Montenegro - Part 7

posted by usha on 2005/11/27 12:33

[ Montenegro ]

The coverage of Montenegro's history, culture, and religion in the Internet is surprisingly good. While preparing my speech for the already announced second Emergence Workshop in Budapest next week I came upon various sites on Montenegro.

First of all, there is Njegos.org to be mentioned which offers rich details on all aspects of historical Montenegro. The digitalisation of historical pictures, photographs and excerpts of articles and documents on Montenegro are particularly recommendable. More wonderful pictures and stories are to found at a site on Cetinje. Unfortunately the sources of the many photographs and paintings are not given.

On the other hand, there also a lot of travelogues from around 1900 published in the Internet, as for example the following description of Cetinje reproducing some well-known propagandistic clichés of that time about Prince Nicolas as being a "princeps inter pares" and thus structuring the Montenegrin society in a very particularly democratic way:

At first sight Cettinge appears to contain only two buildings of any size or importance (one at each extremity of the town) which dwarf the intervening structures into insignificance. The former are truly palatial stone mansions of recent erection—so imposing that they are generally taken for palaces by a stranger. But they are merely the Russian and Austro-Hungarian Legations, whose respective governments have spared no expense in order to impress the natives, which, however, they have entirely failed to do. The new palace (which comes next in size) is a modest, unpretentious edifice, more like some prosperous "bourgeois" residence at Brixton or Asnieres than the home of a ruler. [...]
With the exception of our own gracious sovereign, there is probably no potentate in the world so universally beloved by his people as Prince Nicholas IT. of Montenegro, and the secret of his popularity lies chiefly in an absolute simplicity of life and manner which appeals to this rugged race of mountaineers.
Another very interesting thing is the publication of a kind of photographic stories of 19/20th-century travellers in Souteastern Europe by descendant relatives or simply lucky finders of the photographs.

Simply entiteld "A Journey" is the fruitful cooperation of Janet Penny and Nikola Radić. Janet Penny gives the short story of the re-construction of the photo story:

Some years ago I found some glass plate slides in a battered box at a junk market; and because, at the time, a country that felt very far away was at war, I bought them.
On closer inspection it would seem that these slides were taken in the late part of the nineteenth century in Dalmatia, Heregovina and the surrounding area. Each slide is numbered and has a hand written title which usually includes the place name. [...]
Thanks to Nikola's incredible detective work there is now a wealth of information about most of these slides, including exactly where the photographer was standing for each shot. [...]
Nikola has set me one mystery to solve having given me a clue as to the name of the photographer - perhaps John Buchanan/Buchewn.
The re-construction of Fritz Wentzel's voyage to Southeastern Europe is similar, although more sophisticatedly presented. The photographs presented here are of an almost incredibly intensity.

The maybe most extraordinary and uncommon website featuring besides others photographs from Montenegro is the one dedicated to the Czech photographers Josef Šechtl & Jan Voseček. The site is rich on photographs and information on the authors, the photographers and photo history, but how does it come that Šechtl & Voseček's collection does include photographs from Montenegro misses explanation.

Damisela is at last offering virtual voyages to exotic places of the world in a parallel action to Jules Verne's "Voyage around the World in 80 Days" and re-invents the specific exotism of Montenegro as being the home of the most successful and independent guerilla by citing and transforming the album "Alrededor des Munde".

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