Updated: Jun 29
The 2022 annual Vidovdan ceremony and festivities in Belgrade, Serbia were marked by a two-day program that featured Art Exchange photography exhibition "Heritage of Stone and Heaven" of the jury-selected images inspired by the UNESCO world cultural heritage of Serbia.
On June 24, at the University of Belgrade Law School main amphitheatre gallery, beginning at 6 PM, Art Exchange founder and CEO Mrs. Svetlana Rogić, along with representatives of the h.o. Radost na Dar and University of Belgrade Law School Student Association, welcomed distinguished guests - their Graces Bishop Isihije Rogić of Valjevo, Bishop Jerotej Petrović of Šabac and Bishop Justin Jeremić of Western Europe, His Excellency Ambassador Djerdj Matković and Mrs. Vera Matković, Prof. dr. Miloš Ković, Prof. dr. Vanja Ković, Prof, dr. Časlav Koprivica, Prof. dr. Slobodan Samardzić, Prof. dr. Djordje Čantrak, Prof. dr. Siniša Borović, Academic Časlav Ocić, Mr. Zoran Jerković, Mr. Marinko Lugonja, renowned Serbian photographer Stanko Kostić and Ms. Aleksandra Kostić, among others. The distinguished guests, along with over 400 visitors who also attended the ceremonial Vidovdan academy, enjoyed viewing jury-selected fine art photographs of the most significant world cultural heritage sites of Serbia, including those in Kosovo and Metohija region, as well as images of the intangible cultural heritage of Serbia that have been enlisted in the UNESCO register of world cultural heritage.
The following day, on June 25, in the heart of the City of Belgrade where Knez Mihailova and Čika Ljubina streets meet at the historic Academic plateau, international art lovers admired the photography exhibition “Heritage of Stone and Heaven” as part of an all-day cultural and artistic program that also featured music and dance performances, arts and crafts, traditional costumes as well as specialty foods and wines from Kosovo and Metohija region.
“In addition to having strong symbolism and demonstrating high level of photographic skills, exhibited photographs provided viewers with a unique personal perspective of the artists and contributed to greater respect for Serbian cultural heritage” said Mrs. Svetlana Rogić, the exhibition organizer and member of the jury. The winning image "Journey through time" by the first-placed Marko Radovanović, photographer from Studenica, is "a photograph of exceptional composition, aesthetics and technical skill", the jury assessed and added in a joint statement that "this photograph impressively unites all Serbian cultural heritage , a stronghold of the Nemanjić dynasty and a symbolic defender of the greatest shrines of the Serbian people, including the monasteries of Studenica, Sopoćani and the Patriarchate of Peć".
The second prize was awarded to journalist Sreten Pantelić from Valjevo for photograph "Saint Sava". "This photograph, in a direct way, capturing a moment from modern-day life, permeates the strong symbolism of the Slava of the entire Serbian people - Saint Sava, and in its composition successfully unites the character of the founder of the Serbian church and state with a modern man whose image strongly resembles Saint Sava”, the jury stated.
Third-placed Milosh Smit graduated from the Theological Seminary in Prizren and is a first-year student at the Orthodox Theological Faculty of the University of Belgrade. For his photograph "Our Lady of Ljevish"(Ljevishka), which received highest marks from the competition jury, Smit stated: "Ljevishka had a very turbulent history, through which it was desecrated many times, turned into a mosque and eventually burned. It is a symbol of the Serbian people in that area, who went through the same suffering for centuries. Today, people can visit this world heritage site even though the situation in Prizren is still not safe, both for the Serbian people and for the church that is surrounded by barbed wire. Despite such circumstances, as long as Our Lady of Ljevish survives, Christianity will live in Prizren".
The shortlist of jury-selected works also includes photographs of the Visoki Decani Monastery by Ivan Jovanović from Belgrade and Radoje Ostojić from Osojane, photographs of the Gračanica Monastery by Marko Stanković from Gnjilan and Igor Vasiljević from Gračanica, photographs by Radomir Jovanović from Niš, Aleksandar Aksović from Zvečan, Angelina Vasilljević from Kraljevo, Stefan Pavlović from Prokuplje, prominent guslar Radovan Peković from Kraljevo, Pavle Marjanović from Belgrade, two photographs by Jovan Milinov from Novi Sad, as well as three photographs by renowned photographer Stanko Kostić who was awareded with a special recognition for having three of his photographs in the final selection of the jury. The jury of the international photography competition “Heritage of Stone and Heaven” is made up of three members: Svetlana Rogić, founder and CEO of Art Exchange, Iwan Bagus, photographer and professor at American University and University of the District of Columbia in Washington, DC and Živojin Rakočević, president of the Association of Journalists of Serbia.
photo gallery: Day 1 (June 24, 2022) international photography exhibition "Heritage of Stone and Heaven" at 2022 Vidovdan ceremonial academy at the University of Belgrade Law School
photo gallery: Day 2 (June 25, 2022) international photography exhibition "Heritage of Stone and Heaven" as part of all-day Vidovdan 2022 cultural program in the heart of the City of Belgrade