Srpska - No 2

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Year I  No 2, 2013.  price 7 KM

Legacies and Waiting



“Golden Apple” TV EDITION OF “NATIONAL REVIEW”! Half an hour long collage TV program about Serbia, its landscapes and people, towns and customs, cultural-historic heritage and economic and tourist potentials. Travel reporting, portraits, legends, melodies. The best from Serbia, with knowledge and love! > RTV Republika Srpska (RTRS), every Sunday at 15:30 > Soon also on Radio-Television of Serbia (RTS)


MODERNITY OF TRADITION, AND VICE VERSA Publisher “Princip Pres” Cetinjska 6, 11000 Belgrade Tel.: +381 (11) 322 70 34, 322 16 92 Director and Editor-in-Chief Mišo Vujović Editor Branislav Matić


Disjunctive A

Technical Editor Aleksandar Ćosić Photography Editor Dragan Bosnić Header and Cover Design Jovan Željko Rajačić Associates Milovan Vitezović, jerej Jovan Plamenac, Nebojša Jevrić, Dragan Lakićević, Bojan Mandić, Jovo Bajić, Dejan Bulajić, Dejan Đorić, Đorđe Srbulović, Mihail Kulačić, Zoran Pejašinović, Slobodan Krstić, Sandra Kljajić, Boris Čikić, Senka Trivić, Sandra Josović, Vanja Tepić, Ljubiša Trivić, Dajana Korolija, Radmila Đević, Vesna Kapor, Aleksandra Rajković Translated by: Sandra Gagić & “Globe Translations“

Marketing Mirko Vujović, Irena Stolić Secretariat and Distribution Jelena Jović, Dragana Dimitrijević, Milenko Vasilić Print “Portal”, Belgrade Office for the Republic of Srpska “Princip Pres RS” Aleja Svetog Save 7, 78000 Banjaluka Tel/Fax: +387 (51) 304 360 Dijana Petković, Director Office for Australia “Princip Press Australia PTY LTD”, 12/24 Loch Street, 3182 St Kilda West, VIC Jelena Janković, Director

mong artificial divisions with which they have been entertaining us in our misery in the past one hundred years or so, one of the most ridiculous is juxtaposing tradition and modernism. To a sober person it is clear that there is no tension there, no “disjunctive”. Millennium long tradition, brought forward to us from the first announcement of the Creator in his Creation, is the basis on which every new generation and every Modernism rest. And every modernism is a form through which ancient tradition lives and expresses itself, its interpretation and reconsideration, upgrade and continuation. “A man is not a mechanical doll of predestination. Tradition is not a cage in which we fell at birth an in which we will rot like slaves, continuously repeating “other people’s truths” like mantras, until we die. Every personality, every generation and people are invited to search for answers to eternal questions... The best things that we encounter on our authentic god-searching journey, of course, will be donated to the treasuries of Tradition and transferred forward. Actually, one could not exist without the other. Tradition would become a ‘light disappeared behind the veil’, ‘Word that nobody here understands, ‘light rose of Truth’; every modernism, once you discard carnival masks and once the noise of the world quiets down, would be reduced to a pitiful rootless gourd discarded on the wasteland of history.“ Therefore, National Review is intertwined with people who know this and who create like this, from the explorers of the Byzantine city on Kozara too art colony on the Pliva, from City Theatre “Jazavac” to ethno band “Trag”. And the rest in this edition mostly belongs to the summer. Thus we have so much water, woods and air, and that lightness that flies away before us like a silk veil in the sunset. 

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година I  број 2, 2013.  цијена 5 KM

Завјештања и чекања

број 2· 2013.



Cover page: Ethno Band “Trag” (Based on photograph by V. Milanković)

CIP - Каталогизација у публикацији Народна библиотека Србије, Београд 008(497.6 Република Српска) ISSN 2334-850X, COBISS.SR-ID 199401228



Partners of the Publication:


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NE WS S T RE AM >> Cultural heritage of Hilandar Monastery will be digitalized and preserved in electronic form, and so more than 1,000 icons, 507 hand-written charters and a number of other valuables will be permanently available to the scientific and general public. >> On the occasion of the eighteenth anniversary from the expulsion of Serbs from the Republic of Serbian Krajina – when in joint campaign of the army of the Republic of Croatia and its international mentors, in only three days, over 220,000 people were exiled from the territory where they had lived for centuries, and more than 2,000 civilians were killed – on August 4, memorial services were served all over Srpska, and wreaths were laid on the St. Pantelia’s Graveyard in Banjaluka. >> Foundations of the Memorial Temple of the Resurrection of Christ in Prebilovci was consecrated on August 3, and after the liturgy, the retired bishop of Zahumlje and Herzegovina Atanasije also served a memorial service for 4,000 Serbs killed in the valley of the Neretva by Ustaše in World War Two (their remains are now located in the former school in Prebilovci). >> With the book A Service for the Hermit of Cetinje by Matija Bećković, Srpska književna zadruga joined the celebration of two hundredth anniversary from the birth of great Serbian poet, bishop and statesman Petar II Petrovića Njegoš. >> The book Vienna Boys Choir at the synagogue by poet Pero Zubac was crowned with the award at this year’s International Literary Meeting “Šušnjar 2013”, and the award “Slovo Podgrmeča”, for a work motivated by a


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For Pride Saddle Čemerno, key connection between Herzegovina and the rest of Srpska and with Serbia, was completed after many years of efforts and in early August was opened for traffic. More than a hundred years old communication problem, which had been unsuccessfully dealt with by both Austro-Hungary and socialist Yugoslavia, was finally completed. 72 million marks were invested from the Development Program of Srpska, additional 15 million marks were invested by “Integral Engineering”, the contractor. Since 2008, when this development project began, the longest tunnel in B&H (2,108 meters) has been built, one shorter tunnel, several small bridges, 409 high and 40 meters long viaduct, height difference of 314 meters was overcome, big and complicated landslide was remedied... Practical benefits for a large number of people end the economy of Srpska is huge.

“Pupin” in Banjaluka Renowned Serbian scientific Institute “Mihailo Pupin” will finally be opened in Banjaluka in September. According to the agreement between the Institute from Belgrade and the Representative Office of Srpska in Serbia, the Institute in Banjaluka will have all resources and possibilities as the one in Belgrade. “The Institute in Banjaluka will not rely on state subsidies, but will enter the commercial market, it will conquer projects in the wider region with its knowledge and abilities”, says Vladan Batanović, deputy director of this Institute in Belgrade. “We will give a chance to young experts. We will show that people from the university can secure their existence in technical and technological sciences, working directly for the economy.”

hometown, went to Živko Perić for his novel The Balkan Relapse.

Eight Centuries of Stupovi Monastery Đurđevi stupovi near Berane, endowment of prefect Prvoslav Nemanjić, nephew of Stefan Nemanja, celebrated in early August eight hundred years of existence. It was here that in 1219 Saint Sava established the Budim Diocese of the Serbian Church, one of the first seven. Destroyed many times and rebuilt again, the monastery is also well known because in here, in 1857, the decision on unification of Vasojevići with Montenegro was made. The ceremony and liturgy in Đurđevi stupovi was attended by His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej, Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral Amfilohije, Bishop of Budimlje and Nikšić Joanikije, high representatives of other Orthodox churches, as well as high state representatives of Montenegro and Serbia.

New Bishop of Bihać and Petrovac His Grace Atanasije (Rakita) has been recently introduced into the throne of the Bishop of Bihać and Petrovac. The enthronement ceremony in the cathedral temple of Saint Apostles Peter and Paul in Bosanski Petrovac was conducted by His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej, with co-service of several bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church and presence of a large number of believers. The former Bishop of Bihać and Petrovac Hrizostom took over Diocese of Zvornik and Tuzla, and bishop Atanasije took over the duty of Vicar Bishop of Hvostno. “The diocese covers a large territory, but it has only 40,000 believers, mostly old people who came from exile”, said the newly enthroned Bishop of Bihać and Petrovac. “A lot f it remains destroyed, especially in human souls. There is a lot to be restored and repaired.”

>> Poet Veroljub Vukašinović is the recipient of the award “Petrovdanski vijenac” at this year’s “Kalinovac Poetry Meetings”, seventh in a row, and in addition to the laureate, other poets also read their verses, including Rajko Petrov Nogo, Milan Nenadić, Đorđo Sladoje, Milosav Tešić, Zdravko Miovčić, Dragan Hamović and Milutin Savčić. >> Women’s Chamber Choir “Banjalučanke”, under artistic management of composer and conductor Mladen Matović, won the silver medal in the category of folk music at the International Choir Competition “Johannes Brahms”, which took place this summer in the German town of Wernigerode, with participation of 43 choirs from 18 countries, from 4 different continents. >> Mixed Choir of the Serbian Singing Society “Jedinstvo”, which is celebrating its 120th anniversary this year, performed this August at the International Choir Festival “Nikoleika-Egia” in Greece, with selected compositions of Serbian and Greek composers, under the leadership of conductor Nemanja Savić, with soprano Miljana Brezičanin and baritone Lazar Radoje as soloists. >> Exhibition of photographs “Nadežda Petrović: on both sides of the lens”, the result of many years of exploration work of Dr Jasna Jovanov, manager of the Memorial Collection of Pavle Beljanski in Novi Sad, was opened in August at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Srpska in Banjaluka.

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NE WS S T RE AM >> This summer, the audience in Banjaluka had an opportunity to see fifteen interesting performances in different ambiances at the Reality Festival, among others It is not Shakespeare, but it is Romeo and Juliette on the main stage of the Youth Centre, Don Quixote on the basement stage of the Student Theatre, and Midsummer Night’s Dream on the Fortress stage. >> At the fifty sixth “Festival of Festivals” in Trebinje, the event that brings together the best productions of this year’s amateur theatre productions from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, the winner was theatre company from Stara Pazova with their production of Babylon, an author project of the writer and director Miroslav Kožik and composer Miroslav Bako. >> Nataša Konjević, a painter from Banjaluka, received the ward “Paola de Manjinkor” for her work The Hatter, which was proclaimed the best at the open call “Prijedor – the City of Murals”, among 59 others from B&H, Serbia, Macedonia, Croatia, Italy, Denmark. the Netherlands and Lithuania, and the winner will paint her mural on the façade of the building in the city centre. >> Jakov Grobarov, a writer, “The Last of the Mohicans of Belgrade artistic bohemians”, “the great and authentic urban legend of Belgrade” – born in Mostar as Miladin Kovačević – recently passed away in the Serbian capital, at the age of 75, and his wish was to have the following message inscribed on the marble tombstone: “I’ll be right back.”


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Regatta “There is only one Drina” – under this slogan a regatta on this river took place, from Zvornik to Banja Koviljača, about twenty kilometers long and with participation of several hundred vessels.

There was no registration fee, and at the destination Žićina plaža near Loznica, military bean soup was cooked for all participants, there was a competition in fishing and a small river party. The event was organized for the ninth time, in cooperation between municipalities of Zvornik in Srpska, Mali Zvornik and Loznica in Serbia.

Eternal Romanija The egret folk festival “To you, mountain Romanija” in the yard of St. George’s Monastery near Sokolac, on August 11, marked the celebration of the day of this unusual relic, consecrated eleven years ago. The monastery, popularly called Sokolica, is a memorial temple dedicated to the soldiers of Sarajevo-Romanija section killed in the Homeland War in the 1990’s. Instead of frescoes, the monastery walls are covered with 4,000 of their names. Guests arrived from all over Srpska, Serbia and Montenegro, but also from Switzerland, Germany, America... Many different programs were presented, from authentic national cuisine of this area, handicrafts, dance and song. This mountain and Sokolica Monastery are considered “one of the trademarks in creation of Republika Srpska”.

>> Danijela Novaković, a young painter from Rogatica, presented her work at the retrospective exhibition opened in the building of the Old Gymnasium in Rogatica.

Kočić’s Festival Several hundred artists from Srpska and the region participated between August 11 and 25 in the traditional cultural manifestation “Kočić’s Festival” in Stričići, the village in which great Serbian poet Petrar Kočić was born. Numerous cultural programs and folk dances, including the famous bull fight, marked this gathering again. Within “Kočić’s Festival”, a part of the program also took place in Gomionica Monastery, “Petar Kočić” Park in Banjaluka, as well as in Mrkonjić Grad and Belgrade. Official ceremony “Kočić’s Evening” took place on August 24, in Banski dvor in Banjaluka.

Spirit of the Balkans “Love does not mean looking at each other, but looking together in the same direction. Among our people, Russians, love and friendship toward the Serbs are not rational, but are on emotional level. We are one blood, one religion, and we suffered a lot for it. Serbs have always fought for their faith and died, they were able to withstand 500 years of Turkish oppression and to survive. When I hear that someone is a Serb, I smile immediately. Of course, I know that there are different Serbs: good, smart, stupid... Just like in any nation. But Serbia is the spirit of the Balkans”, said great Russian director Nikita Mihalkov recently in Palić, accepting the award for lifetime achievement at the local International Film Festival.

>> International Art Colony “Lastva” in Trebinje this August gathered again artists from Srpska and a wider region, as well as from Russia. >> Shooting of the film I Defended “Young Bosnia” by playwright and director Srđan Koljević, dedicated to Gavrilo Princip and the Assassination in Sarajevo, as well as the entire generation of young people gathered around the idea of “Young Bosnia”, will start in September. >> Exhibition Symbols of the New, fourteen paintings with motifs from Novi Grad and from the Una River, was organized this summer at the gallery of the Cultural-Educational Centre in this town, and the audience had an opportunity to see works by Mirjana Krstevska, Branko Jungić, Nemanja Panić, Ana Fafulić, Rade Nikolić, Gordana Petrović, Stojanka Đorđić, Zdravko Mandić, Milena Bošković, Slobodan Mikić, Đorđe Drljača and Enver Krupić. >> Thirteenth international art colony “Jahorina” Art Symposium gathered this summer painters and sculptors from Spain, Czech Republic, Russia, Slovenia , Japan, Serbia, Montenegro and B&H, and the topic was Figure in Contemporary Art. >> Within the event “Summer on the Vrbas”, the first Eco-Festival “The Days of Vrbas” took place this year, and it included an art colony, ecological workshop, promotion of rafting and kayaking on the Vrbas, as well as Kotlićijada festival.

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 Mala Kleka, Above the Clouds


 Otomalj Peak Čemernica (above). Crkvina Hill, Trebinje (below)  Medieval town Greben, Krupa on the Vrbas



Lookouts of Srpska

uman desire to climb higher and see further is ancient. Height and a wide field of vision are, symbolically, the first step to wisdom, a stop on the road to enlightenment. “Those standing on a hill even for a little while can see more than those standing below.” Sacral geography, which is reading the entire planet as a text, gives special importance and meanings to mountains and mountain civilizations. Just like deserts and steppes are “geopolitical microcosms of the nomads”, mountains and mountain civilizations are, more frequently than the others, archaic units in themselves, places where memory reaches beyond the veils of written history. Above, there are embodiments of the sacred, imperial plains. “No empire has ever had its centre in mountain areas, but many mountains hold sacral centers of Tradition.” Hills, mountains and lookouts, those miraculous places buried in the sky, are great treasure and charm of Srpska. They are abundant, in all areas, from Krajina on the west, through the edge of Posavina on the north, areas of Majevica, Romanija and Jahorina on the east, along the Drina, Sutjeska and Tara, to Herzegovina on the south. The view stretches over seven mountains and seven seas, into the blueness for which one can no longer tell whether it is the high seas or the firmament, or “just a pleat on the dress of a mythical princess”. If it were not for those heights above the world, from where could we observe the Beauty of our plains, rivers and cities in the valley? Would we be able to understand why the birds are singing? “Album” u in the new edition of National Review, through photographs of Boris Čikić and Sandra Kljajić, leads us to some of those places. As a reminder and a call to be light, curious, and to discover the others by yourself. Or to see in a different way some of those we think we know well.  (B. M.) SRPSK A  БРОЈ 2  2013

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Beautiful World of Clear Waters

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G U I D E Cascades and mills, the monastery of St. Elijah and old log-church, the medieval fortified city of Greben and the Vrbas canyon, walking path to the spring of Krupa and tombstones with ancient inscriptions… Far above uniform tourism stereotypes, this place has an authentic strength and attraction. Once you visit it, you realize how much you’ve missed it. And those who like free climbing, paragliding, rafting and other extreme sports, have their own, special reasons By: Damir Kljajić

 St. Ilia’s Monastery, 13th century. Log Cabin Church in Tovilovići, 18th century  One of the rapids on the Krupa



bout twenty kilometers south of Banjaluka, the Vrbas leaves the canyon and enters Krupsko Polje. From the left, the river Krupa flows into it. Exactly in that place, by the Vrbas gorge, stands Krupa upon Vrbas, a village with about 2.500 inhabitants. A small place, but rich in many things. Special and irresistible. The cascades and mills on the Krupa, monastery of St. Elijah, medieval city of Greben, log-church, are only part of the magic of Krupa, which seems as if time in it has stopped. INTACT NATURE The river Krupa is small. Only about five kilometers long. Along its entire flow, all the way to its spring, there is a nice

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walking path. The river, with its cascades, is the first thing that captures you here. One could spend days in nature, next to the cascades. The roar of water calms down and relaxes, while the unrealistically beautiful nature lures. Except for the cascading part of its watercourse, the Krupa is ornamented with a special whole of folk-architecture mills, which perfectly fit into the environment. Five mills were restored and two are dilapidated. It is assumed that, a long time ago, there had been many of them here. The mills, with a wooden bridge between them, are a real attraction. Đorđe Stanojčić is the only miller in Krupa. He grinds hundreds of kilograms of corn, wheat, rye, barley, buckwheat… a day. Every day he shows tourists, coming from

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 Rapids and water mills on the Krupa

all parts of the world, how the mill works and how flour is made. Krupa upon Vrbas also has one of the most attractive climbing grounds in this area (Stone Bridge), takeoff place for paragliders (Krmine), rafting starting point, nicely arranged walking paths to the spring of the Krupa, Strika’s Cave, three fishponds... When the weather is nice, Krupa upon Vrbas is full of people – some come for a daytrip, some take walks and enjoy nature, some come to see the mills. MONASTERY AND LOG-CHURCH When you come to Krupa upon Vrbas, be sure to visit the monastery dedicated to St. Elijah, located below the city of Greben. The monastery church stands on a

Visits Tourism Organization of Banjaluka does not have precise records on the number of visitors and there are no monitoring indicators, but they say that the number of tourists visiting Krupa upon Vrbas is obviously growing. – We also notice an increasing number of requests from local and foreign tour operators for visiting Krupa upon Vrbas, which is the result of our activities on promoting tourism products and sightseeing programs – highlights Mladen Šukalo.


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hill like a guardian, above the river Krupa which creates its beautiful cascades in this place, prior to flowing into the Vrbas. It is one of the oldest monasteries in this part of Srpska, visited by thousands of people each month. The legend goes that it was erected by members of the Nemanjić dynasty, even related to Stefan Nemanjić, first-crowned king of Serbia. It was built in the XIII century, later destroyed and rebuilt several times. It is located on a necropolis with tombstones, which are a special cultural and historical treasure. Among them, two are decorated with a cross, rosette and crescent moon, carved in high relief. The foundations of a complex of buildings – quarters and economy buildings, are next to the northern side of the monastery church. In the XV century, aristocrats from the Vojsalić family, heirs of Hrvoje Vukčić Hrvatinić, restored the monastery, but it was deserted in 1528, when Jajce and Greben fell under Ottoman dominion. It was renewed in 1889, by metropolitan Sava Kosanović, but burned down by the Croatian ustashas in 1941. The monastery church was re-restored in the 1960s. Not far from the monastery, in the small village of Tovilovići, there is a small log-church. There is no written data on

its origins. Based on its dimensions and way of building, it’s assumed that it was erected in the XVIII, and renewed in the XIX century. There is a preserved old stone altar table in the small church altar, placed on a wooden pillar with consoles. The iconostasis has three doors, and the pillars of the narthex are rustically decorated. The church floor is made of stone plates. The great treasure of this church is the icon called Convocation of Archangels from the early XIX century, with the image of Christ on ceramion (red brick), beautiful drawing and discrete coloring. TURBULENT HISTORY AND GREAT POSSIBILITIES In the area of present Krupa and its immediate vicinity, along the valley of the Vrbas, stood medieval Bosnian cities – city of Vrbas, Zvečaj and Greben on the left bank of the Vrbas, a bit further was Bočac, and across the river from Greben, on the right bank of the Vrbas, was Zemljanik. The oldest among them is Greben – first mentioned in 1192. The city of Greben was destroyed and deserted after being conquered by Gazi Husrev-Bey in early 1528. Soon after the

Ottomans’ arrival, the name Greben was changed into Krupa. Turkish censuses of the Zmijanje nahi from 1541, mention the town of the Krupa fortress, called VrhKrupa, with fourteen houses. The remains of the medieval city of Greben are at the exit from the Vrbas canyon, one kilometer south of the Krupa confluence. Preserved are the tower over the Vrbas and part of the walls going down towards the canyon. Visitors can climb up to them and enjoy the beautiful landscape. – There are many ways to get to know the nature of Krupa upon Vrbas. You can camp, try rafting, free climbing, cycling, alpinism, as well as other ways of living with nature, through art, villages and traditional food. Krupa upon Vrbas is a place with numerous natural values

Photographs: Sandra Kljajić, Boris Čikić

Legends and Beliefs The legend goes that there was a secret passageway through a tunnel from the Greben fortress to the monastery. Archeological explorations never confirmed it. Another legend says that the city of Greben was founded by a Vuk of Jajce, unknown in history. In the late XIX and early XX century, mentally ill people came to the monastery on foot, silently. Prayers for their healing were read above the tombstones on the southern side of the monastery.

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Art colonies The intact nature is inspiring for artists. The International Art Colony “Krupa upon Vrbas” and International Sculptors’ Colony “Krupa” were organized here in the previous years. Artists from different countries of the world gather here every year. There are music and folklore shows, theater evenings, presentations of traditional food and beverages...

 Miller Đorđe Stanojčić


complemented with cultural sites, leaving indelible traces of positive energy in each visitor – says Mladen Šukalo, professional associate in the Tourism Organization of Banjaluka. He says that, on their way to Krupa upon Vrbas, tourists can visit the Tijesno canyon, a natural attraction, as well as a slalom track for wild waters sports, where European and world competitions take place. – Visits to Krupa upon Vrbas are mostly combined with rafting on the Vrbas and

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other adventure activities. Krupa has the only camp on the territory of Banjaluka, as well as a football field with artificial grass, suitable for sports preparations – underlines Šukalo. According to the Tourism Organization, although significant results have already been made in the development of tourism in Krupa upon Vrbas, they are not even close to its potential. – Very important for the future development of tourism here is protecting tourism values and potentials, improving restaurant services and accommodation capacities, education of the local population, development of different services and enriching the tourism offer – underlines Šukalo. They are working on it hard, so Krupa upon Vrbas will soon, they say, become the center of adventure, cultural and eco tourism of Banjaluka. 

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Hidden of Mushrooms

As many as 1,300 species of mushrooms can be found on this mountain near Mrkonjić Grad. You cannot get lost, you cannot make a mistake. There are maps, drawn and marked trails, habitats, attributes. Guests come from around the world, from Asia to America, experts and fans. The area is under protection, legal procedures for declaring it a natural park are pending. And the last weekend in September, every year, beautiful event “Days of Mushrooms on Lisina” takes place here


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Photographs: Dejan Đurić, Haris Čalkić, Boro Marić

n the Lisina Mountain near Mrkonjić Grad, there is an unusual natural phenomenon – Mycological Reserve “Šibovi” with 576 species of mushrooms, of which 59 are very rare and protected. The entire mountain, including the area outside the reservation, is the habitat for 1,300 different species of mushrooms. To better experts this fact is not new and will not surprise them. Lisina is a synonym for the richest and the best explored habitats of mushrooms in Srpska and in this part of the Balkans. One of them is Boro Marić, president of the Association of Mushroom Gatherers and Nature Lovers from Mrkonjić Grad. Since its establishment in 2003, this Association has realized a series of activities dedicated to the natural environment and exploration of the world of mushrooms, as well as to education about it. – This is the first protected habitat of mushrooms is Southeast Europe and among few of this kind in the world – says Marić. – Its uniqueness, diversity and beautiful nature bring to this reservation fans of mushrooms from around the world. Until now, the reservation was visited by groups or individuals from Asia, USA, Sweden, France, and Switzerland, and members of our Association also come from Austria, Great Britain, Belgium, Greece, Denmark... Of course, there are also mushroom and nature lovers from Serbia, Macedonia, Croatia, Montenegro... And what can we expect when we visit this unique reservation? Will the stay here be interesting also to those who do not know mushrooms so well? – Come, go through, see and taste – says Boro Marić, smiling. – You will certainly come again. You will certainly want to see and try more! One of the important projects realized here by the Association of Mushroom Gatherers and Nature Lovers of Mrkonjić Grad is certainly the mapping of the habitat of mushrooms, creation of a map and marking of thematic trails with signalization. And so, today, by using a map, even amateur mushroom

Visitors’ Centre In the upcoming period, the Lisina Mountain will be a part of the project “Grain Trade Route Kupa-Sava”, which will be financed within the program “IPA 2009”. A visitors’ center will be built on Lisina, a multi-functional one, which will certainly help this mountain, soon also a natural park, to become recognizable on the tourist map of the region.


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Far Away from Stress A walk down these trails, thirty kilometers long, with four drawn roads, brings you out of daily routine, far away from the worries, job and everything that can make you feel stressed. Certainly, when you go to an all-day walk, bring a camera and document the unbelievable shapes and colors of mushrooms from Lisina. Picking of mushrooms within the reservation is not allowed.

gatherers can find the desired mushroom on the Lisina. The map shows characteristic habitats of mushrooms and trails leading to them. MUSHROOMS, ROADS AND DAYS The Ministry of Spatial Planning, Civil Engineering and Ecology of Srpska has adopted a decision on previous protection of the Reservation. This implies cessation of all activities on the felling of trees, building roads and the like. When the competent Ministry, in cooperation with the Institute for the Protection of Cultural, Historical and Natural Legacy of Republika Srpska and the Association of Mushroom Gatherers and Nature Lovers of Mrkonjić Grad, completes the necessary documentation, this area will be placed under full legal protection and will most probably receive the status of a Natural Park. Exploration of the Mushroom Road, thirty kilometers long, with four marked trails, is a real challenge of the “silent hunt” for all mushroom gatherers and nature lovers all year long. The number of visitors is at its peak at the end of September. Everything is crowded with people, in good mood and with healthy laughter. On the last weekend in September, they organize traditional event “Days of Mushrooms on Lisina”. – This year we will celebrate a small jubilee, tenth anniversary of this event – adds Marić. – We expect arrival of a large number of our friends and members, as well as representatives of partner associations from the region with whom we have very good cooperation. It will be an opportunity that we all gather on the Lisina again, enjoy nature and the legacy of the village of Šibovi, but primarily to spend time together and to celebrate the recognition of the Natural Park “Lisina”. Collecting and exhibition of mushrooms, lectures and projections of documentary films on mushrooms, a mini outdoor concert... all that is only a part of the diverse program which is, again this year, expecting the participants. 

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Oasis of Life in Harsh Karst Land


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Around are high karst mountains, barren and harsh, “the sea of stone”. Below is a field, forty six square kilometers, one of the most fertile in the region. It holds farmland and vineyards, along the rim villages and abysses, relics and scent of the sea in one’s nostrils, and even the “human fish”, species known far and wide. This image of this field has been scattered by the Herzegovians around the world, as a seed, and it has grown immensely

Dolap on the Trebišnjica

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hine, flood, rise, burn.” It was a saying of the people who lived in Popovo polje at the times when it was left to the mercy of water and sun. For centuries, the local population has been living with the field which means life, joy, sorrow, work, pleasure, relaxation... Oxymoron of the space is hard to explain – in the wild karst land of Herzegovina, which is often without a drop of water, a green oasis emerges, one of the most fertile areas in the region. A unique natural phenomenon. WHEN THE FIELD WAS A LAKE

 Vineyard and a settlement in Popovo polje


People simply call this field Popovo polje (Priest’s Field). It is between 10 and 15 kilometers away from the sea as the crow flies. It occupies a territory of 46 square kilometers, and is 31 kilometers long and 1.5 kilometers wide, at the average. Three natural units can be distinguished within Popovo polje: Mokro polje, Trebinje Forest and Popovo polje proper. The altitude of this plateau is between 220 and 270 meters. Tame valley of Popovo polje is surrounded with harsh karst mountains – Vjeternik, Gradin, Čavaška glava, Mala Gradina, Vranjak, Bjelasnica, Veliki Lisac, Rujnica and Oblo brdo. The rim of the field is filled with numerous abysses and underground karst formations – caves and pits.

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Mariners in the Field When water would remain for too long and the field would remain as a lake for a long time, men would turn from agricultural workers to sailors and fishermen. They would hope for a good catch of minnow, an endemic karst fish species. This small fish meant food, but also good profit. Foreign travel writers gave it aphrodisiac powers, and local legends ascribed magical powers to it.

Natural attributes of the field, with influences of the Adriatic climate, and a piece of fertile land in harsh karst mountains, have defined this area as centuries old “spring of life”. Although only a few hundred people live in the villages of Popovo polje, hard work in agriculture brought many generations whose descendants live around the world. Before melioration and the beginning of works on the construction of hydro system on the Trebišnjica, life in the field was harsh and difficult. When, during heavy rains, the abysses would not be able to absorb all the water of the wild Trebišnjica, it would cause lake formation. In such periods, Popovo polje would turn into a 40 kilometers long lake, with several hundred millions of cubic meters of water. Often, the water would remain in the field for as long as 250 days. They remember great flood from

1915, when the water in the field remained as long as 303 days! Villagers would then turn to a piece of cleared land in the rim around the field, all the while thinking about the field and whether the harvest would be delayed. They only managed to grow the “hundred day” corn, which produced modest yields after three months. And when in the late spring the water would finally withdraw, the villagers would face new hardships. The blazing Herzegovina sun and porous karts substrate would be draining the water, which would now be not available in sufficient quantities. From caves and pits, caverns and abysses, water necessary for people and cattle would be brought on frail shoulders of women and children. VILLAGES, CAVES, RELICS Times of uncertainty for the inhabitants of Popovo polje have passed when, in a project which lasted several years, starting from

Married with the Trebišnjica One cannot speak about Popovo polje separately from the Trebišnjica River, the longest underground river in Europe. In the valley of this river, from Trebinje to the southeast to Hutovo on the northwest, there is a plain covered with fertile river deposits. The Trebišnjica conditions all human activities in the field.

1954, the Trebišnjica was tamed. Polje has remained dry and free for agricultural production, while water was used for irrigation and production of electric power. Since then, these karst plains have become a great potential for agriculture, especially for grape vine growing. Villages on the rim of Popovo polje are numerous and have been inhabited since the ancient times. They are situated along the road Trebinje–Ljubinje and are strung in this order: Tulje, Mrkonjići, Drijenjani, Dračevo, Dubljani, Veličani, Galičići, Strujići and Do. And the villages along the road on the other side of the field are: Poljice, Sedlari, Grmljani, Mareva Ljut, Zavala and Čvaljina. A real ornament of the field is the Vjetrenica cave, situated near Zavala (municipality of Ravno, FB&H). It is one of the largest caves in our region, with canals explored in a length of over 6,000 meters, numerous cave jewelry, flora and fauns. Vjetrenica and other underground formations in the field are the habitat of the famous relic species of human fish. This exceptional natural oasis has also been immortalized with the spirit of numerous churches and monasteries located in the rim of the field. Most notably, these are monasteries Zavala and Tvrdoš, and the birth house of Saint Vasilije Ostroški.  SRPSK A  No 2  2013

 Landscape of Popovo polje and one of the abysses of the Trebišnjica





Return to the

Old Heights


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Over 17.000 hectares of amazing landscape on the Serbia-Montenegro border, surrounded by Maglić, Zelengora, Volujak, Vučevo, Sniježnica. The mountain lakes, the biggest jungle in Europe, a 76 meters high waterfall, a famous World War II battlefield, big memorial and tourism complex. Until the 1990s war, it had a million visitors a year. Now efforts are made to renew it, and the completion of the new route over Čemerno will contribute to it greatly

Text and photo: Radmila Đević

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 Over the Sutjeska Canyon Watchtower at the National Park Skakavac Waterfall on the Perućički potok, 76 meters high


he “Sutjeska” National Park has been a magnet for local and foreign tourists, nature lovers, scientists and explorers for years. As the oldest national park in B&H, founded on January 13, 1962, it is rich in unique natural treasures. It has extraordinary landscape and biological values. It covers an area of 17.250 hectares, on the Serbia-Montenegro border. It was proclaimed a public enterprise by the decree of the government of Srpska on August 17, 1996 in Trebinje. The administrative seat is in Tjentište. It is enlisted in the international list of national parks. Each visit to Sutjeska is a new and unrepeatable experience of nature, its strength and beauty. This natural whole of national importance disposes with specific ambient values, which give it an exquisite charm. It’s hard to say whether it’s more beautiful in spring, when the meadows blossom and the woods become green, or in fall; if it’s most attractive with its snow landscape in winter or with the perfect summer image of Sutjeska. The Perućica jungle and the cultural and historical heritage are considered the main values of this National Park, especially the monuments related to the battles led here during World War II. Perućica is the biggest and oldest jungle in Europe, unique for its beauty. Science has been familiar with the values of this ancient forest since 1938, and in 1956 it was separated as a Jungle Reserve. It covers an area of 1.434 hectares, surrounded with the mountain massifs of Volujak, Maglić and Sniježnica, and is protected by UNESCO. Numerous mountain waters flow into the Perućica stream and

Accommodation There are various accommodation capacities in “Sutjeska” National Park: “Mladost” hotel, mountain lodges on the lakes of Zelengora, pavilions, “Tjentište” youth camp and unusual bungalows. The big sports grounds, huge pool in the center of the park, mountain paths, Sutjeska canyon, all provide excellent conditions for sports and recreation. You can choose any of them in one- or several-day travel arrangements.

push it forcefully onto a rock, forming a hydrological phenomenon: the 76 meters high Skakavac waterfall. – Perućica offers extraordinary possibilities for forestry explorations. It is exclusively used for scientific studies – says Vojislav Vladičić, tourist guide and supervisor at the “Sutjeska” National Park. The area of the national park is a valuable habitat of various fauna, home of big animals. The highest peak of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Maglić (2.386 meters), the mountains of Zelengora, Volujak, Vučevo, are excellent for hiking and alpinism. The numerous glacial lakes scattered around Sutjeska (to which National Review will dedicate a separate story) are unique for their beauty. – The popularity of mountain tourism in the area of “Sutjeska” NP has been growing during the previous years. Tourists are mostly interested in Maglić and Zelengora. They come from all parts of the world, mostly from Slovenia and Serbia. The conditions for camping and having a vacation are very good – says Ljeposava Đajić, director of the Tourism Organization of Foča. FOR A REAL EUROPEAN PARK

Valley of Heroes In the famous Battle of Sutjeska during World War II, exactly 70 years ago, there were 7.356 casualties, fighters and wounded ones, from all parts of former Yugoslavia. Veselin Masleša disappeared somewhere in the steep cliffs of Perućica, and Dr Simo Milošević, Belgrade University professor, as well as young Croatian poet Ivan Goran Kovačić, author of the immortal poem “Pit”, died after the breakthrough in Sutjeska. This is also where the famous partisan commander Sava Kovačević died... Two monumental monoliths, created by Miodrag Živković, remind us of all that today. The memorial crypt with the remains of 3.301 casualties is in the immediate vicinity.


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Before the war in B&H, almost a million guests a year visited Tjentište and Sutjeska. There were school trips, sports and cultural events, youth working actions. – There was a special state fund for “Sutjeska” National Park. Switzerland in miniature, people used to say – remembers Dragica Ćurčić, custodian of the “Stara Herzegovina” Museum in Foča. Tjentište used to be packed with young people and their singing. Famous people

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П У ­Т О­К А З





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of the world used to come here. During the filming of Sutjeska, considered one of the most expensive movies in Yugoslav cinematography, the famous Hollywood couple Richard Burton (played Josip Broz Tito) and Elisabeth Taylor stayed in Tjentište in 1973. – Tjentište always attracted foreigners from all parts of the world – tells us Vojka Bajrić, former employee of “Sutjeska” NP. – It was always packed, with about three and a half thousand visitors a day. And today? Sutjeska didn’t resist the war and “ravages of time”. It was desolated and still hasn’t recovered. The infrastructure and monuments seem rusty, yet its extraordinary nature continues captivating. During the previous year, the National Park management, supported by the competent ministry, has been attempting to turn the trends and start a renewal. Even the smallest investments immediately have a positive reflection. – Much has been done on improving the quality, offer, infrastructure, as well as protecting natural beauties – says Zoran Čančar, director of “Sutjeska” NP. – Thanks to the means from the global Environment Protection Fund, we were able to build three watchtowers for monitoring game and three summer houses within the camp, which improved the quality of our tourism offer. We are also technically equipped: we have GPS devices, binoculars and other equipment. An info-center was recently opened, promotional activities improved, new tourism products created. Through other projects, we succeeded in making maps, tourist signalization, bicycle paths and other things. Besides our main objective, protecting the natural and cultural heritage, we intend to, with our own efforts and supported by state institutions of Srpska, make “Sutjeska” grow into a real European park. DESTINATION, NOT ONLY STOPOVER The state institutions of Srpska are also working on the modernization of the “Sutjeska” National Park. The creation of the special purpose spatial and management plan are in progress, with sustainable development measures. A modern traffic route over Čemerno would triple the number of visitors in “Sutjeska” National Park, which is now between 15.000 and 20.000 a year.

Rural Tourism The idea of rural tourism, this year’s new tourism product of Foča, is being born in the area of “Sutjeska” NP. Several houses have been equipped for rural tourism through the “Support to the Development of Ecotourism in ‘Sutjeska” NP” project, carried out by SERDA and the municipality of Foča. They offer high quality accommodation, authentic local dishes, spending time in nature, active vacation, excursions. According to the Tourism Organization of Foča, interest in this kind of tourism is clearly growing.

– I like coming here. The nature is beautiful, and the park is great for enjoying. It’s just somehow disorderly. We used to come to school trips here, so now, when I come here, I return to my schooldays. When passing by, my husband and I always drop by to spend at least a day and continue our journey to Belgrade – says Jasna Mirić, Belgradian living in Dubrovnik. We also met Emil Ćosić, tourist from Croatia. – This is my first time here. The nature is fantastic, so many mountains, greenery, looks like paradise. It has all conditions for good recreation and, it seems to me, good profit. National parks are very popular in my country. It’s a shame such areas are so neglected. Tjentište repeatedly enchants local visitors, especially the young ones. – It’s excellent here, I like everything. It’s beautiful, although insufficiently used and although it could look much better – says Bojan Marković from Ugljevik. Saša Stanković from Doboj joins the praises: – This nature is a treasure, which has to be protected and developed. It is necessary to involve real experts. During the recently held “Camp of Friendship” in Tjentište, organized together by “Sutjeska” NP and Ferial Association of Srpska, with the support of the government, Rambo Amadeus, UNICEF goodwill ambassador, had the opportunity to stay here. – When I was little, I used to come here, to Tjentište, on the way to Herceg-Novi.  Explorations, I’m glad there are no illegal construction extreme sports, trekking and works, nothing was done wrongly. Fortunately, everything remained the same. It’s lookouts: “Sutjeska” National Park much better not to touch anything, than offers numerous to do something irrevocably bad, such as possibilities and in many other tourist destinations – says noble excitements Antonije Pušić (Rambo Amadeus).  SRPSK A  No 2  2013




University Base “Sutjeska” NP could soon become an educational and scientific base of two public universities in Srpska. The Ferial Association initiated the idea, while the government of Srpska and the local and academic community will all give their support. – Sutjeska could have a Center for the Development of Forestry, Ecology and Environment Protection, a Center for Sustainable and Rural Development and a Center of Tourism Development – says Dubravko Suvara, president of the Ferial Association of Srpska Board of Directors.


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Oil tower in Obudovac


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Obudovac, entrance into the centre of the village


Real Treasure is not Underground, It’s in Heavens

The oil platform in the cornfield of Jovo Ristić, the field called Prepetuša. That is where Russian and Serbian oilmen began exploring whether the oil discovered at the depth of 2.800 meters is sufficient for profitable exploitation. It didn’t bring much excitement into the life of this village and its inhabitants. With both feet on the ground, often looking up to the sky, they have always known how much sweat their bread is worth and what they’re supposed to do Text and photo: Iva Jović


he wheat crop is bountiful this summer, the golden grain ornaments the fields, houses and faces of peasants in the Posavina plain. The crop is bountiful, the entire year will be, believe the people while they harvest the the fields, which, unexplainably, like tornados in the world, mainly have female names.

Prepetuša is the name of the field of Jovo Ristić from Obudovac, in the Republic of Srpska. Jovo doesn’t know the meaning of the name and he was never interested in its origins. He says he is used to hard work and living from his work. Ever since he remembers, Prepetuša has been a plain cornfield for the Ristić family. Until last summer. SRPSK A  No 2  2013


N O T E B O O K Today, on this piece of land along the BrčkoŠamac road, stands the first oil well in Srpska. It is assumed that the quantity of oil discovered at the depth of 2.800 meters will be profitable, but explorations are still in progress and the confirmation is expected by autumn. – Discovery of oil would be good for the Republic of Srpska, to have a better life, so that young people would always have work and bread – says the owner of the possibly most valuable piece of land in the country. Upon being asked about the enormous personal gain possibly expecting him if oil starts flowing on his Prepetuša, sixty-year old Jovo suspiciously waves his head and the hand he uses for chasing away flies from the yard table. For him, oil is neither black gold nor treasure. – Gold is black and that underground treasure is black. Real treasure is, as our old people used to say, in heavens. For a peasant, treasure is in the barn and his wealth is his harvest and his children. Jovo’s son Žika is 37. He is an unemployed car mechanic, but he works hard to maintain the 10 ares of fertile soil. His wife Vukica is 36, and their three children, a girl and two boys, are 16, 14 and 12. Jovo’s 88-year old mother also lives in the humble Ristić home. Žika tells how they rented the land to the oilmen, with a one-year contract. They were paid for the last year’s lost harvest, got some money and a promise that they will discuss in case of commercial exploitation of oil. The young people in the Ristić home believe in work more than the possibility of becoming rich due to the discovery of oil on their estate. Cows, pigs, sheep, chicken, geese, dogs and cats... Their estate resembles a series of children drawing books about domestic animals brought to life. Vukica, who is in charge of the animals, has no plans for spending the potential wealth. – We now make what we and the children need. If there’s more, it’ll be better – says this hard working young woman. ABOUT FLOWERS AND GOLDEN COINS The tower of the exploration well is still a stranger in the village. Oilmen from Serbia and Russia, who live in containers near the drill, don’t socialize with the locals. And Obudovac is an old village in a peaceful and fertile plain. A village with 1.000 Serbian households and more than 3.000 inhabitants. Reputable village householder Milojica Todorović lives in the immediate vicinity. He became rich by engaging in the oil business and raised a house worthy of the world metropolises.


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Figures 13 million dollars have been invested into oil explorations in the Republic of Srpska by now. The planned investment for exploring oil and gas by the end of 2014 amounts to 40,7 million dollars and another 188,3 million dollars for the exploitation phase, if the reserves would be confirmed. The explorations are done by “Jadran Naftagas”, joint venture of “Naftna Industrija Srbije” and Russian “Neftgazinkor”.

He wouldn’t like, however, to see his birth village turn into a metropolis. After the previous wars, people from Obudovac went to European and world metropolises to earn their living. The generation of present householders was raised with the money of these guest workers. They raised modern farms in the village, fodder production plants, shopping malls. Obudovac has the biggest village culture home, cafés, a disco club, tennis courts. The road the villagers asphalted with their own money and voluntary work in the middle of the previous century is today a highway down which tractors don’t drive any more. Nature here gave its best, and the hard working people with 120 family names, living on their land for centuries, made a village no one wants to leave any more. Branislav Perić (47) returned to his homeland from Austria and erected a castle at the village entrance! Prince of Obudovac, the most wanted bachelor in an area with many unmarried men, intends to make a restaurant in this neo-Byzantine building. Still, the village is dominated by the Church of Nativity of the Virgin, which can be seen kilometers before entering Obudovac, from the miraculously flat road. It is probably the biggest village temple of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Its iconostasis is decorated with twenty-two icons, made by academic painter Roman Petrović. This orthodox church in Obudovac is a protected national monument. The first village school used to be in a private house in the churchyard from 1832, while the present school building was erected in 1853. The post office has been standing here for a hundred years. And Obudovac has many more nice success stories. The oil tower standing straight in the cornfield still hasn’t found its place in the hearts of the villagers and folk legends. The present relation of the peasants towards it is best described by the old folk song girls from this area sing: “Gold coins are not put on flowers, But on those nobody wants.”  SRPSK A  No 2  2013




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Cambridge in Rastuša About twelve kilometers from Teslić and 370 meters above the sea level, the cave has 440 meters of canals. It was inhabited by humans 40,000 years ago. They have found remains of a cave lion, bear, rhinoceros, wolf, beaver, marten... The interior is decorated with tiger patterns, similar to only one other cave in Europe, near Vicenza, and one other near Paris. Explorations will last until 2015, and the number of visitors is already increasing

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U N D E R G R O U N D By: Senka Trivić

 Entrance into the cave  Prof. Dr Miracle Preston, from Cambridge University, exploring in Rastuša



ogether with Orlovača, the Rastuša cave is one of the few in Srpska which has been explored in more details in the past twenty years, developed and opened for tourist visits. Last year it was declared a natural monument. The latest archaeological explorations, in the past three years, have presented this site as one of potentially attractive locations for enrichment of tourist offer of Republika Srpska and the municipality of Teslić. The cave is situated twelve kilometers from Teslić and Banja Vrućica, 370 meters above the sea level. It consists of one spacious hall and several adjacent areas, with total length of 440 meters. In the past three years, advanced exploration methods were used in research. Numerous chemical analyses showed that this cave was inhabited by humans 40,000 years ago. There is also an extensive list of animal species which inhabited the cave. In speleological literature, Rastuša is famous as the best explored cave in Srpska, in terms of archaeological explorations and partially paleontological studies. Reports on explorations date from 1971, 1973, 1974, 1978 and 1979. Data on

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On the Rim of Inland Dinaric Alps From regional perspective, the area of Teslić and mountains of Ljubić and Čavka, as well as the entire northwestern territory of Srpska, belong to the inland Dinaric Alps, their northern rim. The Rastušica creek springs below a hill (434 meters above the sea level), near the village of Gornja Palanka. The surrounding area of the Rastuša is slightly hilly. Entrance into the cave is in a small valley on the northeastern slopes of Hrnjino brdo.

the latest explorations, from 1991, has not been published yet. Since 2010, the Museum of Srpska from Banjaluka, in cooperation with universities from Cambridge and Leicester (Great Britain), the Institute for Protection of Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Republika Srpska, and Teslić municipality, has continued archaeological explorations of the Rastuša cave. It is a branched out, almost fully flat cave, with attractive cave jewelry: stalagmites, cave hieroglyphs, stalactites and ba-

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 One of the exploration campaigns in Rastuša

sins. Especially important are archaeological and paleontological findings. The cave is the habitat of two species of bats, Rhinolophus ferrumequinum and Rhinolophus euryale, which is apparent at the very entrance into the cave. The fearful ones may be unhinged by this, although, they say, there is no reason to fear. They have never hurt anybody, they just fly over the visitors. When you look up to the cave ceiling, you will see dozens, even hundreds of them grouped in unusual clusters. But long time before them, based on the discovered remains, this place was inhabited by various other animal species: cave lion, bear, rhinoceros, wolf, beaver, marten... Specificity of the cave anterior here is tiger pattern of decorations, similar to only one other cave in Europe, near Vicenza, and one other near Paris. In pre-war valuations of speleological sites of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Rastuša was frequently mentioned as a cave which, with minimum investments, could be easily adapted for tourist visits. This idea has never been fully implemented, except for the attempts of the local people to use the interior for commercial purposes. Thus, an access road leading to the cave was built from the village of Markovići, an artificial entrance was made, a metal gate and electrical installations were mounted, and the pedestrian zone was paved.

Wedding The people from Rastuša are still telling the story about a wedding which took place in the cave. Last October, Milorad and Aleksandra Dakić decided to, instead of going to a registry office, get married in the cave. This attracted a lot of attention of the local people and the media.


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DISCOVERIES AND COOPERATION WITH CAMBRIDGE “The Paleolithic of northern Bosnia” is the name of the project which brought renowned professors from Cambridge University (Great Britain) to this area in 2006. First they cooperated with the Regional Museum in Doboj, but as the explorations moved forward toward the north and west, they made contact with the Institute for Protection of Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Republika Srpska and the Museum of Srpska. – This project included visits to the territory from Doboj toward the Sava and to the west, to the Una River, valley of the rivers Usore, Vrbas, Una and Sava. Within these observations of the terrain interesting for explorations, we also visited the Rastuša cave. At that time, professor Miracle Preston expressed his wish to conduct archaeological explorations of this cave – says Ljubica Srdić, archaeologist from the Institute for Protection of Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Srpska. – Excavations in the cave began in 2010, and were continued in 2011 and 2012. It was interesting as a natural phenomenon and as a possible archaeological site, because in the 1970’s Mirko Malez, a paleontologist and archaeologist, conducted explorations and discovered bones of cave bear, as well as flint tools, as evidence of human activity. In early 2010, we opened two probes and at the end we had three of them. One excavation was for revision purposes, in the probe opened by Malez, and there we defined the layers and found flint tools. In the past two years two new probes have been opened, one at the entrance and the other one further down. Excavations

would last for 10 to 20 days, a total of about a month and a half of active work. We would like to, says Srdić, in cooperation with professor Preston, conduct more comprehensive explorations of the caves of Republika Srpska, because many are known to exist, but have not been sufficiently explored. All explorations were completed by using absolute dating with radiocarbon method S14, as well as with geoarchaeological analyses in laboratories in England. The results obtained to date indicate that certain findings date back from the period 40,000 years BC. The material is located in the Museum of Srpska, and a part of it is currently undergoing analysis in England. In the Museum of Srpska they say that the project is still under way. For 2014 and 2015, they have planned final excavations at the site and publishing the results in the form of a monograph. – For us it is most important that the stratigraphy has been defined, with a number of flint and bone findings. Certainly the most interesting are findings of various types of flint tools and bones of cave bear, cave lion, beaver, rhinoceros... We believe that at the end of explorations we will collect sufficient data to get an image about the life of Neanderthals in this area – says Ivana Pandžić, curator-archeologist in the Museum of Srpska. PROMOTION AND DEVELOPMENT The Tourist Organization of the Municipality of Teslić has been managing the Rastuša cave since recently. – Since the cave has not previously been under direct supervision of the mu-

nicipality, first we would need to establish  Sieving of the ownership and management structure, materials found and except the guests who come here. In in the cave the upcoming period we will be actively involved in promoting this site. Meanwhile, Ljubica Srdić, we have protected the exploration probes, archeologist of cleared pedestrian lanes, placed trash bins, the Institute for built access road, and we are planning to rethe Protection place the fence – says Danijel Petrović from of Cultural, the Tourist Organization of the MuniciHistorical and pality of Teslić. Natural Legacy He emphasized that they are planning of Srpska, during to asphalt the entire access road, as soon as explorations there are conditions for that. Just like in the in Rastuša previous years, the cave is primarily visited by students from all over Srpska and tourists. – This is certainly just the beginning – says Ivana Pandžić from the Museum of Srpska. – When the works are completed, we are planning to launch the project of supplementing the tourist offer. We will prepare Photographs: the permanent exhibition, with presentation Senka Trivić and of the cave history, history of archaeological the Institute for and paleontological explorations, the most the Protection important results, and the related material. of Cultural, There is still the issue of water to be resolved, Historical and in order to build a new sanitary network, a Natural Legacy souvenir shop and possibly a restaurant.  of Srpska

Access Access to the cave itself has not been solved yet. After you drive on the asphalted road to Čečavo and continue toward the village of Rastuša, you will reach a narrow gravel road, about one or two kilometers long. In spring and summer one can use that road to get to about 300 meters from the cave by car, but not by bus. It is necessary to provide sufficient parking space in the vicinity of the eave. In the Tourist Organization of Teslić they say that they hope they will find support and implement these plans by the end of this year.

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of Serbian


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The blind gusle player and epic poet saw far from here, through space and time. From here he set out into the world as to the open sea. Here is one of the two caves of Starina Novak and traces of the hoofs of Šarac, horse of Kraljević Marko, who appeared anywhere the Serbs needed heroism. There were also vineyards, convocations, reputable artisans, but now this is all gone. There are herbs, water from stone, rich hunting grounds, memories. And there will also hopefully be more people again

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P I L G R I M A G E S By: Jelena Bodul

 Old Majevica houses (also made of oak tree), St. Marina’s Church (under construction), hunter Božo Radovanović on the terrace of the Hunting Lodge “Starina Novak”

“Time has come to go to battle Shed blood for the honorable cross Each to avenge their ancestors.” Verses of Filip Višnjić from the poem Beginning of the Uprising against the Dahis are engraved in a stone posted in 1994, during the latest Serbian warfare, in the place the poet was born in the village of Gornja Trnova. The blind poet is the most important historical figure originating from these lands. In a village with 120 Serbian houses, 20 kilometers from Bijeljina and Ugljevik, there are no more estates or descendants of the Višnjić family. Only the five-grade school at the highest point of Crveno Brdo is named after the poet. There are 47 students this year, taught by three teachers. The village doesn’t have an ambulance, no shops, not even a tavern. The postman from Donja Trnova rarely visits. In springtime, the entire Trnova is green and blossoming. The hundred years old oak forests and hills grown into evergreen trees are cut with gentle hills where modern houses are built. City houses, the villagers say. The village also leads a city life, mainly due to the Ugljevik mine, for which the entire area is famous. According to the story of villager Đuka Teić (77), Gornja Trnova already had everything. There were vineyards, but they grew into weeds. There were folk gatherings, but they disappeared. There were artisans: smiths, leatherware artisans, tailors, carpenters… Now they don’t even exist in the nearby big cities. Folk costumes can only be seen in yellow photographs the old lady proudly shows. The village never had a church, however one is being built now, dedicated to Assumption of Mary. The only witnesses of Višnjić’s time in Gornja Trnova are natural wonders, which have been preserving the legends of Serbian heroes from his poems for centuries:

In the Hunting Grounds President of the hunting society Božo Radovanović says that the hunting ground is rich in rabbits and pheasants. There are also wild boars migrating from Serbia, as well as foxes and martens. Božo says he doesn’t count the snakes. The hunters just take photos of them with their mobile phones and go away. Then each hunting story, which always becomes too long, is spiced with several vipers.


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hayduk Starina Novak and timeless Marko Kraljević. That makes Gornja Trnova a unique open-air museum. NOVAK’S CAVE AND ŠARAC’S HOOF Half an hour of walking from the main village road to the mountain top, at an altitude of 386 meters, is Novak’s cave. – They are walled caves which researchers consider to be Orthodox Christian monastic hermitages – says archeologist Mirko Babić, director of the Semberija Museum, also originating from the Ugljevik area. – The most famous is the hermitage of St. Sava near Studenica. Novak’s cave, the most famous in these lands, is a hermitage near the monastery of Tavan. He reminds that Starina Novak is a historical figure from the XVI century, while the renewal of the medieval monastery of Tavan, destroyed in the Turkish times, is related to his son Gruja Novaković, mentioned in folk poems as child Grujica. There are two Novak’s caves in the Republic of Srpska, the one here in Majevica and one on the mountain of Romanija near Eastern Sarajevo. The path to Novak’s cave in Gornja Trnova was made by local enthusiasts, people who love nature, alpinists, ecologists and members of hunting societies. One can come by car to a distance of 300 meters from it, from where the path steeply goes up to the plateau where the hunting lodge “Starina Novak” was built. Every passenger is welcomed and greeted as a dear guest. A roof over the head, big wooden tables and benches in nature, a terrace from which one can see the mountain tops of neighboring Serbia. A traveler can also use the grill, fridge, radio and TV set. During our visit, hunters from the local hunting society “Partizan” were in the hunting lodge. The hunting season of big game has begun, and they are allowed to shoot ten deer this year. We went down to Novak’s cave with young hunters, down the steep rock grown into slender trees. The view into the socalled room is worth the effort. The space is completely “deaf ”, and the air inside cold and dry. Difficult approach and physical inability to stay long in front of this natural wonder give an additional charm to the experience.

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At the top of the rock where Novak’s cave is located, imprinted is the small and big hoof of Šarac, famous horse of the epic hero Kraljević Marko. The locals of Trnova claim that water always remains in the bigger hole, and that it doesn’t even go dry in the years of the biggest droughts, such as the previous ones. Archeologist Babić explains that it is a common geological formation in all areas of Srpska, but in the imagination of the people, it is an imprint of the hoof of the horse on which Marko Kraljević jumped from Crveno Brdo to Orlović, from the monastery of Tavan to the monastery in Šeković, and wherever Serbs through centuries needed heroic deeds. AS IN VUK’S TRŠIĆ In modern Serbian history, the neighboring village of Donja Trnova gave many “heavenly heroes”. It is the homeland of Serbian astronomer Petar Đurković (19081981), famous for discovering two asteroids. He was director of the Belgrade Observatory and president of the “Ruđer Bošković” Astronomic Society. Asteroid 1555 Dejan, discovered by Belgian astronomer Fernand Rigaux, was named after Đurković’s son, scriptwriter and film director Dejan Đurković. Serbian military officer Milan Jović (1951-1993), commander of the only military formation with 48 soldiers that fought in Slovenia, was born and buried in Donja Trnova. He continued his heroic war path in Croatia, then in B&H, he was wounded three times, and was posthumously granted the Medal of Nemanjić. From 1994 to 2005, the elementary school in Trnova was named after him; prior to the last war it was named after the partisan hero Vasa Jović Popac, and now after Filip Višnjić.

Living Water Another treasure of this area is living water, says archeologist Babić. There are about fifteen springs, and one of them was captured by the village headman Cvijetin Malić. The fountain is in the center of Gornja Trnova. There are another four Malić families left in the village, but they are all living abroad and come to their homeland only during summer holidays.

During World War II, there was a partisan base, hospital and printing house in Donja Trnova. Now there is a memorial complex dedicated to the fighters of Srem and South-Eastern Bosnia. The story goes that the life-size bronze statue of a fighter, placed on an eight meters high stone pillar, is facing towards a similar monument on Iriški Venac, in Fruška Gora, and that the fighters are calling one another to go to battle together. The memorial house, in which the first issue of the Liberation daily was printed during the war, used to be a museum. Now it’s just an old Majevica house around which, as anywhere in Trnova, mountain herbs grow. Thyme and milfoil. For now, besides nature lovers and hunting enthusiasts, only those who love art, participants of the cultural event “Days of Višnjić” come to Trnova on St. Demetrius day, “the day when hayduks part”. Archeologist Mirko Babić, director of the Semberija Museum in Bijeljina, is a proponent of the idea to make an ethno village in Gornja Trnova, homeland of Filip Višnjić, similar to Vuk’s Tršić. Because, as grandma Đuka Teić said, this village already had everything. Perhaps it’ll have everything again. 

 Footprints of Prince Marko’s horse in the stone. Monument to the soldiers of Srem and Southeast Bosnia on Majevica. Entrance into the cave of Starina Novak. View from Majevica over Semberija and Serbia

 Five grade school “Filip Višnjić” in Gornja Trnova

Caldrons and Waterfall The Romana and Domana rivers, flowing from Majevica to Ugljevik, created huge holes in rocks in several places in Gornja Trnova, which the people call caldrons. The water created another wonder in the mountain: the Skakavac waterfall, which appears only several times during the year, with a magnificent fall of about thirty meters. It brings down the snows and rainfalls and disappears.

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Byzantium Asleep in Kozara It was, undoubtedly, a great secular and spiritual center, a fortified episcopacy seat, with a basilica and a huge complex of edifices. Archeologists believe that it is the city of Balkis from the IV century, finally destroyed by the Avar khagan Bayan in the late VI century. There are plans to have the city reconstructed and conserved, and make it an important educational and tourism center in the following years


hen the team of archeologists from the Homeland Museum in Gradiška began excavations last year in the village of Gornji Bakinci, on the slopes of the Kozara mountain, between Laktaši and Gradina, hardly anyone expected that this place hides the remains of an

By: Sandra Kljajić early-Byzantine city with many accompanying objects and episcopal basilica. – Findings indicate that this site, called Gradina of Mary Therese, was an early-Byzantine center, very significant for the then secular and spiritual life of northern Bosnia, most probably also the episcopacy seat. SRPSK A  No 2  2013



Names and Assumptions – Historian Jovan Kovačević states in his monograph “Avar Khaganate” (1977) that Teophilact Simokata calls this city Vonke. Theophan calls the same city Balkes, and Theophan’s translator into Latin, librarian Anastasius, translates the name as Balea. He states that this city can be equaled with the antique city or travel station of Baloie, located between Stražice and Čađavica on Manjača. Considering that remains of a Roman villa were discovered at the site, we can hardly equal it to the city mentioned by Theophilact Simokata – says Milan Đurđević.

We have almost certainly discovered the lost city of Balkis, which has been briefly mentioned in historical sources for decades – says archeologist of the Homeland Museum Bojan Vujinović, who worked on the explorations. The site in Gornji Bakinci was first registered in the 1980s by archeologist and director of the Homeland Museum in Gradiška Milan Đurđević. The archeology lexicon of B&H from 1988 mentions it as the “Gradina–Bakinci” site. It further explains it as a large Roman fortification, with about 1,5 meters thick walls. Large quantities of Roman brick and hewn stone were found around Gradina and also stated is that the villagers mention that a bust decorated with laurels was discovered in this site in 1936, but was afterwards destroyed. More detailed studies, however, were never published. Only about thirty years later, upon the invitation of antiquity enthusiasts from  Archaeological Laktaši, medical doctors Nenad Kuzmić and Milorad Dakić, who see large remains excavations in of walls every day in this fortification, the Gornji Bakinci: Was the Byzantine Homeland Museum archeologists decided Balkis really here to make a revised overview of the area. Re-


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search with probing radars and partial excavations were done in the autumn of 2012. – It was determined then that it is an enormous archeological complex, with more than 100.000 square meters of wall remains of various rooms, which are only about to shed light on the past of this lost city – emphasizes Vujinović. (Archeologists claim that it is not the only site in Bakinci and that there is also an ancient Roman military camp Ad fines in the vicinity.) BASILICA, THRONE, FRESCOES, INSCRIPTIONS The complex is impressive in size. It consists of two plateaus, upper and lower city, with more than 45.000 square meters of different objects. The defensive wall of the fortification, about 280 meters long, was preserved on the north-western side. There are many accompanying buildings around the city, the most important among them being the early-Christian episcopal basilica. It was discovered 300400 meters east of the city, while south and west of it is a marble necropolis. The basilica is 40 meters long and 13 wide. Considering its dimensions, it’s the biggest and most important basilica discovered in the area of B&H. According to Milan Đurđević, the explorations made during 2012 were completely oriented towards the altar. – An episcopal seat was found in the altar, testifying that this basilica was one of the earliest Christian centers in the then Roman province of Pannonia, east of the Sava and west of the Vrbas. The entire episcopal seat was built of previous

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 Log Cabin Church in Gornji Bakinci

altar plates, dated to the IV century, so it is assumed that this church was destroyed during the barbarian invasions in the late IV or early V century, and that it was later, at the time of Justinian (VI century), restored and given the episcopal seat – tells Đurđević. Also found at the site were frescoes in the diaconicon, made on the previous mortar of the church. Assumptions are that they originate from the period of the basilica’s renewal. – We have also discovered two interesting Latin inscriptions. One is part of a bigger message and includes the Latin word Cari. Depending on the context, it may mean dear or honorable. The second inscription, on the impost of the pillar, includes names of priests or episcopes: Constantius, Andreas and Constanc. The

The Flames of Khagan Bayan Archeologist Đuro Basler mentions in his monograph “Architecture of the Late Antiquity in Bosnia and Herzegovina” (1972) that the Avar warlord Bayan, after crossing the Sava near Servicium (present Gradiška) and moving towards Salona (present Solin near Split) in 597, burned the city of Balkis and 40 Roman refuges and guards and killed the entire population of this area. Basler took over the data from the VII century historian Teophilact Simokata.


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first of them, Constantius, is mentioned as episcope of Siscia (present Sisak). He is probably one of the episcopes who attended the Salonitan Meetings, convened by Honorius II in Salona (present Solin) in the years 530 and 533 – says Vujinović. The Latin word sor (sor, sortis – service) can be clearly read between the names Constantius and Andreas, so it is assumed that one priest (perhaps even both) served in this episcopal basilica. Besides these, also important are findings of two-level benches for priests, base of the altar table, several altar plates, pillars, capitols, imposts of pillars, threshold made of Roman brick, flooring made of lime mortar and crushed stone, bases for altar plates, arch of the altar door… REVIVING THE BYZANTINE CENTER Discovered at the site and around it were jewelry – fibulas, buckles, chains, rings, accessories and pendants, as well as needles, weight for measuring money, bell pendulums, tokens, a chain with a cross and other interesting artifacts. They are represented at the “Jewelry of the Early-Byzantine City of Balkis” exhibition, opened in Banjaluka and planned to be presented throughout Srpska. This exhibition is one

Cooperation – The Homeland Museum in Gradiška is working on establishing cooperation with foreign archeologists related to the site in Bakinci. I mainly mean the archeologists with whom we have been cooperating for many years now, such as Mark Vander Linden, PhD, from the University of London, Charles French, PhD, Preston Miracle, PhD and magister Tonko Rajkovača from Cambridge. They will help us contact other interested foreign archeologists. We are also sending publications to other possible cooperates – underlines Milan Đurđević.

of the ways Srpska is marking the 1.700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan. – The jewelry discovered at the Gradina site doesn’t have a clear archeological context, so its ethnic and time background could be determined only by analogies with existing collections, represented through archeological sources. The biggest part of the jewelry is related to the Migration Period, especially the period of German dominance (Eastern Goths, Gepids and Langobards) says Vujinović, exhibition author, who worked on processing the jewelry for months. The processing showed that there are also a few fragments of antique jewelry from an earlier period, as well as jewelry from the period of the First or Great Avar Khaganate. For example, jewelry with bird motifs was discovered. – Bird of prey is a favorite motif of different ethnic groups from the Migration Period between the second half of the V and during the VI century – explained Vujinović. During the archeological research in 2012, means were provided only by the Homeland Museum of Gradiška. – After the archeological exhibition of jewelry in Banski Dvor and the media promotion of this site’s significance,

we started getting firm promises for help from different sides. Nenad Kuzmić, MD, is very engaged and supportive, so we are attempting to provide money together and preserve this significant archeological site – emphasizes Vujinović. – We received great support and promises from the president’s cabinet and from the Ministry of Education and Culture. Founding of the “Balkis – Laktaši” Educational Center foundation is in progress, with the aim to collect financial means for further archeological research and conservation. Our wish is to make a tourist attraction and educational center at this site, which will employ professionals in the future and become self-sustainable, and to make a place where many elementary, middle school and university students will be introduced to archeology, the significance of this site and past of this area. In the future, people will be able to see a Byzantine city here with all accompanying things: minting, making swords and other weapons, different delicacies, such as food and beverages from that period. The Museum is preparing a new exhibition and a round table for October, after the completion of the second season of archeological excavations. Experts from the region and abroad will be invited, in order to together find the best solution for the future of this site. The plan for 2013 is to explore the episcopal basilica completely, reconstruct it to the highest level of preserved walls and conserve it. – If we find the means, there is a possibility to make a protective construction for this site and employ a number of people. We will further work on exploring and reconstructing this city and promoting the site in the upcoming years – emphasized Vujinović.  SRPSK A  No 2  2013

Photographs: Home Museum in Gradiška, Boris Čikić, Sandra Kljajić




Built Within Us


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Built from the late XV century, mainly in the XVIII, Kastel is the metaphor of this city. Its seed, guardian, chest full of hidden stories. Defended, destroyed, renewed, it mixed fates and empires, languages and philosophies within itself and always remained above it all. Its radical and necessary renewal finally began in March this year. It seems that new knowledge will not pass us by this time either

By: Sandra Josović

Photographs: Boris Čikić

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n the left bank of the Vrbas river, in the heart of Banjaluka, the Kastel has been proudly standing for centuries. Eroded by time, with dilapidated walls and deserted towers, fenced with wire protecting passers-by from its possible collapsing, only recently it welcomed the beginning of its renewal. They say that the forgotten walls and roofs, remembered only in archived photographs, will rise from the dust. The underground passages will be revived, exhibition spaces, a stage, walking paths and sports grounds. The first phase of the renewal has begun – reconstruction of “Whole 9”. Means for continuing the works have been recently approved. It is not known for certain how long this endeavor will last, but this summer too, the Kastel was revived by festivals, actors, dancers and singers... TENS OF THOUSANDS OF YEARS Historians say that life has existed here since the prehistoric times. In the place of the present Kastel, where the river of Crkvena flows into the Vrbas, humans lived thousands of years before the new age. The fortress, as we know it today, originates from

Reconstruction The Banjaluka Kastel was proclaimed first-class cultural and historical heritage in 1950 and in 2002 enlisted as an endangered monument in B&H. Several years ago, the city of Banjaluka opened an international competition for the preliminary design of the reconstruction, revitalization, adaptation and constructive repair of the Kastel fortress. Construction company “Građenje” from Eastern Sarajevo won first place. The reconstruction of the entire fortress was divided into nine wholes, and each of them is an individual project. Means for the second phase of the reconstruction have recently been approved from the EU IPA funds.

the XVIII century. Traces of pit houses and ceramics indicate settlements from the Eneolithic – copper age, but there are indications that humans had lived in the Kastel area much earlier, even 50.000 thousand years B.C. – Up to now, traces from the copper age, approximately 3.000 years B.C., were discovered and confirmed. However, considering that stone artifacts from earlier stone age were discovered in the immediate vicinity of Banjaluka, there are indications that the entire area was inhabited at that time, 50.000 years B.C. – emphasizes Slavica Arsenijević, magister of archeology and senior custodian of the Museum of Srpska.

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The Banjaluka fortress, state the archeologists, is an unexplored area. According to Ms. Arsenijević, the least explored is the prehistoric period. Numerous findings testify about life in the antique period. Kastel was then the core of the city at the banks of the Vrbas. First a Roman camp, castrum, later center of the Roman municipium. Also discovered was a Roman administrative building from the IV century, money, jewelry. – A Roman altar from the II century dedicated to Jupiter was discovered in 1895, in the vicinity of the entrance gate, indicating that there was a municipium in the area of present Banjaluka – explains archeologist Milka Đukić. – The altar was erected by a Roman beneficiary and his inscription mentions that present Banjaluka was part of Upper Pannonia. In the following years, Roman traces were covered by migrations and movements of barbarian tribes. Borders were moving. There are not many findings speaking about the period before the arrival of Turks to the Kastel.


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LEGEND OF THE JULIETTE OF BANJALUKA Ferhad-Pasha Sokolović began the construction of the present Kastel in the late XV century. (At the time, he built more than two hundred objects in Banjaluka.) He built a fortress and workshop for manufacturing ammunition and cannons. In the immediate vicinity, in the deserted remains of his caravan-saray, in the place of present Hanište, workers found a jug of gold. According to archeologist Goran Simonović, more than a thousand different coins were discovered: Spanish, Turkish, Venetian, Hungarian. Travelers from all parts of the world used to visit Banjaluka at the time, decades passed and the Kastel was built and rebuilt. – Most of the construction works were done in the early XVIII century. There were many buildings, ammunition warehouses, underground objects, dungeons, a mosque – tells Simonović. – Kastel then had thousands of people defending it, also in the famous Battle of Banjaluka, with SRPSK A  No 2  2013


S Y M B O L S many casualties. They succeeded. It was in 1737. The Kastel was the last defense of the Turks before the Austrians. Austrian maps kept in the Museum of Srpska testify about the looks of the Kastel at the time. Numerous legends are passed on from generation to generation. The most famous is certainly the one about Juliette of Banjaluka, whose name was Safikada. The story goes that she was “as beautiful as a dream”. While taking a walk with her mother near the Banjaluka fortress, a young and handsome Turkish soldier caught her eye. He also fell in love with her, but alas, the girl’s parents were against their love. They said that he was a soldier and soldiers are here today, but tomorrow who knows where. It all depends on the emperor’s orders. So one day the orders came and the young man had to go to far away Anatolia. They pledged faithfulness until their death and the young  Two views over man went away. Not much time passed and news about his death arrived. Keeping her the city from the promise, Safikada crept to the cannon anfortress


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nouncing noon. While the fuse was burning down, she quickly ran in front of the cannon. Dressed in the most beautiful clothes, passing away, she cried: “I am faithful to you till death!” The entire Banjaluka wept. The story has several versions. The inscription on a marble plate across the street from the Kastel states the one according to which the girl fell in love with an Austrian soldier, and their love was disapproved of due to different origin and religion. Each of the stories, however, has the same ending. Even today, candles are lit in the place where Safikada died. The tragic love eternally lives in the city on the Vrbas. Even the first opera of Banjaluka, directed by Nenad Bojić and composed by Muharem Insanić, which had its premiere in 2011, was named after the girl. POSSIBLE NEW SURPRISES After the Turks, Austro-Hungarians came to Banjaluka in 1878. Arms were again rattling in the Kastel, new colorful uniforms were seen, new languages heard. The walls were fixed, rebuilt, new military objects appeared. And the times that came brought new wars. The fortress was mostly damaged during the World War II bombing. After the war, the walls were renewed, and then again destroyed in the big earthquake in 1969. They were just slightly repaired and then left to waiting and oblivion for decades. Until they got bored of it. They began collapsing on promenades, warning that their time of death has come. And finally, in March this year, the renewal has begun.

As soon as the works began, new witnesses of the past were discovered. There was also something absolutely unexpected: a completely preserved chicken egg from the XVII century, with traces of mortar on its shell. The reconstruction workers found it in the walls. According to the archeologists, the egg was put into the wall during its construction. It was used for increasing the binding of the lime mortar used for building at the time. Besides the egg, also found were a cannon ball from the Battle of Banjaluka, a Turkish pipe, ceramics, iron nails… And the works have just begun. It’s possible that new surprises are awaiting us. – The parts which looks we know for certain are being reconstructed and the works are done according to the rules of protecting and revitalizing architectural heritage. Restoration ends at the point where assumptions begin – explains Milijana Okin from the Srpska Institute for the Protection of Monuments. Nevena Predojević, architect at the Administration Department of Banjaluka, emphasizes that the city approved financial means for creating different documents in order to revive the Kastel. – The total value of the restoration itself is about 25 million Euros. If, under ideal circumstances, works in all wholes started at the same time, it would technically be possible to complete them in three years. Of course, if we don’t find another archeological site which would stop the works and postpone the deadlines – says Ms. Predojević. –

Storyteller Milenko Jeftić Jefta from Banjaluka, whom reporters from the Srpska capital call amateur archeologist, discovered one of the rare gold coins of emperor Justinian. Known for his love towards the Vrbas and swimming in its ice-cold whirlpools in the middle of winter, Jefta has been exploring the Banjaluka fortress with archeologists for decades. He claims there are underground passages in the Kastel leading out of the fortress. There is no evidence for all his stories and legends, but people like to listen to and tell his stories. Who knows, perhaps the present works on the Kastel will even prove some of them.

At the moment, we are not doing everything foreseen in the “Whole 9” project documentation, but only the most urgent things: the devastated southern walls and the stone house which will be reconstructed and turned into the City Museum. The City applied for the continuation of the works on “Whole 9” and means from the EU IPA funds have recently been approved. Now the Kastel is a cultural center, with many events taking place in it. 

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L I F E ,



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With her at the helm, Serbs performed miracles of heroism, according to the chronicles of the rebellion from Herzegovina and of the war on the Drina front. Entire Belgrade was crazy for this female rebel, remembers Slobodan Jovanović. Professor Aberdar gave a farewell speech under her window in Belgrade. Đura Jakšić called her “Serbian Byron” and dedicated to her a welcome song. Every Serbian city, starting from Trebinje and Bijeljina, should have a street with her name, and most Serbs today hardly even know who she was By: Branislav Matić


onographs and poems, war and espionage reports have been written about her, but she is still unknown to many. Her image has been brought back to life in three films but, here, could you tell the titles of those films? Her life-size portrait has been made for the collection of the National Museum, but nothing is known about it any more. Unusual Dutch woman, Jeanne Merkus, whose life is entangled in an exciting way with Serbian history and destiny, was born in October 1839 on the island of Java, in what is today Indonesia. She was five when her father Peter,

the governor of the former Dutch colony East Indies, suddenly died. That year, 1844, she returns to Holland. Only four years later her mother dies too, the “overly rich Wilhelmina Kransen”. Jeanne Merkus with her brothers and sisters goes to live with her uncle, Charles Guillaume Merkus, a protestant (Walloon) priest. – In the house of her uncle, a dedicated preacher of the word of God, she was raised as a devout Christian. She gained strong  Joan of Arc, faith, sense of justice and spiritual values of three Western European life – says Dutch historian and anthropologist Renee Gremo in the shade of lime trees presentations

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 Two portraits of Duke Mića Ljubibratić (1839-1889), the leader of the Herzegovina Uprising, and his comrade Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882), the leader of the movement for liberation and unification of Italy

in Čubura, Belgrade, while we are leafing through the abundant material he had collected for his book about Jeanne Merkus. – Then, the attributes of feminine chastity and heroism merged in her heart and stayed there forever. Joan of Arc became her role model, and her ideal was liberation of all Christians as “a preparation for the second coming of Christ”. In late 1860’s, she sold her huge inheritance and embarked on a journey. Italy, then France. In Paris she witnesses the FrenchPrussian War and the “horrible Prussian siege of the city”. She helps the wounded as a volunteer, acting “bravely, as an old and experienced soldier”. The cult of the Virgin of Arc was the last defense of Paris, when it seemed that all other defenses had failed. In Paris Jeanne Merkus saw the end of the war and the establishment of the Paris Commune. In 1871, at the advice of her doctors, completely exhausted, she moves toward the south. She arrives to the finally liberated and united Italy.

To People of Serbia When leaving to the front in 1876, she expressed her last will: “If I die in the battles, I leave all that is left from my inheritance to the people of Serbia.” On the Drina, the “Serbian Jordan”, she arrived in early June 1876. “In Montenegrin male clothes, blue trousers and a green shirt, she rode a horse erect and determined... She joined the volunteer brigade”, reports “Zastava”.


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A WARRIOR AND A MUSE OF THE SOLDIERS In the summer of 1875 she heard about the Serbian Uprising in Herzegovina. She thought that this was the moment. She was convinced that the enterprise of Christian liberation must start exactly from there, from the occupied part of Europe. With a number of other Europeans, especially followers of the Garibaldi Legion, that fall she crossed the Adriatic Sea and through Dubrovnik arrived in Herzegovina. This is how Albin Kuchbach, a German, according to some accounts a war reporter, and according to others a spy, described the arrival of Jeanne Merkus to the rebel camp: “... Around Christmas, Mića Ljubibratić, one of the leaders of the rebellion, was visited by a rich lady, her last name was Merkus. She appeared to be very religious and wanted to play for Bosnia and Herzegovina the role of Joan of Arc, also making available to the rebels a large amount of money.” Some time later, several European newspapers recorded this event, and almost al Serbian newspapers. Graničar from Zemun, in its edition from January 16, 1876, says: “These days, a rich Dutch lady came Dubrovnik, brought a large support for the rebels of Herzegovina. From here she goes to the rebel camp.” Almost simultaneously, daily papers from Belgrade Istok, Vidovdan, Šumadija reported about this event. Soon, however,

we see the name of Jeanne Merkus in the chronicles of the rebels’ battles. “... She went to the battle along with the flag bearer, who was the favorite target of the Turks. She marched on the Turks fearlessly, although they would greet her with loud curses. They even said that, after the Battle of Ljubinje, Jeanne was proclaimed the most courageous soldier”, wrote Dušan Kovačević, a Serbian literary historian. “In one battle, Jeanne Merkus moved to the front rows, ready for the fight”, writes Morris Zimmerman, a contemporary of the Uprising. “Experienced Serbian warriors admired the courage and cold-bloodedness of this girl, who wanted to use her appearance to inspire the rebels to perform acts of heroism.” “In her presence, Serbs perform miracles of heroism”, European war reporters used to write. “Are you here as a member of the ‘Red Cross’ to help the wounded?” they asked her. “No, I prefer much more to see Serbs who are alive and healthy than sick and wounded. I will stay here until the last Christian is liberated from Turkish oppression”, she said. In the headquarters of Duke Mića Ljubibratić, she ordered cannons to be purchased immediately, which would be more lethal in the attacks on Turkish fortifications. She immediately contributed a large sum of money for that delivery (which, unfortunately, would never arrive).

This is what the “change of Vienna politics” looked like on the remote borders. Ljubibratić was transferred from Trieste to Linz. Jeanne, who was released meanwhile with an order to leave the Double Monarchy, goes to Belgrade. In a wide arc, and apparently in secret. Still dressed in male Herzegovina clothes, with a Montenegrin cap on her head, she arrives to the Sava Harbor in late March 1876. She is welcomed by the members of the United Serbian Youth. “Well known Dutch woman, Miss Merkus, who had wholeheartedly rushed to help our fighting brothers Herzegovina, arrived in Belgrade and is ill”, reports daily paper Šumadija, on March 26, 1876. A few days later, Đura Jakšić published in Istok and Šumadija, without a signature, Welcome to Joan Merkus, calling her “an honorable girl” and “our Byron”.

 Jeanne Merkus, a drawing by an unknown author from 1876

A FRIEND OF FREEDOM A few months later, during a routine crossing of the Austrian border between Herzegovina and Dalmatia, Jeanne Merkus was fraudulently arrested together with a group of rebels. They were arrested by the Austrians, in the Turkish territory. Vidovdan, a daily paper from Belgrade, reported this event on March 16, 1876: “Besides Ljubibratić, several other rebels were arrested in Imočko, when they crossed the border. Among them was a woman from Holland, Merkus.” SRPSK A  No 2  2013


L I F E ,  A monument to Joan of Arc in Paris: When will Jeanne Merkus receive a monument in Srpska and Serbia?

N O V E L S Because of her poor health, the formal welcome ceremony was organized only during the Easter that year. A long procession started from what is today “London” Restaurant and arrived in front of the hotel “Old Building” (it was located across the road from the Congregational Temple, between the building of the National Bank and “?”Restaurant), where Jeanne Merkus stayed and where she was recuperating. Jovanka Markušova, as people from Herzegovina called her, pale and smiling, appeared on the balcony. A professor of philosophy at the Great School, Milan Kujundžić Aberdar, as daily paper Zastava reported, approached Jeanne Merkus with the following words: “... Belgrade has recorded, with love and respect, every name and monitored every step of the excellent warriors for freedom and each noble reply of educated people foreign by language, but close for their humane feelings. Among the lines of both, we have seen your great name... You, a friend of freedom, should know that you have come among the people where the most unlikely of circumstances have long shaken the trust in nobleness and humanity of the so-called civilized world. You should known that you have come among people who have been and are torn by so many storms, but you should also know that you have come among the people who in all this have not lost their faith in their right, in their heroic muscle and the victory of justice. That you have come among the people who, in all this, have shown in action and will keep showing that they can be adequately grateful to their friends. Glory to you, our hero!” The national youth prepared large fireworks. Contemporary sources say that the image was “touching and powerful”. Except for Duchess Natalija, Serbian people had never greeted another foreign woman in this way. At that time, the city had a population of about thirty thousand, and six thousands of them participated in the fireworks. Expressing her gratitude, from the balcony of the “Old Building”, Jeanne said:

A Female Uskok Slobodan Jovanović, then just a boy, later wrote in his memoirs: “On Palm Sunday, demonstrations were held in front of the Austrian consulate... Another demonstration was related to Jeanne Merkus... It is a young and rich... Dutch woman... She has become famous as an Amazonian of the Herzegovina Uprising. Belgrade was crazy for this female Uskok.”


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“... I express to you my burning joy that I feel for the courage, sense of freedom and the spirit of Serbian people. I hope that very soon I will have the honor to fight, together with you, for the liberation of all peoples who are struggling under oppression...” ON THE DRINA FRONT Exactly at that time, the people asked from the court and the government to ensure that Serbia actively supports the Uprising. On St. George’s Day, the cautious and moderate government of Ljubomir Kalezić fell, and the mandate again went to Jovan Ristić. – In the spring of 1876, a brigade was beginning to be created in Šabac. This brigade would soon have several thousand volunteers, mostly Serbs from Austro-Hungary and Turkey. Most numerous among the true foreigners were Italians and French (Garibaldians), and an occasional Russian, Pole, Lusatian Serb – reminds us Renee Gremo. In April, a group of soldiers from the former squad of Mića Ljubibratić arrived in Belgrade, among them an Italian count Faela, a Garibaldian. In June, Jeanne donated to Serbia 2,000 dinars for war purposes, 500 dinars to the “Red Cross” 500, 500 dinars to the Minister of Defense to distribute to children and families of Serbian soldiers who get killed in the war. It was certainly the biggest donation. As a comparison, the biggest donation after this was the one from Krsmanović brothers, which amounted to 1,000 dinars, and Russian general Černjajev donated 600 groats (60 dinars). Serbia and Montenegro entered the war on June 30, 1876. Jeanne Merkus enlisted as a volunteer the very next day, apparently. Soon she found herself on the Drina front, sent by the Minister of Defense Tihomir Nikolić as an honorary adjutant to General Ranko Alimpić (one of three generals in Serbian army and the only Serb, together with Zah – a Czech, and Černjajev – a Russian). General Alimpić did everything he could so the Minister would “spare him from such honor”. “It is well known that our army would not consider this a fortune of any kind, to have women among its troops. That would be contrary to the spirit and habits of our army and our people”, Alimpić wrote. “This cannot be changed now; I have given my word to the lady. Merkus is a volunteer. If he doesn’t want to, he does not have to take her in his retinue. He can refer

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her to the volunteer brigade”, replied the Serbian Minister of Defense. The battles of Bijeljina began. War reporter of Die Presse from Vienna reported from the village of Badovinci in Mačva (according to the quotations from Zastava, from August 6, 1876): “Captain Pajo Putnik, who is said to have been killed, leads now the right wing and the volunteers. Miss Merkus is also with him...” An excellent horseman, surprisingly good with weapons, radiating spiritual power, Jovanka Markušova again fascinated Serbian soldiers. Seeing her at the Battle of Starači on the Drina, on July 20 Volunteer Lieutenant Commander Grujo Mišković,  His warriors previously skeptical, turned her into a role fought alongside Jeanne Merkus and model for his soldiers. Since then, no ambiguous word was to be spoken in his presthe Herzegovina ence about Jeanne Merkus. rebels against the Turkish THE LAST WALK OF ĐURA JAKŠIĆ occupation: A monument to In early June, volunteer units achieved the Garibaldi in Italy first major victories and are moving deeper


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into Semberija. Sources say that Jeanne Merkus on several occasions participated in fierce conflicts with General Alimpić, beauties of indecisiveness of he command and the tactics “go-stop-return”. She knew: the battles are not won with telegrams. “Come on, gentlemen, what do you want with that person? They speak about her like about some kind of hero, and she does not do anything else but struts in her colorful clothes, carrying a gun and a revolver, does not fire, but help – to watch”, reports Zastava on August 9 the words of General Alimpić. Jeanne did not care much about what they said. She hoped that the cannons, which had been paid already in Herzegovina, would finally be delivered, and that they could help overpower the “Krupovo” weapons, which had been supplied to the Turks. She was still waiting for the order for the decisive liberation attack on Bijeljina. A year later, Đura Jakšić will write from Vojvodina Orao a war story The Wounded. An Italian volunteer among Serbian troops, who was wounded in Bijeljina, placed in the hospital of the Women’s Society in Belgrade, describes the moment when Serbia troops, after the first victory before Bijeljina, heard the order to withdraw. Disbelief and anger. And curses in which the name of General Alimpić was mentioned. Jeanne Merkus, the Italian recounts to Đura Jakšić, only bitterly smiled: “Ah, now I see that, besides me, there are more women in the Serbian army.” When copies of Orao for 1878 reached Belgrade, one Alimpić’s follower submitted a claim against Đura Jakšić to the military court for the insults allegedly sustained by the entire Serbian army and the country. That summer, Đura saw General Alimpić sitting with his officers in the garden of Hotel “Paris” in Belgrade. At that moment, a villager was passing down the street with oxen. The poet stopped him and asked him for a favor: – Walk slowly that way, and when you are very close to the garden, whip your ox and yell: “Come on, why you are hesitating like Ranko Alimpić on the Drina.” The villager agreed to do that, for one dinar. And he did it. One night, on his way back home, general’s followers severely beaten Đura Jakšić near Skadarlija. – Jeanne Merkus had indirect connections with the early death of your great poet

– says Renee Gremo. – Beaten Đura Jakšić hardly made it to his doorstep. He immediately fell into the bed, got sick and soon afterwards died, at the end of that 1878. A GRAVE IN UTRECHT Jeanne Merkus received the order to immediately leave the Drina front and return to Belgrade. Allegedly, there were reports of a diplomat in Istanbul that “Miss Merkus... is an ordinary spy, Austrian Čivutin”. She vigorously opposed this, but she was escorted to Šabac, and was then taken by a boat, on the Sava River, to Belgrade. Serbian press at that time was preoccupied with the birth of prince Aleksandar and was completely silent about the events involving Jeanne Merkus, its former heroine. Certainly the war censorship also contributed to this unseemly fact. Poorly prepared Serbia, again outplayed by Austrian and Russian diplomacy, was facing the war defeat. Affairs of the state dictated a peace treaty to be signed as soon as possible. – In mid August, immediately after coming back from the Drina, Jeanne was literally exiled over the border – Gremo says. She tried once again to travel to the Holy Land, so as to complete her endowment in Jerusalem, but the Turks prevented this. Unlike the Serbs, they had never forgotten her participation in the war on the Serbian side. – It seems that she arrived in Paris in 1895. She no longer had money even for food. Apparently, she also lived as a homeless under the bridges on the Seine. Very ill, she managed somehow to reach a hospital

in Paris. There they discovered her identity. Since her father was a governor general from a rich Dutch family, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs contacted the same ministry in the Netherlands. The Dutch minister decided to help Jeanne Merkus and notified her brother in Utrecht. It is not fully clear how, but some time after this correspondence, Jeanne was brought from Paris to Utrecht. Instead of being placed in the rich house of her brother, whose wife was a baroness, she was given a refuge in a protestant volunteer institution. She was in care of deaconesses, who still remembered piety and charity of the “Serbian Byron”. She spent about a year and a half there. She died in early February 1897. Her brother and his wife dedicated to her a formal announcement in the press, several dry lines, notifying about the death and the fact that on this occasion they would not be receiving condolences at their house. At the public cemetery in Utrecht, not far from the railway, seen from windows of the trains which are rushing everyday around the post-democracy remains of Europe, the grave of Jeanne Merkus is still there. As a reminder to those for whom this memorial is intended. 

 Slobodan Jovanović (1869-1958), a lawyer, historian and politician Đura Jakšić (1832-1878), a poet Milan Kujundžić Aberdar (1842-1893), philosopher, a member of the Academy of Sciences and Arts

Grave In the 1930’s, general consul of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in Rotterdam, Sibe Miličić, a poet and painter, arranged with the city authorities in Utrecht that the grave of Jeanne Merkus is refurbished and regularly maintained. Since then and until present day, every year somebody pays for the cleaning and maintenance. It is not known who this person is. A message is inscribed on the grave that it must not be demolished. SRPSK A  No 2  2013






In the High Spirit of Mokranjac

He left a deep mark, as a choir leader, ethnomusicologist, music teacher, and especially as a composer. He searched for himself, his tone, in Vienna, Zagreb, Prague, but what most profoundly resonated within him was “Rukoveti” by Mokranjac, Christian Orthodox spiritual chanting and Serbian folk songs. He composed on the verses of Saint Sava, Despot Stefan, nun Jefimija, Desanka Maksimović, Stevan Raičković. He was always aware of who he was, why and where he lived By: Dajana Korolija

Photographs: The Museum of Srpska (edited by Sanja Pupac, MA, curator and ethnomusicologist)



he Milošević family originated in the village of Rđus, Hercegovina, from where, in the mid 19th century, they moved to Banjaluka and founded a family company. Vlado Milošević was born in 1901. His father Savo, great fan of music, sang in the Serbian Singing Society “Jedinstvo”, and mother Jovanka stood out for her literary talent. Together with brothers Vojislav and Nemanja, and sisters Stojanka and Milena, he was growing up in an environment imbued with tradition and simplicity. Sayings SRPSK A  БРОЈ 2  2013

of his grandmother Savka he remembered throughout his life. At the end of the second grade of elementary school, with his brother Vojislav he started studying to play violin. It was the turning point in his life. He took classes from many military musicians, frequently changing the teachers and work styles. And then, Josip Soukal, a Czech, took over the leadership over the school of music. An improvement came quickly, both on the instrument and in education.

Vlado started the famous Great real School in Banjaluka, which soon became Real Gymnasium. It had exceptional teaching staff, and exuded noble strictness. For Vlado, who was more prone to music than to math, it was not easy. On top of this, after the Assassination in Sarajevo and the beginning of World War One, it was difficult for Serbian children. Many forms of discrimination, punishments, prohibition to use Cyrillic. And children were children, they preferred even more what was forbidden. And so Vlado refused to comply with this decision, and wrote as his heart dictated. After a break of one year, he enrolled at the School of Music in 1915. Several months later he was already playing, with his brother, in the orchestra organized by Soukal. The small orchestra performed mostly romantic and classical compositions: Mendelssohn, Schubert, Handle, Haydn... Vlado began to play viola, its darker sound attracted him more than violin. He began to explore a series of instruments. He was growing close to oboe, contrabass and piano, which will result in many compositions for all instruments and orchestras. Still, his favorites were the sounds of viola, cello and oboe. In 1917 he returned to the Gymnasium, determined to graduate. That year, A. Kalus founded a quartet, in which Vlado played viola, together with Josip Soukal and Velimir Pišteljić. His enthusiasm for music grows stronger. Since he played the quartet Death and the Maiden, Schubert became one of his favorite composers. “What I like in Schubert is the feeling of youth”, he used to say. SEARCHING FOR HIS OWN PATH In 1918, because of new problems in education, Vlado moved to a gymnasium in Zagreb. He liked listening to the Czech quartet playing Shuman’s piano quintet. He felt close to German Romanticism. Like all high school students from his generation, he spoke German language well. He returned to Banjaluka, and continued playing in the quartet until professor Kalus moved back to Czech Republic. After the war he played in the orchestra of a dance school, took additional piano lessons from an old professor, a Czech, and expanded his knowledge of instruments. In 1921, he graduated from the Real Gymnasium. Enchanted by piano, he came late for the written part of the exam. At that time, he was still not so good in writing, although he would later improve his style and his articles would be published in Razvitak, and his prefaces and comments in anthologies of folk poems would be especially well received. In education, he was still wondering a lot, searching for himself and his path. In Prague he took an exam at the Conservatory, but ended up in agronomy. After the new encounter with math, additionally stimulated by the efforts of his mother Jovanka to

Music Criticism During his entire career as a professor and musician, Vlado Milošević also writes reviews of well known musicians in Banjaluka. His critiques were usually signed with initials V. M.

 Little Vlado (first from the left) on a family photograph from 1912. With his wife Vida in 1933. With Nasiha Kapidžić, Gustav Krklec and Seka Masleša in 1972 SRPSK A  No 2  2013


L I G H T H O U S E S bring order to the uncertain position of their family business in Banjaluka, he left Prague. He survived dry inflammation of pleura, a disease from which he lost his breath for wind instruments and was separated from his beloved oboe. Searching for a way out, he enlisted in military service, and toward the end he also survived typhoid fever. Later, in Zagreb, he enrolled at the Faculty of Philosophy, Department of History and Geography, and took the entrance exam at the Academy of Music. After two years of study, he left for Vienna to study musicology, but later returned to Zagreb. Wanting to study musicology, in February 1927 he went to Belgrade, to study with professor Miloje Milojević. After passing all exams necessary for the academic title, Vlado Milošević returned to Banjaluka. He got a job at the Teachers College, but what he really wants is to teach music. He went to Zagreb again, enrolled at the Teaching Department for solo singing of the Academy of Music and graduated in 1929. SONGS FROM ZMIJANJE Vlado Milošević was the conductor of the Serbian Singing Society “Jedinstvo” for ten years. Their first composition was Tebje odjejuščagosja by Stevan Mokranjac. They were singing this composition every year at the Congregational Temple in Banjaluka. They performed works of many composers and diverse music. A small choir, with about thirty members, worked hard and promoted Serbian musical culture. Vlado particularly liked Mokranjac. He would often say that everything he ever wrote, especially fro choir, was in the spirit of Mokranjac. For the needs of the choir he created first harmonizations of folk songs. He began his melographic work with choir singer Suljo Plićanić, and his first great experience came after his visit to Zmijanje where he listened to the local singers. Since then, The Songs from Zmijanje would be gradually created. Composing work of Vlado Milošević until 1941 is marked by choir compositions. One of his more original works is composition fro mixed choir Remembrance, based on the lyrics of Serbian romantic poet Đura Jakšić. He composes for the National Theatre of Vrbaska banovina, and the most ambitious work was the performance Ajka’s Woes, for which he composed sixteen pieces, mostly rework of traditional sevdalinka songs. In 1933 he passed professor’s exam in Zagreb and his official academic education finally ended there. Extraordinary session of “Jedinstvo” decided in 1934 to open the School of Music, and he took over the responsibility for this work. Again, after World War Two, they immediately began activities on the opening of the School of Music. Vlado Milošević

Niš Chapter As a refugee in Niš, during World War Two, he got a job at the First Male Gymnasium, worked in the orchestra of Niš Theatre, played in the city orchestra, founded a string quartet. He tried himself as a composer of compositions for orchestra, and in the subsequent years he would continue composing for violin, piano, oboe and clarinet.


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was its director for six years. After his death, to the honor of the great musician and professor, the school was named the School of Music “Vlado Milošević”. He received his first important award in 1953 from the Association of Composers of Yugoslavia for Songs from Zmijanje. After transferring from the School of Music to the Museum of Bosanska Krajina, he immediately began the action of melograph recording of the folklore of Krajina, which fulfilled him completely. He recorded 343 singers with approximately 2,000 songs. Only a part of this was included in his books, which were published appeared between 1954 and 1964 by the Museum of Bosanska Krajina entitled Bosnian Folk Songs (I, II, III, IV). THE WORKS REMAINED The sixth decade of his life was about to end, and Vlado still created wholeheartedly. His First String Quartet was composed, then The Bloody Tale for mixed choir, on the lyrics by Desanka Maksimović, Suite for Violin and Piano, and numerous other compositions. Many solo songs were composed on the lyrics of our contemporary poets: Vladimir Čerkez, Desanka Maksimović, Stevan Raičković... As a choir composer he worked tirelessly, and he also liked composing music for theatre performances. He used to say about himself: “I have never tried to be likable and to follow trends, I have always followed myself.” He was a member of the Scientific Society of B&H and full member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences of B&H. The crown of his musical engagement in the 1960’s was the encounter with The Stone Sleeper by Mak Dizdar, poetry which encompasses the destiny of the region of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In the World of Kočić Vlado also spent time in the world of Kočić. First he composed “The Visions”, composed of musical images: “Mračajski proto”, “Simeun đak”, “Tuba”, “Lombardy Poplar”. He composed a new symphonic poem “Through the Storm”, then “David’s Land”, as his vision of the sound dimension of “The Badger Before the Court”.

He returns to spiritual music: Nemanja’s Last Wish, on the lyrics by Sava Nemanjić, Tears for Knez Lazar, on the lyrics by a monk from Ravanica Monastery, Slovo ljubve, on the lyrics by Stefan Lazarević, A Prayer to Knez Lazar, on the lyrics by Jefimija Mrnjavčević... Deeply religious, and aware that we are all imperfect, he was full of understanding fro others. After moving to a new house on Carski drum, which he received from the city as a citizen of merit, Vlado sits in his study, reading Schopenhauer, Medvedev, Rozanov. Occasionally he plays violin and piano, in accordance with the saying: “The road to mastery is long, and life is short.” A series of ten radio sows was created, entitled Following the Krajina Folklore and monograph Flat Song, for which he wrote a preface. One night in 1989, his wife Vida Milošević tripped and fell down the stairs. The outcome was fatal. Vlado had a very hard time dealing with the death of his wife, with whom he had lived for 56 years. He was left alone, without peers, with a pain in his chest, and the flame of life inside him was growing weaker. A year after his wife’s death he contracted pneumonia and he died in the evening of February 6, 1990. His works remained. Music, notes, lyrics. There were topics that he didn’t have time to deal with, despite being interested in them. He was one of those with the most noble of characters, deeply aware of who he was and where he lived. 

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 Vida and Vlado Milošević in the garden of the house at Pelagićeva no. 3, in Banjaluka, 1976 Vlado at the piano in his house at Titova no. 91, in Banjaluka, March 11, 1980

 In his study, 1987. The house of Vlado Milošević in Banjaluka


Aleksandar Ilić and Gavrilo Princip



The Idea of Freedom Is Eternal By: Aleksandra Rajković


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At the 99th anniversary of the declaration of war on Serbia by Austro-Hungary, the artistic jury made its verdict: Gavrilo Princip committed a legitimate tyrannicide, and not an act of terrorism. It was a cry for liberation of the enslaved people and occupied country. The Hand of Justice. Not a crime, but sentence for crimes. A response to foreigners’ mocking the sanctity of St. Vitus Day... This is how in Srpska they began the celebration of one century from the Assassination in Sarajevo, the century which will be rounded up next year


avrilo Princip, Franc Ferdinand and his wife Sofia, as well as Ivo Andrić, are sitting at the same table, ceremoniously decorated. Suddenly they hear a voice of the judge who is sitting at the head of the table and is inviting everybody to stand up and hear the verdict for Gavrilo Princip. – In Sarajevo, on June 28, 1914, Gavrilo Princip killed a tyrant and thus committed a tyrannicide. Although tyrannicide may be regarded as a noble act, it is still a murder of another human being. That is why the body of Gavrilo Princip is punished with jail time. Taking into account the amplitude of the crime, his idea is released from all punishment and will live forever. This verdict, in the night between July 28 and 29, at the spring of the Pliva River in Šipovo, was delivered by the jury, composed of painters and sculptors of the International Art Colony “Pliva 2013”, and was announced by the composer Zoran Hristić in the role of the judge. In picturesque ambient at the spring of the Pliva they did performance The Last Supper, thus celebrating July 28, the date when, 99 years ago, Austro-Hungary declared a war on Serbia. This was an unusual beginning of the celebration of one century from the Assassination in Sarajevo, which falls next year. British sculptor Leon Patchett played the role of Franz Ferdinand, painter Ranka Lučić Janković appeared as his wife Sofia, and Aleksandar Ilić was in charge of the role of the assassin, Gavrilo Princip. Three historical figures arrived to the dinner together, where they were welcomed and greeted by the actor Tihomir Stanić, in the role of Ivo Andrić, as a member of the Young Bosnia movement. – Dear guests, tonight you are the jurors. You should deliver a verdict and a sentence. You should answer the question: Is Gavrilo Princip an assassin of a tyrant or a terrorist? Is he going to be convicted and what will be his sentence, if you find him guilty? You will

state your verdict at the end of the dinner, but before you begin with the feast and deliberation, I would like to tell you one more thing: Gavrilo Princip and his comrades were convicted on October 28, 1914. They died in the prisons of Austro-Hungary, and

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 British sculptor Leon Patchett as Ferdinand and Ranka Lučić Janković as Sofia



 Dragan Davidović, director of the RTV RS, greeting the participants and guests of the performance

Serbia was bleeding. Belgrade fell. Serbia was occupied – said Andrić, who led the performance participants as the narrator. PRINCIP IS PRINCIPLE Trademark of the jury and the judge were white shirts, with printed image of Gavrilo Princip on the back and his words written on the walls of the cell

The Principle is Gavrilo All participants of the colony and the performance, as well as special guests who were invited to the dinner, were served white wine from bottles decorated with labels with images of Gavrilo, Ferdinand and Sofia, and black wine had a label with Princip’s image. All praise for the menu, which was printed in French, just like the menu on Ilidža. On the back of the menu there was a printout of the telegram in which Austro-Hungary declared the war on Serbia. Selector of the colony, Milivoje Unković, a member of the Academy of Sciences and Arts, is responsible for the superb design.


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in which he died: “Our shadows will walk around Vienna, wander around the court frightening the gentlemen“. On the front side they carried badges with inscriptions “Princip is Principle”. – I am not a criminal, because I eliminated the person who did evil. I am sorry I killed Duchess Sofia, a Czech, for I did not want to do that. I wanted to kill Poćorek, not her. I am not sorry that I killed the prince. I did not want to become a hero, I only wanted to die for an idea – said Princip during the trial. At the dinner, they served mushroom chowder, trout with jelly, boiled beef and pineapple cake, decorated with coats of arms of Serbia and Austro-Hungary. At the end of the dinner they delivered the verdict, and the performance closed with the verses of Milan Nenadić, said by Princip: “Thunderbolts are not harmless The universe like glass bursts One cannot do without change My PRINCIPLE is a continuous unrest.” Participants of this unusual performance were painters Danica Masniković, Ranka Lučić Janković, Katarina Đorđević, Jelena Milošević Jovanović, Mirjana Lučić, Ranka Marković, Leon Patchett, Zoran Jovanović Dobrotin, Nikola Grul, composer

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Д О ­Г А­Ђ А Ј




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Zoran Hristić, as well as the guests of the colony: Dragan Davidović, director of RTV RS, Mirjana Kusmuk, the editor-in-chief of Voice of Srpska, Mišo Vujović, director of “Princip Pres”. – Our publishing house, which celebrates its jubilee next year, 10 years of existence, both because of its name and because of the concept will certainly, with its publishing activities, participate in the celebration of one hundredth anniversary of the Great War, and also give its contribution in defense from attempts to tailor historical facts or, as we could call it in contemporary language, to redesign history. Gavrilo Princip was and still is a martyr and an apostle of freedom, symbol of resistance to the occupier or, as Njegoš would say: To put an end to tyranny, it is the most sacred human duty. These days, they are trying to marginalize Njegoš’s work, just like the knightly act of Gavrilo Princip, and to present them as a poetic hatred speech – said Mišo Vujović, director of “Princip Pres”. A GREAT OPPORTUNITY INSTEAD OF GREAT WAR – Tonight we are celebrating 99 years since Austro-Hungary declared the war on Serbia, first in a telegram in French, and a few hours later with grenades from Sava tugboats on Terazije. Belgrade and Serbia for the first time that day, and many times in the next four years were wounded. This evening is a memorial to all the Serbs who were killed in the Great War. This is a memorial to the entire wounded and deceased humanism of that time – said the director of the RTRS Dragan Davidović, the TV producer of this performance. – We have gathered this evening to begin the celebration of 100th anniversary of the Assassination in Sarajevo. The dinner before us has the same menu as the one held on June 27, in the eve of the St. Vitus Day. Archduke Ferdinand and Duchess Sofia are here. But Princip is also here. Tonight we are giving to ourselves and to Europe a Great Opportunity instead of the Great War. But with one message: Princip is the Principle. There should not be redesigning of history. Princip’s act was not directed at the personality of Ferdinand, even less so at the personality of his wife Sofia, who was hit by the bullet dedicated to Poćorek. That Princip’s bullet, which demolished four empires, was a shot into the occupying forces embodied in Franz Ferdinand.

Like on Ilidža in 1914 An interesting fact about the performance is the fact that the food was the same as the food prepared to the honor of Franz Ferdinand at the dinner on June 17, 1914 on Ilidža near Sarajevo, and the same wine, “Mostarska žilavka”, from the cellars of old Serbian winemakers from the family of Đorđe Jelačić from Mostar.

Painters are enthusiastically saying that this is the most interesting colony they have ever attended and that they feel like they traveled through time in this performance. They praise the organizers and say that they are honored to become a part of such an important event as the beginning of the celebration of 100th anniversary of the Assassination in Sarajevo. The dinner was observed by the Minister of Education and Culture of Republika Srpska Goran Mutabdžija and Serbian consul in Banjaluka Aleksandar Jovanović. Selector of the colony, Milivoje Unković, a member of the Academy of Sciences and Arts, did not hide his enthusiasm because this unique event on the Pliva River was getting an increasingly wider dimension. – Performance The Last Supper is an innovation of this year’s colony “Pliva”. Every year we are trying to leave an artistic mark next to the Pliva River, and this year we have decided to celebrate the 99th anniversary of the beginning of the Great War – said Milivoje Unković. This year’s International Art Colony “Pliva 2013” began on July 25, and the artists were creating until August 3, when an exhibition of their works opened in the Architectural Complex “Pliva”. Certainly the most beautiful tone of this year’s “Pliva” was provided by the performance The Last Supper which opened the door of history, but also the future. Gavrilo Princip, Franz Ferdinand and Sofia, but also Ivo Andrić, revived for a moment the questions to which they received answers. The performance lasted until late evening, the verdict was delivered in a peaceful oasis of nature, and while we are leaving, as if we could hear again all around the verses of Milan Nenadić...  SRPSK A  No 2  2013

Photographs: “Glas Srpske”






Long Holiday of Short Film More than two thousand entries from around the world were received, and 43 made it into the final selection. The largest film festival in Srpska, with more visitors than ever, for the seventh time enabled the audience to see artistically valuable and critically sharp films, far beyond the stereotypes of Hollywood confectionary and global empire of kitsch and debauchery. The festival crowned with “Kratkofil Junior”, a workshop in which children made their first film By: NR Pres

Photographs: Archive of “Kratkofil Plus”



t was founded in 2007, as a short film festival named “Kratkofil”. Born out of love for films and art, it made it first steps modestly, but with clearly defined goals and desires. A combination of enthusiasm and quality captured the audience at first sight. To date, it has presented hundreds of short films of all genres and opened the windrow into the most diverse worlds of creating expression for the audience. In 2010 it expandSRPSK A  БРОЈ 2  2013

ed its program with long feature films and added the word Plus to its name. Recently it has successfully closed its seventh edition, and “Gran Prix” went to the film A Noble Stallion by Swedish director Sofia Priftis. LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT International Film Festival “Kratkofil Plus” became a brand of Banjaluka the very

year when it was founded. Dedicated to short film, the festival presents awards for the best feature, documentary, animated, experimental and regional short film, and the best film is crowned with a “Gran Prix”. The seventh edition also introduced the audience award. Year after year, the number of entries for the official program has been growing, and this year the selectors viewed more than 2,000 films from around the world. It was not easy to make the final selection, which included 43 films. – Already in the first year, “Kratkofil” received a surprisingly good support, since it was the first project of our organization, Association “Lanterna”, and the first project of this type for local institutions. The audience and professional public reacted much better than we expected and this has been accompanying the festival until today – says Darija Buzaković, General Manager of the festival. Support from film professionals gave strength to the event itself, which has featured some great names in the film world, such as Vittorio Baldi, Lordan Zafranović, Vesna Trivalić, Pjer Žalica and many others. – It was a nice, friendly support. Already in that first edition we had really big names at the festival. It was 2007, the Draft Law on Cinematography was still pending, film industry in Srpska had not yet been

created. It seemed natural that short film would be the best way to start – explains Buzaković. From the beginning, the festival has been supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Republika Srpska, the City of Banjaluka, diplomatic missions of the USA, Switzerland, Romania, British Council... After the first “Kratkofil”, the story about film industry in Srpska was launched, film production began, budgets were being allocated for film projects. “Kratkofil” is especially proud of that, says Buzaković: – In a way, we were the initiators of inception and development of film industry in Srpska.

 On the fortress: Outdoor movie theatre

“STALLION” CONQUERED THE JURY In 2013, despite financial problems and the minimum of available funds for culture, “Kratkofil Plus” confirms its status of the largest film festival in Srpska. At Kastel and the Youth Centre in Banjaluka, from July 24 to 28, excellent selection and carefully prepared side program did not fail the selected audience, more numerous than ever.

Reputation and Interest – The number of entries has doubled thanks to the benefits of online submissions and good reputation of the festival, built in these past years – Aleksandar Ilić, selector of “Kratkofil Plus”. SRPSK A  No 2  2013




 Evening screening at the Fortress Participants of “Kratkofil Junior”


Within the walls of Kastel, under July sky, in an outdoor movie theatre, the magic of motion picture filled the air. Many different stories were told, from different parts of the world. The jury was particularly captured by one from Sweden. Film A Noble Stallion by Swedish director Sofia Priftis, the jury members explained, was told like a fairytale. – The film is brave, irritating and funny, it never fulfills one’s expectations and has a fascinating esthetics. Since political correctness has become the most important social requirement, it is not only refreshing, but also necessary to revaluate it – explains a jury member, Božo Trkulja, director and film critic from Croatia, award winner for the best regional film at “Kratkofil Plus 2012”.

The Youngest Filmmakers – It is inspiring and entertaining to work on a project like this, especially since we were working with children who were very interested – says Dušica Ilić, coordinator of “Junior”. – Creating a film is a big unknown for children, and their curiosity has no limits. “Junior” is an opportunity for the children to tell their stories in film language, to learn the basics of film language and use it to express their creativity.


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In addition to Trkulja, the best films were selected by Korina Švingruber Ilić, director from Switzerland and the winner of the last year’s award for the best documentary film at “Kratkofil Plus”, and Daniel Ebner, art director of the Austrian Short Film Festival “Vienna Independent Shorts”. The award for the best feature film went to the film Human Factor directed by Thibault Le Texier from France, the best animated is Bendito Machine IV by Spanish director Jossie Malis, the best documentary is Arekara, The Life After directed by Momoko Seto in Japanese_French coproduction, award for experimental film went to Israeli director Dafna Mero (Washed Out), and the award for best regional film went to Croatian director Filip Peruzović (Coffee with Jam). In all categories, the jury also announced special recognitions. The audience award went to the film The Whistling Village by British director Nicholas Rowell. Members of this year’s jury did not have an easy task, and same goes for the selector of “Kratkofil Plus”, for whose official program, from the beginning until today, the number of applications has doubled.

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DEDICATED TO THE AUDIENCE In addition to the official program, at this year’s “Kratkofil Plus” the audience had a chance to see within “Panorama Plus” program Harry Dean Stanton: Partially Fiction, Pussy Riot: Punk Prayer, The Act of Execution, as well as an interesting omnibus Beehives created in a coproduction of many countries. – We are generally striving for documentaries, those that are socially and politically engaged. We also present feature films, also trying to present works which, in addition to artistic quality, also have a moral – says Vladan Petković, director of the program of Banjaluka festival. One of the unique characteristics of “Kratkofil Plus” is that it is also presenting long feature films, out of competition. – Short film festivals are usually very strict with respect to form and they see long feature film as something that is contrary to their concept. “Kratkofil Plus” is one of the few international film festivals in the country. It takes place in the city which now has only one movie theatre on the population of over 200,000, which is showing almost exclusively Hollywood and Serbian films. This indicates the special importance of “Kratkofil” and its new, artistically valuable and thematically current films, which would otherwise not be available to the wide audiences here – emphasizes Petković. – This

is a festival that exists primarily for the audience, and we think that this is much more important than strictness in terms of form. And the audience? Year after year, its number has been growing and today it is about 1,200 spectators only on the summer stage of Kastel. The festival also gives an opportunity of informal education for its audience, as well as an opportunity to meet the renowned film experts. This year, festival guests were also Mike Lerner and Maxim Pazdarovkin, directors of the film Pussy Riot: Punk Prayer. Interested people were able to talk to them after the screening of their film, and afterwards the directors enjoyed the beauty of Banjaluka and flavors of Serbian cuisine. This duo, just like many other guests from around the world, will remember this festival for unique films, wonderful audience and great atmosphere. The youngest participants ensured that the festival would not end with dancing and toasts in the area of “Secret Garden”, a garden on Kastel which was especially arranged for the festival, and which every evening hosted parties after the screenings. Under supervision of experienced coaches, they made their first film. Film The Apple of Discord, result of workshops “Kratkofil Junior”, was shown in the Youth Centre on July 28. With their talent, the children delighted even the experienced filmmakers.  SRPSK A  No 2  2013

 Everything at “Kratkofil” is charming, even the awards

 Entrance into the fortress, entrance into the Festival




Do Everything in

Your Power

By: Sandra Miletić

A cultural event is a driving force, it has a power to transform. It influences both the performers, the audience, and those who are responsible to provide support. Three young actors from Banjaluka, then alone and then unemployed, founded “Jazavac” from scratch. Now, they have seven seasons behind, fifteen premiers, a cult production, tow effective campaigns, performance at La MaMa Theatre in New York, established International Festival “Zaplet”... They have survived many challenges and difficult times, but it was all worth it


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hen, seven years ago, they decided to found a theatre, young actors from Banjaluka Mario Lukajić, Dragana Marić and Dejan Zorić Pinki, were not, they say, aware of what they were getting into. They had nothing – no space, no resources. Let alone money. But they have turned their dream into reality and Banjaluka got its City Theatre “Jazavac”. – Three of us, after graduating from The Academy of Arts in Banjaluka, were unemployed. One day, while we were having coffee and discussing what to do next, we came to an idea to found a theatre. Little by little, “Jazavac” was founded on April 26, 2006, and already on October 20 that year, we had our first production The Shape of Things. In this way, after five decades, Banjaluka got its third theatre – says Mario Lukajić, who is the director of “Jazavac” today. They were not wrong. Today, their City Theatre “Jazavac” is respected not only in Srpska, but in the entire region. They have seen their eighth season, had fifteen premiers, two campaigns, numerous guest performances (one of them at the famous La MaMa Theatre), fur times they organized “Zaplet” Festival, and they have also founded an acting studio for young people. – There were many difficult moments in these seven years, moments when it was much easier to give up everything and commit to other things. The past two seasons were especially difficult because of bad financial situation. Still, their enthusiasm, strong will to win and desire to work and, of course, love for theatre art, were stronger than that. And now, we have successfully brought their seventh season to an end – says Lukajić.

Name The theatre was named after the famous play by Petar Kočić “Jazavac pred sudom” (The Badger Before the Court). – The name was proposed by actor of the National Theatre of Srpska Željko Stjepanović. We deliberated for a long time and decided to give that name to our theatre – remembers Dejan Zorić.

Production Gavrilo, directed by Željko Stjepanović, written by Faust Paravidin, performed in mid 2007, became their cult performance. There is almost no theatre fan in Banjaluka who has not seen it at least once, and some people have not missed even a single performance. This comedy which, besides the already mentioned trio, also features Ljubiša Savanović and Draško Vidović, speaks exactly about young actors without employment and their problems. – “Jazavac” is building a repertoire dealing with problems of contemporary young people and that is why it has attracted audience. We are struggling for theatre to survive and we cannot afford the luxury of making mistakes – says actor Ljubiša Savanović, a new member of “Jazavac” since early this year and a member of the Management Board, who has already participated in many productions of this theatre. After this they were making one production after another, and Dejan, Dragana and Mario invested a lot of time and effort into each one of them. It has happened that they would mount the set design themselves, sell tickets or be organizers. – “Jazavac” is primarily a place where young people can show their knowledge

 Images from the life of a true city theatre

 Members of “Jazavac” after performance at La MaMa Theatre in New York

THE BEGINNING Just like in any line of work, the beginning was difficult. – We did not know how, or what, but we did not abandon our idea. We had many goals and expectations, we received many advices, but we also had many negative experiences – says Dejan Zorić. Their first production The Shape of Things, was performed at the National Theatre of RS, which helped them since they did not have their own space, attracted big audiences. SRPSK A  No 2  2013



 Great interest for the performance of “Jazavac” at the National Theatre of Srpska

when they graduate from the academy and a place that popularizes theatre art – says Zorić. Within the theatre, in 2011 they also founded Acting Studio “Jazavac”, the goal of which is to provide cultural and artistic education, to build potential and help in development of personalities of children and youth through acting exercises. The program of this Studio, which is led by actress of the National Theatre of RS Slađana Zrnić, is adapted for the children of elementary and secondary school age, and the students have already performed their first production: Andrija. WE ARE MISSING A BOARD The “Jazavac” team has also solved their biggest problem – the place for their theatre. Even this did not happen easily. From the city of Banjaluka they got a space within “Obilićevo” Hall, in the settlement with the

“Zaplet” Every year in late October since 2009, the City Theatre “Jazavac” has been organizing “Zaplet” – the International Festival for Young Actors, which is international and competitive. Our goal is for this festival to become an event of exceptional significance for the city of Banjaluka and to present the most important authors, productions and phenomena of the contemporary art world.


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same name. But the former movie theatre auditorium “Vrbas” was, to put it mildly, unsuitable. It had to be adapted for use. That is why they have launched campaign with an interesting name “We are missing a board”, within which they have collected funds for opening the theatre. Many people still remember the concert “Around the World” in Banski dvor, in late 2007, with which “Jazavac” started the campaign and during which three young actors were supported by numerous famous colleagues – actors, musicians and other public figures. With help from the donors, after a year and a half of hard work, they formally opened their theatre on April 23, 2009. – We have turned that space into a cultural centre, and for me this is our greatest success – says Zorić. Lukajić emphasized that, since the opening, more than 50 thousand people have visited various programs of “Jazavac”: – This is an exceptional figure, especially if we take into account that this auditorium with 233 seats was empty for fifteen years before that. We are especially proud because we have also attracted new theatre audience, namely those who previously did not go to theatre. In “Jazavac” they are especially proud of their tour to New York, where they performed at the famous experimental theatre

La MaMa, on Off-Broadway, five years ago. Namely, already at the beginning of their second theatrical season, “Jazavac” had this unique and exclusive opportunity to participate in international coproduction Brothers, which had its world premiere in New York. Brothers is the title of a poem written by the famous “Mother of contemporary theatre” Ellen Stewart, who was the founder and for a long time artistic director of La MaMa. The production was directed by Andrea Paciotto. – The first production of Hair was performed at La MaMa. Acting there was truly an incredible experience and a great honor for “Jazavac” . We are the only theatre from B&H which performed at La MaMa – says Lukajić. THE FUTURE – Establishing a cultural institution today means a lot and it is very brave to decide to do this. In seven years, “Jazavac” has managed to make many important productions and other artistic projects. It is clear how important it is that Banjaluka, before all, has another theatre on a population like this. Certainly, this is not easy, but it is possible if you work diligently and honestly day and night. Repertoire of “Jazavac” certainly has its audience because it is different from other theatres in Banjaluka – says Savanović.

They are satisfied with the results and the number of spectators, but they still need to work on professionalization. – Unfortunately, in these seven years we have not had a single employee. We have had many associates, but they all worked as free lancers, some of them even without a pay. “Jazavac” needs the elementary conditions for work – emphasizes Mario Lukajić. They have no intention to slow down, let alone to stop. Their goal is to create two or three new productions per year. – Our next premiere is planned for the fall. Before that, we have the International Festival for Young Actors “Zaplet 05”. In the next season, the members of “Jazavac” Studio will also have their premiere, and we are especially proud of them. It will be interesting – concludes Savanović. 

 Cast of the production “Gavrilo”

Productions Premiere of the last production in the season, “Art”, took place on April 28. To date, the audience has also had an opportunity to see the other productions of this theatre: “Bliže”, “How to Kill Your Wife and Why”, “Secret Diary of Adrian Mole”, “PMS – Post Male Stress”, “Glasses of Elton John”, “Mr. Bean”, “Dr. Freud’s Patient”, “Brothers”, Concert “Around the World”, “Gavrilo”, “The Shape of Things”, “Pygmalion HHH”, “Greta, Page 89” and “The Pig”. The productions of “Jazavac” also feature actors Nikolina Jelisavac, Slađana Zrnić, Marina Vodeničar, Boris Šavija, Zlatan Vidović, and others.

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Life Is, Naturally, a Dance The programs took place in seven cities of Srpska. There were more than three hundred performers from all over the world, from Columbia to Lithuania, from Mexico to Cyprus. It was an opportunity to meet cultures of many nations and present our own. As in the previous years, the Festival was supported by the president and government of Srpska, as well as the city of Banjaluka By: Rada Popović

Photo: “Dukatfest” Archive



or four days (from June 15 to 19), in seven cities of Srpska – Banjaluka, Laktaši, Prnjavor, Mrkonjić Grad, Modriča, Derventa and Gradiška – the audience attended numerous festival programs. Performances of folklore ensembles, presentations of handcrafts, exhibitions of photographs, sales exhibition of SRPSK A  БРОЈ 2  2013

souvenirs, folk costume show. The main competition evening was held among the walls of the Banjaluka Kastel, the old fortress which gave the entire event a special beauty and charm. Among eight competing teams, the winner was the folklore ensemble “Othello” from Cyprus. “Beograd” ensemble

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from Serbia won the best style award, and the Central Cultural and Artistic Youth Society “Veselin Masleša” from Srpska won the award for the most authentic performance. – The organization of the festival is very requesting, both financially- and organizationally-wise. Both before and during the festival, our team was concen-

Support – More than 10.000 people followed the festival activities, most of them at concerts in Banjaluka and Modriča. “Dukatfest” thus realized its role of a “traveling festival”. Every year we have the support of the president and government of Srpska, as well as the city of Banjaluka – says Jovana Simić, director of “Dukatfest”.


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trated only on this project and worked 24 hours a day. Organizing this festival implies activities from October to June of the following year. Announcing the competition, selecting the best ensembles, organizing their arrival, activities of the ensembles in Srpska during the festival, live TV broadcast… We have reached the level that ensembles from all over the world now call us with special recommendations – says Jovana Simić, director of “Dukatfest”, the only international folklore festival in Srpska. Every year the festival hosts 300 participants from several countries of the world. Folklore has had an important place in cherishing tradition, preserving

identity and entire cultural development in Srpska for centuries. Therefore the organizer of the festival, “Mission NT”, decided to bring different cultures to the audience, as well as to promote our own cultural heritage. The Festival is also proud of being the only member of the World Association of Folklore Art at UNESCO (IOV) from B&H. SUITCASE FULL OF IMPRESSIONS Ensembles from Columbia, Mexico, Cyprus, Serbia, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania and Srpska, eight of them, presented the folklore heritage of their country with singing, dancing and music, at the same

time getting to the know the beauties of Serbian tradition. – During the previous six years, we hosted ensembles from almost all sides of the world. Besides competing, they also come to spend a few days in our country.

Dinner The organizer of the sixth “Dukatfest” held a dinner for participants and friends of the festival. The sponsor of the gala evening was the General Consulate of Serbia in Banjaluka. Besides the general consul Vladimir Nikolić, also present were numerous officials from politics, culture and media of Srpska. The evening was dedicated to Serbian tradition, presented by members of the “Beograd” folklore ensemble from Serbia. Later all festival participants performed their traditional music.

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E N C O U N T E R S Every year we organize sightseeing and entertainment for them in all cities which indirectly participate in the festival, so that, besides prizes, they take beautiful impressions to their countries – says Ms. Simić. Pervin Axoi Ipekcioglu, director of the award winning ensemble “Othello” from Cyprus, describes “Dukatfest” as a wonderful experience: – Our ensemble performed before the audience in your city’s main square. We were excellently accepted. Our melodies are similar, so I think that’s why everyone reacted so well, some even danced. I really think all the best about the festival and we’ll recommend it to other ensembles we meet at festivals around the world. Representatives of the folklore ensemble from Hidalgo, Mexico heard of “Dukatfest” in Dubai, during their participation in a festival. – We checked the website of your festival and decided to apply. We didn’t regret it – tells us Luis Nahim Gonzalez Martinez, one of the members of this folklore ensemble. – We had a wonderful time during these four days in your country. The hosts were excellent. Besides Banjaluka, we also had a concert in Modriča, and the audience greeted our performance with a loud applause. Especially beautiful


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was the competition evening in the Banjaluka fortress. We truly enjoyed it. The Columbian University of Valya ensemble was founded in 1986, and its director Emerson Francisco Kastaneda praised the wonderful reception and organization: – I think this is one of the festivals with most activities and most interesting for participants. It’s not just about pure competing. Everything was really wonderful, from the reception in your government and city, visit to the resort near the city, folk costume show, exhibitions, to our concerts in the main square, where we were delighted by the audience. The competition evening didn’t bring us victory, but it was very nice. We prepared an especially interesting performance for your audience, which gave us a long applause after the performance, which is a sufficient prize for us. Very good festival, very interesting country and friendly people. I hope we’ll have a chance to see each other again. Considering the success of the festival up to know, say the organizers, their plan is to continue the same way. They’re announcing preparations for the next festival in 2014 already from October and expecting more ensembles than in the previous years. 

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Music Heritages of the Balkans “Trag” (“Trace”) of the trace. In the depths of time and memories, in forgotten treasuries, they reveal our golden musical threads and we hear them in ourselves again. They adjust it to modern arrangements and sensibility, showing that tradition is not anachronous but timeless and that we always have to return to the ancient in a young way. They amazed Russia, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, and revealed the most to ourselves

By: Ljubiša Trivić


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Photo: “Trag” Archive

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radition and cultural heritage can tell different stories about a nation. In Serbian lands, folk songs, as a unique historical manuscript, are sometimes the best way to find out about lives and dreams of our ancestors. If we listen to those songs more carefully, if we feel their rhythm and energy, we’ll see that they speak about our ancestors as much as they speak about us. Ethno band “Trag” is an example of young guardians of tradition. For an entire decade now, they have been dedicating their artistic work to traditional music of the Balkans and its preservation. They do it in the most beautiful manner – by singing and representing it, very successfully, to people around the world. They performed with the band “Vrelo” in Kusturica’s opera Time of Gypsies, with the Teofilović brothers, Biljana Krstić and “Bistrik”, “Istočnik” octet, the band “Iva”, Ivana Žigon, “Kosovski Božuri”, as well as world famous names, such as Russian singers Inna Zhelannaya and Marina Devyatova, Bulgarian ensemble “Angelita”, Tuvin ensemble “Hun Hur Tu”, Divna Ljubojević and “Melod”...


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Loving and Living – You don’t only love ethno music, you live it. Most of us have been engaged in this kind of music from our childhood, in the family or cultural and artistic societies. Only great love towards it, despite the obstacles of this profession, has made “Trag” survive all these years – underline the members of this vocal and instrumental ensemble.

Members of this vocal and instrumental ensemble were brought together, according to their words, by Serbian folk art. The band was formed by several enthusiasts from the Cultural and Artistic Society “Slavko Mandić” from Laktaši, while, as they say, Goran Ćetojević takes most credits for it. At the time such music was not as popular, he had the will and energy to engage in it, and to bring together several people in love with the Balkan cultural heritage. – When we started a whole decade ago, people were skeptical at first. It took a long time to break the prejudices, especially of young people, that the music we

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are engaged in is outdated, meant only for older generations. Today, after years of efforts and faith in our work, we are happy to see full concert halls everywhere in the region – says Valentina Milekić, art director of “Trag”. The idea was born, says Valentina, from the wish to save folk music from oblivion and bring it closer to the ear of modern audience. They embedded traditional rhythms and melodies into their own arrangements, emphasized old instruments, such as old percussion instruments, fid-


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dles, pipe organs, caval. Supported with classic and modern instruments, their performances of old folk songs become unique. They are modern, yet they hold within everything that makes them cultural heritage. HIDDEN JEWELS OF THE NATIONAL TREASURY – We are happy to be able to do what we love and to have the opportunity to present to the world all the best our na-

tion has: our folk music, authentic classics of the Balkan area. Wherever we performed, people were amazed with out folk melodies and rhythms – adds Valentina Milekić. During the years of working together, the love towards tradition and Serbian cultural heritage brought the members of the band closer in a special way. They like to say that “Trag” is a big music family. Their sound is now recognized around the world, they are invited to big world festivals, and their music has become

very popular. They believe that one of the main reasons for it is the incredible musical richness of the Balkans, on which they base their work. – We noticed different reactions to music from different parts of the Balkans, depending on the place we perform in and the type of audience. Sometimes the audience is intrigued by the rustic bass of Krajina songs, permeating from our arrangements; sometimes it’s the specific Macedonian and Kosovo melodies, sometimes unusual Bulgarian rhythms… SRPSK A  No 2  2013



Honor – It was a great honor for us to perform at the Day of Slavic Literacy and Culture in Moscow, before thousands of viewers, together with their great ensembles, such as the Russian State Symphonic Orchestra, Russian State Folk Chorus, leading singers of the Russian opera, ballet and national theater. Having the opportunity to present your traditional music in such an environment is truly something extraordinary – emphasizes Valentina Milekić, art director of “Trag”.

Balkan music is so varied and interesting, that people have never been indifferent to it – says Valentina. The band has published two albums, excellently accepted by both critics and audience. The first album, “Sounds of the Balkans”, was published in 2008, and the second “Legacy” was officially presented in July this year, marking one decade of their work. – The greatest challenge is to select songs which have never been performed before. The tendency of new ethno bands is to play already heard and known songs, in order to make their program more attractive. It’s good and nice, but we mustn’t forget that the national treasury is full of jewels hidden under layers of time and history.


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One of our tasks is to find already forgotten and lost songs, and to try to save them from oblivion – emphasizes Valentina. FUTURE RELATED TO THE PAST In their work, they use ethnomusicology material and recordings from radio archives. It’s more difficult and requires more effort, but the pleasure is, they say, incomparably bigger. “Trag” is the first ethno band which revived the music of Lijevče Polje, the area they originate from, because these sounds were officially processed in ethnomusicology and presented as authentic only in 2007. – We tried to present the sound of Lijevče songs, perhaps a bit raw and rough for our times, in a new manner. To bring them to the level of the beautiful songs of Kosovo and Macedonia, which are, due to their melodies, more suitable for performing – says Valentina Milekić. It’s a true pleasure, she says, when they reveal a song from their country, for which even they didn’t know it existed, to people around the Balkans. During the previous few years, “Trag” has been making a series of successes throughout Europe. They are the first ensemble from Srpska given the opportunity to perform at the Day of Slavic Literacy and Culture in Moscow, one of the biggest Russian state and religious holidays. The central event, the gala concert, has been held for years now in the Moscow Kremlin, in the presence of the highest state and church officials. They had successful tours in the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland. At these performances, they were especially amazed by the fact how much power Serbian and Balkan music, as well as the emotions embedded in it, has to connect the seemingly distant and incompatible areas. The future of “Trag” is mainly related to the past and searching for new songs and sounds. They hope that they’ll be able to take out numerous jewels of Serbian and Balkan old folk music from the depths of time and save it from oblivion. 

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Stay True to Yourself To Be Great, but

“Trebinje, my hometown, will always remain my city, but I must keep going. In Banjaluka they have accepted me as their own. At this years Mediterranean Games, where I lost the medal for one hundredth of a second, I learned not to despair over failures, but to continue the battle with even greater zeal. Medals will come. I am impressed with the personality of Novak Đoković, primarily because he has preserved his personality on the top of the world, normality, kindness and charm“


any sports stories begin with no premeditation. Far from the eyes of the public, without great desires and ambitions, in an environment that does not even resemble the championship outcomes, some future champions are being forged. They have no idea that the time will require from them to be better, faster and stronger than the ot-

By: Dejan Bulajić hers, because only time knows who is up to what and who will travel far. The story of Ivana Ninković, the best swimmer of Republika Srpska and B&H, is one such story. She started practicing sports at the recommendation of her doctors, because of her lung problems. At that time, the girl from Trebinje did not know what was just beginning in her life. SRPSK A  No 2  2013

 Olympic village, London 2012  Selection of the best athlete 2012




Photographs: Archives of the interlocutor

– At the beginning it was a useful recreation, primarily for my health. It has turned out, however, that I discovered a talent in this way. I felt wonderful in the water, and I wanted to explore how much I can actually achieve. And so, in 2003, only one year after I had started swimming, I achieved the first records and first medals on the state level. It was clear that I had found one of my most important life calls. But, as it usually happens, no story that smells of success is not without difficulties. – I started practicing swimming at the club “Leotar”, in Trebinje, my hometown, which only has an outdoor pool. Problems began when, in the fall and winter season, I felt the need to continue training, and that was not possible in my city. That is why, with the help from my family, I traveled to Herceg-Novi a few times a week, which dictated a strenuous rhythm. That lasted for a decade, until in September last year I moved to Banjaluka, where everything is within reach. Still, Trebinje has remained in her heart. – Whether because it is my hometown, or for some other reason, by to me Trebinje is the most beautiful, and I have traveled a lot and visited many cities around the world. In the town where you grow up every little detail is associated with special memories. I admit, it was not an easy decision for me to decide and move to Banjaluka. I suffered from nostalgia for a long time, most of all for my family and old friends I had grown up with, through education and long years of training. But obligations would not allow you to deal only with your own feelings, and so I slowly adjusted to the new environment, in which I feel really well. A VIEW OF THE WORLD FROM CRKVINA If someone would ask her to take them to a special place in her hometown, she would not think twice.

Competition – I think it would be better for me if I could face stronger local competition and equal rivals, because that would stimulate me to train even more and advance more. Like this, within the borders of Republika Srpska, and even B&H, I am my own sole competitor, while in the region I have a somewhat stronger competition, but I am still superior on 50, 100 and 200 meters breast stroke.


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– It would certainly be Gračanica Church. It houses the relics of the poet and great patriot Jovan Dučić. It is built on the hill called Crkvine, on the place which offers a wonderful view over Trebinje. Sometimes it seems that the width of this view merges with the strength of the spirit and rhythm of poetry of the great poet. Unforgettable moments. Encounter with Banjaluka has brought new challenges. – It was a sudden change in my life. Transfer from a small and familiar town into a big city where I did not have many friends or stable strongholds. The school was also new, professors and friends, since I am in the fourth grade of secondary school. The accent is also new, as well as

mentality of the people. But I was received well by everybody. They have accepted me as their own and they are trying to help me. Finally, the training system has also changed significantly. Now I work much more, I have two trainings per day, for five or six hours, as opposed to three trainings per week in Trebinje. Maybe this is better, because all this has preventing me from remembering the rhythm in which I lived for so long, and for which I would be pining for a long time. She has no dilemma as to her future life directions – back to Trebinje, or further, toward the world and the unknown. – I will bring all of my memories with me, as the most valuable gift of childhood, but I will not go back. I will keep going forward.

Banjaluka has given her excellent conditions for training and career advancement. – Most of all it is important that we have available an excellent swimming complex, with an indoor Olympic size pool, which is one of the best in the Balkans. In the Club “Olympus”, for which I compete, they have accepted me as if I had started here. The atmosphere is excellent, we understand each other well, which is very important for a successful work of a sports team. It is important for me that I have excellent cooperation with the coach Željko Panić, who used to participate at the Olympic Games in Athens and Sidney, and his experiences are precious for me. Really, I only have words of praise and it seems I have chosen the good moment to move to Banjaluka. SRPSK A  No 2  2013




Ivana Ninković with Novak Đoković at the Olympic village in London, 2012


This establishes her in real ambitions at competitions that are still ahead. – I am young, but I already have experiences of participating at greatest competitions worldwide, from world and European championships, to Olympic Games. I have shown, I think, that I have potential for the greatest challenges. I am still haunted by the memory of the Mediterranean Games this year, where I lost the medal for one hundredth of a second. It hurt, but it helped me realize that we should not despair over our failures, but keep going on with even greater zeal. Anyway, I always remember the words of my mother, who fen says: “Who knows what this is good for?” Maybe all this comes back one day. I hope medals will come in the near future. If I do not think that way, I will always remain on the level of an average swimmer. Young people often need strong models in order to choose right directions in their lives. – I had my models too. These were primarily swimmers Nađa Higl and Milorad Čavić. Nađa, because she is an exceptional swimmer who, by the power of her will and great efforts, achieved results which exceeded her real abilities. Milorad is a special story. He is a world important phenomenon both as the swimmer and as the person. To them I will add the man who has been my beacon through sports and life. That is Novak Đoković. I am impressed by his personality which embodies strength of a character. There are few of those who can be such champions, and still preserve the charm of noble-hearted people, such as Novak. To be big, but stay true to yourself – this really is a challenge that only the best are up to. Promising sports career, as much as it seems attractive, will not jeopardize something to which Ivana wants to dedicate an active part of her life. – Despite the fact that swimming gives me great pleasure and satisfaction through medals and records, education is still more important to me. It is something that will define my life decisions. As much as I am proud of my sports results, I am also proud of the fact that I am a good, straight “A” student. Still, although I am only a year away from graduating from high school, I cannot tell right now SRPSK A  БРОЈ 2  2013

which university I will choose. I have one more year to make that decision, and desires are plenty and they make me very indecisive. PRICE OF THE LIFE OF A CHAMPION Free moments are very rare. – I like to read a lot. School reading list has been occupying my attention for a long time. I also like to read good crime novels, which maybe reflects my personality, very curious and prone to investigating. Music also means a lot to me, it relaxes me, and I like to listen to music before the competitions. Especially pop and R&B. The first three on my top list are “Linkin Park”, Riana and David Guetta. I used to play piano for seven years and I attended primary school of music. I even performed at the state competition and placed second. Talent was undoubtedly there in this field as well, but the desire to be a swimmer was stronger, so I decided not to go to the secondary school of music. Films? I like to see a good comedy. I m not a big fan, I don’t follow movie industry with such an enthusiasm, I don’t have a favorite actor or actress. Going out. – During my stay in Banjaluka I have rarely had an opportunity to go out and spend time with friends, because competitions are very frequent, almost every weekend, and I have less time than before. Because of preparations and training, I cannot decide to pursue that type of entertainment. But generally, I like going out. When I have an opportunity to be able to afford that, then I usually go to local clubs with good and loud music. Traveling is the best part of her career. – It excites me. I don’t know whether it is because I am a Sagittarius, or something else, but I like to travel a lot. It fills me with positive energy and makes me richer. I simply absorb countless new impressions. I especially remember my trips to Shanghai two years ago, to the World Championship, and last year to London, to the Olympic Games. I have a strong desire to visit Australia, especially Sidney, because those are the country and the city where I would like to live. Who knows, maybe my wishes come true one day. 

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