Peter Dabac graduated from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, Department of Mechanical Engineering. However, he has worked as a professional photographer since 1960, when he began collaborating with the Tošo Dabac Atelier. He has been a freelance artist since 1966, and in 1970 he became a member of ULUPUH. In 1970, after the death of Dabac, Petar inherited his atelier. He was the owner and head of the atelier and its event organizer until 2006, when he sold it to the City of Zagreb.
In the 1980s, he organized forty exhibitions of contemporary photography by domestic and foreign photographers at the Tošo Dabac Atelier. From 1991 to 2008, he taught photography at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana. He exhibited in numerous solo exhibitions at home and abroad.
- Zagreb, Croatia
Photographer Tošo Dabac was born in the municipality of Nova Rača, near Bjelovar, in 1907., , He finished elementary school in Nova Rača, and later, after moving to Samobor, he attended the Royal Classics Gymnasium in Zagreb. He enrolled to study law in Zagreb, but never completed his studies.
He first encountered photography in 1924, and his first preserved photograph is a panorama of Samobor, from 7 March 1925. He first presented his work at an amateur exhibition in Ivanec in 1932. He was one of the founders and main representatives of the so-called Zagreb School of Artistic Photography. Since the 1930s, he has participated in a series of exhibitions at home and abroad, and in 1938 he won one of the most important awards: Camera Craff. In 1951, the Yugoslav Association of Photographers awarded him the title Master of Photography, and he was also a member of the Photographic Society of America.
He fought with the Partisans in the Second World War. After the war, he joined the Croatian Association of Artists. On several occasions he was employed to photograph motifs throughout Yugoslavia (Istria, Dubrovnik, labor campaigns in Bosnia and Herzegovina ...), as well as visits by Yugoslavian artists to Toronto in 1949, Chicago in 1950, Moscow in 1958 and the Expo in Brussels in 1958.
He exhibited at the international shows Das menschliche Antlitz Europas and Was ist der Mensch? In 1966 he received the national Vladimir Nazor Award for the highest achievements in the visual arts, and in that same year, he also received the lifetime achievement award from the Yugoslav Association of Photographers.
According to Marina Benažić, Tošo Dabac was apolitical, so he never took part in any opposition activities against the socialist regime. But he was very much involved in cultural events throughout Zagreb during the 1950s and especially the 1960s, when he opens his studio to many, primarily abstract, artists.
- Zagreb, Croatia
In 1888, Danov left for the United States, where he studied theology at Drew Theological Seminary in Madison, New Jersey, until May 1892. After graduating from Drew, in the fall of 1892, he enrolled at the Boston University School of Theology and obtained his degree in June 1893, his thesis being "The Migration of the Teutonic Tribes and Their Christianisation". He was a regular student at the School of Medicine of Boston University for a year before returning to Bulgaria at the beginning of 1895. Throughout his studies in America, Peter Danov created music, and held concerts in Methodist churches.
Upon returning to Bulgaria, Danov settled in Varna and in 1897 founded, together with Dr. Georgi Mirkovich, Dr. Anastasia Zhelyazkova, Vasil R. Kozlov, and other spiritual instructors and public figures, the Society for the Elevation of the Religious Spirit of the Bulgarian People, later referred to as the "Synarchic Chain" (1906) and into the Universal White Brotherhood (1922). After 1897 he became known as Beinsa Douno, translated roughly as The One Who Brings Good through the Word. The society held annual meetings in different rural and urban areas throughout the country. From the beginning of the twentieth century until the Balkan Wars, Peter Danov travelled throughout Bulgaria, delivered public lectures, mostly on the prevalent pseudoscientific field of phrenology, and took anthropometric measurements.
In 1912, he completed the book The Testament of the Colour Rays of Light, and in the next year, he began to present his Sunday lectures, given in series (e.g. Cycle of Power and Life), which set out the basic principles of his White Brotherhood's New Teaching. The lectures were transcribed by his students. Peter Danov's title "The Master" was recorded for the first time in 1914 in the minutes of the annual meeting. He would keep the title “Teacher” or “Master” for the rest of his life.
During 1917–8, during the First World War, the government of Vasil Radoslavov forced him to resettle in Varna, arguing that his teaching was weakening the “morale of the soldiers at the front”. After the end of the First World War in 1918, the number of his followers all over the country grew rapidly and in 1922 Petar Danov opened an Esoteric School in Sofia, which he called the School of the Universal White Brotherhood, with two classes: Special (Youth) Class and General Class. In the school, theoretical knowledge was combined with spiritual practices, self-improvement methods, and body, mind, and emotion control exercises.
In the same year, 1922, Petar Danov was excommunicated by the Bulgarian Orthodox Church on charges of “sectarianism and occultism”.
In the 1920s he established the settlement of Izgrev [Sunrise] near Sofia (today a residential area of the city) where he gathered his audience, followers, and disciples to form a centre for the esoteric school. He settled permanently in Izgrev where he delivered various series of his beliefs. In the following years, many students and followers bought land and constructed wooden houses surrounded by flowers and vegetable gardens. Over 20 years a commune was established. In the summer of 1926, the White Brotherhood Meeting was held for the first time in Izgrev, attended by over 1450 people. In July 1927, a salon was constructed in Izgrev by the engineer Rusi Nikolov, in which Peter Danov delivered lectures. In 1930, he opened a new series of his teaching, called the Sunday Morning lectures, which lasted until April 1944. From 1934 he started working on the Paneurhythmy – a series of exercises consisting of melody, text, and body movements. Later, he added the exercises The Sun Rays and Pentagram.
In January 1944, after bombing in Sofia, together with a group of brothers and sisters from Sofia, the Master went to live temporarily in the village of Marchaevo. At the end of December 1944, Peter Danov died in his home in Izgrev. He was buried in the garden of Izgrev and since 1997 his grave has been considered a state cultural monument.
- Chișinău, Moldova
Aleš Debeljak was a Slovenian cultural critic, poet, and essayist.
He graduated with a degree in comparative literature from the University of Ljubljana in 1985. He continued his studies in the United States, obtaining a PhD in the sociology of culture from Syracuse University in 1989.
From the mid-1980s onwards, Debeljak was active in civil society movements. He decided to return to Slovenia around the time of Yugoslavia’s dissolution.
Like many others, he had come to accept the idea of Slovenian independence as a second-best option given the lack of better alternatives, as every attempt at reforming Yugoslavia while conceding more autonomy to Slovenia and Croatia had failed. He still retained and cherished his dual identity as a Slovene and Yugoslav, and thought that independence had actually limited Slovenia’s cultural references.
In 1991, he worked as an interpreter for foreign media during the Slovenian Independence War (also known as the Ten-Day War) and was an eyewitness to armed clashes of Yugoslav and Slovene forces at the Austrian border in Gornja Radgona.
He was one of the co-editors of the critical alternative journal Nova revija [New Review]. He also participated in the social liberal thinktank Forum 21, led by the former President of Slovenia, Milan Kučan. He was, until his death, a professor of cultural studies at the Faculty for Social Studies of the University of Ljubljana.In 2001 he started the journal Sarajevo Notebooks, in order to re-establish communication and develop links between intellectuals and activists throughout former Yugoslavia and create regional public forums for reconciliation.
- Ljubljana , Slovenia