.

zoran nikolic 5Prcanj, photo by Zoran Nikolic
In Zoran's photographs, Boka is still a place of the unique cultural landscape, fascinating natural contrasts, modest people, who, in harmony, live in stone palaces and small houses along its coastline, go fishing, celebrate their festivities, and celebrate life.
Zoran has adored Boka since his childhood, when in the summer months with his parents, leaving Sarajevo, he returned home to his ancestors. Wooden boats floating in dry stone Mandraci, the song of fishers returning from the sea, the beauty of stone plastic on the facades of the palaces, the grand and modest Bokelian churches, are all the pictures that he had seen in his earliest childhood.
Zoran started doing photography as a fifteen-year-old when he got a small, analog camera. His love of photography as a medium was born very quickly, and in his Sarajevo apartment, he even improvised the laboratory in which he made his first photos. Studies and later the work of a social worker took him away from his hobby for some time, and his return to the photopraphy bound for the arrival in Boka, which in the war of the nineties had permanently replaced his Sarajevo address.
Then a family wooden boat came in, and he owed special love to this valuable segment of the cultural heritage of our region. And we owe it to him that, in cooperation with his cousin, the late Branko Nikolic, launched the blog of Wooden Boats (, the first concrete initiative for recognizing wooden boats as a valuable segment of the culture of life on our shores.
zoran nikolic 9Detail of wooden boat, photo by Zoran Nikolic
"I own a wooden boat my parents bought 49 years ago. Our family boat has given us much love and beautiful memories. She is an integral part of our family if I can say so. When I moved from Sarajevo to Kotor in 1992, I took care of that boat. It is important to me that she exists today. It is in excellent condition, sailing, and it does not matter to me how much it costs," says Zoran about his wooden boat, one of the few still decorating our sea and shore. It is a costly and demanding job, but as Zoran says in his blog, "The wooden boat never gets old, as long as there is wood and good craftsmen."
Zoran is a member of the non-governmental organization Camelia Stoliv, who has recognized his efforts, and in its traditional manifestation  “Camellia Festival," for the last ten years has also engaged wooden boats in part of the program bearing the symbolic name "Camellia Trophy," deliberately hinting at the Camel Trophy. This event aims to promote the popularization of wooden boats, as well as to influence the competent state bodies to take measures that will stimulate the owners of wooden vessels to persevere in a struggle to keep them alive.
zoran nikolic 8Camelia Trophy in Stoliv, photo by Zoran Nikolic
"We have been working hard for many years, and our manifestation attracts a lot of people. The owners of wooden boats come in, with no more than 10-12 boats, but also visitors who are interested in it. After the fishing competition in wooden boats, as well as the competition in rowing of wooden boats, we are obliged every year to arrange a round table and invite people from the competent institutions - Harbor Command Kotor and Bar, relevant ministries, all those interested in helping us in any way.
There is a response; there is a shift. The latest success in this field is the initiative of the caliphates workshop Bokovac and my friend Nenad Bokovac to recognize and protect the craft of wooden boat making as the immaterial cultural good of Montenegro. The Ministry of Culture has accepted this initiative and initiated a procedure for establishing a regime of protection, which is indeed a big and significant step. However, to protect the wooden boat itself, we are now preparing a new initiative to the Government of Montenegro where we will ask owners of wooden boats to release various taxis when registering boats, as well as charging berths and marinas along our coast. We think that such benefits would help to make that little wooden boat how much survived did not disappear. It is our goal because they are less and less per day in Boka because the people who own them are not always able and may not have enough knowledge to care for them. They do not have the conditions for the mastery of these, and these masters are less and less. That is why this is the last cry, our attempt to prevent their disappearance," explains Zoran Nikolic.
The blog "Wooden boats" is somehow a classroom, a place where you can find lots of useful information and instructions on how to repair a wooden boat. Additionally, this blog is also an art gallery with a large number of professional photographs that one day could become the perfect equipment for wooden boat maintenance manuals, which Zoran can draw from many texts he wrote on this topic.
Still, a wooden boat is just one of Zoran's artistic motifs. By moving to Boka Bay, when his interest in digital photography began, devoted to research and the unobtrusive recording of the scenes that surround him, Zoran over time gained the reputation of one of the most significant landscape photographers in this area, and during the last two decades he can boast of a large number of independent and collective exhibitions.
zoran nikolic 6Prcanj, photo by Zoran Nikolic
"I look around the world, and everything that makes me nice and what I think can attract one's attention, I photograph it. It's not enough to click on the camera for a specific motif. You need to have good equipment and plenty of knowledge to take advantage of this equipment to get the result that is delightful. I did it, nobody taught me," says Zoran, pointing out that he loves to take photos of beauty. ”I like to show people nice things, and I like it when my photos make people emotional. That's my goal as a photographer."
Zoran's works often end up among the best ranked on numerous international websites for photography. "When you are in Boka, and especially when you have a boat and sail the sea, wherever you turn the camera you cannot take a bad photo," says Zoran modestly. "I get a lot of positive reactions from the world. People ask me where my picture came about, where this beauty is. I answer to everyone, send a link, and explain how to locate us on Google Earth. The beauty of our Boka subdues people."
zoran nikolic 4Stone jettz, photo by Zoran Nikolic
When asked how a visual artist experiences changes in the landscape of Boka Bay, Zoran explains that as an artist he continues to try to tie for a nice one. He often finds it difficult to form a cadre that does not have some of the inadequate interpolations, such as large concrete constructions - he admits, he uses computer programs for photographic processing and corrects reality by removing markings in his photos.
Zoran finds time for his hobbies in the afternoon and during the weekend since this social work is as a therapist at the Special Hospital for Psychiatry in Dobrota. There, in the carpentry workshop, he teaches his patients the basics of crafts, enjoying them in the same way as the hobbies mentioned above. It seems that this lover of life, nature, and humans works in a circle of beautiful harmony, which he selflessly shares with his community and the wider audience.
You can find Zoran Nikolic's photos by visiting one of the suggested links:
26 Jan 2019, 15:38 PM

January 26, 2019 - NGO Hands from Herceg Novi is the organiser of today's Little Orange Festival, held in Herceg Novi for the fifth time. Orange is just one of the gastro topics they dedicate a large number of events to throughout the year. Their themes are, apart from seasonal fruits of the Boka Bay, handicrafts and other forms of creative work but also humanitarian work.

The Little Orange Festival is in some way an overture to the great Mimosa Festival, whose jubilee, 50th edition begins in Herceg Novi next Friday. President of NGO Hands Milina Kovačević is also the editor of the Mimosa Festival program. She reveals that during the launch of this festival, back in 1969, the organisers doubted whether it was devoted to mimosa or oranges. 
ngo hands 3Copyright: NGO Hands Facebook Page
"When initiating this winter tourist event 50 years ago, the tourist agents of Herceg Novi and some journalists who were delighted with our town had the dilemma of whether to dedicate it to mimosa or oranges. The decision has fallen on the mimosa, which gave us a chance 45 years later to do the Holiday of Orange, as the writer Nikola Malovic named it after our first festival," explains the president of NGO Hands.
Orange deserves to have a festival in its honour. "Orange is a wonderful fruit, beautiful, healthy, inspirational for us and our associates, who are creators in many areas, from applied arts, through handcrafting with the most varied techniques, some of which are traditional and some very modern to those who, with love and enthusiasm, deal with gastronomy. Among them, we have amateurs, but also professionals who prepare traditional recipes or invent new ones," says Milina for the festival, which this year brought together 35 exhibitors from Herceg Novi and other parts of the Bay as well as other Montenegrin cities.
Unlike NGO Deša from neighbouring Dubrovnik, which protected bitter orange as a symbol of their city, NGO Hands did not specify whether their party was devoted to sweet or sour oranges.
"Dubrovnik's bitter orange is a brand that they have built for over a decade. In any case, they were a model of how to make a good brand. They did serious research and made a catalogue of bitter oranges in their city. Our Small Festival does not overlap with any other in the surroundings and in that sense we have not given exclusivity to either bitter or sweet orange. It's just an orange feast. It is in the centre of our attention, and space also finds another citrus- lemon, citron, even Mandarina, although it is part of the Autumn Festival of NGO Hands," says Milina.
What is not part of the local gastro tradition, and the NGO Hands approaching this festival is the use of orange in preparation not only of sweet but also of salty meals.
"It is so with everything that grows around us. Thus, Tivat has a manifestation, a brand of this town, Dani Zucenice (Days of Chicory), which we could see in the organisation of our other seasonal party, which comes after thee orange - Festival Primavera. Primavera deals with wild herbs- edible, healing and spices. Chicory is an ingredient of traditional dishes, but gastro games are unimaginable, so chicory ended as an ice cream ingredient. The possibility of combinations is endless, often surprising but delicious. For those who are inclined to experiment and who like new tastes, it is exciting."
NGO Hands this year, for the fifth edition of the Little Orange Festival, managed to gather up to 35 exhibitors from Herceg Novi, the rest of Boka, other parts of Montenegro and abroad.
“Thirty-five exhibitors are present at the exhibition of domestic products and handicrafts. We have another 15 exhibitors at the donation table, which is always an integral part of our events organised for humanitarian purposes. That's a bit different for our feats compared to others. Consumption is a chance to learn something, but also an opportunity to be human and donate funds within capabilities, which we later refer to for humanitarian purposes. In this way, this time we will assist the project dealing with children with disabilities from our city. It is a project implemented by the NGO Serbian Sisters, according to the recommendations of the Commission for the Work with Children with Disabilities, where they are preparing for entry into the education system by patronage visits of logopedists, physiotherapists and teachers. It is for this time. We often support the actions of Iva Bjelić Foundation from our city, and we are always ready to respond to a call and join another, current humanitarian action." Milina has introduced us to another segment of NGO Work, which combines with their core program - community activism to turn to the natural heritage of Boka Bay and recognise it as valuable development potential.
ngo hands 7Copyright: Radio Herceg Novi
NGO Hands recognised the fact that for sustainable tourism development, we need to be what we are and find modern and affirmative ways to get closer to the public, both at home and abroad. In that sense, their seasonal celebrations glorify all that nature has given us in this area.
"Nature has given us much to celebrate. So we come back, leave the market and turn to the trees and nature that surrounds us, which is an inexhaustible source of exactly what is good for us. We know that we should consume the fruits growing in the place where we live. Therefore, during the year, along with the oranges and wild herbs, we celebrate and recommend ways to conserve and consume figs and grapes in the summer, on our Steps Festival. In Autumn, a whole variety of fruit, from the rays that swirling in September, over the carob, the mandarin, the kiwi, to the pomegranate, the king of our Autumn Festival. I think the potential of our Seasonal Fests is to make every season in Herceg Novi interesting for tourists because they get to know our gastronomy in this way. Gasto tourism is a growing branch of tourism all over the world, and gastronomy is increasingly present in the media as a discipline. Those gastro meetings in open spaces manage to get close to the people who come here, and they want more than anything to see our way of life, how we lived and how we live today," explains the mission of NGO Hands President Milina Kovacevic.
"There were some editions of the Little Orange Festival that had different trips to international cuisine. We have shown how the orange is used in Italy, England, France and so on. On the second occasion, we demonstrated that orange is present in literature and art. All this could in some way be activated and enrich our experience of everything that surrounds us and what for we need to be grateful," concluded Milina Kovacevic.
18 Jan 2019, 20:33 PM

January 18, 2019 - Ivica Arandus (Ivica Ivo Arandjus) is an academic painter from Tivat, who started his artistic career at the end of the 80s when he moved from Tivat to Düsseldorf, Germany. Today, Arandus enjoys acclamation among his colleagues, but he is also extremely well received by the audience, which has the chance to see his works at numerous solo and collective exhibitions across Europe. We succeed to meet him in Tivat before he goes back to Düsseldorf to close two of his exhibitions which opened in December.

Did art take Arandus to Germany, or did he discover his artistic gift by moving to Düsseldorf?

"I have to say that I just left, I did not go for a career, not even in art. Already as a child, I felt some pressure, some urge to get out of here. There was always some beautiful world in my head somewhere else. I always, when it came to September, looked sorrowfully for people who went to Germany or some other country. I looked at them sadly, as if they were birds moving to the south, and I wanted to go with them. While they were here, they were always nice; they always laughed, were happy, unlike many of our people. In my case, it created the illusion that somewhere there was a much happier and better world," explains Arandus.
As he says, arriving in Düsseldorf, he wondered if he had come to that glamorous and cheerful world. It took him several years to realise that people everywhere, even in Germany, are in a great struggle for existence, and have to work all year long to enjoy a few weeks when they will be free, happy, relaxed.
"That knowledge was a bit of a disappointment for me. But, it was no disappointment with the state as a state. Even today, after more than 30 years, I still like Germany when it comes to the system, infrastructure, architecture, especially literature and art," says the painter, who began education initially in a completely different sphere. Arandus first thought he would deal with electronics. How did this personal transformation occur?
"My interest in electronics is due to the fascination of Nikola Tesla, who I was introduced to already as a child. I watched the movie about Tesla and then started reading about this great scientist. I came in resonance with him that he somehow determined my initial professional orientation. So I went to Sarajevo and started education in electronics. When I started to deal with my job, I realised that, just like a chess game, I feel happy while the game lasts. But as soon as I stopped working, I felt empty; there was no sound in me. It is only art that has succeeded in causing me a sense of fulfilment, a sense of wholeness. Comparatively with the rings - dealing with art, and after I cease to work, the echo of my work, the image that I work on, and the inspiration that made me do, has taken me a long time."
arandus 1
How hard was it to find his artistic path in an entirely new environment, among foreigners, in a foreign language, in the situation where the competition is vast and strong? It seems that for Ivica Arandus, when it comes to art, there have never been barriers.
"I have to say that it has never been hard for me because my fascination with art always led me. Art always preoccupied me that I often forgot a man had to work to earn to live and survive. I studied art at the Academy of Art in Dusseldorf in the class of Professor Michael Buthe. Already during my studies, I made exhibitions, and I never had the problem of selling some of my drawings or pictures. I have to admit that it was not difficult for me either during the studies or later when I started to be more serious about painting. But my approach to painting has always been serious. Initially, they declared me crazy; to people, it was not clear why I was not dealing with electronics, which could provide me with a good existence. Then they realised that it is normal for an artist because the artist could not live without his love and fascination with art."
arandus 8Although Arandus calls his poetics socio-critical, the first thing that the observer notices when accessing his work is the almost ever-present figure of a woman.
"A woman is a widespread motif in my paintings, but in essence, there is a great scene that has nothing to do with a woman. I respect a woman so much that I would hang on erotic or some sexual object. I'm playing with the figure of a woman, but dealing with topics that catch me. Religion, politics, and eroticism - the boundaries between these spheres have almost disappeared. When I do some critical picture on finance, I come again to eroticism - everything is seductively packed. Financial subjects are so attractively presenting their actions or some financial packages to attract people to deceive them. Logic is not much different than when it comes to pure eroticism. People get the impression that they have a chance to profit, and the goal is completely different in favour of the bidder. So, in the eroticisation of politics, finance, even religions, there is always a symbol of women. That is why the symbol of a woman is a metaphor, which I often include in my paintings," explains Ivica Arandus.
arandus 2
As a socio-critical artist, Arandus, through his works, dealing with the topics of religion, politics, economics and the military industry, succeeds in the artist's mission to play the map of thoughts and emotions, inspires audiences to observe reality and question the limits of their freedom critically.
"I've been painting for almost 30 years, and I'm sure that within the time I have formed some inner structure that I keep and constantly upgrading. I think freedom is our great illusion. An even greater illusion is a democracy, I would call it a demo-dictate of today. For my notion, we can build freedom only within ourselves. I think this is a form of being of every man- to be built up as a person, to have self-awareness about his knowledge and spiritual construction, to open his perception, to be critical of what is happening in society. I do not believe in democracy in the way we present it. The illusion is that the kind of democracy we know goes in favour of people. Every political system always has and everywhere went hand in hand to a minority that manages, no country has so far dealt with its inhabitants. No power, no big company ever cares about its employees, but their profit. The same principle works for the state."
arandus 7
A good artist communicates with the audience in a way that inspires reflection and exhilarates feelings. At the same time, the most powerful means of manipulating people through history were those that affected cognition and emotions. In this sense, the Catholic Church is one of the longest and most influential organisations when it comes to broad masses. Arandus has dedicated the whole cycle of his work to the critique of the Catholic Church, and this cycle has caused the highest interest of the audience, especially in Germany.
arandus 3"Surprisingly, the series you're talking about is the best selling of all the thematic series I've been working on so far. I'm still working on it, and I cannot escape this subject because it keeps inspiring me. These are very critical images, but even strong Catholic families in Germany bought those paintings, which I could not believe. They are much more open than eastern countries, such as Poland and the countries of our region. Even in Italy, people are quite critical of the church. The Pope has recently released all bishops in Argentina. In Chicago, the church released about 900 priests for child abuse. In France, there is a trial against one of the major cardinals. Courts generally defend the hierarchy. If there is no pressure from the public, that there are no people to oppose it, it would all be stuffed and still unknown. In Germany there were over 2000 applications, which will ultimately lead to civilian courts. Until now, that was not possible, even the police did not have access to the church. Now it is slowly starting to go globally, people all over the world are slowly rising and retreating. Therefore, it is certain that the Church is one of the themes that will continue to be present in my creation because in my paintings I will continue to deal with the transgression of the spirit and illusions of man. There are certainly good things in religion, but there are also huge scams and exploitation of the population," says Arandus about one of his significant occupations in art.
arandus 6Although living and creating most of the time in Düsseldorf, Arandus is present in the art scene of Montenegro, where he has had several solo exhibitions in recent years. He also finds time to socialise with colleagues and occasionally participates in art colonies. Asked how to evaluate the position of artists in Montenegro and the Montenegrin art scene, Arandus answers:
"My opinion is that there are good artists in Montenegro, but there is no system of support for art and artists. There are missing good galleries and museums, which deal with artworks a bit more seriously. Mostly art falls into commercialism; images serve to decorate a space. I do not have anything against flowers and boats, but it can do to have a spiritual note. As the tone has a beautiful colour, so the picture has a nice sound. I guess that art is so commercialised here. The fact is that art cannot be without sales, artworks have to be sold to let the artist live and continue to create. But there have to be some line artists would not go over.
arandus 5In Germany there is a huge competition, only in Dusseldorf, there are over a thousand painters. And there are maybe thirty galleries with where the artist can seriously work. But there are a lot of museums. I think it is needed to feel the competition in a positive sense. It is the competition that motivates you, which gives you the wings to do more and better. The situation is different in our country. I have countless times heard when asking for the price of the picture, so people comment that they can buy a car for that money. Still, the people in our country are more committed to investing in a status symbol, something that other people can see. You buy a picture and exhibit it in your home, and it does not have that effect. The same is with literature. When you read a good book, this is something that is good for you, although not transparent to others," the artist says. 
"It is striking that in Germany more people visit museums than football stadiums. So art attracts more attention than football matches, which is almost unthinkable to us. When they come to bigger cities, tourists rush into museums because those are places where they can recognise the spiritual state of a nation. It is sad that the guests who come to us we can show only beaches and buildings. It is sad that every city does not have a large and representative gallery, where visitors could see how people are feeling here, how they are watching their world and the world at all. I think it is important for every society - to make its artists and their art accessible to citizens and visitors."
arandus 4
In 2004, Arandus presented a valuable collection of artwork by painters and sculptors from all over the world who gave their works to his hometown, supporting his idea of providing such a gift to the city as an opportunity to establish a museum of contemporary art. The "Düsseldorf to Tivat" collection will soon get its permanent address.
"These are the works of artists from all the meridians - from Africa, India, Asia, America, Russia, Japan, from different countries in Europe. My idea with that donation was to use it as the cornerstone of the future museum of contemporary art so that people get the chance to be informed and inspired by the contemporary flow of culture and art. So far, the public could see those works in the Tivat's gallery. I hope that this year, the municipality and responsible culture institutions will keep their promise and provide representative space for this valuable collection, so that my idea finally begin to live," said Ivica Arandus, one of the most successful Montenegrin artists on the international scene.
22 Nov 2018, 13:13 PM
November 22, 2018 - Dora Štampić, a 13-year girl from Tivat, the student of Elementary School Drago Milović and Tivat Music School, has again shown remarkable success at the regional festival of young talents.  With the song "Child is an Important Man" which premiered in September at the Angel Voice Festival in Belgrade, she performed last weekend at the 8th MEDEMUS Fest "Otvoreno srce“ (“Open Heart"), an international festival of young talents organized by the Multimedia Center in Tutin, Serbia, and she won the first prize.
At the festival, 16 performers from Bulgaria, Macedonia, Montenegro, Croatia, and Serbia competed. Apart from the first prize for interpretation, Dora Štampić, with her friend Tara Petrović from Tivat, was also awarded the stage performance.
dora štampić
For this young lady, every performance at a festival is an opportunity to meet new friends, as well as to establish new contacts. Thus, she says, the stay in Tutin brought her an offer to participate as a special guest at the International Festival "ABANICO" - Festival of popular music and dance, to be held from 22-24 March 2019 in Sofia, Bulgaria, organized by the Artvoices Music Association, sponsored by the Department of Education of the Spanish Embassy in Bulgaria and the mayor of Sofia.
dora štampić 2Dora is grateful to the art team, who signs her sixth song “A child is an Important Man.“ 
"Tode Nikoletić wrote the text, Ognjan Cvekić signs the arrangement, and Dijana Bogićević composed the music," explains Dora. Montenegrin composers and children's pedagogues Frenki and Dijana Bogićević are her teachers of singing since the beginnings of music engagement, and Dora owes them the most gratitude for the successes she has gained since 2014.

Dora Štampić Already Has Six Songs

This young Tivat talent has performed at the most important festivals for children organized in Montenegro – “Naša radost“ (“Our Joy“) in Podgorica and “Zlatna pahulja“ (“Golden Snowflake“) in Rožaje. But she has also come to many festivals in the region: “Školjkice u plavom“ ("Shells in Blue") in Novi Sad, the festival “Dok Lašva teče“ ("While flowing Lašva") in Novi Travnik in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the famous Zagreb children's festival "Zlatna frula" (“Golden Flute“), and the “Angel Voice“ youth festival in Belgrade.
dora štampić 5Also, no children's event in Tivat and Kotor passes without Dora's participation, and for the second year in a row, she also participated in the accompanying program of the Festival of Children's Theater Kotor. Calls are coming all the time and from the other parts of Montenegro. Also, as a representative of the Tivat Music School, Dora Štampić often performs at national competitions of music schools' students.
The songs "Babaroga," “Najljepši san“ ("The Most Beautiful Dream"), “Dobrodošlica“ ("Welcome"), “Čik pogodi“ ("Guess if You Can“), "Ljuboples" have made Dora Stampić very popular among peers. She does not personally think that she is special and important because she recognized her talents. She says that all children can be successful in what they like if they are lucky enough to recognize and support their talents. She remembers that her music story was initially attributed to Ružica Lazarević, now Director of the Elementary School Drago Milović. Dora was a trainee of her School for talents, and thanks to her started Dora's cooperation with Dijana and Frenki Bogićević, where her first song "Babaroga" was born.
"It is early to know what I will deal with when I grow up. For now, I enjoy singing and socializing and traveling that music is bringing to me. At the moment I think that when I grow up, I would like to be an actress. That profession includes many things I enjoy, " says Dora Štampić, who was on the scene for the first time with just three years, as the youngest majorette dancer of the Fashion-dance Club "Modest" from Tivat.
02 Oct 2018, 12:17 PM

October 2, 2018 - Neuropsychologist Ivica Hausmeister started his medical career in Tivat about 30 years ago. It took him to the UK, where he's been running a successful private practice for more than two decades. But, medicine is not the only sphere of his interest. Dr. Hausmeister also deals with astrophysics, and his book "Journey Through Time" aims to acquaint this area with the unprofessional public.

04 Aug 2018, 14:26 PM

August 4, 2018 – Montenegrins are famous for their height, so it’s logical to expect a number of basketball players to come from this region. Young and talented Montenegrin power forward Bojan Subotić who played last season for BC Kalev, Estonia shares his story with TMN.

28 Jul 2018, 15:41 PM

July 28, 2018 – I live in Tivat downtown and there has been some changes recently on my street. A new café under my balcony and a new boutique on the opposite side have opened their doors this season and I noticed that the owners don’t speak the local language. A nearby restaurant seems to be rented and is also run by the foreigners. Who are these new entrepreneurs of Montenegro?

11 Jul 2018, 20:48 PM

July 11, 2018 - An American with Balkan origins, retired as a member of the US Army, Mary Borojevich has been devoted to various projects to help children and young people with disabilities in the area of the Balkans for 18 years. She started her mission in the USA, continued in Serbia, and then in Bosnia and Herzegovina. For two years now, Mary has been working in Montenegro, which she has chosen for her new address.

28 Jun 2018, 06:37 AM

June 28, 2018 - Andrej Nikolaidis was born in 1974 in Sarajevo to a mixed Montenegrin-Greek family. Until the age of six, he lived in the city of Ulcinj, where he returned in 1992 after the war in Bosnia erupted. Since 1994, he has written for regional independent and liberal media, as well as for cultural magazines. He is considered by many to be one of the most influential intellectuals of the younger generation in the region, known for his anti-war activism and for his promotion of the rights of minorities.


Page 2 of 5

Remax Property of the Week

Property of the week.png