A holiday in honor of Atso Shopov was held at UNESCO in Paris

President Stevo Pendarovski addressed the international conference

On World Poetry Day - March 21, a holiday in honor of Atso Shopov took place at UNESCO in Paris. Macedonian culture, language, art, music were celebrated through his poetry.

In the organization of MANU, the Foundation "Atso Shopov - Poetry" and Jasmina Shopova, under the patronage of the President Stevo Pendarovski and with the support of the Ministry of Culture, the jubilee "100 years since the birth of Atso Shopov (1923 - 1982)" was duly celebrated with an international a symposium entitled "Poetry: creation, singing and circulation of the works of the languages ​​of the smaller speaking areas", as well as with a film screening, an exhibition and a music-poetry performance.

Within the framework of the program, the laureate of the "Golden Wreath" at the 62nd edition of the "Struga evenings of poetry" was announced, as well as the winner of the "Bridges of Struga" prize, which is awarded in cooperation with UNESCO.

The event was part of the National Program "2023 - Year in honor of Aco Shopov", which is realized under the auspices of the President Stevo Pendarovski.

- On World Poetry Day, in Paris, we celebrate two great anniversaries - 100 years since the birth of the famous Macedonian poet Aco Shopov and 30 years since Macedonian membership in UNESCO. These extremely significant points in our socio-cultural development remind us that the task of the artist has always been to ask critical questions in the world and about the world and the time in which he lives. The literary corpus of our great Atso Shopov is a paradigm for the fact that poetry and overall art does not belong only to the aesthetic, but is deeply rooted in the ethical and humane. "Is not this time in which we live, and whose limits humanity is expanding fantastically boldly and fantastically quickly, also a time that kills poetry?" This is a time of "scientific achievements that leave behind even the boldest and richest imagination", a time technical marvels and "robots that can write a song in a few moments that will satisfy all aesthetic requirements. Is our time dead for poetry, or is it dead for it?" With these words, Atso Shopov opened the first "Strushki evenings of poetry" in 1962. Distant, yet close because as we speak, AI algorithms are already generating texts imitating great writers. The noise of social networks and media disturbs the silence necessary for artistic contemplation and perception of the world. And as in Shopov's time, some believe that scientific and technological progress and modern challenges are crowding out the human need to create poetry. The meaning of freedom, justice and democracy as key human achievements are falling victim to war, including the one in Ukraine. Even today, torn between numerous fears, crises and wars, the world is "eerily trying to find itself" – President Pendarovski emphasized in Paris, concluding that our time needs poetry more than ever before.

(The text was published in "Cultural Press" number 172, in the printed edition of the newspaper "Sloboden Pechat" on 25-26.3.2023)

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