Diwan (PAST JOURNAL)
Diwan was a member of the Eurozine network from April 2004 to October 2013.
Diwan was launched in 1998 in Gradacac, Bosnia and Herzegovina, as an almanac aiming to articulate the creative potential of the Gradacac Literary Meetings (Kikic’s Meetings) and to participate and foster cultural exchange throughout the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the cultural space of Southeast Europe. The PU Public Library Alija Isakovic in Gradacac established itself as the publisher of this new magazine.
After the war of independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the significance of the Gradcac Meetings far surpassed the local horizon (Kikic’s Meetings used to be a literary display on the federal level in ex-Yugoslavia). Diwan, as a project undergoing constant transformation, reflected this broadened perspective and was restructured as a cultural magazine. Diwan has published works of over 250 authors, including both established and upcoming writers and theoreticians from throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina and other states of former Yugoslavia, as well as authors from the EU, the US, and Australia.
The editorial board of Diwan resists rigid definition, since generational and genre divisions have been overcome, and since postmodernism provides a non-ideological freedom of expression that enables polyvalent intercultural contacts. In Diwan younger authors and their established colleagues appear side by side, thus lending the magazine both the seriousness of maturity and the charm of “raw” talent. The profile of the magazine is determined by the tendency to deconstruct the platitudes of “major” and “minor, “old” and “new” nations, “central” and “marginal” cultures, and “traditionalism” and “modernism”.
The editorial board of Diwan has a predilection for varied content. Instead of using categorised forms (columns), omnibuses of semiotic and visual texts follow one another: essays and prose are mixed with poetry and illustrations. The design of Diwan is provocative, but simple and attractive with an allusion to pop-art author Bojan Bahic.
Since 2001, Diwan has been a partner project of the digital magazine and the LitKon-network for the distribution of projects in culture on the territory of south eastern Europe. Close cooperation with the magazines and non-governmental organisations that make up LitKon enables an exchange of ideas and texts, as well as an expansion of dialogue between state institutions and NGOs.
In November 2002, Diwan signed a distribution contract through the internet library CEEOL (Central and Eastern European Online Library). This partnership project enables professional exchange with other magazines and readerships; it is a way to present the creative output of all peoples of Bosnia-Herzegovina to the rest of the world. Of the 1200 magazines and publications at CEEOL, Diwan is the only magazine from Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Diwan has been publishing works from the Cum grano salis literary meetings in Tuzla since 2003. Particular attention has been devoted to laureates of the Mesa Selimovic literary award for the best novel of the Stokavski linguistic area (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia and Montenegro). In the same year, Diwan Intercultural No. 1 (English translations of selected texts) was launched planning to publish one translated collection every year.
Diwan has been promoted in Gradacac, Banja Luka, Sarajevo, Belgrade, Zagreb and Tuzla and it has also been displayed at book fairs in Cairo, Frankfurt, Tallinn, Zagreb, Belgrade, and Pula. Diwan can be found on: www.diwanmag.com.ba where one can also find information about the Gradacac Literary Meetings.