From the History of Boka Kotorska—The Cravat Among the People of Boka is a three-week exhibition featuring some sixty photographs, for the most part portraits of well- and lesser-known Bokelj figures taken from the mid-19th to the mid-20th century. This exhibition has already been shown in Padua, Trieste, Tivat and Zagreb and features the cravat (necktie) as, in the words of Nikola Albaneže of the Academia Cravatica, a global phenomenon.

A content-packed event was staged this March 15th at the cosy premises of the Pula branch office of the Croatian Heritage Foundation on Carrara Street (Carrarina ulica) featuring presentations of two books, Pomorstvo Boke Kotorske na slikama Bazija Ivankovića (Seafaring in Boka Kotorska in the Paintings of Bazija Ivanković) by Željko Brguljan and Sabrana djela Viktora Vide (The Collected Works of Viktor Vida). The event also saw the opening of an exhibition entitled From the History of Boka Kotorska—The Cravat Among the People of Boka.

The exhibition includes some sixty photographs, for the most part portraits of well- and lesser-known Bokelj figures taken from the mid-19th to the mid-20th century. The exhibition will be open to visitors for three weeks. This exhibition has already been shown in Padua, Trieste, Tivat and Zagreb and, besides people, features the cravat (necktie) as, in the words of Nikola Albaneže of the Academia Cravatica, a global phenomenon. Albaneže and Brguljan are co-authors of the exhibition.
Željko Brguljan noted that the photographs were collected from family albums and the archives of the Bokelj Navy. Some were shot in ateliers, while others also feature the urban vista of Kotor, but they are all linked by this fashion accessory identified as a part of the Croatian heritage. The photographs feature some of the better-known Bokelj natives such as Ivan Visin, Rudolf Giuni, St. Leopold Mandić and Antun Šojat.

Brguljan also spoke about his book Seafaring in Boka Kotorska in the Paintings of Bazija Ivanković. The book’s ten chapters detail the sailing ships and their commanders and builders and the ultimate waning of the Bokelj fleet. The book was published by the 809 Croatian Bokelj Navy Fraternity of Zagreb and the Kotor-based Croatian Civic Society of Montenegro. Brguljan also discussed The Collected Works of Viktor Vida, compiled by the late Branimir Donat and published in two volumes by the 809 Croatian Bokelj Navy Fraternity and Zagreb-based publisher Dora Krupićeva. Brguljan notes that Vida’s works speak of a profound loneliness and that he alluded to his own passing in verses like “It is not hard to die, it is hard to live.”

Josip Gjurović, president of the Bokelj Association in Zagreb, noted that Boka and Pula share a tradition as Adriatic ports and also presented Don Niko Luković’s monograph Prčanj.

Retired reporter and editor of the Glas Istre daily newspaper Ratko Radošević spoke of the many ties between Boka and Pula, i.e. Istra County as a whole. “People from Istra moved to Boka because they were not free here,” Radošević said, adding that the “Spirit of Istra lives in Boka.” Fredi Tripović, president of the Pula chapter of the 809 Croatian Bokelj Navy Fraternity, announced the upcoming Bokelj Nights festival in Pula, slated for March 16th at the Croatian Veterans’ Hall. Ana Bedrina, head of the Pula branch office of the Croatian Heritage Foundation, observed that this was all only a small segment of the great wealth of Boka Kotorska heritage.
(Glas Istre)

Text by: M. Radić