About the Mak Dizdar Foundation

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I think that Mak is the one who succeeded in pulling us out of that vicious cycle and pointed to a new, more interesting way in which we can interpret our own history and the question of belonging, in time as well as in space. For him, belonging on these two levels is indivisible. The fact that he wrote poetry rather than political or historical studies does not reduce the effect and significance of his poetry in the slightest. At the end of the day, did not Aristotle himself suggest that poetry can be a more serious and profound medium than history because it deals with universal themes? We in Bosnia and Herzegovina are ideologically and politically alienated from many aspects of our history and space, the strings are ripped, a multiple fragmentation has occurred and we are missing a sense of wholeness and continuity. Mak has offered us a way in which we can connect those strings, return the wholeness with space and time, starting from that medieval period which has left us the stećak as undeniable proofs that people died in this space. And if people died, they lived as well, regardless of how that life is interpreted.

 

Amila Buturović, Professor of Humanities, York University, author of Stone speaker

 

The Mak Dizdar Foundation is dedicated to the promotion and realization of the way in which we can return the wholeness with space and time addressed in this quote by Amila Buturović, a member of the Mak Dizdar Foundation Programme Council. Ranging from supporting research about Mak Dizdar's poetry itself to organizing cultural events in his native Stolac as well as other parts of the country and abroad, the Foundation's activities are geared towards re-establishing a sense of cultural belonging within Bosnia and Herzegovina and promoting its values abroad.

 

The Foundation Mak Dizdar consists of a Board of Directors and a Programme Council. It is run by the Board of Directors which consists of five members. The President of the Board of Directors in Enver Dizdar, the founder of the Foundation. The Programme Council consists of 11 distinguished individuals from different national, ethnic and professional backgrounds:

 

  • Mersad Berber, Zagreb, Artist
  • Braco Dimitrijević, Paris, Artist
  • Aleksandar Hemon, Chicago, Writer
  • Amila Buturović, Toronto, Professor
  • Jadranka Dizdar, Zagreb, Journalist
  • Amira Medunjanin, Sarajevo, Musician
  • Keith Doubt, Wittenberg, Sociologist
  • Maja Popovac, Mostar, Architect
  • Mile Stojić, Sarajevo, Poet
  • Predrag Matvejević, Zagreb, Author
  • Zdravko Grebo, Sarajevo, Legal expert

 

The Mak Dizdar Foundation was officially founded in 2001, on occassion of the 30th anniversary of Mak Dizdar's death. The vision of its founders is for the Foundation to become a cultural institute of Bosnia and Herzegovina dedicated to the celebration of its diversity. It aims to promote its mission of contributing to the creation of what is often colloquially referred to as Mak's Bosnia through its four strategic goals: promoting Mak Dizdar's poetic work, supporting the development of cultural tourism in Stolac and Herzegovina, spreading the idea of reconciliation between the peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and encouraging the dialogue between cultures and civilizations in general.

 

Among numerous projects of the Foundation, there are three that deserve special mention. The first one is Slovo slike, one of the most complete exhibitions of Bosnian art after the war, held in 2002 in the Museum of Literature of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the German town of Friedrichshafen in 2003. All the works exhibited on this occassion were donated to the Foundation as a token of friendship and support to the legacy of Mak Dizdar's poetry. In 2008, the Foundation published the two-volume Slovo Makovo/Slovo o Maku, the first edition of the complete poetry of Mak Dizdar as well as the most significant essays written about his poetry. This publication was enabled by the generous support of the FBiH Ministry of Culture and Sports. Finally, also in 2008, the Foundation officially opened the Mak House (Makova Hiža)  in Stolac, a reconstructed house in a traditional Herzegovinan architectural style, containing the poet's estate in the possession of the family, as well as a small art gallery. The gallery has already hosted four exhibitions, including one by the globally-known Slovenian collective Laibach entitled The Death of Ideology. The construction of the Mak House was enabled by the donations of more than 20 companies from all over Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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