Gerard De Jong
Gerard De Jong (1979) has been the editor of The Bildtse Post for seventeen years. In 2000, he took over the newspaper from his grandfather Gerryt Dirks De Jong. Gerard de Jong has a broad journalistic experience.
While in San Sebastian, he wants to write a short story in the Bildt language, his mother tongue, a non-Frisian regional minor language in the Province of Friesland; a language which developed from the sixteenth century when Dutch dike workers and farm workers emigrated to Friesland in order to win land from the sea in the Bildt region.
The title of the novella De Jong will be writing in San Sebastián is ‘Blau fan dagen, griis fan onrust’ (Blue of days, grey of anxiety). It is his literary debut: a fact-based historical story about the Bildt awareness, seen through the eyes of three generations of inhabitants of the region. It describes the main developments of and threats to the Bildt language and culture from 1980 up until now.
De Jong: ‘With my literary novella I hope to achieve something; to acknowledge and to anchor the Bildt language as a language for literature. To show that it is possible to put the spade in new ground and gain terrain like a literary mud worker: fertile soil on which growing can be continued. It is my personal mission and guiding force in life. The literary stay in San Sebastian is a unique, ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to realize this dream.’
Amongst others, De Jong seeks in his novella and blogs, the answer to this question: ‘How can we use literature to give a minor language (that is threatened by extinction) like the Bildt language with only 6,000 speakers, a chance to survive, to make it stronger. To create a foundation from which this language can experience a new spring and face a solid future.
Zarko Naumovski was born in Bitola on the 24th of July, 1982. He's been interested in poetry since he was a child. In that period he also showed his talent for music and performed at the most valued kids music festival in Macedonia, SIDO, when he was only 9 years old.
Zarko later started to play the guitar and write songs. He performed with a band, and as a solo singer too.
His mother is Aromanian (Vlach), and he had a chance to learn both languages: Macedonian and Aromanian. He started to write poetry at an early age, but the successful works were published in his teenage years."Nash svet" and "Bitolski vesnik" are two popular magazines which were surprised with such an interesting writing style, and they started to publish Zarko's poems..
Vladimir Kopicl (1949–) graduated at the Department of General and Yugoslav Literature at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Novi Sad. Since 1970 he has been involved in literature, conceptual art, performance, theatre and film critique and theory. He has recently worked as Assistant Mayor at City of Novi Sad Mayor’s Office (2008-2011), director of Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina (2011-2012), Member of Novi Sad City Council in charge of culture (2012), and director of Vojvodina Institute for Culture (2013-2016).
From 1971 to 1976, he was active in the field of conceptual art, performance, extended media, and exhibited at a large number of individual and group exhibitions, including the 7th Biennial in Paris, 1971, as well as exhibitions in Edinburgh, Dortmund, Rome, Viena, Warsaw, Belgrade, etc. As a conceptual artist and performer, he is featured in several anthologies and selections, e.g. Klaus Groh, Aktuelle Kunst in Osteuropa, DuMont Aktuel, Cologne, Germany etc.
Since 1970, he has published poetry, critique, essays and translations from English.
He has won several awards for his literary work: Dis’ award for poetic opus (2008), Desanka Maksimovic Award for poetic opus and contribution to the Serbian poetry, Ramonda serbica (2017) award for complete literary work and significant contribution to literature and culture are only the most recent.
He has edited several literary publications and journals: Letopis Matice Srpske (founded in 1816), the most prestigious and oldest Serbian literary periodical from 1981 to 1994, then the multilingual literary magazine Rays/Luci/Les Rayons/Los Rayos/Strahlen issued by the Authors' Association of Vojvodina from 1986 to 1989, and since 1995 he has been Editor in Chief of the journal for theory, radicalisms and art, TRANSkatalog.
Since 1981, he has been engaged in film and theatre critique. He is a member of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI), International Association of Theatre Critics AICT, International Theatre Institute / ITI, and has been a member of jury or selector at several Yugoslav and international theatre festivals.
He has participated at several international theatre, literary and periodical symposia, seminars and conferences in Europe, the most recent being the 80th International PEN Congress Bishkek 2014, Kyrgyzstan, and the 48th International Writers’ Meeting, Bled, Slovenia, 2016.
As a guest of ministries of culture or writers' associations, he took study trips to Norway (1985), Egypt (1986), etc.
Since 2001, he was executive director of International Writers’ Colony at Cortanovci, Serbia.
He is Serbian Pen Centre Board member as well as member and former president of Serbian Literary Society, member of Authors' Association of Vojvodina etc.
He lives and works in Novi Sad, which is the second largest city in Serbia and the capital of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, the northern part of Serbia, characterized by its multinational population and rich cultural tradition..