Over There, So Far Away: 1918 - 2018
A visual-literary exhibit: "Over There, So Far Away: 1918 - 2018" celebrating the centennial of the victory of Serbia and its Allies in World War I and commemorating President Woodrow Wilson’s Proclamation of the Day of Prayer for Serbia
Art Exchange, in cooperation with the SOC WWI Centennial Commemoration Committee, had the pleasure to present visual-literary exhibit "Over There, So Far Away: 1918-2018” at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on July 26, 2018 during the Academic Symposium, organized as part of a four-day program celebrating the centennial of the victory of Serbia and its Allies in WWI and commemorating President Woodrow Wilson’s Proclamation of the Day of Prayer for Serbia. President Wilson’s Proclamation commemorated Serbia’s loss of more than 1,200,000 inhabitants during the WWI, which represented more than one third of its overall population and more than one half of its male population, by the historic flying of Serbian flag over the White House.
Created by Mr. Marinko Lugonja, this exhibit was presented to audiences in Washington DC and major cities in the U.S. in cooperation with the Department of Christian Education of the Serbian Orthodox Church Diocese of Eastern America.
This event was free of charge and open to the public.
Mr. Marinko Lugonja, the exhibit author and founder of Association for Preserving Tradition and Culture of the Valjevo Region, wrote the following commentary on the theme and aims of the exhibit:
“The theme of the exhibit is not necessarily the phenomenon of war. The theme is the Human Being, the Warrior, the Serb that fought the Great War and endured. The selected testimony, facts of interest, anecdotes, speeches, poems, quotes and photographs, have been arranged in an almanac titled Little Newspaper and enriched with a collage of authentic scenes from the Great War.
To the average viewer, the exhibit will evoke the spirit of those bygone times and most viewers will for the first time become acquainted with facts that are in many respects unique and unusual. The text presented is sourced from works such as ‘The Thorny Path of Serbia 1914-1918’ by the Association of the Bearers of the Medal awarded to commemorate the retreat of the Serbian Army through Albania, ‘The Thessaloniki Front Warriors Speak’ by Antonije Djurić, and ‘The War Album’ by Andre Popović, which represent the classic literature on the topic and the source of authentic testimony on this glorious and epic era.
The aim of the exhibit is to introduce the Serbian people and a wider international audience to the destiny of glorious Serbian ancestors and to preserve, in recognition of their sacrifice, the memory of the events that transpired and that are presented by the exhibit.
The exhibit does not have academic or scientific aspirations but strives to bring to life the spirit of a glorious era. The author carefully selected content which is capable of being retained, assimilated, and passed on to others with ease. The content is based on the chronology of relevant events and the testimony of surviving warriors. In a specific and engaging manner, the exhibit stimulates the viewer to further explore the vast literary and artistic creations that have dealt with the themes of the Great War.”