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Posts Tagged ‘Ilhana Skrgic’

29
Jan

New Travelogue Now Online! Winter Switzerland!

   Posted by: CursedPoet    in Giger, Studying, Travels, Writing

Dear readers,
finally a new travelogue! From Switzerland no less! Read & enjoy the photos right here (note that the Bosnian translation will follow very soon).
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/Impressions taken from the promotion of “Memento Amores”/
A Night Of Poetry“, which was the official title of the promotion, was a delightful way to name the special premiere of my second poetry collection “Memento Amores“, and everyone who attended, hopefully, has satisfied their poetic appetites. The promotion happened on October 30th, 2014 (Devil’s Night, of course) at 19h, in the cozy atmosphere of American Corner in Bihać, Bosnia and Herzegovina (in the building of the Cantonal and University Library). Attendees: my students, colleagues, poetry lovers from Bihać, friends and family.
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For this book I wanted a real journey to the past – hence the record player you see on some of the photos below – we opened the night with a nod to the 80’s (Sisters of Mercy and The Cult), and the promotion itself was accompanied by a plethora of melancholic visuals on screen and the wonderfully eerie melodies of the “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” OST, which is my favourite film soundtrack ever. The closing ceremony was King’s (a lil’ bit of “Jailhouse Rock” and “Love Me Tender” for all the Elvis Presley fans out there)!
And now – to the night itself. I had the great honour and pleasure to have all my three reviewers there for the premiere – my dearest buddy Nizama Muhamedagić and Aurelija Karajić both talked about their unique visions of the book, while Fikreta Muslić gave her passionate impressions in Bosnian. My dear students Arnela Raković, Senita Jusić and Alija Mujanović read the selected poems with their wonderful voices (“Primavera“, “Silence Of A Lover“, “Remembrance Of A Kiss“…), and I cannot describe how proud I felt listening to them and seeing how much this night meant to them too. 058The night of poetry was further enriched by the siren’s voice of Nermina Imerovska, who lead us all through the journey of past loves and whose words we will remember for years to come… Lastly, it was my turn to say a few words to my audience, and I hope that I haven’t forgotten anybody in my thank-yous – if I have, please forgive me. The surreal feeling of the entire night was at the same time enchanting and utterly out of this world, and I only wish that my verses somehow arrived at the gates of Heaven where H.R. Giger now resides, like small gifts carried by the autumn wind.
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Speaking of gifts – I got pleasantly surprised by my family, friends and colleagues with a bunch of bouquets (in all my colours) and presents! I don’t think I could ever thank them all for everything they’ve given me, but here’s a shot: I wish to thank my mom Hajrija and my uncle Hajrudin (also a prolific author) for supporting me in all my academic and artistic endeavours, to Mr. Leslie Barany, Giger’s agent, Mr. Tom Gabriel Fischer and Mr. Matthias Belz for the incredible gift of “Shaft No. 7” on the cover, to Ljiljana Krupić, professor of Latin, for the green light on the title, to my dad Muhamed and my sister Sarah for sharing this evening with me, to my dear friends Nizama, Nermina (and the Book Promotion Society “Liber“, which she currently runs), Aurelija, Fikreta, Rialda, Veldina (who is also a poetess, as well as Fikreta), my dear colleagues Jasmina Tevšić, Alma Žerić, Alma Huskić, Dragana Šenda, Mersina Šehić, to the dean of the Pedagogical Faculty Nijaz Skender, to my dear Mirela Midžić for giving us the perfect venue and full support, to the Head of the Cantonal and University Library Ratko Knežević, to RTVUSK, ac 2and last but not least, to my nightingales Arnela, Alija and Senita, as well as all my students (past and present) and everyone there who came to listen to my poetry and hopefully, were uplifted by the aesthetic aspirations written down for my muse far, far away…
As mentioned, below you can see the full gallery, as well as links to an article & TV piece about the night (for the video, scroll down to “DNEVNIK 31.10.2014.” – the piece starts at 29′). There will also be an extended article tonight at 21h in the show “Kultura” on the same channel – tune in if you have it!
More info on the official release date of the book (both the regular and deluxe edition) + Amazon links soon!

PROMOCIJE – SVESTRANA ILHANA ŠKRGIĆ

http://www.rtvusk.ba/vteka/emisije

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15
Sep

Love and Lights

   Posted by: CursedPoet    in Music, Uncategorized, Writing

U2labcoat1Life moves in mysterious ways. What started out as an acquaintance over mutual love for one of the biggest bands in the world quickly grew into collaboration on a very cool project, and one email after another, I can now say that I’m positively amazed by the light that is my friend James!
The band in question is U2. Those who know me personally also know that this is one of the first bands I started listening to (back in 1989), and that my first concert ever was the one U2 held on their PopMart tour in Sarajevo in 1997. Now on to something you might not have known before: after my musings on U2.com, James responded to my writing and upon him introducing me to his awesome project of a “lab coat around the world”, I was interested to know more and participate. Yes, it was actually a real lab coat signed and decorated by U2 fans across the globe (along with many gifts, DVDs and many other thingies)! Plenty of white surface to cover, but, by the time it reached me, it was already pleasantly colourful! U2labcoat2So, I do the “obligatory” photo session in the lab coat after putting my own touch on it, end up on a blog site of like-minded people and James’ friends – and then we started talking more and more, often about personal things as well. James then confessed to being a poetry lover like me, and even sent me a lovely book of poems from 1927! U2poems1Good thing the book reached me, because it said on the package that the post actually missent it to TaiPei (I still don’t know how TaiPei might sound like B&H, but nevermind). But that’s not all – about two weeks ago, he finally shared his own poetry with me – and the inspiration was none other than moi! I’m still amazed and still blushing from this incredible gift. In turn, I wanted to share his wonderful verses with you, dear readers, wishing for you to remember that there are extraordinary people out there, and friendships that are worth gold. Thank you, James, for this poem and your friendship! We’ll meet on a U2 concert soon for sure!

Love and Lights
(for Ilhana)

Daylight hours host the mundane and cliché
Quiet humdrum beat of the quest for pay
Lines of masses arranged in single file
Driving with glazed looks , mile after mind-numbing mile
Conforming
Resigning to boring
Comfortable and unbothered they seek to remain
Choosing feeling nothing over feeling any pain
Dreams of youth thus traded
For lukewarm nothing and mediocrity
Capalist façade of consumerism, slowly molding the insane

I met a girl in the darkness, born of star-filled night
Poetry and art flowing through her veins
Emitting the majesty of a raven in flight
Believes not in umbrellas, wants to feel the sensational rain
Wishing upon others “love and lights”
Light only needed where light doesn’t exist
She’s seen the most horrible evils man has to offer
She kept love alive on the precipice of war torn abyss
“dreaming out loud“ becomes her
She sculpts words into masterful form
Not interested in what others see as “normal “
She has darkness, peace, goodwill and love and lights to keep her warm
She has a name others might find ”hard to spell“
But its an honor to be able to see
A wordsmith of inspirational magnitude
Yet as sweet as a person can be
When shall I meet her?
I often wonder up in my mind
This lovely, starlit, intense child of the darkest night
Perhaps one day, perhaps never
The future might not get it right
But she will always be a brilliantly luminous inspiration
This dark girl full of love and full of light

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6
Sep

14 ON FIRE: The Rolling Stones in Vienna

   Posted by: CursedPoet    in Music, Travels

The concert highlight of the year belongs to the Rolling Stones in Vienna! Around 60,000 people were positively on fire during the two hour show at Ernst Happel Stadium in the Austrian capital. I mean, just watch the intro below!

This is the greatest rock band on the planet, hands down. From the iconic hits such as “Sympathy for the Devil“, “Gimme Shelter“, “You Got Me Rocking” to the huge, flashy stage, and of course, the four Englishmen who took the world by storm ever since they first rocked together, and are taking it again on every tour – you’ve got it all. A feast for the eyes, ears (legs too – I danced them right off!) and spirit, and one I definitely didn’t want to miss. Thanks to the concert travel agency SviKoncerti.eu, I had the time of my life with fellow Stones fans, plus I got to meet some cool new people while en route & there – cheers, Hrvoje, Biserka, Albin & Edvin! ;)
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Also, check out the whole gang here (courtesy to Tomica & svikoncerti.eu):
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What I especially liked (next to those sexy visuals on “Honky Tonk Woman“) were the outfits that Mick & Co. chose for the show – so stylish and cool! In love with Ron’s jacket (photos by Matthias Hombauer):
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Of course, I splurged a small fortune on the official merchandise, grabbed a lángos on the way back to the bus, and spent the time travelling back to Zagreb in thoughts coloured with pure rock’n’roll!
Now, even though I’m ecstatic to have seen them live again after so many years (Zagreb ’98, anyone?) and probably on their last tour, I actually wish they have a new album and tour soon, because this is a concert experience like no other! I can’t get no satisfaction! ;)

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8
Aug

14 ON FIRE: Burch & TETA Conferences

   Posted by: CursedPoet    in Studying, Travels

For those of you not familiar with the title – it was actually the Rolling Stones tour this year where I managed to see one show (more on that in the upcoming post), so I thought it’s a nice way to describe the whole summer. ’14 on fire, indeed!

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The unofficial start was all business. The long awaited conference at the Burch University in Sarajevo was an event I anticipated ever since I got the presentation acceptance letter back in February. This was an effective strategy to both research political metaphors in our surroundings, get much needed ECTS points for my studies, and test whether the idea will hold water in the long run (basically, will it be of interest to me to my PhD thesis on it) – and test it I sure did. This was my first solo presentation at a conference, but I had my faithful companion and dear friend Nizama with me, so I was simply „positively“ excited to present my work. Not only her, mind you, but also my professor from Osijek, Prof. Tanja Gradečak-Erdeljić, along with her colleagues, my PhD colleague Ružica, my colleagues from the faculty in Bihać… Their presence meant a lot, and I still can’t thank them enough! Just imagine the situation – the colleague who presented before me just ended his speech, which was taken as cue for the bunch of people to open the door of the hall and enter it – for me! So cool! The hall was full, and even though I didn’t have the planned time to present everything (due to all first-round presentations being late since prof. Langacker prolonged his keynote speech), I was pretty satisfied with how it all went. I prefer presenting on the first day, because I can relax after my speech and just hang out with my friends and colleagues, checking out interesting presentations or mingling at the buffet. In that aspect, it was like the lovely organizers at Burch read my mind.

Overall impression from Burch – it was like a rockstar show, only for linguists! Not only because they had some pretty big names of the academic world (aforementioned Prof. Langacker, then Professors Pinker, Mackey, Ellis and Schmidt), but also due to the fact that they had that special event vibe going on – and with 600 presenters and who knows how many visitors, it was a true academic beehive! As for Nizama and me, we loved buzzing around and we’re already planning our speeches for next year. Hopefully, we’ll finally get to see and meet Prof. George Lakoff, who was announced, but in the end couldn’t come or hold a video conference this year (he’s up on the 2015 poster though). We’re totally gonna fangirl over him and have him sign our copies of „Metaphors We Live By“, right, Nizama?

After we came back home, disaster struck our country (the May floods), so we were all, in one way or another, influenced by the whole catastrophe. For a while it was also touch-and-go for my third conference this year, organized by TETA – Tuzla English Teachers’ Association that currently dubs as the organization for the whole country, and does a pretty good job at it too. By then (second week of June), I was entirely spent by the exhausting work year behind me and ready to call it a day – or in this case, a year. Hence me being extremely tired at the conference and the days preceding it. I also had a solo speech there, and in the presence of several colleagues – English teachers there (Nizama too), and a couple of my students from Bihać who were helpers at the conference, I presented my research on the cognitive dimension of early acquisition of EFL, and was once more able to relax after that. I think my brain went officially on vacation the minute my speech ended. After that, it was mingling time again – and at the dinner TETA organized for us at an Irish pub in Tuzla, I actually won a pretty nifty tablet! How cool is that! The rest of the evening I spent in a very pleasant company of fellow English teachers from all across Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia. The late evening was blank, as I basically fainted and slept for close to 12 hours. Tomorrow held another journey for me, but more on that and the four Englishmen in the biggest rock band in the world soon! Until then, enjoy my gallery from Burch, with TETA being added soon as well!

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My presentation (as you can see, I love to plug my fave horror movies in them – and “They Live” is a masterpiece!):
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With colleagues Hakan and Nizama in front of Burch:
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At the House of Sevdah in Sarajevo:
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With Ružica at the Pope John Paul II statue in Sarajevo:
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Where’s Waldo? :) (last photo courtesy of Burch University)
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28
Jun

H.R. Giger (February 5, 1940 – May 12, 2014)

   Posted by: CursedPoet    in Giger

More than a month has passed since H.R. Giger died in Zurich, and I am still grieving. There is no fancy or more beautiful way to reflect on his tragic passing… Actually, there is, but those words are not mine (his longtime friend and assistant Tom Gabriel Warrior of Triptykon: www.triptykon.net). The shock subsided, but the emptiness announced its stay until the end of time.
My eternal love and devotion to his art does not stem from Alien alone, but this breathtaking creature did introduce me to Giger at a young age. Then, as I finally walked into the museum in Gruyères two years ago, the storm of recognition raged joyously inside me. This! This has been the world of my existence! Not the bleak copy outside, ridden of everything seductively dark and magnificent. I was home…
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Incidentally, today was the tentative slate for the release of my second book “Memento Amores“, whose cover is graced by Giger’s Schacht VII, my favourite work of art. However, I decided to wait for a while. The realisation of this book being an homage to him played a crucial part in this decision. Ultimately, I will offer my verses to him and hope the winds will be my faithful servants, bringing them to the gates of his design.
However, this will not be my last bestowal. I will forever celebrate the genius of H.R. Giger, his remarkable talent and legacy, whether by visiting his museum and bars in Switzerland, art exhibitions around the world, acquiring books devoted to him, and more. A few days ago, as I was sitting in the bus bound for Zagreb, one thought appeared and hasn’t let go since then – what if I pay the ultimate homage by writing my PhD thesis on the visual symbolism in his art? I don’t think such a dissertation, especially from a linguistic point of view, has ever been done. The intrigue and challenge rest abound on this barely-seen semiotic path, and, by God, I will try to pave it. It’s like the call of Lovecraft to my August Derleth.
In the end, many artists will be born upon this world, and even more will try to portray their insides and outsides in various forms. Yet, since May 12 this year, the world itself has stepped into the final act of the play. Without H.R. Giger, we are all left with sundown and memories of a dimension our insectoid selves will never see again.
/photo by Willy Spiller – H.R.Giger at the entrance to the Giger Bar in Chur, Switzerland/

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4
May

The ELT Mini Conference in Bihać & Other News

   Posted by: CursedPoet    in Greets, Studying, Uncategorized

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Last month my dear colleague Nizama and I had the honour of presenting our work to English teachers from the Una-Sana Canton at the “ELT Mini Conference: Linguistic Approach to Teaching” in Bihać. Organised by TETA and American Corner Bihać, this one-day seminar was the perfect opportunity to share the knowledge with fellow English teachers – and so much fun to do! The photo above shows us all against the wonderful Una backdrop, and I think the only one who’s missing is the lovely Mirela Midžić from the AC – thank you for everything, especially the “Ghost Brothers of Darkland County” (she knew I love Stephen King because my students come to her to loan his books XD)! Also, big kudos to colleagues Elma and Edin, as well as everyone who came that day to our mini conference.

In case you were wondering, Nizama and I recently did a research on teaching phrasal verbs using conceptual domains – fascinating stuff!

Here’s us at the beginning of our presentation:

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This wasn’t the only such event in the past few months – there was also the amazing IATEFL Conference in Slovenia, then a couple of school seminars in Teslić and Sarajevo, and right now I’m preparing for the 4th International FLTAL Conference in Sarajevo next week (presenting a paper on metaphors in politics – wish me luck!)

Some visuals from Slovenia (with Nizama, Lisa, Elma, and Danka):

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Soon I will also have news on my second book. Until then:

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23
Nov

“The Greatest Fight On Earth”

   Posted by: CursedPoet    in Music, Travels

Deathstars_Andreas_Salzburg_01Things often happen in my life that have an obvious serendipitous nature. While Claudia and I were waiting for the Hurts gig to start (past Sunday), we were talking about Deathstars and their upcoming album – five minutes later, I saw the announcements for future events in Gasometer, one of them being the Deathstars gig on my birthday next year! My love for Deathstars marked a big part of my life, especially after I met Andreas and the gang on EXIT Festival in 2006 (remember that night, Olga?) Their particular brand of darkness always suited my palate, so to speak. Time to enjoy old memories of hanging out with the guys with two of my favourite songs by them, “Syndrome” and “The Greatest Fight On Earth” – until spring, my darlings!

(Andreas and I, Salzburg, Austria, April 2007)

/Such a violent syndrome tapped to your spine
It’s a virus storm and it’s about to be born

Such a violent word that wants to be heard
You got me deep within and under your skin

I’m gonna touch you inside
I’m gonna be your little child
Right where your blood runs wild
Inside, that’s where I’ll hide/

/Absorb all their fears, Collect all their minds
We’ll be the snakes wherever they’ll play
And we’ll be the demons whenever they’ll pray
…It’ will be the greatest fight on the earth

Snatch the wings of a fly
Spit on them and nail them to my spine
Say ”little insect now fly away”
But I’ll be the demon in every psalm you pray

The disease, the love, the claws, the blood
The empty clinics of savaged hearts
The rusty nails in lidless eyes
…And the skin won’t ever be cleansed from the dirt…

Come here
Now come here
Let me smell your fears/

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Last Friday, October 4th, marked a great day – World Animal Day Celebration under the title “B&H Has A Heart For Animals” was held in our school and more than 200 pupils danced, sang, drew and melted their big hearts into an even bigger one for animals!

I am so happy to have such great friends and family who helped me organize the whole thing. It was a blast! Next to such human souls, it’s very easy to be the World Animal Day ambassador for Bosnia and Herzegovina.^^

Here are some photos from the celebration:

Here’s the link to the official news on the website of our Animal Protection Society “Warm Paw”, and here’s the link to the site of our local radio station.

The same night my colleagues from almost every school in my town and I celebrated World Teachers’ Day (even though it was technically the day after, on October 5th), and the wonderful evening up on our Old Castle reminded me just how much I love my job! Or should I say: I job my love? ^^

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Moi pointing at our delish cake with the inscription and everything – sadly, not vegan, but I did have a special vegan dinner, courtesy of my syndicate representative Almira!
Not even the fact that earlier that day I cut my finger so badly I had to go to the ER in the afternoon to get a stitch or two didn’t ruin this perfect day! Which brings me to the song of the day:

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21
Sep

Happy Birthday, Sai King!

   Posted by: CursedPoet    in Greets, Writing

Those who are in love with the “Dark Tower” as I am will know why the particular word in the title. To others I can only recommend his magnum opus, pure perfection in the form of eight books and immensely intriguing characters, Roland Deschain in particular.

Dear Mr. King, a very happy birthday from your Constant Reader in Bosnia and Herzegovina! This is but a part of my treasure (other jewels are on loan) – including the Dark Tower comic book case I won over at Lilja’s Library several years ago:

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And my personal treasure – signed copy of “11/22/63” just for me!!!

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