The simplest way to make the world a better place is to provide children with safe and comfortable childhood. Mine was short and troubled. In practice, it translates into all sorts of vain projections, illusions and rationalisations. When I was two years old (1950), my father was sentenced to 16 years of rigorous imprisonment for the political crime “against state and people”. My mother was trying her best, so my life in the centre of Zagreb city changed for a distant village in the mountains where my mother’s parents lived: well off peasants in meagre times and country. In the next five years I was raised amidst the life of 19th century and it still makes part of my rather peculiar life experience. My early living ambience was simple and ascetic but within an intact natural environment and vital, vibrant ancient living traditions. There was a sublime but powerful poetry to it.
After I returned to the hometown I had a good schooling. By the end of secondary school and throughout the studies, during vacations, I was European hitchhiker and occasional worker mostly in England. As s student I often worked on many jobs (film and tourist industry) and independently producing jewellery or T-shirts…There was no art that I was not attracted to. Following the wit and curiosity, my studies were varied and international. I completed them in Paris, lucky to have Georges Henri Riviere as my mentor. After successful start of professional career in an international tourism company I opted for the less prestigious career of a museum curator. After seven years I was a director of a museum referal centre, the only of the kind in Yugoslavia, at the time. Travels continued and multiplied as well as professional assignments. So it happened that a few hundred travels to London and Paris, to name the two cities of my preference, or Helsinki or Barcelona, make part of my personal maturation. But, the war taught me more about the world and human nature than any university study would do. From museum practice my career turned into 27 years of professorship with regular consultancy jobs. I believe I understand museums and heritage, both as theory and practice. I was lucky to have Kenneth Hudson as my other mentor. ICOM and Kenneth’s EMYA were organisations for my 17 years of devoted service. My career was in big part international: small countries like mine “encourage” their ambitious people to seek affirmation abroad. On the other hand, the big, well branded countries suffer superiority complex and accept such foreigner reluctantly. I did the possible. Throughout my career, I
was bursting with new ideas, offering them on all sides. Being mostly refused, I was doomed to realize some myself: The best in Heritage, Bridges of Europe, Global Love Museum…Heritology (1982), Mnemosophy (1987)…. Tuned to understanding the world around and guided by humanist ethics I believe that my ideas posses innovation, coherence and social responsibility of scientific relevance, though I decline to identify with most who claim the status of scientists. The attribute should be assigned only to a very few individuals worth the title.
During the war and after, the ultra conservative and dissident history of my family, the nightmare of my childhood, was all of a sudden worth a fortune. I refused to cash in on what I have left behind. Past cannot be a goal, but only a means. Transition pushed me into commitments and prestigious interest groups, only to make me refrain and withdraw into deeper discretion. In this euphoria around me, I turned into a conscious dullard.
My distaste for institutions, politicians and the new rich grew daily. Writing books was like complaining to an imaginary friend or talking to my mentors.
I tried life abroad too and due to the family priorities declined a career in the best museum of Denmark. What I cherished as social-democrat values proved inapt and compromised. Oriented towards public values and welfare society one is necessarily more than that. Practicing social humanism privately, helps. Vast lecturing abroad made a point too. With a family to maintain and a decade of childhood bestowed to the fatherland I was tired, but I have taken occasional risk in politics. Very unsuccessfully. In most of the transitional countries, the false elites disguise their rule into democratic forms only to continue and legalize their loot. They treat citizens as undesirable witnesses and a resource of their power. At that stage, some like me, turn into a dull, rather distrait codgers. Finally, the acceptable patriotism consists of being a good professional, responsible citizen and caring family person.
At some advanced age and with corresponding experience, steady job and regular commitments become neither a need nor an advantage. To step down in time and discretely, belongs to proper understanding of the nature of human condition. It renders possible the luxury privilege that belongs to the seniors, - following one’s own craze. So, this site is a hole to the world from a voluntary seclusion. Drilling it is the evidence of my restless inconsistency.