Following the decision of seven member international jury, chaired by the Rector of University of audiovisual arts, Jordan Plevnes, Mr. Gasparovic noted that, after awarding of World Prize of Humanism to the persons like Solzhenitsyn, Ravi Shankar, Oliveira, Peter Brook and Nobel laureate Herta Müller, his pleasure is even greater because next year Macedonia, entire Slavic world and all the international community will commemorate the 1100 anniversary from the death of St. Clement, founder of the first Slavic University and a student of St. Cyril and Methodius, who were declared as protectors of Europe.
The prize will be awarded during the celebration of Epiphany in 2016, in the House of Urania MANU.
At the same time in Ohrid will be promoted the project "Ohrid - World capital of Humanism" by Academician Svetlin Rusev of Bulgaria, who is also one of the previous winners of this high worldwide recognition.
Letter of Darko Gašparović on the occasion of reciving the World Prize of Humanism for 2016
Humanism has perhaps never before gone through more difficult times. Placed at the centre of Jesus’ teachings like a being created in the image of God, present since the Antiquity, the age of Hellenism, the dawn of European culture and civilization, raised to the level of a universal paradigm during the Medieval period, humanism as dedication to the human being has over the past two centuries found itself facing the hardships of being challenged both within the social paradigm and within the domain of art. We are permanently facing a basic question: who and what is a man? The image of man as a dual being that embodies and propagates both creation and destruction, both the idea of good, truth and beauty and that of evil, lie and ugliness, a being that is at the same time characterised by the most sublime spirituality and the most base animality – is constantly before our eyes in its most dramatic manifestation. By denying humanism, by proclaiming it, implicitly rather than explicitly, an idea from the storage-room of ancient history, by choosing existence over essence, the man has renounced the very essence of his immortal being. The consequences of this are obvious in all aspects of social life, and most disastrously in politics which are to blame for the present severe universal humanitarian crisis in the world.
Contrary to this, organisations such as the Ohrid Academy of Humanism firmly and continuously represent and promote the idea of humanism as an ineluctable world value that is of the utmost importance for the life and survival of humans and their world. Founded twenty-one years ago, in one of the oldest towns in the world, in Macedonia, which is also the ancient centre of Slavic culture and civilisation, this Academy inherits the original idea of the Hellenic Academy as the key place that promotes the totality of knowledge and art. The creation of the World Prize of Humanism, which has up until now been awarded to nine great figures from various fields of philosophy and art, is in line with this heritage. The recipients of this award include primarily people who are representatives of great nations: Japanese Buddhist philosopher Daisaky Ikeda, Portuguese director Manuel De Oliveira, Russian author and Nobel Prize winner Aleksandar Solženjicin, Indian sitar player and composer Ravi Shankar, British theatre and film director Peter Brook, German writer and Nobel Prize winner Herta Miler, Canadian writer and the president of the PEN organisation John Ralston Saul. But, two people, who belong to nations in south-eastern Europe that on the global scale would be considered small, have also received this prize: Serbian writer, playwright and theatre director Vida Ognjenović and Bulgarian painter Svetlin Rusev. I am deeply honoured that the seven-member committee headed by the ambassador, the president of the Ohrid Academy of Humanism, the advisor to the president of the Republic of Macedonia and the chancellor of the University of Audiovisual Arts in Skopje, Mr. Jordan Plevneš has chosen me to be the recipient of the World Prize of Humanism for the year 2016, and thus placed me in the company of such illustrious thinkers and artists. My pleasure is augmented by the fact that in 2016 Macedonia, other Slavic countries and the rest of the world are marking one thousandth anniversary of the death of St. Clement of Ohrid, the disciple of the brother saints Cyril and Methodius, a co-patrons of Europe and the founder of the first European University. I am a member of a Croatian nation, a nation that is not great in number and that has lived on a relatively small territory since the 7th century, but a nation that has throughout history, despite the fact that it has never been numerous, produced many world-renowned humanists: Marko Marulić, „the father of Croatian literature“ and a world-renowned Renaissance Latinist writer; Marin Držić, the great comediographer; Ruđer Bošković, the world-renowned Baroque scientist; Juraj Križanić, the founder of the idea of Panslavism and ecumenical unity of Catholics and Orthodox Christians; and, more recently, Nikola Tesla (who said that he was proud of his Serbian origin and his Croatian homeland) and Miroslav Krleža, the great writer and encyclopaedist.
Allow me to end with the verses from the poem Pobratimstvo lica u svemiru (The Blood Brotherhood of Persons in Universe) by the greatest Croatian poet of the 20th century, Tin Ujević, which perfectly reflect the idea of universal brotherhood:
Sa svakim nešto dijeliš, i više vas ste isti.
I pamti da je tako od prastarih vremena.
I svi se ponavljamo, i veliki i čisti,
Kao djeca što ne znaju još ni svojih imena.
(You share something with everyone, several of you are the same.
And remember that it has been that way since the ancient times.
We all repeat, the great and the pure,
Like children who know not yet their names.)
Darko Gašparović, Ph. D., theatrologist, dramaturge and playwright, born in Zagreb, Croatia, 1944. He graduated Classical lyceum in Zagreb and get a degree of professor of Comparative literature and French literature with language in Faculty of Philosophy of University of Zagreb. Doctor's degree in humanistic sciences, field history and theory of literature, he get in University of Zagreb.
During professional career Darko Gašparović was editor-in chief of theater magazine Prolog (Zagreb, 1969-1971), dramaturge in National Theater „Ivan Zajc“ (Rijeka, 1974-1981), assistant professor in Department of Philology of Faculty of Pedagogy (Rijeka, 1981-1993), deputy mayor of City of Rijeka (1993-1994), general manager of Croatian National Theater of Ivan noble Zajc (Rijeka, 1994-1998), lecturer and full professor in Department of Croatian language and literature of Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Rijeka, 1998-2010). From 1997 to 2003 he teaches as lecturer in Croatian studies of University of Zagreb, and from 2003 to 2005 he was full professor in Hankuk University for Foreign Studies, Department of South Slavic Studies in Seoul, Republic of Korea. In April 2010 he has retired.
In last forty years he published fife hundreds theater critics, essays, feuilletons in many Croatian newspapers and Croatian and international theater and literary magazines. He participated in many theatrological symposiums, in Croatia and abroad, and publicized cca 50 scientifically papers in anthologies.
Gašparović's work in field of practical dramaturgy include cooperation with some of most known theater directors of Croatia and former Yugoslavia: Goergij Paro, Želimir Mesarić, Zlatko Sviben, Vito Taufer, Ljubiša Georgievski. He dramatized two important Croatian novels from 20th century: Vježbanje života (Exercise of Life) of Nedjeljko Fabrio (HNK Ivana pl. Zajca / CNT of Ivan noble Zajc Rijeka, 1990.) and Vuci (Wolves) of Milutin Cihlar Nehajev (HNK / CNT Rijeka, 1992.). He also adapted for scene old-croatian Passion of Christ (Mali Lošinj, Easter 1994.).
Darko Gašparović is author of nine books concerning theatrology, theory of literature and drama. He received several national awards: Award A. B. Šimić for young writers (1973), Award Dubravko Dujšin for theater art (1993), Order of Danica hrvatska with a figure of Marko Marulić for particular merits in culture (1995), Award of City of Rijeka (2006), Award Marko Fotez of Croatian academy of science and art for theatrology (2012), Life Award of City of Rijeka (2015)..
He is very active in the humanistic intellectual circle in Rijeka, Croatia and abroad. For a many years he is writing articles and essays in Christian Family Review Kana and in Riječki teološki časopis / Ephemerides Theologiae Fluminensis. He is the member of Council for culture of Croatian Bishop's Conference and associate member of Croatian academy of science and art.