Interview Antonije Pušić aka Rambo Amadeus
After several years of stagnation, research and escavation began again at the Vinča Belo Brdo archaeological site in 2020. The museum was given a new look and a model of a Vinča culture house was also built at the site. The contents of this Vinča house were donated by Antonije Pušić – aka Rambo Amadeus – one of the most famous Balkan singers and songwriters. We invited Antonije to visit the site and share his ideas on how tourism and archaeology are connected. During our chat, we found out many other interesting facts.
- You graduated from studying Tourismology in Belgrade, so you understand both personally and professionally the importance of Vinča Belo Brdo Archaeological site. How important, in your opinion, is the restarting of this excavation process in one of the most significant European and even world localities?
In order to know the direction our society should take, and the possibilities of its prosperity and development, we must know where this journey started. How did the organized societies before us look? We are lucky that one of the most spectacular prehistoric settlements in the world is right here under our nose. In any country, the research, presenting and promoting of such a phenomenon as Vinča would be a priority for culture, education and tourism. We can learn so much from Vinča culture: they were self-sufficient, ecologically immaculate. They were not obviously inclined to organised violence. Their culture survived for almost a thousand years. The Vinča civilisation was actually futuristic, inspite of it being Ancient.
- Your father was great archaeologist and anthropologist Dragoslav Srejović, who was Miloje Vasić’s colleague. He worked for the Archaeological Institute. How often did you work together and what did you learn from him about archaeology?
My father mostly took me with him when something needed to be cleaned. But we used to talk about so many things there, he taught me to do something I love, no matter whether or not it paid well. I remember he took me to Piva river, where people from Belgrade Institute of protection of Cultural monuments disassembled a monastery, brick by brick and moved it from the floor of a future artificial lake to a new location at a more secure height. I was surprised to see how frescoes were successfuly removed from the walls and replaced perfectly, in a new location. The magic of the past, which archaeologists and restorers bring to life with their hands, clearly left some permanent after-effects on me.
My father was devoted to archaeology, he published over 5o scienetific works. His two books can be found in Washington Congress Library as a part of world cultural heritage. Nevertheless he prefered to get into his boots and run all around: his love for nature, terrain, sea, Boka background, was amazing. He went to all the villages on foot, he knew every man, every house. And everyone knew him.
- You are a true admirer of Vinča Culture. How often did you come here when you were young? Do you see or feel any changes in comparison to a certain period behind us?
I have come here often enough to see that the changes are planned, professional and good. The area being researched and the reconnaissance of the terrain is getting larger, the land is being purchased from the people who live nearby. There is awareness, a plan, strategy.
- When the new work started on the site during summer, you donated some artefacts for a Vinča house. Are these items that your father found during his work, did you find them yourself? Why did you decide to donate them?
Nooo, these appliances are replicas, as is the wardrobe. My friend Nenad Tasić and I created them in 2011, with the help of the available literature and of a costume designer in the project “Kulturno umjetničko društvo Vinčanci“ (Culture and art club Vinča people). We tried to reconstruct the ambience of Vinča culture, and simulate their songs, games and customs. These replicas were sitting in my storeroom for far too long. Now they have a definitive purpose; they even have some magical role and I hope a positive influence on the events and decisions at the site. My dreams are coming true.
Besides, if those were the originals, they would have been with me less than a second. It is a criminal act to keep even a single artefact that is 7000 years old in a private collection. It is the world’s heritage and thus must be in the property of the state.
- You have some interesting ideas when it comes to knowledge exchange between students and professors. If you were a decisionmaker, what would you do with the locality and the museum?
I wouldn’t change anything in particular at the site; the archaeologists know exactly what should be done there. I wouldn’t pretend to be the smartest, I would just give them as much money for the projects as they need. These are modest, dedicated people who would spend this money wisely and with purpose.
I would however build a replica of a Vinča settlement near the site which would be good for cultural and scientific tourism. Modern tourists are looking for more than the accomodation, restaurants or the beach. They are looking for some extra, unique content and including cultural events and activities they can participate in. At my dream Vinča settlement, it would be possible for this tourist to spend his holiday experiencing the life of the Neolithic man. Something similar to “Club Mediterraine“, the French tourist concept of a return to nature. Here, with the clear, 1000 year old concept of living, and connected to the archaeological finds nearby, the tourist offering can be secured with such applied science. It is called “Edutainment“ everywhere in the world.
- You were the founder of culture and art club (KUD) “Vinčanci”and you said you would like to start it again, but this time under the same roof with The Archaeological site. Is that your next step in the cultural direction and what are your plans?
Since my ambition was to develop that project a little bit more seriously, with the experiments in paleo sociology, palaeonthology, and paleo musicology, the only sensible way to do it is under the same roof with the Vinča site.
My wish is to be in charge of some creative and artistic activites and to be surrounded by experts, archaeologists who are obsessed with Vinča culture. My goal is making, a fusion of science and art, all the muses’ favourites.
This large project would also need experts in managment and administration, since we always underestimate the importance of those aspects.
If I succeed, I am sure my late father Ilija Pušić would be proud of me, post mortem. Who knows: maybe professors Dragosalv Srejović and Miloje Vasić, would be proud of me as well. In fact, we should behave as if we are passing a great exam in front of them.
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