Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Ekrem Dupanović
Slavimir Stojanovic, a great Belgrade designer and officially one of the best in the world, as evidenced by over 300 international awards, was in Sarajevo on October 27 last year.
He held a lecture for students of the Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo, at the invitation of Bojan Hadžihalilović. I don’t even know how many Slavimir’s lectures I attended across the region.
On this occasion, he gave me his novel in illustrated stories, DEVET (NINE), and wrote one of the most beautiful dedications I’ve ever received: “Ekrem! Thank you for the friendship, love, support, mentorship and inexhaustible inspiration! Slavimir”. I waited two months to get my hands on this book, after it was first read by Vedrana and Asja before me.
They were thrilled. Vedrana was retelling certain parts of the book for days. When the book was finally free for me to read, I decided to leave it for the New Year’s Holidays.
I had a few free days to read. It has to be said, the novel DEVET is a book which you read in one sitting, but it took me several days. I would read, and then set the book aside, thinking of the things Slavimir was writing about.
I have personally testified some of the events from the book. It took me some time to recognize the situations and the characters he mentions, because he wrote his biography using some other names of people. He even replaced his own name (Sava Nikolić). Only someone who knows him well can connect all the characters. Very interesting way of storytelling.
The book contains many illustrations done by fabulous designers and illustrators – friends of Slavimir. And each story begins with a new illustration.
Slavimir wrote a brutally honest book about his life, his family, his parents, his brother, his ups and downs, his great successes and his failures. And part of his failures are related to his character.
Here in Sarajevo we would call his personality a ‘ters’. Don’t get me explaining what a ters person is in Sarajevo jargon (cranky). It would take a lot of time, but if you read this book, you’ll understand exactly.
It’s a word that is bit connected with grudge, and Slavimir is a grudgy person, and out of spite he is quite capable of dropping even the best of clients, if only one thing is not to his liking. Regardless of the price. That’s the kind of person we in Sarajevo like the most.
Slavimir wrote his novel as a seasoned writer. The paragraphs are brilliant. They make you mull in some places about yourself, forcing you to introspect your life experiences, look for yourself in places where you never managed to find yourself before.
How you fall is irrelevant, but how you raise up again is quite important. And Slavimir rose up time and time again mostly thanks to his wife Olja, who was always his greatest support.
She understood him better than he understood himself.
I personally witnessed some of the situations he described in the book. When, after a long pause, he was trying again to find job as a designer, he first came to an interview with Dragan Sakan, with whom he had previously worked and won awards.
That’s when I met him – at Saki’s agency – a month after we published a great interview with him in Media Marketing. The interview was done by Vladimir Čeh, Slavimir’s childhood friend who opened two of his big exhibitions in Belgrade.
Back then, while we were sitting in Saki’s office, I didn’t realize that Slavimir came to look for a job, although one could have picked it up from their conversation. I guess I didn’t want to believe it.
After a while, I received a call from Ivan Stanković, who excitedly informed me they had a new creative director. Slavimir Stojanovic. Since this happened at a time when Slavimir was still soul-searching, this cooperation did not last long either.
About five years ago, at the time of The Cup in Belgrade, after the award ceremony, Slavimir, Vlado Čeh, Dule Drakalski and I sat for a chat.
I think there was someone else with us, but I can’t remember now.
The wine went down the throats like milk. After a few bottles, out of the blue, Slavimir began to talk about some situations that I understood only now, five years later, after reading the DEVET.
Today is Orthodox Christmas. And Slavimir’s birthday. He was born 50 years ago, on the same date as Christ. After many years of wandering, he also resurrected and returned to his proper place – in the world of art, at the very top!
Happy birthday Slavimir!