Tihomir Milovac is an art historian and ethnologist. During his studies, he participated in the work of the theatre group Coccolemocco in Zagreb, and upon finishing his studies he continued to work actively on the Croatian cultural scene. He started working in the Museum of Contemporary Art, then the Contemporary Art Gallery, in 1984. He is the head of the Department of Experimental Research and co-author of the Museum's permanent display. He is also a co-author of the catalogue "Mladen Stilinović: Exploitation of the Dead."
As a member of the theatre group Coccolemocco, in 1977 and 1978 he participated in the theatre show "One Day in the Life of Ignac Golob," which dealt with self-management, the position of the little man in relation to the authorities, and his private and professional life. According to Tihomir Milovac, the show demonstrated in a very clear way the hypocrisy of the then government and “the general idea of self-management, which fell apart and simply made no sense any more. Despite the problems with the Association of Veterans of the People's Liberation War (AVNLW), most of the art world supported the show and it was performed throughout Yugoslavia for two years.
Milovac believes that the cultural opposition in socialist Yugoslavia had several faces, in the sense that there was public cultural opposition and the concealed one which he calls - subversive. Those in the public opposition risked their professional careers and lives; this was primarily in the world of literature and theatre. Within the field of visual arts, which was more subversive, attempts were made to point to specific phenomena in society at that time through certain types of activism.
- Zagreb, Croatia
Cardinal József Mindszenty (1892–1975) was a Roman Catholic clergyman who became Archbishop of Esztergom immediately following the Second World War. He was a conservative clergyman and uncompromising opponent of both fascism and communism in Hungary for more than five decades. Politically active from the time of his ordination as a priest in 1915, Mindszenty was arrested as an enemy of totalitarian governments twice—at the time of the Hungarian Soviet Republic in 1919 and again during the period of pro-Nazi Arrow Cross rule in 1944. In 1945, he was appointed Primate of Hungary and Archbishop of Esztergom and in 1946 became a cardinal. Mindszenty’s refusal to permit the Roman Catholic schools of Hungary to be secularized prompted the communist government to arrest and torture him in 1948 and to condemn him to life in prison in 1949 on charges of treason. Minszenty was set free during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and, when the communist government supported by a massive Soviet military invasion regained control of Hungary, he sought asylum at the U.S. embassy in Budapest. Mindszenty spent 15 years in voluntary confinement at the embassy, rejecting requests from the Vatican to leave Hungary and relenting only in 1971 at the entreaty of U.S. president Richard M. Nixon. Initially as a guest of the Vatican then while living in Vienna, he criticized the pope’s attempts to deal with Hungary’s communist régime and in 1974 was finally compelled to retire from his posts as archbishop and primate. During his last few years in the West, Mindszenty went on worldwide pastoral tours, visited Hungarian émigré communities and provided support for their churches as well as for the Hungarian Scout Association in Exteris through a number of significant donations. Mindszenety was originally buried in Austria, but in 1991, following the fall of Hungary’s communist government, he was reburied at Esztergom Basilica in northern Hungary.
Miočinović has translated numerous texts from French into Serbian (Lautréamond, A. Artaud, G. Genette, A. Ubersfeld, F. Dupont, J.-P. Sarrazac and others). She received the Theatre Studies Award from the Sterijno Theater Festival in Novi Sad in 1991 and the Special Merit Award from the same festival in 2005. In 2011, the Theatre Museum of Vojvodina granted her the Laurel Wreath Award for her lifelong contribution to drama.
Asked about cultural opposition in Yugoslavia by COURAGE, Miočinović maintained: "We lived in a system that did not force you to be part of it. [...] Since the break with Stalin, there have not been norms that you had to hold on. No form, neither content was imposed or prescribed for an artist to be articulated in his art." This all led to a major change in culture in the 1960s. "Those years were years of blossoming, it was a real boom. This created such a gifted generation of creative people." The situation changed in the 1970s when the freedom of action characteristic to the decades before significantly was reduced.
Mirjana Miočinović edited the Collected Works of Danilo Kiš. She also helped assemble the Danilo Kiš CD which contains digital copies of much of his life’s work.
- Belgrade, Serbia
For over 50 years he worked in the shipyard's photographic studio. His duty was to copy technical documentation and document the institution's work, especially the ship production. He has been fascinated with shipyard's space and liveliness. His photographs show the vivid life of this huge production company: workers enjoying themselves during the break, official inspections or spectacular launching of ready-made ships.
In 1980 Mirota photographed the strike in Gdansk Shipyard. His pictures show protesting Shipyard workers, local habitants who gave their support to the protesters, numerous signs painted on the walls, but also the everyday life in the context of the strike (like the famous photo of a woman pushing the stroller along the Shipyard wall, from which she is watched by the workers).But the historical worth is just one side of a great value lying in Mirota's photographs. In industrial, noisy and dirty space of a shipyard Mirota found beauty and inspiration for highly artistic creations. Some of his photos are the testimony to the highest aesthetic aspirations and quite abstract images.
Photographs by Zenon Mirota make the part of Photographic Collection of European Solidarity Centre, which organised a special exhibition devoted solely to his remarkable works. His affection for the Gdansk Shipyard has never disappeared and he still photographs it, documenting the changes it undergoes.
- Gdańsk, Poland
Miškinis started his creative activities in the mid-1920s. His first writings appeared in the Aušra gymnasium newspaper Skaidra (Clear). In 1928, he published his first collection of poetry Balta paukštė (The White Bird). Before the Second World War, he published the collections of poems Varnos prie kelio (Crows by the Road, 1935) and Keturi miestai (Four Cities, 1938). Thanks to this poetry, he became a well-known poet in Lithuania, and was recognised for his Neoromantic works. His poetry is full of folk themes and a feeling for the Lithuanian countryside. He sought to combine modern lyrics with folk songs.
At the same time, Miškinis was a very socially and politically active intellectual. He was elected to the Board of the Lithuanian Writer's Union several times, and he was one of the founders of the writers' newspaper Literatūros naujienos (Literature News). At the beginning of the Second World War in 1941, he started to prepare a programme for the Lithuanian Nationalist Party.
In the mid-1940s, he joined the Lithuanian partisan movement, for which he was tried, convicted and sent to Siberia. While serving his sentence, he wrote a number of romantic poems (psalms). Many of them were copied out or learnt by heart by other Lithuanian political prisoners at that time in Siberia.
Miškinis returned to Lithuania in 1956 after the death of Stalin. He was made to repent publicly for his past work in 1959, and afterwards he was allowed to write and publish his poetry.
With the poetry collections published later, Dienoraštis (Diary, 1972) and Klevai prie kelio (Sycamores by the Road, 1982), his poetry turned back to Neoromanticism. But the poems from his Siberian period were not published until 1989.
The collection was started during the Sajūdis (Lithuanian National Movement) period in 1989, when the Maironis Lithuanian Literature Museum obtained some of Miškinis’ household and personal items from his family. Later, in 1999, the museum received a large quantity of manuscripts, photographs and letters written by Miškinis during his imprisonment in Siberia in 1948-1956 from his wife Aleksandra. Algis Geniušas, a literature researcher, brought this material back from Siberia in 1957. Because of the political climate at the time, it was impossible to disseminate the poetry in society. Drafts and manuscripts of the poems were kept secretly among Miškinis’ private papers until 1999, when they were transferred to the Maironis Lithuanian Literature Museum. All of this material had already been used for research purposes (see R. Tūtlytė, Antanas Miškinis, Vilnius: Lietuvos rašytojų sąjungos leidykla, 1997), and after the study came out, the material was transferred to the museum.
- Vilnius Antakalnio gatvė 8, Lithuania 10308