Monthly Archives: October 2016

Dobrila Pintar – master of glass jewelry and sculptures

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Artist Dobrila Pintar never gave up on her dreams. As an economist she was working for years in banks and small, boring offices which suffocated her, while all the time she was striving for art where her innate creativity could be express. Her enthusiasm, determination and persistence paid off and today she is  respected American artist – producer of original glass jewelry and artist awarded from the respectable guild associations across America.

Born in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, Dobrila graduated economy on Belgrade University. She moved to America 20 years ago with husband Mirko Pintar, pilot, and kids Nemanja and Andrea. First 10 years they lived in Minneapolis and then they moved to Chicago. Those first immigrant years were challenging      for Dobrila mostly because she didn’t know English language.

  • That frustrated me very much and I’ve been very persistent to learn English language as soon as possible. The feeling of powerlessness and isolation made me cry few times – she said, remembering her first immigrants years. – If you live here you have to accommodate to new condition and if you don’t know language that is huge barrier. Maybe people will help you few times because they feel sorry for you but that is not good thing. That’s why I always recommend everyone who moved to America to learn language.
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With that positive attitude and energy Dobrila learned English very fast. After that she enrolled Minnesota University and soon graduated on it. After that she worked as computer designer, then in banks on credit approval.

  • I never liked office work. You are sitting in booths, separated from other people. That environment has been killing me and I kept coming home with a headache. Even today I feel unpleasant when I have to go to bank.

She started working on jewelry even before her college. She was a hippie generation and she was making jewelry from beads. At the same time she started painting.

  • In Belgrade I went to Kolarac endowment to learn painting. When I moved to America I started producing jewelry a little bit more. I don’t have any special school, but there was always some manufacturer who needed help. I just worked and learned all the time because I always wanted to do something original. Every color and every shape in my work are original. In the beginning I’ve been producing silver jewelry, but after that I turn completely to making glass jewelry.
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Dobrila has her own art studio at the Bridgeport Art Center Gallery building at South loop of Chicago. Long time ago that building was empty warehouse and now that’s the place where artists can rent art studios.

There is a work, creative atmosphere in Dobrila’s studio. There are billboards with  jewelry, multicolored glass she bought as a tiny colorful stick, pearls, a little figures of animals, mythical creatures and symbols… There are glass earrings, necklaces, bracelets, pendants… And there are tools that, perhaps, remind more of metal milling workshop than on the art studio of the woman; there are gas cylinders with a cutting soldering iron, lathe for metal cutting, small furnaces for drying glass, drawer full of hammers and pliers…

– I attended various workshops across America and I still do. In the meantime, I learned to work on the machines and a soldering iron. I was in Florida, Portland, New Mexico… I used to stay there for a month without a phone or TV just making jewelry and learning from teachers, some of whom were Indians.

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It was a great honor when Dobrila was elected for Artist of Residence program, that brings together exceptional artists, connects them, organizes presentations and lectures. During this prestigious program artist has an obligation to show the process of making jewelry to her colleagues, to teach others what she knows, to motivate them and direct. She was also honored (along with 11 other artists) with the award the Artist of the Month. This prestigious award has opened many doors for her.

– Now I get invitations from galleries and art festivals I could have only dream in the past or applied like everyone else. Everything is connected with famous Chicago Art Institute and Cultural Center, because they all work together – galleries, Art Institute, museums, curators, gallery owners… It is a great honor for me and for Chicago – she said.

Dobrila Pintar is proud that Sofia Vergara, a popular Hollywood actress of Colombian origin, wears her necklace. She says that her daughter Andrea knows a friend of the famous actress and right before Sofia’s birthday her friend saw Dobrila’s necklace I bought it for her. However, Dobrila doesn’t have Sofia’s permission to show the picture of Dobrila’s yellow necklace.

 

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Dobrila says she is open to give her knowledge to other talented people. – I have my students and I want to show this skill to people who are interested in this, especially children. Many people are thrilled when they see that they made jewelry by themselves, with their hands.

Milica Puric

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SERBIAN VERSION – SRPSKA VERZIJA

Dobrila PIntar

Šarene fantazije u staklu

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Umetnica Dobrila Pintar nikada nije odustala od dvojih snova. Kao ekonomista ona je godinama radila u bankama i  suvoparnim kancelarijama koje su je gušile svojom skučenošću, dok je sve vreme težila umetnosti u kojoj je njena urodjena kreativnost mogla da se ispolji. Njen entuzijazam, upornost i neodustajanje od snova su se isplatili. Danas je ona jedna od najcenjenijih američkih umetnica – proizvodjača unikatnog nakita napravljenog od stakla i metala i nagradjivana od najuglednijih esnafskih udruženja i umetnički7h institucija širom Amerike.

Ova Beogradjanka završila je Ekonomski fakultet u Beogradu i sa mužem Mirkom Pinatrem, pilotom, i decom – Nemanjom i Andreom, pre 20-ak godina doselila se u Ameriku.  Prvih 10-ak godina živeli su u Mineapolisu, a onda su se doselili u Chicago. Te prve imigrantske godine bile su za nju izazov, najviše zato što nije znala engleski jezik.

  • To me je veoma frustriralo i bila sam vrlo uporna da ga savladam što pre – kaže energična umetnica, prisećajući se da je osećaj usamljenosti i izolovanosti dovodio nekoliko puta do suza. – Ako živiš ovde moraš da se uklopiš, a ako ne znaš jezik to je ogromna barijera. Možda će ljudi pokušati da ti pomognu iz sažaljenja, ali to nije to. Zato uvek preporučujem našima da uče jezik.
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Sa tako pozitivnim stavom i energijom Dobrila je brozo savladala jezik, a onda upisala i završila Minesota univerzitet i došla do postidpolomskih studija na prestižnom Karlson menadzment fakulktetu. Potom je radila kao kompjuter dizajner, a onda u bankama, na odobravanju kredita.

  • Nikad nisam violela taj kancelarijski posao. Sediš u separeima i odvojen si od drugih ljudi. To me je ubijalo i kući sam stalno dolazila sa glavoboljom. Ja se i sad narogušim kad treba da idem u banku.

Nakitom je počela da se bavi još pre studija. Bila je hipi generacija i pravila je nakit od perli, a kasnije je počela da se bavi slikarstvom.

  • Išla sam na Kolarac da slikam, a kada sam se doselila u Ameriku počela sam malo vise da proizvodim nakit. Uvek je tu bio neki proizvodjač kome je bila potrebna pomoć. Nemam nikakvu specijalnu školu, ali sam radila non-stop i učila jer mi je uvek bila želja da radim nešto originalno i svaka boja i oblik su kod mene originalni. Tako sam prvo radila nakit od srebra, a onda sam se potpuno posvetila pravljenju nakita od stakla’, kaže ona.
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Ona sada ima svoj atelje na južnoj strani Čicaga u velikoj zgradi Bridgeport Art Center Gallery koja je nekada bila zapušteni magacin, a sada zgrada u kojoj se umetnicima iznajmljuju ateljei za rad. U jednom od tih atrljea, Dobrilinom, vlada prava umetničko-kreativno-radna atmosfera. Tu su panoi sa izloženim unikatnim nakitom, raznobojno staklo koje Dobrila kupuje u orginalnoj formi – kao staklene štapiće u jarkim bojama, perle, figurice životinja, mitskih bića i simbola. Tu su staklene mindjuše, ogrlice, narukvice, privesci… A tu je i alat koji, možda više podseća metalostrugarsku radionicu nego na umetnički atelje jedne žene: tu su plinske boce sa lemilicama, struga za sečenje metala, male peći za sušenje i oblikovanje stakla, fijoka prepuna kelšta i čekića…

  • Pohadjala sam različite radionice širom Amerike, a i danas to radim. U medjuvremenu sam naučila da radim na mašinama i lemilicama. Bila sam na Floridi, Portlandu, Novom Meksiku, gde sam ostajala po mesec dana bez telefona i televizora učeci pravljenje nakita od učitelja, od koji su neki bili Indijanci.933961_10151398121766984_1461559645_n
  • Veika čast za Dobrilu bila je kada je izabrana za program Artist of Residence, koji okuplja izuzetne umetnike, povezuje ih, organizuje prezentacije i predavanja. U okviru tog prestižnog programa imala je obavezu da pokazuje kolegama proces svog rada, da uči druge ono što ona zna, da ih motiviše i upućuje. Još jedna čast pripala joj je kada je u oktobru prošle godine, zajedno sa još 11 umetnika dobila nagradu The Artist of the Month. Ovo prestižno priznanje otvorilo joj je mnoga vrata.
  • Sad dobijam pozive od galerija i art festivala o kojima sam ranije samo mogla da sanjam ili sam morala da konkurišem kao svi ostali. Sve je povezano sa čuvenim čikaškim Art institutom i Kulturnim centrom, jer svi oni sarađuju – galerije, Institut, muzeji, kustoti, vlasnici galerija. To je velika čast i za mene i za Čikago – kaže Dobrila.

Dobrila Pintar ponosna je što Sofija Vergara, popularna holivudska glumica kolumbijskog porekla nosi njenu ogrlicu. Ona kaže da njena ćerka Andrea poznaje prijateljicu slavne glumice i da je ta žena uoči Sofijinog rodjendana videla Dobrilinu orgrlicu i kupila je za nju. Dobrila, međutim, nema odobrenje od glumice pa ne sme javno da pokazuje sliku na kojoj se vidi kako nosi Dobrilinu žutu ogrlicu.

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Na kraju Dobrila kaže da bi zaista volela da svoje znanje o pravljenju nakita prenese nekome. Imam svoje studentei hoću da pokazujem ovu veštinu onima koji su zainteresovani, posebno deci. Znam da mnogi budu oduševljeni kad vide da su sami svojim rukama, napravili neki nakit od perli.

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Vladimir Cetkar, New York jazz musician – Unlike politics, music unites everyone

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Smile, talent, positive attitude and energy for life – Vladimir Cetkar 

~ Milica Puric ~  

Vladimir Cektar, talented jazz musician, songwriter and singer, a Macedonian who lives and works in New York, plays and travels all the time. ‘When new people show up on my concert, they think that they will hear something deep and heavy considering that I play jazz… But I think that everyone can identify with my music, because it resembles music of late ’70s, even of Oliver Mandich, whose music I adore’.

‘When you play that kind of music there is always great energy around…’ , says Vladimir Cetkar  who came from Macedonia to Boston at famous Berkeley Music Academy, and after that went to the capital of the jazz music- New York.

‘When I came to Boston everything seemed cold and foreign, especially because I had a beautiful life back home. I didn’t come to America to look for a better life, but to learn more about the thing I love and to study music.’ He remembers that there were no many people from Ex Yugoslavia in Boston, there were no Macedonians at all, he was the only one.

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Vladimir Cetkar in New York City – the the capital of jazz music

‘One day, in elevator, I heard Serbian language, and immediately got acquainted with two guys from Kragujevac, who are my friends and colleagues. One of them was Bojan Dugić- son of the famous fife player Bora Dugic. Тhe two of us worked together on many projects. He is an incredible producer, and has passion towards everything that is pure and sincere. We live in New Yourk, and he is a part of my music. We have memories, enthusiasm… I always worked with him and my pianist, a colleague from Berkeley, the amazing Milan Milanovic, from Belgrade.

Vladimir Cetkar moved to New York in 2008, and published his first album ‘We will never end’. That album opened many elite club doors for him in New York, Boston, Washington, LA. After that album he published the second one – ‘Heavenly’, and promoted it across America and the rest of the world.

When asked how it looked like coming to New York, city in which the competition is huge, Vladimir Cetkar tells us that competition is really big, especially among musicians who work on same genre as he is – mix of jazz, disco and funky music, that is created in New York. But, after all, he made his way.

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Vladimir Cetkar is performing at his concert

‘My music is like some kind of distillation of everything that I have listened up until now, and my life experience in Ex Yugoslavia. There are no Balkan elements in my music, which is unusual for musicians that are originally from Balkan. They often put our elements in their music, because they think that they have to, but they don’t.  We should all have universal answers. That means that if we have folklore we should respect it, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t do universal things. That won’t estrange us, on the contrary, it will make us cosmopolitans. We will be more appreciated’, says Vladimir Cetkar, who adores traditional music and drinking vine while listening to it.

‘I think that we don’t have to change our identity and our name to be accepted. Imagine creating this music genre in Boston and New York while your name is Vladimir. Prejudice are everywhere and that is why we have to keep looking for elements that will keep us together, we must keep searching for love and spread it. I told to myself that my music will always be positive. I make music deep from my heart and soul, where you can find only love and no prejudice. I think that people can see it.

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Traveling all over the world is another Cetkar’s passion 

When asked what is his dream and life goal, Vladimir says that he wants to be fulfilled and active in America and Europe. ‘America has great beauties, but my family is in Europe. It is always nice to have this two worlds, because then you have an experience that many others don’t. I travel, meet people-that is the best way for getting rid of prejudices. When I perform around the world, for example in Central America, I always hang out with local people, use their public transport, so I can feel the ambient. What use does a man have when he goes to Guatemala and don’t leave the resort. It is almost like he was only at the airport, he saw nothing, experienced nothing. We live short, but our hearts are big, filled with emotions…that’s why my first album is called: ‘We will never end’. We should be filled with positive energy and love, we should accept our differences, because people love to be separated, to be more special that someone else, but basically we are all the same. That’s why music is special, it is the magic in which people are always uniting, unlike politics where everyone is separating. We have to nurture music and tradition. That is exactly what I am doing. I write notes for my compositions by my hand because I love that creation, the process of an old craft. My father and grandfather made brushes with their own hands, so I make music with mine too’. Vladimir Cetkar said.

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Vladimir Cetkar is recording his music in studio

When asked what word would he send to young artists, that are now coming to New York like he once did, Vladimir says: ‘I would tell them to be ready and to be sure that music is what they want to do the most. They should have enormous energy and persistence to stay, to work and to create. Even with all of that if will always be hard, but they shouldn’t calculate, they should create with 100% of love, with no plan b, because audience can always feel the calculation. They have to work from their hearts, even if it leads them to failure, because it is always better to be honest to yourself while trying to reach perfection similar to Gods from Olympus. I recommend them to prepare to hear ‘No’ for hundred times, but that is not because they aren’t good enough, it is because everything didn’t fit right as it supposed to. They have to be persistent and spread energy of their hometowns. They shouldn’t be newborn Americans. We have beautiful culture and it should be shared around the world, even while playing disco punk music. We all play it like foreign people and we are respected for it. We are showing a whole other world to American people, the one that they didn’t even know existed. We should be music ambassadors while being ambassadors only by smiling to someone on the street.

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SERBIAN VERSION – SRPSKA VERZIJA 

Vladimir Četkar

Živimo kratko, a srca su nam velika

Retko koji muzičar može da se pohvali tolikim brojem nastupa i stalnim putovanjima po celom svetu kao što može Vladimir Četkar, talentovani džez muzičar, kompozitor i pevač, Makedonac koji živi i radi u Njujorku.

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Svirka u Cikagu u nekadasnjem klubu ‘Bubamara’ 

‘Kad na moje koncerte dodje nova publika ona uvek pomisli da će, pošto sviram dzez, da čuje nešto teško i ozbiljno… Ali mislim da sa mojom muzikom svako može da se identifikuje jer ona podseća na muziku kasnih 70-ih, pa čak i na Olivera Mandića čiju muziku obožavam. Kada se stvara takva muzika energija je uvek lepa… ‘ kaže Vladimir Cetkar koji je iz Makedonije najpre došao u Boston na čuvenu Berkli muzičku akademiju, a onda i u dzez prestonicu – Njujork. ‘Kada sam došao u Boston sve mi je bilo hladno i tudje, posebno zato što sam kući imao lep život. U Ameriku sam stigao ne da bih tražio bolji život, već da bih učio ono što volim i studirao muziku.’ Seća se da u Bostonu nije bilo puno ljudi iz bivše Jugoslavije, a Makedonaca nije bilo uopšte, on je bio jedini. Jednog dana u liftu sam čuo srpski jezik i odmah se upoznao sa dva momka iz Kragujevca koji su mi i danas prijatelji i kolege. Jedan od njih je Bojan Dugić, sin poznatog frulaša Bore Dugića. Nas dvojica smo radili zajedno na mnogim projektima. On je neverovatan producent i ima ljubav prema svemu što je iskreno. Obojica živimo u Njujorku i on je deo moje muzike. Imamo zajedničke uspomene, entuzijazam… Uvek radim muziku sa njim, dok mi je pijanista neverovatni Milan Milanovic, Beograđanin i moj kolega sa Berklija…’’ kaze Vladimir Četkar.

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Putovanje po egoziticnim destinacijama i druzenje sa lokalnim ljudima jedna je od omiljenih aktivnosti Vladimira Cetkara 

Vladimir se preselio u Njujork 2008. godine i tada je objavio prvi album ‘ Za nas nema kraja’ (‘We will never end’). Taj album mu je otvorio vrata brojnih elitnih klubova u Njujorku, Bostonu, Vašingtonu, Los Andjelesu… Posle tog albuma objavio je i drugi ‘Božanski’ (‘Heavenly’) i  promovisao ga širom Amerike i sveta.

Na pitanje kako je izgledalo doći u Njujork grad u kome je najveća konkurencija umetnika iz celog sveta, Vladimir Četkar kaže da je konkurencija zaista velika, posebno među muzičarima koji rade muziku kao on – mešavinu dzeza, disko, fanki muzike koja je stvorena u Njujorku. Ipak našao je svoj put.

‘Moja muzika je kao neka destilacija svega što sam slušao do sada i nekog mog životnog iskustva u bivšoj Jugoslaviji… U njoj nema balkanskih elemenata, što je neobično za muzičare sa Balkana koji obično ubacuju naše elemente jer misle da to tako mora da bude, a ne mora. Mi svi treba da imamo univerzalni odgovor. To znači, ako imamo folklor treba da ga poštujemo, ali to ne znači da ne treba da radimo ono što je univerzalno. Time se ne udaljavamo od sebe, već postajemo kosmpoliti… Time će nas vise ceniti….’ kaže Vladimir Četkar i dodaje da obožava tradicionalnu muziku i da uz nju najbolje pije vino.

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Vladimir Četkar – Jos jedna slika sa putovanja

Mislim da ne moramo da menjamo svoj identitet i svoje ime da bi nas ljudi prihvatili. Zamislite samo stvaranje ovakve vrste muzike u Bostonu i Njujorku kada se zoveš Vladimir! Svugde postoje predrasude, i zato treba da tražimo elemente koji nas objedunjuju, a ne razdvajaju, da tražimo i širimo ljubav. Rekao sam sebi da će moja muzika uvek biti pozitivna. Pravim je duboko iz srca i duše u kojima postoji samo ljubav i nikakva predrasuda. Mislim da ljudi to prepoznaju…’

Na pitanje šta je njegov san i cilj u životu, Vladimir Četkar kaže da želi da bude ispunjen i što vise aktivan i u Americi i u Evropi. ‘U Americi je velika lepota, a u Evropi mi je familija. Lepo je kada imaš ta dva sveta jer imaš iskustvo koje mnogi drugi nemaju. Ja putujem, upoznajem ljude, a to je najbolji način da se razbiju predrasude. Kada nastupam po svetu, recimo u centralnoj Americi, uvek se družim sa lokalnim stanovništvom, putujem njihovim autobusima da bih doživeo taj ambijent… Jer kakvu korist čovek ima kad ode, recimo u Gvatemalu (Guatemala), pa ne izlazi iz odmaralista (resort). Kao da je bio na aerodromu, ništa nije video, ništa doživeo… Živimo veoma kratko, a srca su nam velika, puna emocija… Zato sam i nazvao prvi album ‘Za nas neće biti kraja’ (‘We will never end’). Treba da budemo ispunjeniji sa pozitivnom energijom i ljubavlju, da prebrodimo naše razlike jer ljudi mnogo vole da budu podeljeni, da budu specijalniji nego neko drugi, a svi su isti. Zato je muzika posebna. Ona je magija u kojoj se ljudi uvek objedinjuju (unite), za razliku od politike gde se svi dele. Zato muzika mora da se neguje kao zanat i tradicija i ja baš to radim. Note za kompozicije pišem rukom jer obožavam tu kreaciju, taj proces starog zanata. Tako su i moj otac i deda pravili četke rukama, pa tako i ja ručno kreiram muziku…’ kaze Četkar.

a-cetkar-u-bogotiBogota, Kolumbija – muzicar i strastveni putnik koji obilazi ceo svet

Na pitanje šta bi preporučio mladim umetnicima koji dolaze u Njujork, kao što je i on došao, Vladimir kaže: ‘Da budu spremni i sigurni da je muzika ono što žele da rade najviše na svetu. Treba da imaju neverovatnu energiji i volju da bi ostali da rade i kreiraju. I pored toga uvek će biti teško. Ali, ne treba kalkulisati, već treba raditi sa 100 procenata ljibavi, bez ikakvih rezervi, jer publika odmah oseti kalkulaciju. Treba raditi iz srca pa makar i po cenu neuspeha jer bolje je biti iskren prema sebi i stremiti ka savršenstvu kao bogovi sa Olimpa. Preporučujem im da se bore i da budu spremni da će čuti pre jednog ‘da’ na stotine, na hiljade ‘ne’  i to ne zato jer nisu kvalitetni, već zato što se nije sve sklopilo kako treba. Moraju da budu uporni i da šire onu energiju odakle dolaze, a da se ne trude da budu novopečeni Amerikanci. Mi imamo lepu kulturu i nju treba da širimo, čak i ako sviramo disko pank muziku. Ali mi to sviramo kao ljudi koji su došli sa drugih prostora i tako dobijamo poštovanje. Tako će Amerikanci otkriti jedan novi svet, jedan kosmos za koji nisu znali da postoji. Mi treba da budemo muzički ambasadori, pored toga što smo već ambasadori svojih zemalja ako se jednostavno nasmešimo nekome na ulici,’ kaze na kraju Vladimir Četkar.

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The flower queen of music – Dona Onete, Brazilian singer, guest of Chicago

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She walked slowly and with the difficulties. She needed help to get on the stage, but once she gets there, once she sits on the chair in the middle of the stage and starts singing she shines like a queen of Brazilian music. That’s what the audience at Old Town School of Folk Music experienced on September 23rd when remarkable Brazilian singer Dona Onete made her Chicago debut at 78. As a part of traditional World Music Festival in Chicago she performed with her live band ‘Bossa Tres’ and presented songs from her second album ‘Banzeiro’.

That night Brazilian singer brought in windy city an exotic atmosphere of South America. She was dressed in a beautiful, vivid Brazilian colors. She worn colorful, floral dress, Brazilian scarf around her head, a lot of jewelry, but her passion was the most impressive. She was singing one after another dancing song and she made everyone in Old Town School of Folk Music dancing and having a wonderful time. Maybe she was the oldest one over there (even that’s not nice thing to say for any lady) but she was the most energetic of all. She was full of life and love for music and singing.

3Between the songs Dona Onete and the members of  ‘Bossa Tres’ talked only Portuguese language – everybody understood what they were talking about. Together they made an amazing performance and their joyful, cheerful Brazilian music made almost everyone in the audience gleeful. The saxophonist from the band was especially inspiring. He was playing his instrument and at the same time dancing, running on the stage and getting down into the audience just to dance with them.

Discovered by a local band in her hometown, Onete has been singing and writing songs for as long as she can remember. She released her first, debut album in 2014, at the age of 73.  but she is now making up for lost time.

Her experience shines through on Banzeiro, a collection of songs that combine traditional rhythms with buoyant Carribean-inspired melodies, local Bossa Nova act Bossa Tres opens this free World Music Festival concert.

Milica Puric

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‘Tower to the people’ – Joseph Sikorsky’s movie about Nikola Tesla

At the world premiere of the Nikola Tesla-based film, Tower to the People, Emmy-nominated composer Marina Arsenijevic (L) and award-winning director Joseph Sikorski (R).

Marina Arsenijevic, composer of the music for the movie ‘Tower to the people’, and Joseph Sikorski at the  world premiere of the Nikola Tesla-based film, ‘Tower to the People’

Joseph Sikorsky made two movies about Nikola Tesla. First one is the documentary ‘Tower to the people’ which tells us about Tesla’s last laboratory, Wardenclyffe laboratory, on the Long Island, about hundred kilometers away from New York. The other movie is ‘Fragments from Olympus’ which we filmed with co-author Michael Calomino.

Joseph Sikorsky, director, producer, screenwriter and a great fan of Nikola Tesla, became fascinated with the famous scientist about 15 years ago, when he was in a book store and accidentally found some material which speaks about F.B.I investigation of Nikola Tesla’s work. The provided document contained chapters about deathly rays and wireless energy. Sikorsky was very attracted by all of it.

The enigmatic life of electrical genius and visionary Nikola Tesla unravels through a posthumous F.B.I. investigation into his particle beam research, including a new super weapon called a “death ray”.

During the height of World War II, the F.B.I. races to secure the papers and experiments of an enigmatic recently deceased scientist, who shortly before his death claimed to perfect a new super-weapon… a particle beam that could destroy ten thousand planes from 250 miles away… an invention referred to as the “death ray”. Did the machine exist? Was it a threat to the war effort? Or was the radical inventor mad? It sounds like science fiction, but it is true.

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  • I started to read about Tesla and the more I read my obsession grew bigger. I couldn’t believe that I have finished school, went through America’s educational system without ever hearing about Nikola Tesla. I have decided to start a mission that will raise consciousness about Tesla and his accomplishments. I wanted to show how he fought and to correct the mistake that history made and as I work in film industry I thought that movie is the best way for completing this mission. That is why I made ‘Fragments from Olympus’.
  • In the screenplay Fragments from Olympus, federal authorities race for an answer, as they probe the life of genius inventor Nikola Tesla. Based on recently declassified documents, and the amazingly triumphant and tragic life of Nikola Tesla,  this is the story about one of the world’s most forgotten hero. Sikorski’s goal was to bring the achievements of Nikola Tesla to public attention, to help restore the credit that history has mistakenly placed elsewhere.
  • – Michael Calomino and I decided to tell story of Tesla through examination of investigation that F.B.I did. At the same time I found out that Tesla’s laboratory Wardenclyffe, that I am only 40 minutes away, is in very bad condition and that it may soon be sold. My team and I wanted to keep the historical laboratory, so we connected with groups like Tesla science center. As we all know we collected money in 2012. Through historical venture that was started by Matthew Inman. The restauration is worth millions, so we decided to make documentary about past, present and future of Wardenclyffe. We named the movie ‘Tower to the people’.5-jane-alcorn-president-of-tesla-science-center-and-joseph-sikorski
  1. Jane Alcorn, the presdent of Tesla Science Center, and Joseph Sikorski

Josef Sikorsky says that he and his team went through many troubles and came across many tests in 13 years of dealing with this problem. Their interests for Tesla grew bigger since the movie ‘Fragment from Olympus’ won the Long Island International Film Festival, and also since the movie was a quarter-finalist at the American Screenwriting Competition, the largest screenwriting competition in the USA.

Unfortunately, many wanted to represent Tesla in the negative way, like crazy scientist and out mission had the opposite goal. Through the movie we tried to remove misconceptions about him. That’s why we missed many offers. We realized that we have to keep the control over the movie if we wanted to present the exact Tesla’s portrait, so we turned to independent production. We found a great support from significant people, and some great Hollywood names joined our mission. For example Michael Lerner, nominated for Oscar, actress Sean Young from the ‘Blade Runner’ and ‘Wall Street’, actor Leo Rossi moviemaker, Howard Smith from ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Matrix’.

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  • We succeeded at collecting resources for continuing pre-production and then we decided to donate the money for actions that included redemption of Wardenclyffe. We donated 30.000 $ for Tesla Science Center. On the other hand, our documentary ‘Tower to the people’ had completely different path. Interviewing so many significant people connected to Tesla was a great honor. One of them was William Terbo, last blood relative of Nikola Tesla. From the museum of Nikola Tesla in Belgrade we got some rare photographs and sketches so we succeeded at reconstructing the Wardencluffe tower for our documentary. I will keep raising consciousness about Tesla in America.
  • A genius and a hero

‘At first I got interested in Tesla because of the deathly rays, and because of the machine for making earthquakes but the more I found, the more obsessed I become. So now I am more interested in some other technologies that he developed. From my perspective he didn’t even have to invent anti-gravity machine to reach the top of the science world. Working for benefit of mankind without any personal finance interests makes him a bigger hero’, says Sikorsky.

Milica Puric

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SERBIAN VESRION – SRPSKA VERZIJA

Džozef Sikorski,  reditelj i producent dokumentarnog filma o Nikoli Tesli ‘Kula ka ljudima’

Odbrana skromnog genija

Reditelj Džozef Sikorski snimio je do sada dva filma o naučniku Nikoli Tesli. Prvi je dokumentarni film ‘Kula ka ljudima’ (Tower to the people) koji govori o poslednjoj Teslinoj labaratoriji Vordenklif na ostrvu Long Ajlend 100-ak kilometara od Njujorku, a drugi igrani film ‘Fragmenti sa Olimpa’ (Fragments from Olympus) koji je uradio sa koautorom Majkl Kalominom.

Džozef SIkorski, nezavisni reditelj, producent, scenarista i veliki Teslin obožavalac, postao je opčinjen Nikolom Teslom pre 15-ak godina kada je u jednoj knjižari nabasao na nekakav materijal u kome se govorilo o tome kako je FBI, posle Tesline smrti, istraživao njegov rad. U priloženom FBI dokumentu govorilo se o smrtonosnim zracima i bežičnoj energiji i to je veoma privuklo njegovu pažnju.

  • Počeo sam da čitam o Tesli i što sam vise čitao moja opsesija njime je postajala sve veća i veća. Nisam mogao da poverujem da sam prošao kroz celo školovanje, obrazovani sistem u Americi i da nisam nikad čuo o njemu. Odlučio sam da krenem u misiju koja bi podigla svest o Tesli i njegovim dostignućima. Želeo sam da pokažem kako se borio i da ispravim istorijsku nepravdu, a pošto radim u filmskoj industriji mislio sam da je najbolje ostvariti ovu misiju kroz film. Tako je nastao film ‘Fragmenti sa Olimpa’. Majkl Kalomino i ja odlučili smo da kažemo Teslinu priču krtoz istinito FBI ispitivanje njegovih istraživanja. U isto vreme saznao sam da je Teslina labaratorija Vordenklif, od koje sam udaljen 40 minuta, u veoma lošem stanju i da postoji opasnost da bude prodata. Moj tim i ja smo se zaintersovali za očuvanje istorijske labartorije i povezali sa grupama poput Teslinog naučnog centra. Kao što svi znamo novac je sakupljen 2012. godine kroz istorijski poduhvat koji je pokrenuo Metju Inman. Restauracija će koštati milione, a mi smo odlučili da napravimo dokumentarni film o prošlosti, sadašnjosti i budućnosti Vordenklifa. Film se zove ‘Kula ka ljudima’.

Džozef Sikorski kaže da su on i njegov tim kroz 13 godišnje bavljenje Teslom  prošli kroz mnoge turbulencije i naišli na mnoge testove. Interesovanje za Teslu povećalo se otkako je film ‘Fragmenti sa Olimpa’ pobedio na Internacionalnom filmskom festivalu na Long Ajlendu (Long Island International Film Festival) i otkako je bio četrtfinalista na najvećem takmičenju scenarija u Americi.

Na žalost, mnogi su želeli da ga predstave u negativnom svetlu, kao ludog naučnika, a naša misija je imala upravo suprotan cilj – da kroz film odstranimo zablude o njemu. Zato smo propustili mnoge ponude. Shvatili smo da moramo da zadržimo kontrolu nad filmom, ako želimo da prezentiramo tačan Teslin portret, pa smo se delimično okrenuli ka nezavisnoj produkciji. Dobili smo veliku podršku značajnih ljudi, a našoj misiji pridružila su se neka velika holivudska imena kao što je Majkl Lernar, nominovan za Oscara, glumica Šon Jang iz filmova ‘Blejdraner’ i Volstrit’, glumac Leo Rosi i kinematograf Hauard Smit (Howard Smith) iz ‘Hari Potera’ i Matriksa.

  • Uspeli smo da nekako prikupimo pare kako bismo nastavili predprodukciju, a onda smo odlučili da novac doniramo za tadašnju akciju prikupljanja novca za otkup Vordenklifa. Tako smo donirali 30.000 dolara Teslinom naučnom centru. Sa druge strane, naš dokumentarni film ‘Kula ka ljudima’ imao je mnogo drugačiji put. Bila je velika čast intervjuisati tako mnogo značajnih ličnosti koje su bile vezane za Teslu, kao što je Vilijam Terbo, poslednji čovek koji je sa Teslom u krvnom srodstvu. Od Teslinog muzeja iz Beograda dobili smo retke fotografije i nacrte tako da smo uspeli da rekonstuišemo kulu Vordenklifa za naš dokumentarac. Jedva čekam da nastavimo da podižemo svest o Tesli u Americi’.

Genije i heroj

  • Tesla me je najpre zainteresovao zbog smrtonosnih zrakova i zbog mašine za pravljenje zemljotresa. Međutim, što vise saznajem o njemu to sam sve opsednutiji, a sada sam mnogo zainteresovaniji za neke druge tehnologije koje je razvio. Iz moje perspektive, on nije ni morao da izume antigravitacionu mašinu da bi osvojio jedno od najvišijh mesta u nauci. Njega već čini herojem to što je radio za dobrobit čovečanstva, a bez ikakvih ličnih finansijskih interesa – kaže Sikorski.
  • Milica Puric

Peace among wolves – Vuk Rsumovic, movie director

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Vuk Rsumovic, director of the movie “No One’s Child’

“I could not believe that in 20th century the middle of 80s in the forests of Bosnia and Herzegovina, among wild animals and wolves, hunters have found a wild boy who was later brought to Belgrade for socialization. That story haunted me from the moment I heard about it and I became obsessed with it. I knew I had to make a movie about this boy”, said Vuk Rsumovic, screenwriter and movie director about his first movie “No One’s Child”.

His cinematic debut won primary Audince Award at the famous Venice Film Festival in 2015 in the selection of ‘International Week of Film Critics’. The award is given based on the votes of all who watched the Venice Film Festival and it opened the door to Rsumovic’s film.  After Festival, the movie ‘No One’s Child’ got 35 more important film awards. “Venice awards have a special weight because Venice Festival is prestigious Festival. It paved the way for my film. When you win a prize at Venice Film Festival everyone become interested in your film. First, film festival organizers, then audience, then others…  That award shows that the film is worth watching. After that Festival, we received many awards from critics and audiences and each of them has its own beauty, but if I have to choose which one I like the most (after Venice award) that would be The Best Director award I got in Russia at the International Film Festival Zerkalo (The Mirror) named after famous movie director Andrei Tarkovsky”, Vuk explained.

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Beginning of the movie “No One’s Child” – Denis Muric in leading role of a wild boy

The movie ‘No One’s Child ‘ is based on the fascinating true story of a wild boy (played by Denis Muric in the movie) who was found by local hunters in the middle of 80s of the last century in the mountains of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The boy grew up among wild animals and wolves and he didn’t know to talk and walk as a human, only as an animal. He acted like a little wild beast. He was sent to Belgrade, at that time Serbian capital, to the institution for abandoned children for social and civilized adaptation. Contrary to predictions, the boy, who randomly was named Haris, began to grow rapidly and make friends…

“I heard about this story from my wife seven – eight years ago. She is theater director and at that time she had a non-government organization that used to work with a group of juvenile delinquents at the orphanage ‘Vasa Stajic’  in Belgrade. There she met one of the teacher who told her this story as an anecdote from his professional life. Then she told the story to me and I became fascinated by it. From the very beginning I knew that I have to make movie about it. I could not believe that in Europe in the late 20th century, hunters found a boy who grew up with the wolves. Then I started exploring. First I met the teacher from the orphanage – Dragan Rolovic, who has worked with a wild boy. He told me everything he knew about him. Then I started coming more and more often to the orphanage in order to familiarized myself with the institution where abandoned children live”.

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Scene from the movie – boy Denis Muric and Milos Timotijevic who played Dragan Rolovic, teacher from the orphanage who took care of him

Vuk Rsumovic says, with a smile, that long time ago some directors warned their colleagues that they must not make their first movie with children and animals and he had both of them in his movie. “But I was very careful. I wouldn’t give to Denis Muric, who played a wild boy, the script in advance, only when he came on the set. I did not want him to practice anything at home, because I would have more trouble to teach him differently from what he had learned and that would kill spontaneity. And it paid off. He is an extraordinary  actor. I found him on the set director Goran Radovanovic movie ‘Enclave’ where he also played significant role. Previously I tried to find my leading actor all around. I have visited many schools, but when I saw him I knew immediately I had found my actor! His role is very challenging: in the beginning he is like little animal, he behaves like a little beast, but at the end of the film he is socialized young man. Denis was excellent in all of this, at all stages of filming” the director said.

The film ends with the boy’s returning to the Bosnia because of bureaucratic reasons. The war just began and Haris met accidentally a group of soldiers. They took him with themselves, gave him a gun and he went to fight. Nobody knows what happened to him later. In reality  the boy also disappeared in the middle of the war. He didn’t belong to any war sides and went back to his the only one family – a family of wolves.  It turned out that animals have been more harmless and better than the people.

 

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Boys in front of orphanage – Denis Muric, leading actor (left) and Pavle Cemerikic, his friend 

Beside Denis Muric, there are many talented actors in the movie: Pavle Cemerikic, Isidora Jankovic, Milos Timotijevic, Tihomir Stanic, Borka Tomovic, Goran Susljik, Zinaida Dedakin. The film was produced by Miroslav  Mogorovic, director of photography is Damjan Radovanovic, music was created by Jura Ferina and Pavao Miholjevic.

Vuk Rsumovic’s Biography

Vuk Rsumovic was born in 1975 in Serbian capital – Belgrade. He graduated dramaturgy at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade. He has extensive experience working in television and has written several screenplays for short films, series, cartoons and documentaries. ‘No One’s Child’ is his first film. Speaking of making his first movie, Vuk Rsumovic said that the process of making this movie took a very long time – eight years. During that period he researched and researched. “Long time ago François Truffaut, French movie director, made a similar film ‘Wild child’. Our stories are similar. His movie was based on the doctor’s study and was the first study of child psychiatry. This is a boy who was found in the wilderness in France, and the doctor began to work with him. Truffaut said that this is the theme that one can explores whole life. And indeed that’s what I realized dealing with it, exploring it. However, at some point I had to draw the line and say to myself – that’s enough, I know what I know and if I don’t know something I will use my imagination!” said Vuk Rsumovic.

 

 

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SERBIAN VERSION – SRPSKA VERZIJA

Beogradski reditelj Vuk Ršumović, autor filma ‘Ničije dete’

Mir medju vukovima

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Vuk Ršumović se poklanja publici na FIlmskom festivalu srpskih filmova u Čikagu, 2015. godine (in front of audience at Serbian Film Festival in Chicago 2015)

“Nisam mogao da verujem da je sredinom 80-ih godina prošlog veka u šumama Bosne i Hercegovine, medju vukovima, pronađen napušteni, divlji dečak koji je kasnije doveden u Beograd na socijalizaciju. Od trenutka kada sam čuo ovu priču postao sam opsednut njom i znao sam da moram da snimim film o tome”, kaze Vuk Ršumović o svom filmskom prvencu.

Njegovo kinemtografsko ostvarenje osvojilo je 2014. godine glavnu Nagradu publike na čuvenom Venecijanskom festivalu. Ta nagrada se dodeljuje za najbolji film prikazan u selekciji ‘Nedelje međunarodne filmske kritike’ (International Film Critics’ Week) i dodeljuje se na osnovu glasova svih koji su gledali film na festivalu u Veneciji. Ona je otvorila vrata Ršumovićevom flmu, a posle nje film je dobio jos 35 važnih filmskih nagrada.

“Nagrade sa ovog Festivala u Veneciji imaju posebnu težinu zato sto je reč o prestižnom Festivalu. Kad dobijete nagradu u Veneciji za vaš film se svi zainteresuju, pre svega festivalski organizatori i programi, a onda i svi ostali. Ta nagrada pokazuje da film vredi. Tako je naš film posle ovog Festivala dobio mnoge nagrade i od kritike i od publike i svaka od njih ima svoju lepotu. Ipak, izdvojio bih i onu koju sam dobio za režiju u Rusiji na Medjunarodnom filmskom festivalu ‘Zerkalo’ posvećenom čuvenom ruskom reditelju Andreju Tarkovskom. Ona mi je draga jer se radi o Festivalu koji prikazuje filmove koji nastavljaju put Andreja Tarkovskog”.

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Scena iz filma: Denis Murić (levo), Pavle Čemerikić i Isidora Janković (Kids from the movie:  Denis Muric, Pavle Cemerikic i Isidora Jankovic)

Film “Ničije dete” baziran je na fascinantnoj istinitoj priči o divljem dečaku (u filmu ga igra Denis Murić) koga su sredinom 80-ih godina prošlog veka pronašli lovci među vukovima u šumi u planinama Bosne i Hercegovine. Dečak nije znao da govori, išao je na četiri noge i ponašao se kao mala divlja zver. Poslat je u Beograd u dom za nezbrinutu decu da se socializuje. Suprotno predviđanjima, dečak, koji nasumično dobija ime Haris, počinje ubrzano da se razvija i sklapa prijateljstva…

“Za ovu priču je, pre sedam-osam godina, najpre čula moja supruga”, kaže Vuk. “Ona je pozorišni reditelj i u to vreme imala je nevladinu organizaciju koja se bavila korišćenjem pozorišnih tehnika sa decom i radila je sa grupom maloletnih delikvenata u Domu za nezbrinutu decu ’Vasa Stajić’ u Beogradu. Tada je upoznala vaspitača koji joj je ispričao ovu priču kao anegdotu iz svog profesionalnog života. Ona je onda ispričala priču meni i ja sam se strasno zainteresovao. Od samog početka znao sam da nešto moram da napravim od toga. BIlo mi je fascinantno i nisam mogao da verujem da su u Evropi, krajem 20. veka, lovci pronašli dečaka koji je odrastao sa vukovima. Onda sam počeo da istražujem. Najpre sam upoznao tog vaspitača Dragana Rolovića, koji je radio sa divljim dečakom, i on mi je ispričao sve što je znao o njemu. Počeo sam da dolazim u Dom za nezbrinutu decu i da se upoznajem sa tom sredinom”.

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Denis Murić u ulozi divljeg dečaka  (The wild boy – Denis Muric)

Vuk Ršumović, kaže kroz osmeh da su neki reditelji, rekli još davno da prvi film ne treba raditi sa decom i životinjama, a on je u filmu imao i jedne i druge. “Ipak, bio sam veoma oprezan. Denisu Muriću, koji igra divljeg dečaka, nisam dao scenario unapred, nego tek kad bi došao na snimanje. Nisam želeo da sam vežba kod kuće, jer bih posle imao više posla da ga odučim od onog što je smislio, a to bi ubilo spontanost. I to je pomoglo. On je izuzetan glumac. Našao sam ga snimanju filma ‘Enklava’ Gorana Radovanovića u kome, takodje, igra zapaženu ulogu. Prethodno sam obišao mnoge škole, ali kad sam njega video znao sam da sam pronašao glumca za moj film. Njegova uloga je zahtevna, jer je u početku sličan životinji: najpre se ponaša kao mala zver, a na kraju filma je socijalizovan mlad čovek. Ipak, bio je odličan u svemu tome, u svim etapama snimanja filma”.

Film se završava tako što dečak mora da se iz birokratskih razloga vrati u Bosnu i Hercegovinu. Tamo počnije rat, a u Dom za nezbrinutu decu stiže pismo od lokalnih bosanskih vlasti u kome se zahteva Harisov brzi povratak. Po povratku u Bosnu, Haris nema gde da ode. Dok besciljno luta, nailazi na grupu vojnika koja ga vodi sa sobom. Dobija pušku i odlazi u borbu… U stvarnosti mu se, u jeku nesrećnog rata, gubi svaki trag. U filmu, na njegovom samom kraju, reditelj daje svom junaku simboličnu mogucnost da se, pošto već ne pripada nijednoj zaraćenoj strani, vrati svojoj jedinoj pravoj porodici – porodici vukova. Tako se njegov boravak medju ljudima završava besmislenim ratom, pucnjavom i mrznjom, a dečak se vraća prirodi i divljim zverima koje su, ispostavice se, pitomije i bezazlenije od ljudi.

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Vuk Ršumović sa prijateljima na Filmskom festivalu u Čikagu (Vuk Rsumovic with his friends at Serbian Film Festival in Chicao) 

Pored Denisa Murića u filmu igraju deca Pavle Čemerikić, Isidora Janković i glumci Miloš Timotijević, Tihomir Stanić, Borka Tomović, Goran Šušljik, Zinaida Dedakin, Branka Šelić, Mihailo Laptošević, Draginja Voganjac, Marija Opsenica, Ljuba Todorović i Bora Nenić. Film je realizovan u produkciji Miroslava Mogorovića iz kuće ‘Art & Popcorn’ iz Beograda. Direktor fotografije je Damjan Radovanović kome je ovo takođe prvi igrani film.

Biografija Vuka Ršumovića

Vuk Ršumović je rođen 1975. godine u Beogradu. Završio je dramaturgiju na Fakultetu dramskih umetnosti u Beogradu. Ima veliko iskustvo u radu na televiziji i napisao je više scenarija za kratke filmove, serije, animirane i dokumentarne filmove. ‘Ničije dete’ je njegov prvi igrani film.  Vuk Kaze da je rad na ovom filmu trajao jako dugo – čak osam godina. “Fransoa Trifo je uradio film ‘Divlje dete’ i to je slična priča ovoj . Nastao je na osnovu studije jednog doktora i to se smatra prvom studijom o dečjoj psihijatriji. Taj dečak je nadjen u divljini Francuske, a taj doktor je počeo da radi sa njim. Trifo je rekao da je ovo tema kojom čovek moze da se bavi ceo život. I zaista to sam i ja shvatio baveći se njom, istražujući je. Medjutim, posto sam radio igrani film u nekom trenutku sam morao da podvučem crtu i da kazem – sad je dosta, ono što znam znam, ono što ne znam to ću nekako da domaštam,” kaze Vuk Ršumović.

Country singer Stefani Rose about her life and music

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Country singer Stefani Rose started to sing even before she started to talk. Her first audience were her dolls, and later they got replaced by people from her dad’s diving club, people in the Serbian church in Arizona, children in a theater, beauty pageants and commercials.

Stefani Rose was born in Las Vegas. She moved to Palm Springs in California, but later to New York so that she could attend the Yale University. At the same time she was writing her own music, singing, performing and learning from country legends – Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson.

Her passion towards songwriting and music has helped her when she felt the most helpless in her life – when she learned that her one-year old son has epilepsy. During those hard days she found, with the help of music, people who had similar experiences and started to talk about that which other people were afraid to talk about. She started raising awareness and teaching people about this disease, and her first album ‘Reaching Out’ was accepted as the anthem for the fight against epilepsy. All the revenue from that song went to the Epilepsy Foundation which raises awareness about this disease.

  • Few years ago I was depressed. I felt that the burden of life was too heavy for me to bear. My one-year old son was diagnosed with epilepsy, my two year old daughter was allergic to everything, my husband had lost his job, and I was thinking that I’m losing my mind. Before that I had left my job so that I could stay home and take care of my family, and now I felt that I had let them down.
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That terrible feeling of powerlessness had reminded her of a time when an unknown robber assaulted her so that he could rape and kill her as the police had explained to her. The trauma was severe, and Stephanie fought against it by ‘locking the event in a dark box’ somewhere deep in herself and losing the ‘key’. She didn’t want to talk about it, and she asked her friends and family not to mention the event. On the surface everything looked normal, but Stephanie was still helpless deep down. She escaped the memories by taking sleeping pills and antidepressants. And then in 2006. she got married. She stopped taking the pills and started to live healthy, especially when she got pregnant. And everything was perfect until the 27 minute long epileptic attack that her son had in 2011. The doctors had no explanation why that was happening and were asking her if someone in her family had epilepsy. At the same time Stefani’s trauma had returned, and the robber from her past started to haunt her in her dreams. Everything seemed lost until the moment that her mom had called her and told her that she had gotten the documents which show that her brother, Stephanie’s uncle, also had epilepsy.

  • That was the message that I was longing for so long. It inspired me to talk about the things I’ve been going through. I started to write songs again, to run, to go to a therapist, read books about health and nutrition, to lost weight and to finally get a grip on my life. I found new strength in myself: I could finally talk free about the robber from my past and the disease of my son. I also started to sing songs that I had written for my friends, but haven’t had the courage to record them. I want inspire other people.

Two years after that, Stefani recorded an album in Nashville, th1-stefani-rose

e capital of country music in America. Her new song ‘Crazy in my blood’ came out in 2012.

  • I realized that the power to change our lives is in ourselves. Maybe we will do it on our own, but if we try to reach out to the world, someone will answer. Maybe it will take some time, maybe we will hear our own echo, but we will hear an answer.

Stefani says that it’s incredible to see the reactions and the letters that she had gotten from people when they heard her song ‘Reaching out’ or when they read about her experiences.

  • I replied to every letter very seriously, because everyone deserves my answer. We find similarities in our experiences – whether they are about epilepsy or about our life experience or about our happiness.

Many people are grateful that she stepped out to talk about a disease that many people usually don’t want to talk about.

  • I had gotten letters from fans that had lost their loved ones to epilepsy and who had found new strength by listening to my song. No one has to be alone or to have a lack of information. I found the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles and have finally started to control my son’s disease and my own life. At the same time I started to write about my newfound strength that had changed my life. I’m grateful for that and I try to give back as much as I can.

Life story of paralympian Jasmin Bambur from Colorado

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‘I was skiing the whole day while it was still snowing. We ski and hope for the summer – that’s how the paralympian Jasmin Bambur spends the first days of May with his family in Colorado.

This paralympian represented Serbia, his birth country, as the first paralympian ever to attend the Winter Paralympic games in Vancouver in 2010. The same year, he was granted his U.S. citizenship and became a member of the National Skiing team for the 2012/2013 season. Shortly after that, he became a member of the American Paralympic team and went to the 2014. Winter Paralympic games in Sochi.

According to his life an incredible movie could be made, a movie about superhuman strength of mind and body and overcoming enormous difficulties in life.

Born in the city of Zrenjanin, in a sports family, he became a successful athlete. He loved every sport, especially handball and many predicted him to have a successful career in it. He made it to the first team in Zrenjanin, but all that time he wanted to come to the U.S. Thanks to handball that wish came true. He was granted a scholarship and he moved with his family to the U.S. in 1997. There he started to play for the U.S. National Handball Team while enrolled as a student at the Middle Georgia College and continued to train seriously. Everything looked bright and went as it should until one day, in 2000. when his life had completely changed. He remembers that it was Friday the 13th the first in the new millennium when he suffered a horrible traffic accident that changed his life forever.proba‘At that time I was living in Georgia and I had trainings frequently. One night after a long day of training I fell asleep at the steering wheel. My car hit the curb and the front wheels fell off, and I got launched through the windshield. The car fell on me and I sustained a spinal cord injury which made me a paraplegic. Since that day I’m in a wheelchair’, says Jasmin.

After the accident he went to a rehabilitation center. – When something like this happens you can’t find yourself in the beginning, you don’t know what you can do – says Jasmin about his first months after the accident.

However, nine months after the accident he got an invitation to come to Colorado for recreation. He came for seven days, and he spent the first three skiing. He says that it was phenomenal. – “I immediately fell in love with skiing, because there were no more wheelchairs, and I was completely free. I was able to do everything I was doing before. You can jump; you can stop, you don’t need help from other people.”

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That’s how he started to ski on the mono-ski more and more. Seven years after the accident, in 2007. he and his girlfriend Sara, who was a U.S. citizen, got married in North Carolina. Only a couple of months after that he told her that he was moving to Colorado. ‘It was hard for her, but she understood that I was only happy when I was out of my stupid wheelchair, I was happy when I was skiing.’

That’s when he came to the Winter Park in Colorado and joined their competitive program. The same season in February he attended the world cup which was really unbelievable, but true. He achieved that because he was training all the time. ‘My training were lasting for eight hours, five times a week, which was basically like a job. That was the first season. In the meantime I had won many medals and my achievements continued. That is how I entered the Vancouver year of the Paralympics in 2010. It was a great honor to represent Serbia at the Paralympics. As the only athlete I was holding the Serbian flag, and that feeling can’t be compared to anything in the world. I went to Vancouver to get a medal. I went through, but we had some big problems with the skis. I think I was the 9th on the descent, and among the 10 fastest in the world, and that is a big success by itself. Because of that the whole team was excited.

When asked if Serbia helped him with the preparations he says that Serbia had helped him financially and through media. – I was in all the medias, the newspapers were writing about the success of the Paralympic skiing.

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However, because of the big costs of this sport Jasmin had to stop skiing for Serbia. The money for sponsors just wasn’t there. His 2010. Season cost him 45.000 dollars and that money had to be found. I paid for the first season, and for a small country like Serbia that cost was too much. Because of the hard financial situation with the sponsors the Olympic Committee helped him to find a team in which he could continue to train. A solution was found and it was decided that Jasmin would ski for the U.S. It was easier for him because he was living in the U.S. at that time. After the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games Jasmin was representing the U.S, his other country, at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, where he was the 7th in the super slalom.

His love towards skiing is best described by his own words at the home page of his website. In the meantime he had 2 daughters with his wife Sara – Lejla (6) and Maja (3) who had already started to ski and will probably achieve great success in this sport, like their brave father who is an inspiration for all people and living proof that you can do anything if you set your mind to it

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SRPSKI

Izuzetna životna priča paraolimpijca Jasmina Bambura iz Kolorada

Potpuno slobodan u invalidskim kolicima

Skijao sam se ceo dan jer ovde i dalje pada sneg. Eto, skijamo se i nadamo se letu – kaže paraolimpijac skijač Jasmin Bambur kako sa porodicom provodi prve majske dane u Koloradu.

Ovaj atleta predstavljao je Srbiju, zemlju u kojoj je rođen, kao prvi paraolimpijac 2010. godine na Zimskim paraolimpijskim igrama u Vankuveru. Te iste godine  dobio je američko državljanstvo i postao član Nacionalnog skijaškog tima za 2012-13 sezonu, a ubrzo je kao, predstavnik Amerike, učestvovao na Zimskim  olipijskim igrama u Sočiju u Rusiji 2014. godine.

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Prema njegovom životu mogao bi da se napravi neverovatan film koji govori o nadljudskoj snazi duha i tela i prevazilaženju ogromnih teškoća.

Rođen u srpskom gradu Zrenjaninu, u sportskoj porodici i sam je postao uspešan sportista. Obožavao je sve sportove, a posebno rukomet i mnogi su mu baš u ovom sportu predviđali uspešnu karijeru. U Zrenjaninu je dogurao do tamošnjeg prvog tima, ali sve vreme je želeo da dođe u Ameriku. Zahvaljujući rukometu ta želja mu se ostvarila. Dobio je stipendiju i sa porodicom se preselio 1997. godine. Tu je počeo da igra za američku rukometnu reprezentaciju u Atlanti i nastavio da ozbiljno trenira. Sve je izgledalo dobro i išlo onako kako treba sve dok mu se jednog dana, 2000. godine, život nije potpuno preokrenuo. Seća se da je to bio petek 13. i to prvi u novom mileniju kada je doživeo tešku saobraćajnu nesreću koja mu je promenila život.

  • U to vreme živeo sam u Džordžiji i imao sam često treninge. Jedne noći posle dugog dana treniranja zaspao sam za volanom. Moj auto je udario u ivičnjak. Prednji točkovi su su otpali, a ja sam izleteo kroz šoferšajbnu. Auto me poklopio celom težinom i slomio kičmu. Od tog dana sam u kolicima – kaže on.

Posle toga je otišao u rehabilitacioni centar. – Kada se desi nešto ovako vi u početku ne možete sebe da nađete, niti znate šta možete da uradite – priseća se prvih meseci posle udesa. Ipak, devet meseci kasnije dobio je predlog da dođe u Kolorado na rekreaciju. Došao je na sedam dana, a prva tri proveo je skijajući. Kaže da mu je bilo fenomenalno. – Odmah sam se zaljubio u skijanje – tu nije više bilo invalidskih kolica i ja sam bio potpuno slobodan. Mogao sam da uradim sve što sam radio ranije – da skačem, zaustavim se… Nije mi bila potrebna  pomoć drugih ljudi.

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Tako je, sve više i više, počeo da skija mono-ski. Sedam godina posle udesa, 2007. godine on i njegova devojka Sara, Amerikanka, venčali su se u Nort Karolini. Samo nekoliko meseci posle toga, u novembru iste godine rekao joj je da se seli u Kolorado.

  • Nije joj bilo svejedno, ali je shvatila da sam jedino srećan kada sam izvan ovih glupih kolica, kada skijam.

Tada je došao u Vinter park u Koloradu i prilključio se takmičarskom programu. Te iste sezone u februaru je bio u svetskom kupu što je prilično neverovatno, ali istinito. Uspeo je u tome zato što je trenirao nonstop.

  • Moji treninzi su trajali po osam sati, pet puta nedeljno, što je bilo bukvalno kao posao. To je bila prva sezona. U međuvremenu sam osvojio dosta medalja i moji uspesi su se nastavili. Tako sam ušao u tu vankuversku 2010. godinu Olimpijade. Bila mi je čast da predstavljam Srbiju na Olimpijadi. Kao jedini sportista nosio sam zastavu i taj osećaj ne može da se poredi ni sa čim. U Vankuver sam išao da dobijem medalju. Prošao sam, ali imali smo velike probleme oko priprema. Mislim da sam bio deveti u spustu, a biti među 10 najbržih u svetu veliki je uspeh. Zato je cela ekipa bila oduševljena.

Kaže da mu je Srbija pomogla u pripremama i materijalno i medijski. – Bio sam po svim medijima, sve novine su pisale o uspehu paraolimpijskog skijanja.

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Međutim, zbog velikih troškova koje traži ovaj sport Jasmin je morao da prestane da skija za Srbiju. Novca za sponzore, jednostavno, nije bilo. Moja tadašnja sezona koštala je 45.000 dolara i te pare morale su da se nađu. Prvu sezonu je sam platio, a za malu zemlju kao što je Srbija bio je to veliki novac. Zbog teške finasijske situacije oko sponzorisanja Olimpijski savez mu je pomogao da nađem tim u kome bih mogao da nastavim da treniram. Rešenje je pronađeno i odlučeno je da Jasmin vozi za Ameriku. To je bilo lakše jer je on u tom momentu več živeo i trenirao u Americi. Posle učestvovanja na ZImskim paraolimpijskim igrama u Vankuveru 2010. Jasmin je na Olimpijadi u Sočiju u Rusiji predstavljao Ameriku, njegovu drugu domovinu, i osvojio sedmo mesto u super-slalomu.

Koliko je velika njegova ljubav prema skijanju najbolje objassnjavaju njegove reči koje stoje na naslovnoj strani veb sajta (home page of his website) koje stoje na njegovom  koje je U međuvremenu je sa suprugom Sarom dobio dve ćerke – Lejlu (6) i Maju (3) koje već skijaju i koje će verovatno postići vrhunske rezultate u sportu, baš kao i njihov hrabri otac koji je inspiracija svima i dokaz da čovek može sve samo ako hoće.