Gottfried Wagner on Dragan Klaić


Thought a lot about you these days, again and again, trying to understand, and to grasp why. And how it must have been for you (since you knew), and why you kept it a secret, to so many friends, for long, I guess. And what it must have meant for your closest: your wife, your daughter. No answers. Some thoughts. New questions.

Shock and speechless, grim embarrassment, strong feelings of rebellion against fate, and all over: loss, and disbelief: it simply cannot be true. Cannot even hold your hand.

When I came to Amsterdam end 2001 you were among the first to visit me in my new office at the European Cultural Foundation: Dragan Klaic, a great ‘name’, someone I had observed from a distance with respect, and admiration, and within short time we spoke about Miroslav Krleza, and you said ‘welcome to the club in Amsterdam… not many Krleza readers around here…’

When I had left Amsterdam with mixed feelings end of 2009, you were among the first to invite me to join you, e.g. at your course at CEU Budapest; with a few bright students from ‘the world’, and a whole series of most interesting encounters around it, so inspiring that I wrote a chapter about it in my ‘Art of Difference’.

‘My’ years with you between 2001 and 2011 were years of friendship and love, imagination and solidarity, mutual critique and assurance.

I only got to know a part of your intellectual, cultural and private life. But this was utterly important for me, and I have been grateful and full of respect.  Like many people who liked you, loved you, I was stunned by your stupendous intelligence; your command of language and languages; your erudite contributions to the culture-political and artistic discourses; your wit and sharpness.

Like some others I also had to go through times of arguments, disputes; conflicts even. It seemed sometimes that you stretched the patience of friends to an extent that they felt helpless; but clearly many of us stretched your patience even more.

There will be many testimonies of what you have achieved, and what you contributed to the world of arts and culture, and to cosmopolitan as well as political culture. I chose two remarkable experiences with you out of many more: one was the ‘Reflection Group’ we convened at the ECF about the role of culture in Europe, under your guidance, moderation and editorship; this had huge impact on our joint efforts to use the potential of this foundation in a new and political understanding; the other was in a way the logical continuation: your role as President of EFAH and – again - the joint efforts to redefine the European project as a cultural project; we knew what was needed to transform part of this advocacy into practice. Substantial progress was helped by you, by those you supported and promoted, and through the imaginative partnership between the network (EFAH) and the foundation (ECF).

However, you wouldn’t have been so successful in these European, cosmopolitan fields without your very personal skills and attitudes, uniquely Dragan-like: knowledge, wit, oversight, connecting-power, networking-power, engagement, sense of responsibility and critique, and your talent to promote people (and ideas). I remember quite some who had made personal career, progress, ‘jumps’ thanks to your stimulation, motivation and promotion.

More than that: in all public debates you were the rock of what German speakers call ‘Anstand’: decency, morality, sense of solidarity with those who needed it, sense of loyalty with those who fought for good causes; the interest in the common good, simply. More than political correctness, and sometimes even against all odds of PC: You fought taboos if you found them counterproductive for free and democratic societies. And you were able to listen, and to adjust your thinking, if one could convince you through good arguments.

I am tempted to say that beyond all that important ingredients of your success at the crossroads between culture and European policy there was something else which made you so credible: I believe the secret was your intimate and loving ‘relationship’ to the arts, to theatre in particular. These (sometimes dramatically powerful) roots empowered you to become the distinctive authority in other fields as well.

Authority: There are not many ‘authorities’ that can share like you could. Just take your hospitality. Your (and Julie’s!) splendid while modest parties in your utterly hospitable place were famous for non-Dutch (migrants and others) living in Amsterdam, and – I believe – even more so for the Dutch: we all experienced a bit of the flavour of savoir vivre from the South, and, in this case exceptionally justified, from the Balkans, not to forget: your and Julie’s kitchen. An intellectual and sensual highlight in a somewhat less sophisticated environment, if I may add a prejudice, which you wouldn’t subscribe to, because you were extremely loyal to Dutch society after your emigration from the hell of Milosevic’ Belgrade.

We will not, I will never forget you. 

I am very grateful that I could say good-bye to you in the Amsterdam hospital (of the ‘Free University’ – nota bene); it was heartbreaking - and still, there was the old – yet frail – Dragan, curious and insisting on discussing the truth, and the beauty. Until you said: go, Gottfried. Go. I understood. And was left with my tears, on a windy afternoon.

My, our all feelings and thoughts are with Julie and Nora.


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Oferta edukacyjna

Darowizny uzyskane przez Fundację Pogranicze

W związku z otrzymaniem darowizn, na podstawie art. 18 ust. 1f, pkt 2 ustawy z dnia 15 lutego 1992 r. o podatku dochodowym od osób prawnych (Dz. U. z 2011 r. Nr 74, poz. 397, ze zmianami), Fundacja Pogranicze podaje do publicznej informacji, że łączna kwota uzyskana z tego tytułu w okresie od 01.01.2017 r. do 31.12.2017 r. wyniosła 292.029,67 zł.

W 2017 roku Fundacja uzyskała również kwotę 12.221,60 zł w formie wpłat z 1% podatku.

Otrzymane darowizny Fundacja Pogranicze w całości przeznaczyła na realizację działań statutowych.

Towarzystwo Inwestycji Społeczno – Ekonomicznych S.A. w Warszawie udzieliło nam pożyczki na zamknięcie inwestycji oraz pomogło zorganizować montaż finansowy przy współpracy z Polskim Bankiem Spółdzielczym w Ciechanowie dla zapewnienia pełnej płynności przy prowadzeniu inwestycji związanej z rewitalizacją zabytkowego kompleksu dworskiego w Krasnogrudzie, w którym powstaje Międzynarodowe Centrum Dialogu.

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