A multimedia round table with Branka Bezić Filipović was staged by the Kaštela municipal library and the local branch office of the CHF. The event, staged as part of the Croatian Book Month, also included a screening of the documentary movie Juan Ursić Ostoić – Builder of Lighthouses at the End of the World, a presentation of a virtual museum of emigration from Croatia’s southern region of Dalmatia, and a promotion of the book Chilean Writers of Croatian Extraction.
A multimedia round table with Branka Bezić Filipović was staged by the Kaštela municipal library and the local branch office of the Croatian Heritage Foundation. The event, staged as part of the Croatian Book Month on the 18th of October at the archdiocesan palace in Kaštel Sućurac, also included a screening of the documentary movie Juan Ursić Ostoić – Builder of Lighthouses at the End of the World, a presentation of a virtual museum of emigration from Croatia’s southern region of Dalmatia, and a promotion of the book Čileanski pisci hrvatskoga podrijetla (Chilean Writers of Croatian Extraction).
As part of a fascinating round table on the topic of cultural heritage and emigration from Croatia, which gathered many students of Croatian extraction from around the world currently studying to earn degrees at the University of Split’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, and many other interested visitors, the head of the Split branch office of the Croatian Heritage Foundation presented a virtual museum of emigration from Croatia’s southern region of Dalmatia, and the documentary movie Juan Ursić Ostoić – Builder of Lighthouses at the End of the World.
On hand to promote Ms Bezić Filipović’s latest book, Chilean Writers of Croatian Extraction, were Zoran Bošković, the director of publisher Naklada Bošković, Josip Lasić PhD, a professor at the University of Split’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Goran Lausic King, a professor at the Univerisidad de Magallanes in Chile’s Punta Arenas.
In his review of the book professor Lasić notes that, “The printing of this book was preceded by many years of research and the tireless spirit of Branka Bezić Filipović—back in 2006 she staged the Lest We Forget: About the Writers from the Adriatic Coast in Overseas Countries exhibition. It was her desire at the time to remind us of the long list of descendants of people that had moved out of Croatia that were active as writers and publicists, irrespective of the language in which they wrote and created. In her independent research she first found, then made a registry of and analysed the creative work of some two hundred authors. A few years later Chilean academician Cedomil Goic would publish his monograph Bibliografia de autores Chilenos de ascendencia Croata (2012) in which he registered and analysed 170 authors of Croatian ancestry, from all areas of the sciences and arts, born from 1888 to the present. In this book, along with the authors, he treats 1,200 works from this long period (spanning a total of 124 years), starting with the first autobiographic novel by Artur Givovich (1855–1905), then the first Croatian language newspaper, Sloboda (“Freedom”), launched in Antofagasta by Ivan Krstulović, a native of Nerežišće, and correspondence from people that had moved out of Croatia published in the Pučki list (“The People’s Herald”) under the editorship of Juraj Kapić, a period that saw the gradual phasing out of publishing in the native Croatian language that had come with these people to the broad expanses of South America.
The wealth of content awaiting future readers also includes portrait photographs of most of the authors covered, book cover art, and a number of short translated excerpts. What is certainly noteworthy is that this book aims to show the incidence, constancy and persistence of the Croatian (Dalmatian) humanist and literary spirit (irrespective of the language in which it appears) in this corner of the world. This book is also yet another testament to the rich history and even richer legacy in the heritage of people that emigrated out of Croatia. It is, furthermore, proof, from the comparative aspect, that Croatian culture (and its language and literature) possess something that cannot be found among the other southern Slavic cultures and languages—a vital, rich and fascinating written heritage in one of the most distant corners of the globe. In short, the book we hold before us this evening is a very valuable gift, equally honouring and celebrating the Chilean and Croatian people.
As the content of this book provokes (and evokes) many thoughts, we shall close this review stating the opinion that the lasting contribution of this book is that it will in the future certainly be a valued source of data to researchers from various fields of study. It is a source from which to follow these traces and we can only wait for the new researchers and new insights into the wealth of literature in the cultural sphere of Croatians abroad.”
By: Renata Dobrić