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Your Royal Highness,

Your Excellencies,

Distinguish guests, dear friends, ladies and gentlemen:

It gives me a great pleasure to welcome you on this beautiful evening.

Our desire is to improve cultural cooperation between B&H and UK with series of stimulating cultural events.    

Welcome to the exhibition of the beautiful landscapes and cultural and historical monuments, watched from the lens and artistic eye of our photographer Dusan Kecman.

The title of the exhibition "B&H The Beautiful" speaks for itself. We do hope that photo’s that you are seeing tonight, certainly will not leave you indifferent.

This evening, in front of us is our eminent artist Dusan Kecman. Dusan was born in Belgrade, live and works in Banja Luka but he was educated throughout the Western Balkans, as it is so called today. We just simply say in Niksic, Banja Luka, Zagreb and Belgrade. 

In front of us is a lover of photographs from the skies. His colleagues say that Kecman make photos from everything that flies except from "carpets and flying brooms."

Dusan is a member of the Association of Applied Artists of Bosnia and Herzegovina. 1984 and 2011. he received the awards "Collegium Artisticum". 2013 he was selected as one of fifteen deserving artists of my country by the Assembly of the Artists.

Until now he exhibited in Zagreb, Ljubljana, Vienna, Frankfurt, Ankara, Sarajevo and Strasbourg year ago on the occasion of the Presidency of BiH Council of Europe.

Age catches up with him a little, but the "maestro" does not stop. He continues his mission of "lovers heavenly lens" and makes, for our delight, wonderful picture with the story.

We remind that a small part of this exhibition, during this week surprised British parliamentarians in the House of Lords, with a new story and image of B&H.

On this occasion, we would like to express a special thanks to Ms. Karen Lumley President of the Parliamentary Commission for Cooperation Between UK and B&H for her assistance in the realization of this kind of the promotion our country in London. 

Your Excellencies, distinguish guests, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends welcome in our embassy.

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the second literary evening.

Our desire is to improve cultural cooperation between BH and UK with series of stimulating cultural events.    

This evening, Nick Lipley and his partner, our eminent artist Sonja Radan, will present interesting family story.

“The Blacksmith and the Bull” an epic poem of 26 stanzas, is the story of how the family Kovačević changed its name to Aždajić, derived from the Turkish word for dragon - Ejderha.

Nick wrote the poem, based on Nina’s family legend-story from always interesting Balkans history.

The book is illustrated with full-colour images of Sonja’s magnificent wood-block paintings, which you can see all around you here.

Nick will read his poem in English, and then Suzana Serda-Pavlović will read in our language.

Then we will have a question and answer session, when you can ask all about the poem and the paintings around.

After the presentation Nick and Sonja will be signing copies of the book, which will be on sale here.

Dear Excellencies, distinguish guests, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, welcome in our Embassy.

Tonight we’re celebrating international cooperation between writers of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Britain with the launch of two books, Kolshil and The Catch.  

Kolshil was published last month in Banja Luka. It’s a co-operation between a British poet, Professor Fiona Sampson, the poet and publisher Dr Zdravko Kecman, and the English Studies specialist and translator Dr Minja Golubovic. Fiona Sampson’s English book Coleshill was  translated into Serbian language by Dr Golubovic and published by Dr Kecman as the inaugural volume in his “Sveti Hieronymus Edition”. 

The Catch, published last month in London by Penguin Random House, includes poems written over the last three years from a variety of locations, including Banja Luka, where Professor Sampson serves as the Chair of Jury of the European Lyric Atlas Award.

When we look closer, we can see these connections go deeper still. Coleshill is a village in Oxfordshire; but life there has more in common with village life in my country than it does with city life, whether in London, Banja Luka, Sarajevo or Mostar. Meanwhile, Fiona Sampson has published a number of contemporary writers from my country, as well as from Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia, most recently in Poem magazine.

Fiona has published 27 books of poetry and critical writing and is now also at work on a literary biography of Mary Shelley and a study of Limestone Country.  Translated into more than 30 languages, she has received the “Zlaten Prsten of Macedonia”, the Newdigate Prize, a Cholmondeley Award, various awards from the Arts Councils of England and Wales, Society of Authors and the Poetry Book Society, and been shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot and Forward Prizes and the Evelyn Encelot Prize for European Women Poets.

In tonight’s presentation we’ll hear a few poems from each book, starting with Kolshil.