Dragan Klaic, the heart of the arts

I am in deep shock! I just learned now that Dragan Klaic passed away. I read he died on Aug. 25 in Amsterdam. A month ago. And I did not know. I am shocked….Dragan was only 61. Why? How is this possible?

He was born in Sarajevo in 1950. He was a theater scholar, cultural analyst, commentator, and educator specialized in contemporary performing arts, European cultural policies, strategies of cultural development, and international cultural cooperation. He was an immensely literate man and considerably well known expert in the field of european theatre and arts in general. We met many times specially when I was in the European Commission (more than 15 years ago) and also during my long long years as General delegate of the ETC. We talked a lot. He was such a passionate man. He was fighting stupidity, lack of interest, dying processes…He was a modern culture soldier, he was never scared of saying loud what the others would not even cowardly whisper! We agreed on many subjects. Specially when it came to the “dramatic” states of the european networks. The old and dying networks invented in the 80s which had not been into any process of criticism or review or renewal…. His visions were crystal clear and I did believe in many of them!

I did not have a close contact with him these last months. But I always felt he was a friend -even if we were “only” colleagues. The kind of friendships that do not exist so easy anymore…I will never thank him enough for the long, precise, engaged and wonderful letter he wrote to support me when I most needed it, when I was down, when I was weak, when I felt abandoned. He was always a sharp observer of what was going on and he knew exactly what was the nature and the fails of the network I was working for, who were the people there, how they thought and what where their whereabouts. We talked a lot about this. But also about that and this and that….

I received an email earlier this year when I announced him I won my case against the ETC. He proudly answered this :

Pravda vitezy – the truth will prevail, cried the Czechs in 1968 after the Soviet occupation.
I wish you a nice clean start of a new professional life chapter.
keep me posted,
best regards
Dragan Klaic

Adieu dear Dragan! You will be eternal in our Hearts, you will be eternal in the Arts!



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