Hofman claims that he does not remember himself as part of the “cultural opposition” in the 1970s and 1980s, since, in his opinion, “in Belgrade, there was no dominant ‘socialist-realism narrative’, nor an ‘all valid thesis’ which would prescribe artistic poetics, deeds, content… that would affect creativity in music”. He makes a distinction between different branches of art, such as literature, film, theatre, and visual art, which had “certain boundaries that defined undesirable (and even prohibited) themes; music as a non-semantic art was not among them".
On the other hand, the situation of classical music should be looked upon through the perspective of the modest space this branch of art has in society and, thus, the confined market it operates in. There were strong (and among themselves antagonistic) groups of ‘traditionalists’ conservative composers and the avantgarde. Both groups were striving for greater attention in the society and, thus, material support. The communist regime, however, showed a certain indifference towards classical music. This was reflected in the fact that both conservative/traditional and avantgarde composers did not particular support of the government.
Hofman described the influence of politics on the artistic scene as an emerging system of values where it was prescribed what was “preferred, what will certainly be accepted”, while, on the other hand, another thing gets marginalized. He states that the main criterion is always quality; however, he later questions this: “can quality be recognized with certainty”, thus noting that quality was in this context defined by its closeness to specific cultural politics.
The Academy for Music was one of the locations of the struggle between the conservative and the avantgarde. The Academy was, in Hofman’s words, conservative when it came to study of composition, and that he as a student was against conservativism or academicism in the curriculum and work methods of the Academy. Regarding academicism, he primarily considers the study and imitation of previous musical epochs, and the suffocation of new elements and approaches to contemporary music. However, today Hofman thinks that academism was already withering when he started studying. Therefore, this kind of strictness, with which previous generations were faced with, was already “loosened up”. He describes his position as student who rebelled against the outdated teaching of classical music composition. “Therefore, I have had, as a student, rebelled against these aspects or elements, when I say conservatism - I mean academism - in the curriculum and the methods of work in the study of composition.”
From today’s perspective, however, Hofman sees the importance of the classical approach to compositional study and says: “Today when I look at that time it seems that it was useful. On the other hand, it was useful that I rebelled against it, that I did not accept that that was all I was supposed to know. I even have, sometime near the end of my studies, de facto accepted to go back in my work in order to fill what was perhaps a void in my education, caused by my resistance towards academism. Even then I accepted to go back only temperately, as part of the educational system I should accept and it is good to accept. However, I did not think that it was something I wanted to do, which I think I have proven afterwards through my work. I would not say I was pronouncedly avantgarde or rebellious. On the other hand, when I look back, it seems to me that I was more different than others. I tried to do what I was interested in, what was contemporary at that moment in music.”
At the beginning of 1980s, Srđan Hofman mastered the analogue technique of electronic music in the studio of the Third Program of Radio Belgrade, opened in 1972 by Vladan Radovanović and Paul Mignion. At his initiative and thanks to his advocacy, the Studio for Electronic Music was opened at the Academy of Music in 1982.
In this regard, Hofman thinks he had support, as he said, “of smaller groups of people who did a lot for contemporary music”, where he also names the Third Program of Radio Belgrade. “Of course, their audience was small, they were a small station and from that perspective I could say, I did not have any support. For me it is important and I claim that I had support.”
Srđan Hofman’s body of work contains many orchestral, vocal-instrumental, chamber, solo, and choral works for which he has received many awards. His compositions have been performed at leading domestic and international festivals, such as the Musical Biennale in Zagreb or the World Days of Music in Germany and Sweden. His works are considered to be products of postmodernism in music, and Hofman is considered to be one of the first composers in the former Yugoslavia to use electronic music within classical music.Today Srđan Hofman works as a composer, professor of composition at the Faculty of Music and Multimedia Art at the University of Art in Belgrade. He also examines theoretical issues in contemporary music and published, beside journal articles, the book “Characteristics of Electronic Music”. Between 1989 and 1998 he was the dean of Faculty of Music. Hofman also served as the Ambassador of Serbia to South Africa between 2002 and 2006.
- Belgrade, Serbia
Hojak comes from a workers’ housing estate Rataje in Poznan. His parents, turner and cleaner by professions, came from a peasant environment, and in his memories Hojak often came back to his childhood years in the countryside. Such biography (of a new working class, created as a result of intensive industrialisation and urbanisation) was quite typical for the anarchistic environment in Poznan. “Metys” went to a basic vocational school with a typographical profile. He studied to be a typesetter – a vocation which combined physical work with preparing books and magazines to be published. Moreover, in the 1980s the typesetters were highly esteemed, due to their connections to secret, underground printing houses of “Solidarity”. Thus, choosing this type of school was a result of his workers’ background, literary and intellectual ambitions, and dissent attitude. Since 1986 Hojak worked as a distributor of the second-circuit magazine “Agency News Review” – which was a perfect opportunity to meet oppositional activists and get himself acquainted with underground publications. The systemic transformation coming together with technological development resulted in making Hojak’s freshly learned vocation useless, as digital typesetting and offset commercial printing houses quickly stepped into power.
In the early 1990s “Metys” was mainly interested in the underground art activities: artzines, mail art, badges. He was connected to the Independent Group of Artists “Imperatyw” and their literary magazine “Woskowka”, as well as the Social Reading Room of State and Émigré Publications. At the same time he edited the artzine “Szelest” (“Rustle”), a neo-Dadaist, manually produced, and created collectively (without stating the author). The zine was an opportunity for fun and experiment: the titles, and sometimes even whole texts, were pasted with the letters cut out of the newspapers; the photocopied issues were manually coloured with Bambino crayons (typical children’s wax crayons). Editing the zine soon developed into publishing poetry volumes and reprints of classical anarchistic brochures.
In 1994 the publishing house Oficyna Wydawnicza Bractwa Trojka was founded and Hojak has been still co-running it. Nowadays, Trojka is definitely the biggest publisher of anarchistic works in Poland. The same year the Rozbrat squat was established – Metys is a member of its collective. In 1997 Hojak was one of the founders of the Poznan Anarchist Library, which was located in Rozbrat. He used own social activism and literary passion in order to run occupational therapy workshops. He has been still working in the library, as one of its founders. He also engages in various initiatives of Poznan’s libertarian environment.
- Poznań Pułaskiego 21A, Poland 60-607
Miroslav Holomek was born in Svatobořice near Kyjov in southern Moravia and followed the footsteps of his uncle JUDr. (J.D.), Tomáš Holomek, who was the first Roma lawyer in the former Czechoslovakia. He was one of the founders of the Roma-Gypsy Union and was its chairman in 1969-1973.
Miroslav Holomek went to the municipal school and started studying at Kyjov gymnasium, where he was expelled for racial reasons during World War II. He worked as a labourer and managed to escape from the concentration camp, where many of his relatives died. In 1951 he graduated from the University of Social Sciences in Brno, from 1962 to 1966 studied at the University of Politics, where he received his Ph.D. degree in social sciences. He then worked as Deputy Director at the State Labour Back-up School and was also Director of the Evening University of Marxism-Leninism, and then worked for 15 years in the Communist Party. As part of his profession, he devoted his entire life to the Roma question and published a number of expert articles on the subject. Due to the tragic history of his family during the Second World War, which suffered from racial reasons, he was very critical to the Communist Party. During March 1968, he and others founded the Union of Gypsies-Roma.
- Brno, Czech Republic
Іван Горбачевський – один з найвідоміших вчених свого часу в галузі хімічного органічного синтезу. Народився в сім'ї греко-католицького священика на Тернопільщині, Горбачевський провів більшу частину свого дорослого життя поза межами України. Під час навчання в гімназії в Тернополі (1864-1872) він став членом організації «Громада», метою якої було зміцнення української громади, формуючи людей на керівні посади. Іван продовжував вивчати медицину у Відні (Австрія), де продемонстрував особливу здібність до хімії, яку він викладав після закінчення навчального закладу. В цей час він зустрів Михайла Драгоманова, одного з провідних письменників України, драматурга і дядька Лесі Українки. Завдяки проведенню базових досліджень Горбачевському запропонували посаду професора в Празі, де він став ініціатором створення нової галузі – медичної хімії.
Хоча Горбачевський проживав за кордоном у Відні, а згодом у Празі, все ж він підтримував зв'язки з батьківщиною, допомагаючи у 1873 році у Львові створити Наукове товариство ім. Т. Шевченка. За свою кар'єру він обіймав різні посади в наукових і урядових колах, як завідувач кафедри медичної хімії, а згодом як декан медичного факультету Карлового університету в Празі, потім ректор цього ж університету, член Санітарної ради Чеського Королівства та перший міністр охорони здоров'я в Австро-Угорській імперії в 1917 році. Ця посада через геополітичні обставини була скасована у 1918 році.
З початком Першої світової війни у 1914 році Горбачевський допоміг створити комітет допомоги українським біженцям з Галичини, який мав на меті організувати громади, освітні ініціативи та допомогу Українському Січовому стрілецтву. У 1921 році Горбачевський повернувся до Праги, сприявши створенню Українського вільного університету, який на той час був єдиним українським університетом у світі. Будучи ректором університету в 1923-23 і 1931-35 роках, він викладав у ньому органічну та неорганічну хімію. Горбачевський відіграв важливу роль у створенні Музею Руху за незалежність України (1925-1948 рр.) за сприяння групи професорів Українського вільного університету в Празі. У музеї зібрані документи з Праги та інших країн про військове, табірне життя, архіви Союзу визволення України, політичні та дипломатичні матеріали, документи про еміграцію, мистецтво, студентське життя та Січових Стрільців. У 1939 році Горбачевський очолив процес створення Комітету оборони Карпатської України – території, що на сьогодні називається Закарпаттям в складі Україні. Ці землі в 1939 році проголосили незалежність від Чехословаччини. У 1942 році у Горбачевського загострилась багаторічна хвороба, яка прискорилася у воєнні часи.
- Praha, Prague, Czech Republic
- Vienna, Austria
Alla Horska was born in Yalta, Crimea in 1929 into a family of fairly high-ranking communist officials. Her father was a Soviet filmmaker and then eventually moved to Leningrad, where she and her mother survived the siege in 1941-1943. The family moved to Kyiv, partly to avoid pressure from the Soviet authorities on her father. In 1946 Horska enrolled in art school, became a Komsomol member, and later graduated from the Kyiv Art Institute. Her work was displayed in a number of all-union exhibitions.
A member of the ‘red bourgeoisie,’ Horska married well, had an apartment in the centre of Kyiv, and studied fine art. Like many artists of her generation, she took advantage of Khrushchev’s thaw and experimented with cultural and literary forms that had been stamped out by socialist realism. Horska was a founding member of the Kyiv Club for Creative Youth (1959-1964) and, although being raised in a Russian-speaking family, began learning Ukrainian and exploring traditional motifs in her work. She was also involved in unearthing crimes of the Stalinist period. In 1962-63, together with Les Taniuk and Volodymyr Symonenko, she located unmarked mass graves of NKVD victims, who had been slaughtered in the 1930s, near the village of Bykivnya. They penned a memorandum informing the Kyiv City Council of their location. Soon thereafter, Symonenko was brutally beaten up, eventually dying from blows to his diseased kidneys.
Horska was radicalized by her many run-ins with the authorities, a turn reflected in her later work. In 1964, a stained-glass window she created at Kyiv State University, portraying an angry Shevchenko holding a woman betrayed–-symbolizing Ukraine—was destroyed for being ideologically alien. Horska wrote letters in support of colleagues arrested and incarcerated for “anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda.” In 1968, she was one of 139 signatories on a letter addressed to Leonid Brezhnev, Aleksei Kosygin, and Nikolai Podgornyi asking them to put a stop to these practices, which violated ‘soviet legality.’ She also refused to testify at a number of trials of her colleagues, citing the illegality of the proceedings. Shortly thereafter, rumours began circulating that a terrorist banderite organization with ties to the CIA was working in Ukraine; Horska was named a leading member of this illegal organization.
On December 2, 1970, Horska was found murdered in the village of Vasylkiv, killed by blunt force trauma to the back of the head. She had visited her father-in-law Ivan Zaretsky on the morning of November 28 to borrow an old sewing machine. The following day he was found lying, decapitated, on train tracks near Fastiv, 35 kilometers from his home. After a brief investigation, the Kyiv Procuracy determined that Zaretsky had killed Horska, and then committed suicide in despair. Contemporaries saw the hand of the KGB, who tried first to intimidate Horska into silence, and, when that failed, brutally murdered her.
- Kiev, Ukraine
- Saint Petersburg, Russia