30. 12. 2017
Mirko Dimic

Never go wild in that sweet delight

With my fingerprints I crossed
over covers of books
disorderly scattered on the attic
The dust was lifting
on the light of small window in the air
just like a swarm of flies in the summer.
You could smell the past;
I saw it on the floor, without covers
naked and free.
It had a smell of a passionate reader
that smell was strong like a brandy to my heart
I enjoyed in it, touching it, reading it with fire in my eyes
Something stopped me at the page fourteen.
At the top of the page
there was something written in ink:
“From the bottom of my heart to my lovely Emma”
I looked at these words for a long time
It started taking me all over, it was like a poison running through
my veins,
my heart began to pound like drums of hell
I felt like burning, I saw her, I saw her with my own eyes
in the attic with a smell of past
there she was in a white dress, long legs, barefooted,
standing on her toes with open arms
Emma was calling me
Like Beatrice called Dante
Her chapped lips were colored
with dark red paint of grapes
I longed for her, crying, desiring , wishing
to reach her, to touch her, to kiss her,
some strange evil dragged me towards her,
her beauty,
cracked me in thousand pieces,
I started to drown in my own passion
my skin started melting off my face, like in front
of a close sun
I couldn’t handle that poisonous beauty
I threw the book away,
and it dropped back in the dust in the past
I ran down from the attic in fear, running far away from the book,
from her
Emma was his, she was his curse
just his and no one else’s, no one could have her
he trapped her in that sign forever.

I am tired of the long nights without the moon,
I am tired of the smiling faces without happiness,
false humor and petty souls,
cold wind from the north and rainy autumn afternoons,
I am tired of betrayal, frauds, explanations,
painful meaningless fights, compliance
under false authorities,
fear, leg shaking, wrong loves, painful breakups.
I am tired of days without football, loud women, plastic fruit,
phone ringing, sirens sounds.
I am tired of bills, thoughtlessly studying,
cold water, under cooked meat,
I am tired of disease, illness, sickness, malady,
I am tired of death, losses, I am a bit tired of life as well.
But I know I will get up each day ready to be tired again and again
but that’s life my boy.

The thrill is gone
In this lonely night
The match has ended
In this scary fight
It was me against you
And you against me
Sky against the sea
blue against blue
Two imperfect creatures
Found in this crazy world
Fixing like a bone to the bone
Alone with alone
They became two
At first it seemed like
A love at the first sight
But there was something cursed
That pushed them to the fight
It was that strange thing called pride
That drowns people in love
To the end it rides
Just like that there was no more
There was me against me and you against you
Bone separated from the bone
Nothing has left except the flesh
You looked at me on my knees
with my head on your legs
you moved your fingers through my hair
we knew that was it
and there was nothing anymore to say
Like Hans Kastrop spoke with Madam Chauchat
I spoke to you through flesh, time, rust and bones
In that infinity time through Cosmos, chaos and black holes
We came back to Earth
Standing across each other
It was only me against me
And you against you

The wind was strong and sharp to my face
Walking through the woods looking for my soul and grace
There was something strange in those trees
As I remembered my grandmother’s words:
„Trees speak“
Down the path covered with dirt I took my walk.
The wind was strong and sharp to my face,
Up in the sky there was a birds’ dance
In that peace of nature,
I felt the presence of a creature
It wasn’t one of the beasts you can
find in the dark in the green trees
It was something that follows you everywhere
It was that cold breath on your neck
Your biggest enemy
Your mind and head
In the shadow of the trees
I felt the presence of the fear
Is that my biggest enemy?
Yes it is,
Hard to fight when your enemy
Can’t been seen.
So, the question that is before us here
Is how to fight an enemy you can’t see?
The answer is here,
the end of the path is near,
The human, strongest in the chain of the world
Has no enemies in nature
No beast, or plant can harm
Him as his fear and mind
I’m breathing the air while the wind
plays the sweet music with the leaves
This is our heaven and we should live
with nature in peace
But the greatest trick that the devil ever pulled
Was to convince the people that he doesn’t exists
The devil is the human and the fear is the beast
We fight the wrong enemies and that’s our fault
We should stop listening to our mind,
and start listening to the trees
Like the best friends,
in the golden era we would comeback
When the nature was one with the men
Respect each other stop the reality
and dream to the end.

We will disappear without a trace,
Without a trace,
across the stars from the other side
our bond is broken
I am deathly holding for the word “love”
Help me embrace the hell
Bloody heart full of anger
Beats for you now
I am deathly holding for the word “love”
Without any strength full of pain
We will disappear without a trace,
Without a trace,
Flying across the skies,
across the seas,
trying to reach you
but your trace is hidden
and the stars are fading
Please, just say a word in this dark
just to remember me for what I’m fighting for
show that you are real,
show me that you are near
I am deathly holding for the word „love“
weak and broken from this hell
with the last atom of hope
I am praying to dream
In this lonely darkness night
full of terror and fright
I desperately need your words, darling
like a fire that burns all the away.
Oh, I know it is the end
that knocks on my door
My heart is slowing down
but I love you even more
Years and years have passed
Not a word from you
I am scared that I have lost you
The last thing that dies is hope
they say
But I have buried mine long time ago
in that dark night full of terror
and fright
The only thing that is left for me is
that I deathly hold for the word “love”
We will disappear without a trace
without a trace
Like stars that are fading away
but that word “love”
so simple but, so complex
full of me and full of you
will stay
will forever stay.

Where does the darkness begin?
Is there always an end, and what is an end
exactly for a man?
In the days of sadness, boredom, and some really
sweet melancholy, I think about
the beginning and about the end of my existence,
often looking myself in a mirror, looking
for answers,
Who am I?
Where do I come from?
What am I doing?
Where are we exactly pointed to go?
In the absence of answers
I would console myself
that a man has been born with
only one purpose
to rush towards death.
But this kind of an end doesn’t satisfy me
It must be something bigger
The death by itself can’t be just the
vanish of the flash and bones
There must be a trophy
for the runner at the end of a race
Maybe the whole thing about that
scary thing called death is just misunderstood
It’s possible that nothing has an ending
or a beginning,
Maybe the beginning and an ending
are the same line
Our lives go by from a minute to a minute
every second a new beginning starts and it ends
I wonder,
where I am on that line?

Who I am?
The question that I often ask myself,
while I walk like a wanderer through the dark, toxic clouds of people
It seems like a cold sidewalks of the lost cities are my chosen path.
While the freezing breath of winter tears me apart a thought has been
born inside of my head.
How many sidewalks and streets does the world have?
Fear seizes me…
I didn’t choose this path,
but I walk it!
I didn’t choose my life,
but I live it!
Reader, take a look at the mirror, It’s you,
Yes, that perfect creation of the nature that’s you,
We both know that, but something is strange isn’t it?
Yes, I can feel that it’s coming to you very fast , now the heat is taking
you all over and there it is, you ask yourself,
Who am I?

Woke up this morning and went straight to the cops,
I said:
My bloody hands must be stopped!
They laughed and laughed
and finally said: Go home poet your pen can’t make pain
I went home sad and disappointed,
thinking if the law can’t help me who can?
I took a pen my deadly weapon and looked at my hands
It seems like they are not as bad
I started writing on that white cloud on my desk
Thinking it’s time to take down all the masks
Shall I write about sorrow and pain?
No, today I will skip!
Today I’ll write about black and white,
order and chaos
me and you, you and me
Ying and Yang
flower and a bee…
I will write about you like Poe
wrote about Annabel Lee,
and my heart will be as big
as the world’s biggest sea
while the blood flows from my pen
I will remember you with every word,
giving me hope and to the world.
I wanna be yours, yes, that could save me
I wanna be your knight, yes, that braves me
In this deep ocean of pain and sorrow that scared me
you were a drop that cured me.
It was a Wednesday you remember,
you were standing on the spring sun
In the red dress, smiling like a muse,
Your hair like a straws of gold were heaven to my eyes
I was looking at you thinking to approach,
and just as you know,
Someone came out of nowhere like a storm taking,
All that I dreamed for
He took my bravery, my cure, my flower and my Lee
There was only left lonely broken wings of bee
No more flying in the sky.
There was only room for a goodbye.
I never knew your name, or you ever knew who I am
We could have a pretty life you know,
We could have children and a warm home.
But it is what it is,
My hands will be covered with blood so would be my pen
I will kill you all over in my poems again and again
I know I can’t help myself,
I will kill you on the paper, in my dreams,
Tomorrow after tomorrow again and again
If the law can’t help me as well
Tell me please who can?

Never go wild in that sweet delight
The night is strange and full of fright

Never go wild in that sweet delight
cause world is not friendly and full of fight

Be brave my friend,
even if you know you are fragile and gent

The body can be weak,
but the soul must be strong

Even if you get hurt
choose what is right, but not what is wrong

Never go wild in that sweet delight
cause love can hurt,
but it is a beautiful butterfly flight,

In the days of sorrow and grief
make a strong hug to your believes

Never go wild in that sweet delight
Understand everything, learn and know
In the world full of darkness be the shining light
Trust everyone but yourself the most
Because fear is tricky and deceiving

Know who your friends are and keep them close
forgive to the enemies because the hate nothing knows

Enjoy the silence when you are alone
because then you meet yourself the most

Never go wild in that sweet delight
something that seems broken is inside bright

Fly up and up
meet the sky, feel the light

Think about what is strange to you
dream about the heaven and stars

Touch the water like a child
Make love to the woman like for the first time

Life is short and it can end soon
The days don’t have to be special

Inspiration is in little things
you will find it out just watch the moon

Never go wild in that sweet delight
be a wolf and know your pack

Never forget that you will be on top
and sometimes on the bottom and back

Never go wild in that sweet delight
be one with the nature and tame the beasts
of your mind

Never go wild in that sweet delight
remember your good days, just as bad
Love yourself and your kind

Because you have a purpose
and you must find out what that is

Never go wild in that sweet delight
because it is called life
and life is sometimes sweet
sometimes harsh

Never give up
It’s a new day
stand up and fight..

Translated from Serbian by author

30. 12. 2017
Dorijan Dobric

14 kilometers of walking distance on beach while moon creates shadow of ourselves

I can’t remember the time,
When I wasn’t in this train,
All my lives and thoughts,
Were just as yours, in vain,

They proudly represent themselves,
They are gentle, they caress,
But there is nothing but his perfection
The reflection of his perfection,
They caress.

They are proud, they are round,
They are glass, they are cloud,
They are seats in the train,
‘t goes round and round
And It rises again,
in a ground, in a ground
dawn of mind is found,
to caress.

They are proud, they are round,
They are glass, they are cloud,
They are seats in the train,
‘t goes round and round
And It rises again,
in a ground, in a ground
dawn of mind is found,
to caress


Her arrival was most opportune, as I stood there looking at some-
thing that I’ve never seen before.
My current thoughts unstable, and my mind rushes through time,
hurting my spirit.
Her arrival was most opportune, as I said, she held fire in her arms,
yet her body felt like water.
At the moment, just when cloud dyed senses, I knew that beauty in-
dulged my presence.
When you peel the surface, and take deep dive, the only scene, ever
played, is fire that feels like water.
Since I am human, and limited with flesh, I can only follow in-
comprehensive flash, but I have seen the beauty, just as see you now.
She held fire in her arms, yet her body felt like water.


In my life, I have only two possessions: books, which count in number
not more than one hundred and fifty five,

And two instruments, the two dearest to me, in which I wondrously
And I live happily.

But for some deep, dark and inexplicable reason you want me to have
even more,
Much more,
Much more than I need.

So I gave my time and boredom to rise myself in your relentless eyes,
In your profound and steep yellow eyes,
Indulging your greed.

And when you find me in the street, penniless, without food aside,
Selling my instruments, two by one,
Giving priceless cheap books and law abide,
Please don’t give me money from your greed,
I beg you, once again,
Please proceed.

Story of lifetime of happiness
not so much

I thought that I ever
Sever, never serve
under such nerve
Never mind perversion
that will blur my vision.

Owe it to yourself,
As if prime minister,
Always so sinister,
Not truly believing anyone.

My supreme craft is annihilation
Of beer draft, will you suspend
the rules daft, deer hunted to be eaten,
So happy to everafter, ending laughter to everlast.

Feed me, provide me news feed me daily,
Well indeed, well and good, and if not,
Not truly overpassing the forced impasse.

All of them will lay on grass,
Metal coins with sound of brass,
Cosy, cosy, thick as a singing glass,
I have an early class,
Member of, whatever, I had a blast.

Oh so radiant, oh so blissful,
Insightful, red bull for breakfast I have,
In his own particularity,
In its own singularity,
One not to be able to see
It all foreseen,
It all complete.

I don’t want to compete,
I just want to sit and enhance my wit,
Just to deny division
Between light and sith,
Oh just shut the pack of cigars,
They will be stale,

Thank you, Shakespeare

That my sense is brought here near
I do surpass the tender lover’s fear
Before the time in which I am I tremble
In which I am to see your lovely heart
Yours is mine as I am yours, we together assemble
To crystallize these words and renew emotion
As you speak, my spirits put in motion
Before the time in which I am I tremble
In the sea of fullness, richness, brightness
We live. Given as gifts on days of birth
My being is. With you my body helpless
Wants to fall apart as towers of filth
For I am clean before you like skies of heaven
‘cause my spirit, my soul, to you’s ever given.

Thank you, Shakespeare II

Nothing but hill had my own will
In my will they leave the testament alone
Peel the skin ‘till the lovely bone
Stone to death ‘till the corpse still

And lay down ‘till dawn down
And up the willing crown.

Everything is Robert but no one is Rob
The thieves of Cologne will rob
The columns of their lie with deceased
In their last moments, will to live increased

And lean towards the mass
The word to come, to pass,

Things vary weary, up to the hill dreamy
Not that why should I have all the meaning
Less than by the river, shot gleaning
Through the sky sun in the snow creamy

Shaken spear, pierce and steer,
Bought a book and illuminated clear
With all my soul I thank you, Shakespeare.


I have been waiting you to call
I needed that electric sound to bring back comfort to my soul
But the room remains silent.
I have been waiting you to call
Starring at your words floating within these walls, words that you
spoke with no reason, so gentle, for they are carved in my memory
like letters in stone.
I have been waiting you to call
Even your face blur, and name sometimes hardly remembered, I can
still hear your voice, the only voice I can hear.
I have been waiting you to call
Give my body reason to move, with your thoughts inside my mind, I
will make sorrow lost, as we dance to the Sun, leaving these shores,
wiling and forgetting.
I have been waiting you to call
But the room remains silent, my heart beats steady the rhythm of
silence, and face slowly fading in the mirror.
I have been waiting you to call
As the cold veritable breeze rushed into room, inhaling, freezing, and
knowing that I have been waiting you to call,
And that you never will.

Translated from Serbian by author

30. 12. 2017
Elda Grin

Silk autumn

The October day glowed with warmth and generosity, but it only an-
gered Vasak. Soft, silk autumn seemed to tease, ridicule him, spitting
into his soul…
He stopped near the tennis courts opposite the university. Cars
were parked on each side of the narrow tree lined street. Vasak’s glance
slid absently across them, across fountains, benches, students scurry-
ing back and forth.
A gust of cool breeze swirled the light air, already touched with
gold leaves.
Two slender girls passed by showering upon him their inviting per-
fume. He could not desire such girls, and had not even when he was
young and had just returned from the army. For him it was as if they
were from another world. His wife Manik had grown up in an orphan-
age, and his father believed himself very lucky with his daughter in law.
And yet now, quietly and subtly, Manik slipped away. She snarled,
wailing and complaining, complaining, even in bed, and he desired
her less and less, that inflated body of hers, now unrecognizably skinny
as if all that air had been released from it. Vasak remembered the anec-
dote that he had heard in the army. Two friends meet, and one says he
married Sarochka. “The Sarochka, whose breasts are like pillows?“ the
other one asks. “Were. All she’s got left are the pillowcases,” the first
guy sighs.
Vasak remembered and smiled wryly. And then he felt remorse,
as if he had somehow hurt his wife. Together they survived the death
of their firstborn and now together they were raising a daughter, and
who could say what awaited her in this hopeless life? And Manik had
contrived to take a fall: her arm had swollen up; it hurts; perhaps it was
broken, and X-rays and treatment cost money…
A wave of despair fell on Vasak. Here he wandered the city in
search of work, but every minute cost him dear!
He had happened in the past upon work as a labourer. He dragged
and dragged and piled up a hernia. That too would cost if it was to be
Vasak sighed: now he is not able to do any hard work…
From the tennis court a noisy group of students came running.
Why he often wanders around the university? ‘Learn,’ mother
used to say. ‘You will become a successful man.’ He loved to learn, but
university had remained a dream for him. Father fell ill, mother died.
After the army, he went to work and got married…
The cool breeze returned, shaking the heads of yellow flowers, a
bed of identical asters. Their colour in the green grass and beneath the
shady trees brought to Vasak memories of his childhood. Then they
had lived almost in the centre of the city, but their house was later de-
molished, and with the meager amount that they were given in return
they went wandering from place to place, and in the end found them-
selves on the outskirts of things. And below the poverty line. Who
came up with this line? Who defined it? He tried to keep at least on the
dash… HUH?
Vasak swore under his breath. Yes, he had loved to study; he was
not that Meruzh, with whom he had shared a desk at school. Meruzh,
who was now rich…
A woman in a green cloak lightly brushed past Vasak and went
along the pavement and crossed between cars and hurried towards the
far side of the street. Vasak glanced at her. She was also from another
world. He became distracted. Then suddenly he startled by the sharp
rattle and a cry full of terror. The woman in green lay motionless now
near the wheels of a Yeraz. Even before the driver had jumped out from
the cab and the passengers scared half to death had spilled in panic
into the road a girl in the street had run to the woman, quickly and
deftly removed the earrings from her ears that flashed under the sun
and thrown them into her jacket pocket and yelled:
“Help! Help!”
Vasak, who saw it all as if through a magnifying glass, gasped:
“Bitch! She stole the woman’s earrings! Opportunist!”
On the street the number of curious onlookers and rubberneckers
“Moonlighters!” burst a man’s voice next to Vasak. “He rents the
car, fills it with people and drives like crazy. Number sixty-six doesn’t
go this way…”
Vasak turned to the man, but he got in his Opel and drove off. The
space around Vasak was clear now and his eyes suddenly seized on
something green lying away on his left, about ten or twenty yards from
him. Vasak peered closer. It looked like a woman’s handbag, complete-
ly new, elegant in design. Most likely it belonged to the injured woman.
Vasak’s attention strained between the handbag and the woman.
People lifted her up by grabbing her shoulders and setting their hands
beneath her knees. The woman’s head was swinging; her legs were
loose under her cloak. The ambulance approached, men in white coats
rushed out, two men jumped from a BMW – one rushed to the woman,
who was now laid on a stretcher, and the other one swung at the driver
of the Yeraz as others hauled him back into the car.
The handbag lay where it was, half hidden in the green bushes.
The woman was placed in the back of the ambulance. It drove away,
followed by BMW, then the Yeraz.
Vasak was waiting.
The bystanders had begun to disperse when the road inspection
officials arrived. Witnesses were questioned, the officials measured
something and then they too left. All that remained of the scene was a
dark stain of blood.
The sun fell on the handbag, glinting on the lock and chain. A
beautiful handbag! It was hurled at Vasak by a miracle, only some ten
or twenty steps away…
Vasak, tense and breathing hard took two rigid steps to the left,
towards the purse, stopped, heart pounding, waited for the footsteps
to subside behind him, and he just could not resist, and he looked back
towards the purse and watched in horror as a heavy middle-aged man
with a briefcase in one hand, twisting his knees, as if dancing, went
to the purse and grabbed it, and then went on with the same nimble
pirouette as if nothing had happened.
Vasak was dumbfounded. There was sweat on his forehead. He felt
as if he had been robbed.
The fat man had already disappeared from the scene, and Vasak
stood there numb, staring blankly into space.
After a while, quite suddenly he felt relief, as if a great weight had
fallen from his shoulders. The silk autumn gently touched his face with
a cool breeze. To breathe became easier.
“The devil’s job!” he muttered in confusion. “The devil beguiled
He trudged aimlessly, alone, without purpose. And finding himself
at the construction site of the mansion his former classmate Meruzh
was building he realized that his feet had led him to the right place.
“Spit on a hernia!” Vasak thought. “What will happen will happen!”
Behind the bright blue tarpaulins fencing the building site Vasak
noticed the familiar silhouette of Meruzh talking to a foreman. Vasak
went lumbering towards him. And later, swinging upon his back the
first bag of cement, Vasak said in a strangled whisper to himself, “God
help me,” whether he spoke mechanically, out of pure habit, or whether
in the depths of his soul he still cherished the hope that God would
finally turn and face him and help him survive without straying from
the path of goodness.

Translated from Armenian by Artsvi Bakhchinyan

The scream

The October after-noon sun painted the sky in saffron yellow, the
clouds coming down from the Ararat were dressed in violet, and the
ivy climbing the balconies and fences which were still green not a long
time ago, had turned earth red, burning so bright that it was impos-
sible to remain indifferent or spellbound by its beauty.
The ochre, apricot and emerald colors of the Hrazdan gorge
plunged into the saffron violet, and the woman, looking out from the
closed balcony and stretching slightly her tired back emerged from the
hot and multi colored weather, wishing not to think about anything,
not about the potatoes on the stove, the raised dough, the soaked laun-
dry or the unfinished report…
She wanted to remain standing for a while next to the window,
breath quietly, as if there was no need to hurry in this world. Those
three to four minutes rest was turning her off her constant worries,
bringing in serenity… But the sound of a telephone ring reached her
ear. Reluctantly leaving the window side, she went through the kitch-
en, turned off the gas with her hand and while she was getting near the
telephone, her grandchild was already handing her the receiver that
the other grandchildren were trying to pull away from him.
– Is he crazy? He is screaming: “Is it Satik? if not, call Satik!”– said
the grandchild disappointed. And the woman understood that there
he was the caller. She understood immediately, at that same minute.
Something took fire and burned her heart.
She grabbed the receiver. A male familiar voice loudly, loudly, in a
strange and monotonous way, like a robot, was repeating.
“Satik! Call Satik! Satik, can you hear me?”
“It is me, Satik! I hear you,” screamed the woman, screaming loud-
er than him. But the man was going on the same, as if he was just
throwing the words out.
“Call Satik, Satik!”
“I can hear you, go ahead, I can hear you!”
Somehow something went through and the man yelled:
“Satik, you must know, I always loved you!”
“Me too, me too I loved you!”
The grandchildren were surrounding the woman with interest,
started laughing.
“I loved you too, always” the woman repeat, as if that far away
evening did not happen, when the snow was flying, herself standing
under luminous street lantern, the snow falling like dust, sitting on her
loose hair, falling and falling on the floor, but he was not there, and the
life within her seemed going away, and remained just the same, even
though later she got herself a husband (may he rest in peace), a home,
children, grandchildren.
“Satik, do you hear me?”
“I hear you.”
The woman, the receiver on her ear pressed against her shoulder,
making signs with her hands was trying to make understand to the
grandchildren to keep quiet, and kept on screaming.
“Do you hear me?”
“I just want you to know…”
“I know, I know,” the woman yelled with the same teenager voice
that was waiting for him, and he in turn never appeared, but the snow
kept on falling and falling, sparkling on the white linen, fading, faint-
ing, just like her own soul, as if abandoning a happiness that could not
be her share, so big it was…
“We shall die the same day only,” the man was screaming. “I will
live one hundred years and you – one hundred and one, as we had
agreed. Do you remember?”
“I remember, I remember, you only leave in disillusion.”
“What, what did you say? Satik, you must know, you are the only
one whom I loved!”
The web of her past life was unfolding and, as if a forest nut, kept
in the snow, where she was standing under the street light and life
was burning from within, even though later she had a husband, chil-
dren and grandchildren… even though, sometimes she was thinking:
“Come and see how lovely my family is…”
“Satik, I calmed down at last,” the man was screaming.
“Do you hear me? I still love you,” the woman was yelling, and with
her the grandchildren were yelling, laughing and jumping.
And nobody heard how the wind was opening and closing the win-
dows, how from the violet clouds the autumn rain poured forcefully,
dancing on the roof, the garden, kissing the tree’s foliage, the fading
ivy, the white window screens and even the covered balcony’s floor.
Nobody heard the noise of the wind and the rain hugging and kissing,
since the woman was screaming with fury in the telephone, so that this
old deft man could hear her, while her grandchildren were jumping
around and fainting with laughter.
“Grandma is in love! Whom does she love? Did you hear her? She
said: I love… Ha-ha-ha!”

Translated from Armenian by Suzy Shakian

30. 12. 2017
Ivan Cvetanovic

The style of art and American film and their influence on political propaganda in Yugoslavia in 1960s and 1970s

Propaganda is a legitimate means of communication and its outcome
depends on the intentions of the propagandist. Bernays regards com-
munication to necessarily be propaganda and also states that not all
propaganda is bad depending on the purpose for which it is used (1928).
Unlike everyday communication, propaganda communication requires
organisation that includes preparation such as “field examination” of
the public opinion, selection of techniques, funds etc. Political propa-
ganda is defined as “a planned and organised activity of shaping and
presenting, spreading political content, winning people over and gain-
ing their support for certain political content and its holders” (Slavu-
jevic, 2002-12). There is also the so-called spontaneous propaganda
which does not require organisation but is related to organised propa-
ganda which means that it is the product of it. Political propaganda is
a narrower term than political persuasion because apart from propa-
ganda it also includes the area of spontaneous persuading of people.
Historical context is an important factor of political propaganda.
The period between the 1960 and the 1970 was particularly interesting
for the development of propaganda in Yugoslavia. It was a time when
a country came out of a war with clear orientation to build an eco-
nomically successful society all the while trying to keep up with the
developed western countries and realising that that was the easiest way
to escape the influence of the Soviet Union. This decade is particularly
important because 15 years have passed since the war and the people
are starting to focus on the living standard and the future of the coun-
try’s development.
Propaganda, as a legitimate means of communication the outcome
of which depends on the intentions of the propagandist is a complex
mechanism that requires special organisation, field examination, opin-
ion polls, selection of techniques, funds etc. Political propaganda, as a
special aspect of this activity, is defined as “a planned and organised
activity of shaping and presenting, spreading political content, win-
ning people over and gaining their support for certain political con-
tent and its holders” (Slavujevic, 2002-12). There is a so-called spon-
taneous propaganda that does not require organisation but it is only
a part of the organised propaganda as its important product. Political
propaganda is a narrower term than political persuasion because apart
from propaganda it also includes the area of spontaneous persuading
of people. On the other hand there is political marketing which is a
narrower term than political propaganda i.e. one of its variants.

Yugoslavia and America in the 1960s and the 1970s
The Yugoslav state was created in 1918. as a country of a triple named
nation. The idea of a Yugoslav nation was soon destroyed and three
separate nations were acknowledged unlike America which was pro-
claimed a nation of the American people. The official Yugoslav histori-
ography considered the Communist party of Yugoslavia as the maker
of the second Yugoslavia. It was the Federation of Yugoslavia created
after the year of 1945. It was believed that this was an ideal regulation
of state, however, there was a conflict of interest between the federal
government and the authorities of the federal units, a conflict between
the centre unit and the units of different nations and religions, (Pop-
ovic, 1993). The long-term propaganda has given the title of an oppres-
sive nation to the Serbian people and unitarism was its second “sin”.
At the beginning of the 1960s a strategy for dismantling Yugoslavia
from within was created. Nationalism becomes stronger, with it the
tendencies for separate national countries, and everything is allowed
in literature, political science, journalism and culture. The increase in
corruption and economic crime are just one of the few signs of the de-
cline of power of the Federal Yugoslavia. In 1968 mass demonstrations
and riots occur at Kosovo with the agenda of persecuting Serbs.
“There is an intense activity of the humanistic intelligence in the
Yugoslav public and political life since this moment (1968) under the
slogan: “A critique of everything that exists”. This intelligence that was
mostly Marxist provenance in Belgrade has developed in the following
decades a theoretical criticism of Stalinism, Titoism and other differ-
ent forgeries of Marxism and at the same time advocated the return
to Marx, true Marxism. If one tried to formulate its political credo in
three words it would be: socialism with a human figure.” (Popovic,
1993: 151).
The 1960s in America were marked by events that set the foun-
dation of a new approach to propaganda: In 1960 the first television
debate between Kennedy and Nixon took place, the assassination of
John Kennedy in November of 1963 and a major media game and cal-
culation concerning the assassination, Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil
Rights Act as the newly elected president in 1964, the assassination
of Martin Luther King the leader of the civil rights movement. This
period is characterised by the creation of the resistance towards the war
in Vietnam after the report of the violation of human rights. Richard
Nixon who becomes the president in 1968 realizes the importance of
paid, political propaganda videos. That decade and the consequences
of events during that time had repercussion and influence on the entire
world particularly on the developments in that sphere in Yugoslavia.
The country of Yugoslavia came into existence as a state of a triple
named nation unlike America which was proclaimed a country of the
American people (Popovic, 1993). The kingdom of Yugoslavia existed
for 22 years and failed to win the fight for the ideology of a united
Yugoslav people. The official Yugoslav historiography considered the
Communist party of Yugoslavia as the maker of the second Yugoslavia
that was created after the Second World War. However, the conflict
of interest between the federal government and the authority of the
federal units, the conflict between the centre unit and the units of
different nations and religions brought about a significant weakening
of the state, Popovic explains (1993). The division of territories inside
the Federation of Yugoslavia was done to the detriment of the Serb-
ian people. The long-term propaganda awarded to the Serbs a title of
an oppressive nation. The second “sin” of that same propaganda was
unitarism. At the beginning of the 1960s a strategy for dismantling
Yugoslavia from within was created by strengthening nationalism in
all areas of social life: literature, political science, journalism, culture
and economy. The increase in corruption and economic crime are just
one of the few signs of the decline of power of the Federal Yugoslavia.
In 1968 mass demonstrations and riots occur at Kosovo with the agen-
da of persecuting Serbs. Dobrica Cosic and the historian Jovan Mar-
janovic came forward at the Central Committee of the League of Com-
munists of Serbia and criticized the official politics at Kosovo. The stu-
dents demonstrated in June and insisted on the return to the original
program of the Union of the Communists of Yugoslavia. These events
only deepened the crisis.
“There is an intense activity of the humanistic intelligence in the
Yugoslav public and political life since this moment (1968) under
the slogan: “A critique of everything that exists”. This intelligence
that was mostly Marxist provenance in Belgrade has developed in
the following decades a theoretical criticism of Stalinism, Titoism
and other different forgeries of Marxism and at the same time ad-
vocated the return to Marx, true Marxism. If one tried to formu-
late its political credo in three words it would be: socialism with a
human figure.” (Popovic, 1993: 151).

Josip Broz as the symbol of the liberation aspirations of
the Yugoslav people
After the Second World War Josip Broz Tito was the head of restored
Yugoslavia. Ever since he came to power a lot of effort was put in
spreading propaganda of his character and work. This indicates that
Yugoslavia was not far behind America in developing propaganda
that implies the image of the leader people can seamlessly trust and
admire. This can be accomplished by using different techniques the
easiest one being making the leader recognised as a common fellow
citizen, a man from the people. The use of well known techniques such
as the travelling orchestra 1) , and candor 2) i.e. the portrayal of Josip Broz
as a man of the people of poor and peasant origin, testimonials and
supplying credibility to the source of information etc. The main char-
acteristic of Broz,s image is that he represents the safest protector of the
workers and peasants. The Photographs were very skillfully used for
propaganda: Tito behind a metallurgical lathe (Calovic, 2011), turning
his birth home in Kumrovec into a museum, the making of busts of
Tito (Antun Augusticic, 1943) and his portraits (Djordje Andrejevic
Kun, Ismet Mujezinovic, Mihailo Petrov, Milan Konjovic and others),
poetry about Tito (Ciplic, Zogovic, Miljkovic and others). The sym-
bols of sickle and hammer symbolize the worker and the peasant, the
colour red symbolizes the revolution and the character of Broz that
symbolizes the liberation were the most efficient symbols which were
the foundation for the whole Yugoslav propaganda ever since Josip
Broz became the head of state.
Propaganda showed its true power regarding the celebration of
Tito,s birthday on the 25 th of May. On that day celebrations were or-
ganised across Yugoslavia and a ceremonial handover of the baton to
the leader in honor of his birthday. This act of celebrating the leader,s
birthday, a day celebrated by the whole nation especially by the youth,
has a single aim and that is to show a unique, unshared love towards
the father of a successful new state. The artists designed unique batons
in Broz,s honor every year. Today they are in the House of Flowers
museum in Belgrade where Tito was buried. There are also pieces of
office furniture, valuable gifts which Josip Broz received from polit-
icians world wide, also letters of appreciation from workers of all parts
of Yugoslavia that demonstrate the propaganda machinery of the time.

Art in service of propaganda
Despotovic states that art in the service of political propaganda may
put the artist into political engagement in two possible ways: apologet-
ic and critical (Despotovic, 2016). The first way is by glorifying propa-
ganda about ideology and the political situation in the authoritarian
regimes while the other way is the complete opposite. It is a critical
examination of the political goals and it clearly reacts to their irregu-

“In the work of the engaged art in Yugoslavia in the intellectual
left wing developed a critical movement between two World Wars
which divided into two currents: surrealism and social art which
gave way directly to socialist realism after the victory of Tito’s par-
tisan movement and the revolution that completely altered the
social and political conditions. The first two poetics had a more or
less clear critical, ideological and social dimension the other one
being an aesthetic scion of the leftist revolution has suddenly re-
placed criticism with apologetics, engagement with glorification,
truculent negation with candescent affirmation, bourgeois aesthet-
ics with artistic leftism…” (Despotovic, 2016)
1) The institute of propaganda analysis defined seven basic propaganda
techniques in 1937: naming, brilliant generalizations, transfer, testimonials,
candor, shuffling cards and the travelling orchestra. The last technique is
the so-called technique of joining the majority. This technique uses the
notion that a man aspires to be “part of the pack” so he easily accepts the
attitude and actions that are accepted by others in order to be part of “the
pack”. Read more about these techniques in: Tadic, D. (2005) Propaganda,
Spectrum Books, Belgrade, 133-169.
2) This technique usually implies giving a false identity in this case to a leader.
Otherwise this technique is especially used in pre-election campaigns and
in advertisement.

Fine arts
30. 12. 2017
Željko Rodić

The Universal Language of Art

The task of selecting a Canadian artist to be featured in our magazine
was not an easy endeavor; whom to choose among so many respected
and significant names? This dilemma was easily resolved after consult-
ing with accredited Serbian artists living in Hamilton, Toronto and
San Francisco. During this search, only one name was consistently
suggested, Douglas Edwards, and it did not take long to discover why
he is so highly revered.
I met with Douglas at the Trias Gallery in Oakville, Ontario which
is among one of several galleries in North America exhibiting the work
of this unique artist. After being immersed in his large oil landscapes,
one cannot deny the authentic artistic expression of someone who
has been surrounded by nature since his early youth; the images are
filled with trees, birds, streams and animals. Every brush stroke on the
canvas is a testament to his deep connection with nature, like visions
that are engrained in his subconscious that continue to inspire his
creative process. His paintings are easily distinguished by his unique
perception of the sky, at times leaving some raw edges, drawing the
observer into the landscape. The abundance of endless inspiration is
enough for two lifetimes. This is perhaps the reason Douglas reluctant-
ly steps away from the easel, hoping that all his ideas will eventually
It can be said with certainty that Douglas’ mother Jean Edwards,
an opera singer, and his father, Stanley E. Edwards, a respected attor-
ney and passionate skier, are responsible for having provided a won-
derful, carefree childhood and solid foundation for their five boys. In
Douglas’ youth, his parents were looking for a suitable place close to
a ski resort for the family to spend weekends and vacations togeth-
er. They purchased a farm near Creemore, not far from Collingwood
and Blue Mountain, a true ski paradise. It turned out that this decision
had a lasting and meaningful significance for their five children, and
later their grandchildren, creating a lifetime of fond memories. These
memories are compiled in Stanley’s autobiography, “My Story”, which
Douglas unselfishly shares with me. He then enthusiastically pulls
out his mobile phone, sharing a video of his mother performing at a
charity event that was founded by Douglas’ late father. It is hard to say
whether he is prouder of his mother or father, both of whom have done
so much to enrich his life.
Douglas chose to study figurative art at the prestigious OCAD Uni-
versity, formerly titled the Ontario College of Art. In his fourth year, he
studied abroad in Florence, Italy. The journey to this world-renowned
artistic oasis can most-definitely inspire young artists, but at the same
time can be discouraging after seeing unimaginable treasures that one
feels they can never emulate. This juncture was particularly difficult
for Douglas who was questioning how to forge his own artistic path,
struggling between choosing his formal study, figurative art, or his
true passion, landscape art. Ultimately, Douglas chose to focus pri-
marily on landscape art despite creating an impressive collection of
figurative art.
Douglas’ life takes on an upward trajectory when he receives an
unexpected invitation; he is asked by a respected Serbian-Canadian
artist, Djuro Lubarda, to join artists’ colonies in Serbia, Republika
Srpska and Montenegro. This opportunity that Douglas accepts is a
life-altering experience in many ways. He primarily acknowledges the
generosity and openness of the Serbian people, which begins with the
obligatory shot of plum brandy; language barriers easily vanish in this
setting. Moreover, the artists’ simplicity of life, colonies’ tranquility
and their connection to nature is embellished with the backdrop of
breathtaking costal sunsets. Different priorities prevail in these new
surroundings where materialism takes a back seat to nurturing life-
long friendships and savouring the relevance of this unified connec-
tion. Zograf, Peko, Panto, Snezana, Milan, Pedja, Visegrad, Prilipac,
Susanj, Bokokotorski zaliv: names and places rhymed off by Douglas
in one breath as if these are places and people that he grew up with.
Douglas recounts his experiences below:

I met Zograf four years ago at my very first art colony in Visegrad,
Republic of Serbska. He doesn’t speak English and I don’t speak
Serbian, yet from the very first meeting I think we understood each
other and have grown to respect each other both as artists and as
people. Telling stories of the war, I could not imagine what horror
he went through along with most people there at that time. But
through that bad experience he has remained a kind, giving and
loving individual. He helped me enormously at the colonies, lend-
ing paint, materials and always sharing his ideas of how to improve
my art in a positive way. I watched him paint his unique techniques
in watercolor and oil over and over again with immense skill and
originality. “I studied at Smegotenska (a small village where he grew
up) Academia” he joked, and said he learned everything about art
from his professor, the local rooster. The rooster taught him free
and unique art. Expressing his experiences from the war gives his
work depth and value. In some abstract way you can see the bombs
going off, the people suffering, the pain in many of his paintings.
But there is also a beauty and harmony. I think it’s his way of deal-
ing with his experience in a healthy positive way.
We remained in contact and this year I met him for three art
colonies. “The rakija is 20 years old” he said on our first meeting
in four years as we cheered and drank the bottle. He always looked
out for me every step of the way with generosity as we again had the
pleasure of working and painting together. He has truly enhanced
my experience, respect and appreciation and love I have for of that
part of the world and the people there. 1)

Little did Douglas know when he was attending school in Florence,
the impact the other side of the Adriatic Sea would have on in his
life. Overall, Douglas feels embraced not as a foreigner, but as “one of
them”, now old friends as he intends to spend more time in that part of
the world. After these Serbian connections were established, Douglas
recently participated in a memorable show in Toronto at the Serbian
Heritage Academy gallery.
After conversations and meetings with Douglas, I felt privileged
getting to know a man and fellow artist of such high calibre. I am per-
sonally more interested in an artist’s life story as it relates to their work
and development rather than simply dissecting their artistic creations.
There is no doubt that this article, which is one of many devoted to
Douglas, would not inspire an individual to research his life’s work in
more depth. His work has been chronicled in such magazines as Art
Impressions, Art Trends, Arabella, Magazin Art, et. al.
I hope that one day art will have the ability to unify all people,
regardless of their differences. Douglas’ experience should encourage
others to cultivate tolerance, leave preconceived notions behind, and
embrace friendship and cooperation through the love of art.
1) Edwards, Douglas. “Zograf.” E-mail to the author. 16 Nov. 2017.

Story about the Artist
30. 12. 2017
Douglas Edwards


44 Tragina Avenue North
Hamilton, ON L8H 5C8
416-425-8840 | 647-860-9154

1974-1979 Graduate of Fine Art, Ontario College of Art, A.O.C.A
1978-1979 Off-campus studies, Florence, Italy

Teaching and Special Recognition
2006, spring edition
Magazin Art, Article
2004 to present
Posters published by Editions Limited
1998 Ontario College of Art, Supply teacher, Fine Art and Painting
Sheridan College, Oakville, Ontario, taught landscape
painting, portrait painting and life drawing and painting
1997 Leighton Center, Calgary, Alberta, taught landscape painting
1995 Leighton Center, Visiting Artist Program
1992 to 2001
Serigraphs published by Progressive Editions
1994, spring edition
Art Impressions Magazine, Cover and Article
Splendid Days by Gordon Bagley
1993 Toronto Harbour in Art, First Prize
1988 Ontario Arts Council Grant
1986 Blue Mountain Open Jury Exhibition, Prize for Painting

Solo Exhibitions
Trias Gallery, Oakville 2016
Westmount Gallery, Toronto 2015
University of Toronto Faculty Club 2011
Hollander-York Gallery, Toronto 2009, 2007, 2003, 2000, 1998
The Collective Gallery, Tokyo, Japan 2000
Galleries Rochon, Toronto 1995, 1994, 1992, 1991
Quan-Schieder Gallery, Toronto 1990
The Gallery, Kungsangen, Sweden 1988
Medborgarskolan Gallery, Bastad, Sweden 1988
Gallery 306, Toronto 1988
Cedar Ridge Creative Center, Scarborough 1986
Heliconian Club, Toronto 1985
The Mad and Noisy Valley Gallery, Creemore, Ontario 1983

Group Exhibitions
The Affordable Art Fair, Brooklyn, New York 2007
Biennale Internazionale Dell’Arte Contemporanea, Florence, Italy 2003
Bourne Gallery, Reigate, England 2001
Canadian Heritage Gallery, Kleinburg, Ontario 1999
Harbour Gallery, Clarkson, Ontario 1996
The Leighton Center, Calgary, Alberta 1996
International Biennial of Graphics, Belgrade, Yugoslavia 1995
Whitten Gallery, King City, Ontario 1994
Nan Miller Gallery, Rochester, New York 1993
Toronto Harbour in Art, Toronto 1993
Art Dialogue Gallery, Buffalo, New York 1992
O’Keefe Center, Toronto 1990
Three Visions, The Arts and Letters Club, Toronto 1990
Five Signatures, O’Keefe Center 1990
Arkus Gallery, Bastad, Sweden 1988
Blue Mountain Open Jury Exhibition, Collingwood, Ontario 1987
Cityscapes, The City By It’s Artists, Gallery Arpege, Collingwood 1985
Rodman Hall Annual Juried Show, St. Catherines, Ontario 1984
University of Guelph Faculty Club, Guelph, Ontario 1983

Selected Private Collection
Admiral Club, Toronto
Altamira Investments, Toronto
Assure Health, Toronto
American Airlines, Toronto
Antamax, Concord, Ontario
Aur Resources, Toronto
Beacon Hall Golf Course, Aurora, Ontario
Bell Canada, Toronto
B.C.E. Place (Bell Canada Enterprise), Toronto
Burgundy Assets, Toronto
Cambridge Shopping Centers Ltd., Cambridge, Ontario
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Toronto
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Toronto
Canadian Tire Corporation, Toronto
Carding Specialist Canada Ltd., Toronto
Chubb Group, Toronto
Church of Latter Day Saints, Mormon Temple, Brampton, Ontario
Consumers Gas (Enbridge), Toronto
CN Watson, Toronto
Credit Lyonais Canada, Toronto
Crosrol Limited, Yorkshire, England
Delta Hotel Resorts
De Haviland, Toronto
Deloitte Touche, Toronto
Doctor’s Restaurant, Kleinburg
Dracon BZW, Toronto
Dun & Bradstreet, Toronto

Selected Private Collections/ continued
Enterprise Capital, Toronto
Erin Mills Lodge, Mississauga
Eurotech, Toronto
Fidelity Investments, Toronto
Fluor Canada, Calgary, Alberta
Four Seasons Hotel, Toronto
Fraser Milner, Toronto
Gardiner Roberts Environmental Law, Toronto
Georgian Group, Toronto
Gibson’s Petroleum, Calgary
Government of Ontario, Toronto
Governor General’s Horse Guard, Toronto
Gross Machinery Corporation, Toronto
Hodgson Corporation, Toronto
Holcan Limited, Toronto
Household Financial Corporation, Toronto
Insurance Bureau of Canada
Houser, Henry, Louden & Syron, Toronto
ING/ Western Union, Calgary
ISM, Division of IBM, Toronto
Insurance Bureau of Canada
Kelly Affleck Greene, Toronto
King City Golf Club, King City
Lawson, Lundell, Calgary
Lichtman’s Books, Toronto
Lombard Canada Ltd., Toronto
MacCarthy Tetrault, Calgary, Alberta
Manulife Investors, Toronto
MBNA Bank of Canada, Toronto
Mazda Corporation Inc., Toronto
Modatek, Georgetown, Ontario
Molson Breweries, Toronto
Noranda, Toronto
Norwich Union Life Insurance, Toronto
North American Leisure Group/Sunquest Tours, Toronto
North West Mutual Fund, Toronto
Ontario Casino Corporation, Toronto
Oshawa Foods Ltd., Oshawa
Osler. Hoskins & Harcourt, Toronto
Peyto Energy & Development, Calgary, Alberta
Premdor Inc., Toronto
RBC Dominion Securities, Toronto
St. James Capital Group, Toronto
Suncor, Calgary
Sunworthy Wall Covering, Toronto
Telesat Mobile Inc., Montreal, Quebec
Templeton Management Ltd., Toronto
Thorsteinssons, Toronto
Toromont Process Systems, Calgary
Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX)
Walton International, Toronto
Wood Gundy, Toronto
World Mining Company, Toronto
Zurich Life, Toronto.

Fine arts
30. 12. 2017
Michael Galovic

Curriculum vitae

Born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, into an artistic family, Michael began
absorbing the ancient tradition of iconography in early childhood. He
is a graduate from the Belgrade Academy of Applied Arts in 1974, de-
partment of graphic art and printmaking.
Following a personal quest, Michael travelled widely and lived and
worked in Spain, Middle East and Africa, absorbing the contrasting
beauty of each new culture. Australia became his new home in early 1990.
He had many shows all over Australia, Sydney and Melbourne in
Overseas one man shows up to date: Peru, USA, United Kingdom,
New Zealand, Serbia, South Korea, New Caledonia, France, Ecuador,
Ethiopia, Marquesan Islands, Slovenia.
Michael Galovic engages himself in a few parallel directions: trad-
itional icons, contemporary religious and contemporary non religious art.
Apart from numerous private art collections, Michael’s works can
be seen in over one hundred churches and institutions throughout
mainly Australia and in other countries, especially New Zealand.
Four times finalist in the Blake Prize and twice in Mandorla exhib-
itions of contemporary religious art, Crucifixion, Stabat Mater, Trans-
figuration and Resurrection are themes he is particularly focused to,
but he has also been building a body of work on Uluru, the sacred Rock
in the Northern Territory of Australia for some 20 years now.
His favourite medium is egg tempera, but he is ever interested in
gilding and experimenting in general, constantly exploring and ex-
panding his own boundaries, always reinventing himself as an artist.

Michael Galovic’s work has been reproduced in books:
Basil of Cesarea. Questions of the Brothers, by Anna Silvas; Windows
to Orthodoxy, by Dr Guy Freeland; Beyond the Shattered Image, by
John Chryssavgis; Jesus Laughing and Loving, by Major Issues and
Theology Foundation LTD; The Many Faces of Christ, by Addwall Pty
Ltd, God Among Us, Australian Images of Jesus, by Marie T. Farrell;
Icons+Art: Michael Galovic, co-published by the Honeyset Press and
the artist; Sunce јužnog neba, Pogled na umetnost u Australiji danas,
by Zoja Bojic; Religious Education Text Books by the Catholic Educa-
tion Offices in Victoria and NSW, Australia.

Magazines and other publications:
Lavalla; Madonna; Australian Catholics; Melbourne Catholic; The
Catholic Weekly; Phronema; Vema; Australian Religious Diary; Mary
MacKillop: A Tribute; Christians in the Visual Arts, Directories (USA);
Divine Temple, Contemporary Christian Art (Russia); Various Angli-
can Magazines; Aurora ; Serbian Voice (Serbian in Australia); Vesti
(Serbian outside of Serbia); Novosti (Serbian in Australia); Calendar
Salt of the Earth, A Christian Seasons Calendar 2017/2018, by United
Church if Canada, Vancouver; Marist Brothers Brasil; Central Coast
NSW Advocate; Politika (Serbian daily in Serbia); Kultura (Serbian in
Australia); Touching Hearts; The Paraclete, Eremos, Craft Arts Inter-
national; GALOVIC and the Marists, by Marist Brothers, Australia…
Appeared on ABC TV(Compass, Sunday Arts); ABC radio Religious
Program; SBS, both TV and radio programs (interviews by the Serbian
and Spanish stations) in Australia.
Self-published booklets: The Son of Man, Uluru. To be published:
Jesus the Christ: Life, Crucifixion and the Resurrection through trad-
itional icons and contemporary art by Michael Galovic.

Fine arts
30. 12. 2017
Michael Galovic

Let me tell you three stories

In my eye nests your beauty
Some 60 years ago, in the country called Yugoslavia, a little boy was
holding his mother’s hand as they were standing in an Orthodox
church, watching the re-appearance of old frescoes. All around them
were those austere Byzantine saints who fill little viewer with fear and
guild, however misplaced!
The step-father, Rufim, and his team of conservators and restorers
have just detached a mortar layer that had covered frescoes from 13th
and 14th centuries. These now emerged into the light of the day for
the first time in over 500 years. There is an excitement in the air, also
commotion as something has been discovered in the outer vestibule.
On the north part of the west wall, they have found an inscription,
totally unexpected and out of place. It was thought to have been writ-
ten in Arabic script people said, but the fullness of the mystery was to
be revealed later.
The inscription represented a verse composed by the great Persian
poet Hafiz (1320?-1389), written in the Persian language and yet, it was
incised in Arabic script over the fresco. One of the possible translations
is: “The pupil of my eye is the nest to your beauty”.
We shall never know who the erudite traveller was; he, who pro-
foundly affected by this beauty of another kind, gave orders to the cal-
ligrapher to engrave the inscription. Never mind that infidels created
such a beauty, its presence made him bow to it, pay respects and let
his heart declare it to posterity, as shortly afterwards, the church walls
would be rendered, to be made visible again only 500 years later.
The noble traveller, possibly a chronicler of events for the con-
quering Turkish army, rose above his own religious background to
recognise and acknowledge the transcendent Beauty which shines for-
ever undisturbed in the beyondness. It was a salutation to the eternal
celebration of man’s closeness to the Divine.
This hugely important event is, lamentably, almost completely un-
known, both internationally and even locally. You would be guessing
correctly if you said that the medieval town was Prizren, one of the
centres of Serbia in 14th century, and the little boy was me. It is not
improbable that this wonderful event planted a decisive seed in me,
to become an iconographer myself. After I first tried myself in what
I thought was icon painting, here I am, almost 50 years later, still at-
tempting to produce this “perfect” icon.

Sailing back to Byzantium
After many moons and almost full of days, I might decide to sail BACK
to Byzantium, using the gentle force of Grace to fill my sails. On arrival
in the golden city, I will see a banner reading: “This no country for
old men”, to which I will whisper: “I have never been old in my life!”.
Then, with the audacity of an old man with nothing to lose, I shall go
to the Royal Palace and ask for an audience to present my icon to the
Grey of hair, eyes wide open, heart singing, absorbing the golden
splendour of the Palace, I would be finally brought before the Emperor.
The icon I have been making all my life shall be presented with my
hands duly covered as is customary at Byzantine Court.
With an air of solemnity and otherness, the unibrow Porphyro-
genitus inspects the icon closely for an unbearable long moment…
“She is perfect”, he finally declares, with his face betraying a pass-
ing disbelief.
“The apple of my eye is the nest to your beauty”, he concludes,
mostly to himself. He leaves, not even glancing at me. After all, I am
but an instrument, a vessel, not a Creator. At best, I am the extended
hand of the Creator.
My eyes are now closed, tears rolling down my cheeks, I am finally
at home.

Saint Luke Painting the Crucifixion
There are a number of icons with Saint Luke painting the Mother of
God with Child, thus making him the first iconographer; some of them
are attributed to Domenicos Theotokopulos before he went to the West
and became famous as El Greco (The Greek).
One of them, though, stands out for me. That icon, in the Moraca
monastery, Montenegro, was painted between 1672 and 1673 by an un-
known master although some attribute the work to Avesalom Vujicic.
It is the most splendid piece: with an impeccable composition,
pleasing chromatic balance and overall, masterly execution. On his
artist’s easel, Saint Luke is painting the Hodegitria (She Who Points
the Way) type icon, believed to be the prototype for the many to follow.
Throughout the years of my iconographic practice I have made sev-
eral replicas of this masterpiece.
In 2010, I decided to incorporate it in a contemporary religious art-
work. For a while and still, I have been exploring the phenomenon of
ambiguity and ambivalence in contemporary religious art through a
fusion of old and new, with a juxtapositioning of seemingly different
and irreconcilable worlds, very often using the old icons in a new set-
ting where they assume a different meaning and impact.
On a 120 x 90cm panel, I replicated St Luke from the Moraca mon-
astery icon in the action of painting. That was done as per the original,
using traditional techniques, tempera and gold leaf. However, the icon
on his easel was not Hodegitria but the Crucifixion itself; the saint was
sitting and painting in front of the crucified Christ, the ultimate drama
of mankind.
The background and the figure on the cross were delivered in a
contemporary, “abstract” way, using Dutch gold, acrylic and Black
Japan. The juxtaposition of those two realms tells us about the stable,
conservative, reliable and anchoring realm (St Luke) while the ab-
stract realm of the Crucifix and the background stands for the ever
changing and evolving, dynamic, vibrant, chaotic and volatile world. It
is in the precarious balance between those two polarities that life itself
keeps unfolding.
There is a further dimension: The Crucifix that St Luke is painting,
and the way in which we see it on his easel, is entirely unlike what he
sees in front of him. This is an allusion to the perception game, known
from ancient time-sand even present in the Gospels which differ in
recording the same events. Akira Kurosawa’s film, ‘Rashomon’, which
is about four different witnesses who give very different accounts of
the event they witnessed, establishes an excellent paradigm of the per-
ception issue.
The work is completed by the use of the fractured frame which is to
remind us of the fragmentary nature of all life, as nothing really lasts
in a long and uninterrupted line but in a series of segments and frag-
ments. This fractured frame is also an allusion to broken humanity
and the imperfection of man’s nature.
The colours used for the frame are borrowed from the chromatic
symbolism of icons: red for the Divine and blue/green for the Human
nature of Christ.
Saint Luke Painting the Crucifixion was selected and displayed as
a finalist in the Blake Prize for Religious Art in Sydney in 2010 and is
now part of the permanent art collection of Sydney Riverview College.

Fine arts
30. 12. 2017
Mervyn Duffy

The Otherness of Christ

A theological reaction to a series of icons of the Transfiguration.

Michael Galovic is an artist and icon writer of considerable repute in
Australia and New Zealand. A Yugoslav by birth, he is a graduate from
the Belgrade Academy of Arts. Since 1990 he has made his home in
Australia and his work can now be seen in over one hundred church-
es and institutions throughout Australasia. The Crucifixion and the
Stabat Mater are subjects he has often addressed, but he declares that
he wants to move on and bring the Resurrection into focus in his art
and, as a step on that journey, in 2016 and 2017 he produced the Trans-
figuration icons that sparked this reflection.
There is a strong thread of iconoclasm running through Chris-
tianity. Iconoclasm involves a distrust (and destruction) of religious
imagery because of a recognition of the utter transcendence of God.
God is completely Other from everything in Creation and any creat-
ed artwork representing God is in danger of being treated as an idol.
When an image receives the worship that is due to God alone then the
commandment is broken – “You shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of any-
thing that is heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in
the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship
them.” (Exodus 20:3-5a)
The religion of Judaism, which shares with Christianity the Ten
Commandments (and most of what we call the Old Testament), inter-
prets that Exodus passage as forbidding the religious representation
of humans and animals. Islam is similarly aniconic – forbidding the
representation of sentient beings.
What distinguishes Christianity from Judaism and Islam is what
we claim about the person and dual nature of Jesus Christ. We hold
Jesus to be both human and divine. This has a huge number of impli-
cations, one of which was spelled out by St John of Damascus in the
heated debate on sacred images in the early 700s:
Therefore I venture to draw an image of the invisible God, not as
invisible, but as having become visible for our sakes through flesh
and blood. I do not draw an image of the immortal Godhead. I
paint the visible flesh of God. Against Those Who Decry Holy
Images, 6.

The Damascene goes on to cite the passage of John’s Gospel where
Jesus says “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9) and
the passage from St Paul where he declares that Jesus “is the image of
the unseen God” (Colossians 1:15). He argues that we cannot depict a
spirit, and God is spirit, but we can depict Jesus because he became
flesh. Jesus is the true icon of God the Father and therefore we may
make holy images of Jesus and the saints. The incarnation is the justi-
fication for icons. When God became human, God became visible and
tangible. They dined with him, they walked and talked with him. Jesus
shows us the Father, Jesus shows us God. Because of the coming of
Jesus Christ as an historical person, in one place and one time, Christi-
anity permits images of him to be made and to be venerated.
This was expressed by the bishops gathered at the Second Council
of Nicaea in 787 AD when they solemnly taught:
We decree with full precision and care that, like the figure of
the honoured and life-giving cross, the revered and holy images
(εικóνας), whether painted or made of mosaic or of other suitable
material, are to be exposed in the holy churches of God, on sacred
instruments and vestments, on walls and panels, in houses and by
public ways; these are the images of our Lord, God and savior, Jesus
Christ, and of our Lady without blemish, the holy God-bearer, and
of the revered and angels and of any of the saintly holy men. The
more frequently they are seen in representational art, the more are
those who see them drawn to remember and long for those who
serve as models, and to pay these images the tribute of salutation
and respectful veneration. Certainly this is not the full adoration
in accordance with our faith, which is properly paid only to the
divine nature, but it resembles that given to the figure of the hon-
oured and life-giving cross, and also to the holy books of the gos-
pels and to other sacred cult objects. Further, people are drawn to
honour these images with the offering of incense and lights, as was
piously established by ancient custom. Indeed, the honour paid to
an image traverses it, reaching the model; and he who venerates
the image, venerates the person represented in that image. (Tanner,
Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils. Vol 1, 135-6)

Ever since this Ecumenical Council, the Catholic Church has dis-
played holy images in worship and in catechesis, in cathedrals, parish
churches, roadside shrines, and family homes. These images are meant
to attract us, to serve as models, to remind us of great deeds of God and
for God. When we see Christ in an icon we are encouraged to relate to
him, to greet him, to pray to him, to honour him, to worship him. The
icon is quasi-sacramental, a channel of grace and a path of communi-
cation with the divine. Icons are kissed, candles are lit before them,
flowers put beside them.
The humanity of Christ is easily able to be depicted, the perennial
challenge for sacred artists is how to hint at his divinity. Various artistic
conventions have been used – the gold background, a red background,
imperial garments, the halo, the mandorla (the almond-shaped slice of
heaven surrounding the Christ). We are so used to these conventions
that we take them for an ordinary part of the painting, but it is import-
ant to recognise them for what they are – unusual features that have

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Претплатите се и дарујте независни часописи Људи говоре, да бисмо трајали заједно


Људи говоре је српски загранични часопис за књижевност и културу који излази у Торонту од 2008.године. Поред књижевности и уметности, бави се свим областима које чине културу српског народа.

У часопису је петнаестак рубрика и свака почиње са по једном репродукцијом слика уметника о коме се пише у том броју. Излази 4 пута годишње на 150 страна, а некада и као двоброј на 300 страна.

Циљ му је да повеже српске писце и читаоце ма где они живели. Његова основна уређивачка начела су: естетско, етичко и духовно јединство.


Мило Ломпар
главни и одговорни уредник
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Владимир Димитријевић
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уредник за поезију
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Жељко Родић
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Никол Марковић
уредник енглеске секције и секретар Уредништва
(Торонто, Канада)

Џонатан Лок Харт
уредник енглеске секције
(Торонто, Канада)


Душица Ивановић

Сања Крстоношић

Александра Крстовић

Графички дизајн

Антоније Батуран

Технички уредник

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Часопис "Људи говоре"
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