Appeal of the authors and associates of OKF and the magazine Ars

 

It is with astonishment and concern that we observe the institutional attempt to discredit Milorad Popović and the publishing house OKF from Cetinje.

The very action of public humiliation of a prominent Montenegrin writer and the most influential Montenegrin publishing house, announced by the Minister of Culture in a television interview, belongs to the list of practices of totalitarian, and by no means of democratic societies that Montenegro strives for.

The funds allocated for the implementation of precisely listed and defined projects are presented as funds allocated to Milorad Popović, personally. Such cheap populist and brutal propaganda possibly brings personal satisfaction and short-term political benefit to those who vilify Popović, but its final victim is Montenegrin culture.

We are authors and translators, and we do not deal with audit and inspection, but with literature. We emphasize that Ars, OKF, and Milorad Popović did an immeasurable job on the promotion of Montenegrin literature, as well as the promotion of regional, ex-Yu literature in Montenegro. Montenegrin literature is that of a small language, with limited visibility. It is not a question of quality, but of numbers. For the fact that today Montenegrin literature is both noticeable and appreciated, part of the merit certainly goes to OKF and Popović who led his mission of promoting Montenegrin literature with the full awareness that it must be modern, cosmopolitan, and open, for which, after all, he received state support on public calls. That is why we chose Ars and OKF as our Montenegrin publishers. In short: OKF all these years did the work done by the book agencies in some other countries, whose budgets far exceed everything that Montenegro has invested in its literature through Ars and OKF.

The new Montenegrin authorities and the Minister will, clearly, implement cultural policy in accordance with their ideological and political projections, which is legitimate and it goes without saying. However, it is not legitimate or ethical to campaign against people who are her critics and political dissidents, and who have been publicly labeled by the Minister as ones who will be the subject of her revenge. From the point of view of the interests of Montenegrin literature, the liquidation of Ars and OKF is a catastrophic and long-term harmful move.

 

Signatories:

Jovica Aćin, author, Serbia

Petar Andonovski, author, Macedonia

Vanda Babić Galić, essayist, Croatia

Svetislav Basara, author, Serbia

Boban Batrićević, essayist, Montenegro

Alen Brlek, author, Croatia

Dino Burdžević, author, Montenegro

Ahmed Burić, author and translator, Bosnia and Herzegovina 

Rajko Cerović, essayist, Montenegro

Branko Čegec, author, Croatia

Ranko Ćetković, translator, Germany

Adnan Čirgić, essayist, Montenegro

Katica Kulavkova, author, Macedonia

Marija Dejanović, author, Croatia

Dubravka Đurić, translator, Serbia

Will Firth, translator, Australia

Hadžem Hajdarević, author, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Monika Herceg, author, Croatia

Jovica Ivanovski, author, Macedonia

Ervin Jahić, author, Croatia

Miljenko Jergović, author, Croatia

Lejla Kalamujić, author, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Enver Kazaz, author, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Marija Krivokapić, author and translator, Montenegro

Ljubeta Labović, author, Serbia

Ivan Lovrenović, author, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Shkëlzen Maliqi, author, Kosovo

Ethem Mandić, author, Montenegro

Tomislav Marković, author, Serbia

Dijana Matković, author, Slovenia

Miroslav Mićanović, author, Croatia

Josip Mlakić, author, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Milorad Nikčević, essayist, Croatia

Aleksandra Nikčević-Batrićević, translator, Montenegro

Andrej Nikolaidis, author, Montenegro

Boris A. Novak, author, Slovenia

Josip Osti, author and translator, Slovenia

Marko Pogačar, author, Croatia

Ivica Prtenjača, author, Croatia

Vukić Pulević, essayist, Montenegro

Aleksandar Radoman, essayist, Montenegro

Vasko Raičević, author, Montenegro

Nenad Rizvanović, author, Croatia

Abdulah Sidran, author, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Mile Stojić, author, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Dušan Šarotar, author, Slovenia

Đorđe Šćepović, author, Montenegro

Faruk Šehić, author, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Vojo Šindolić, author and translator, Croatia

Dragana Tripković, author, Montenegro

Damir Uzunović, author and publisher, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Elvira Veselinović, translator, Germany

Radmila Vojvodić, author, Montenegro

Predrag Vrabec, author, Croatia

Sreten Vujović, author and translator, Montenegro

Almir Zalihić, author and publisher, Bosnia and Herzegovina

 

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