- Bratislava, Slovakia
Peter Dabac graduated from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, Department of Mechanical Engineering. However, he has worked as a professional photographer since 1960, when he began collaborating with the Tošo Dabac Atelier. He has been a freelance artist since 1966, and in 1970 he became a member of ULUPUH. In 1970, after the death of Dabac, Petar inherited his atelier. He was the owner and head of the atelier and its event organizer until 2006, when he sold it to the City of Zagreb.
In the 1980s, he organized forty exhibitions of contemporary photography by domestic and foreign photographers at the Tošo Dabac Atelier. From 1991 to 2008, he taught photography at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana. He exhibited in numerous solo exhibitions at home and abroad.
- Zagreb, Croatia
Photographer Tošo Dabac was born in the municipality of Nova Rača, near Bjelovar, in 1907., , He finished elementary school in Nova Rača, and later, after moving to Samobor, he attended the Royal Classics Gymnasium in Zagreb. He enrolled to study law in Zagreb, but never completed his studies.
He first encountered photography in 1924, and his first preserved photograph is a panorama of Samobor, from 7 March 1925. He first presented his work at an amateur exhibition in Ivanec in 1932. He was one of the founders and main representatives of the so-called Zagreb School of Artistic Photography. Since the 1930s, he has participated in a series of exhibitions at home and abroad, and in 1938 he won one of the most important awards: Camera Craff. In 1951, the Yugoslav Association of Photographers awarded him the title Master of Photography, and he was also a member of the Photographic Society of America.
He fought with the Partisans in the Second World War. After the war, he joined the Croatian Association of Artists. On several occasions he was employed to photograph motifs throughout Yugoslavia (Istria, Dubrovnik, labor campaigns in Bosnia and Herzegovina ...), as well as visits by Yugoslavian artists to Toronto in 1949, Chicago in 1950, Moscow in 1958 and the Expo in Brussels in 1958.
He exhibited at the international shows Das menschliche Antlitz Europas and Was ist der Mensch? In 1966 he received the national Vladimir Nazor Award for the highest achievements in the visual arts, and in that same year, he also received the lifetime achievement award from the Yugoslav Association of Photographers.
According to Marina Benažić, Tošo Dabac was apolitical, so he never took part in any opposition activities against the socialist regime. But he was very much involved in cultural events throughout Zagreb during the 1950s and especially the 1960s, when he opens his studio to many, primarily abstract, artists.
- Zagreb, Croatia
In 1888, Danov left for the United States, where he studied theology at Drew Theological Seminary in Madison, New Jersey, until May 1892. After graduating from Drew, in the fall of 1892, he enrolled at the Boston University School of Theology and obtained his degree in June 1893, his thesis being "The Migration of the Teutonic Tribes and Their Christianisation". He was a regular student at the School of Medicine of Boston University for a year before returning to Bulgaria at the beginning of 1895. Throughout his studies in America, Peter Danov created music, and held concerts in Methodist churches.
Upon returning to Bulgaria, Danov settled in Varna and in 1897 founded, together with Dr. Georgi Mirkovich, Dr. Anastasia Zhelyazkova, Vasil R. Kozlov, and other spiritual instructors and public figures, the Society for the Elevation of the Religious Spirit of the Bulgarian People, later referred to as the "Synarchic Chain" (1906) and into the Universal White Brotherhood (1922). After 1897 he became known as Beinsa Douno, translated roughly as The One Who Brings Good through the Word. The society held annual meetings in different rural and urban areas throughout the country. From the beginning of the twentieth century until the Balkan Wars, Peter Danov travelled throughout Bulgaria, delivered public lectures, mostly on the prevalent pseudoscientific field of phrenology, and took anthropometric measurements.
In 1912, he completed the book The Testament of the Colour Rays of Light, and in the next year, he began to present his Sunday lectures, given in series (e.g. Cycle of Power and Life), which set out the basic principles of his White Brotherhood's New Teaching. The lectures were transcribed by his students. Peter Danov's title "The Master" was recorded for the first time in 1914 in the minutes of the annual meeting. He would keep the title “Teacher” or “Master” for the rest of his life.
During 1917–8, during the First World War, the government of Vasil Radoslavov forced him to resettle in Varna, arguing that his teaching was weakening the “morale of the soldiers at the front”. After the end of the First World War in 1918, the number of his followers all over the country grew rapidly and in 1922 Petar Danov opened an Esoteric School in Sofia, which he called the School of the Universal White Brotherhood, with two classes: Special (Youth) Class and General Class. In the school, theoretical knowledge was combined with spiritual practices, self-improvement methods, and body, mind, and emotion control exercises.
In the same year, 1922, Petar Danov was excommunicated by the Bulgarian Orthodox Church on charges of “sectarianism and occultism”.
In the 1920s he established the settlement of Izgrev [Sunrise] near Sofia (today a residential area of the city) where he gathered his audience, followers, and disciples to form a centre for the esoteric school. He settled permanently in Izgrev where he delivered various series of his beliefs. In the following years, many students and followers bought land and constructed wooden houses surrounded by flowers and vegetable gardens. Over 20 years a commune was established. In the summer of 1926, the White Brotherhood Meeting was held for the first time in Izgrev, attended by over 1450 people. In July 1927, a salon was constructed in Izgrev by the engineer Rusi Nikolov, in which Peter Danov delivered lectures. In 1930, he opened a new series of his teaching, called the Sunday Morning lectures, which lasted until April 1944. From 1934 he started working on the Paneurhythmy – a series of exercises consisting of melody, text, and body movements. Later, he added the exercises The Sun Rays and Pentagram.
In January 1944, after bombing in Sofia, together with a group of brothers and sisters from Sofia, the Master went to live temporarily in the village of Marchaevo. At the end of December 1944, Peter Danov died in his home in Izgrev. He was buried in the garden of Izgrev and since 1997 his grave has been considered a state cultural monument.
István Darkó (4 May 1954, Cluj – 7 September 1982, Oradea) was a Hungarian writer and actor from Transylvania. He was the son of the art historian and painter László Darkó and the opera singer Edit Timkó, a member of the Hungarian State Opera of Cluj.
He attended both elementary and high school in Cluj. He came to the attention of the Securitate as a student of High School no. 11, today the István Báthori Theoretical Lyceum. The operation officer responsible for monitoring the institution identified Darkó as a close member of an anti-system student group identified as “Tamango Club,” who held house parties with no parental control. In August 1971 the “club members” and Darkó, five tenth-grade students, went on vacation to the Romanian seaside, where they pretended to be Hungarian tourists. After their return home and the start of the the new school year, reports of student informers led to their interrogation in 1972. The Securitate officer was primarily interested in the relationships the students in question had established with foreigners, but in the meantime it became apparent that they had had a negative attitude towards the visit of the Party’s general secretary to China, they had made negative comments regarding the situation of Romanian youth and they had rejected the dispositions of the educational (haircut declaring) reform of July 1971. The secret police already knew in July 1971 about the quite aloof Darkó, a member of the Union of Communist Youth, who had lost his father in 1970, that one of his uncles – a brother of his father, who as a Hungarian army officer had left the country in 1944 – lived in Denmark, and that he was waiting for his passport in order to be able to travel to visiting his relative. As a result of the informants’ reports his passport application, which had previously been favourably evaluated, was rejected, and the suspicion of “escape” was noted in the informative file on him. Darkó, together with the members of the “dissolved Tamangó,”, was kept under observation by First Lieutenant Emil Fodor, the officer responsible for the case, using an informant network employing minors and personal contacts for positive influence, until his university admission.
The secret police suspicion of escape plans accompanied Darkó later on. On 11 November 1973 the Securitate in Cluj sent the relevant material to Military Unit no. 01340 in Oradea, where Darkó carried out his reduced-duration military service. They made special reference to the high-school events and to the educative intervention of the secret police, which had caused Darkó's behaviour to change so that no more “Hungarian-nationalist manifestations” had been reported in his connection. Though during his military service he was observed by an informant and two collaborators, this did not bring any results worth mentioning. On 25 June 1974 the military unit's counter-espionage office in Oradea forwarded the case-file of Darkó, who was waiting to start his acting studies, to the secret police in Târgu Mureș, where the case was taken over by the Lieutenant-Colonel Ernő Makkai. The informant surveillance continued mutatis mutandis between 1974 and 1978, even though, in view of the previous events, as an acting student of the István Szentgyörgyi Dramatic Arts Institute, Darkó consciously avoided confrontation. He did not talk about the Securitate among his friends and cautiously refrained from any anti-regime statements or conflict.
His secret police files do not say much about his work as a writer. In 1970 Darkó started to write the one-person home-made paper Bendzin, the characters, stories and myths of which served as material for the later radio play Macskarádió (Cat radio). This latter, the "samizdat" made by tape recorder – which is a true impression of the grotesque world of the Ceauşescu regime, and a cult-piece for former students – was considered by Romanian radio operators to be the sole appreciable Hungarian radio play from Transylvania during the decades of socialism. Darkó's first writings were published in 1975. He published also as “Henrik Szénégető” in 1976 using a shared pseudonym with the poet Géza Szőcs. His writings were published in the literary-cultural periodical Echinox (Equinox) and in in the literary, artistic and critical weekly of the Hungarians in Romania Utunk (Our way), both published in Cluj.
Darkó finished his studies in Târgu Mureș in 1978. After studying his observation file, on 28 March 1978, an unknown Securitate cadre in Târgu Mureș, proposed that it should be transferred from the operative system into the mailing fonds, on the grounds that Darkó was member of the Romanian Communist Party and that according to the reports written about him he had refrained from hostile manifestations.
After obtaining his degree he was appointed to the Ede Szigligeti Troupe of the State Theatre of Oradea. As a member of this company, between 1978–1982 he acted in plays by Áron Tamási, George Bernard Shaw, Federico Garcia Lorca and Sławomir Mrożek. While still in Târgu Mureș he had got married, but he and his wife Éva Tóth were divorced in 1981–1982, during his time in Oradea. They had no children.
Because of the encouragement of his friends, the born actor Darkó started to write and publish. He collected his stories and these were also published as an independent volume in the series Forrás (Source) at the Kriterion Publishing House. His writings containing absurd and fantastical elements at the same time showed a world and a city, the inhabitants of which in spite of peaceful appearances were in terrible danger. Its inhabitants had to flee all the time, only their ingenuity enabling them to outwit their persecutors. His stories are linked to the existential fears before 1989. The volume caused significant controversy when it was published, and later on, popping up periodically, it lead to the appearance of a significant literary subculture. In 2007, the 1981 volume was republished by Péter Egyed. But in addition to the Forrás volume material, Egyed also published, as kind of a screenplay, the recorded interactive material of Macskarádió (Cat radio), and attached the audio material of Macskarádió on a disc enclosed with the volume (a sort of "keep with us on the train to Hell").
István Darkó died on 7 September 1982 at the age of 28 under suspicious circumstances. At his funeral Géza Szőcs gave the funeral speech. The last comment in Darkó's informative file originates from the secret police in Oradea. The handwritten note of 3 August 1984 states that according to certificate no. 1651 of the Municipal People's Council of Oradea dated 9 September 1982 the file of the deceased Darkó contains material of no interest for the Securitate and that it is proposed that the file be placed permanently in the mailing fonds.
- Oradea, Romania