Poetry, art and steel for the CLINK project in Montenegro
What connects poetry, art, iron, and steel? The unique event organised by ALDA’s CLINK project (Cultural heritage linking diversities in Europe) on November 8th in Niksic, Montenegro!
Niksic is home to a unique enterprise, the Black Metallurgy Institute, that nourishes its social responsibility towards the local community and supports artists by providing them with ateliers within its facility complex. In the past few years, more than 20 artists have been creating under the roof of this institute. One of them, Milena Krivokapic, is a painter who, in agreement with the BM Institute, decided to homage famous local poet Vito Nikolic by creating a large mural with his portrait at the entrance of the company buildings.
LDA Montenegro and CLINK were happy to support this extraordinary idea in promotion of local cultural heritage, of which the life and works of poet Vito Nikolic are an extremely remarkable component both for the city of Niksic and for all of Montenegro.
Nikolic's poetry, which is often compared to that of Russian lyric poet Sergey Yesenin, has been of inspiration for many generations of poets, musicians and other artists, earning him a special recognition by the City of Niksic, which established an annual poetry award in his name. His authentic bohemian life as a poet and journalist was rich in witty anecdotes, despite his difficult start being an orphan with weak health; and, importantly, Nikolic was part of the minority that stood up against the war in former Yugoslavia in 1991, paying the price of his principled actions by eventually losing his job as a journalist. His stance is reflected for instance in his poem Noc nad Dubrovnikom / Night above Dubrovnik, where the poet expresses his deepest sorrow for the devastation of this old city by his fellow citizens.
LDA Montenegro assisted the ceremony of uncovering of the mural and gathered community, media, and institutions to give special tribute to their famous poet. Special contribution to the event also came from the Youth Volunteering Club of NGO Alfa center, Literature club “Poenta Poetica”, Music school Dara Cokorilo and from volunteers of the youth service InfoPoint Niksic, who prepared a recitation night of Nikolic’s poems.
The event was officially part of the monthly culture programme of the Municipality of Niksic, with full support from the Public Institution Museums and Niksic Galleries as well as a joint artist exhibition, which constituted the apex of the night, with the presentation of the new permanent setting of more than 30 pieces of art in the hall of the Institute for steel metallurgy.
Project CLINK contributed to the development of cooperation between numerous stakeholders that are proud to promote and protect the local cultural heritage on the European tapestry of culture, making all those involved aware of its value.