Mario Fabekovac was born in Zagreb in 1975 and has lived all his life in Samobor. In 2001, he graduated from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Zagreb. Since 2003, he has been employed as an archivist at the Croatian State Archives (Political Parties and Associations Division of the CSA’s Department for the Preservation and Arrangement of Archival Records), where he is currently an archivist-specialist. In 2008 he arranged and incorporated the newly found material of the Matica hrvatska Collection.
The concept of cultural opposition was not known to him before the COURAGE project, but he assumes that it refers to "the action of people in the field of culture who through their basic activity and in their own way expressed some negative or critical attitudes towards the authorities or the complete socialist system" (Interview with Fabekovac, Mario). In that sense, he also sees the influence of intellectuals within Matica hrvatska.
- Samobor, Croatia
The religious suppression led him to develop an interest in theology already at the primary school where he faced forceful resocialization. “Everything religious was labelled as outmoded, feudalistic, anti-social, non-modern.” At the age of 15, he used to play the organ in the church in the village of Ražňany. During his studies at the Faculty of Roman Catholic Theology of Cyril and Methodius, Comenius University in Bratislava, he was active in a community of theology students called Tatran (1970 – 1973) and he continued these activities even after his graduation, until 1976. At the same time, he used to play the bass guitar in a band called Loving Teenagers (1969 – 1973). In 1971, the management of the faculty noticed their activities and expelled the members of the band from the university. They used this year of break for activities in the field of gospel music. They were supported by priests in Prague where Loving Teenagers were active (1971 – 1972). After graduating from the Faculty of Theology of Comenius University in Bratislava (1973), Anton Fabian was ordained a priest. From 1976 to 1979, he was a chaplain in Bardejov, Snina and Stropkov.
Because of his popularity among the youth, he was not promoted to a parish priest but remained only an administrator of the parish of Vinné near the town of Michalovce. From 1980 to 1989, he was an administrator in Hýľov in the Košice-okolie District. In 1980, along with priest Július Chalupa, Anton Fabian established a recording studio in Hýľov where they used to record and distribute gospel albums. After 1989, he continued his studies in Lublin and Rome.Since 2004, he has been a professor at the Catholic University in Ružomberok. From 2007 to 2010, he was the head of the Department of Social Work at the Faculty of Arts of Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice. He is a homilist and, since 2014, an ecclesiastical judge of the Metropolitan Tribunal of the Košice Archdiocese.
- Košický kraj Rooseveltova 14, Slovakia 040 01
Following graduation from studies in the field of electronic data analysis, Jan Faktor worked as a programmer in Prague. Together with his wife, he moved to East Berlin in 1978 for personal reasons and found employment as a locksmith and kindergarten teacher, but also engaged heavily in the independent literary scene. Through his numerous experimental texts, Faktor enriched the group of authors belonging to the “Prenzlauer-Berg-Connection”.
Although the German language was foreign to him, he gradually gained his own perspective on its usage and challenged its artistic and political conventions as well as those of the independent literary scene. In 1983, he published his four part “Manifest of Trivial Poetry” (Manifest der Trivialpoesie) and one year later, together with Papenfuß and Stefan Döring, another manifest “Zoro in Skorne”. He became a regular at apartment, studio and courtyard readings and he released his writings in Samizdat form.
Jan Faktor's texts often parodied techniques which are utilized linguistically to enhance meaning. These include repetition (for emphasis) and the usage of comparatives. Faktor's techniques are on display in his 23-page long poem "George's Worries about the Future" ("Georgs Sorgen um die Zukunft") from the volume "George's Attempts at a Poem and Other Positive Texts from the Poet's Garden of Horror" („Georgs Versuche an einem Gedicht und andere positive Texte aus dem Dichtergarten des Grauens“). Through the inclusion of meaningless albeit grammatically correct suprelatives ("the eight-hour working day becomes more eight hourly", etc.), the nonsense of the ideologically motivated and delusional degrees of comparison present in the official language of the GDR are laid bare. In other poems, the author constructs sentences without regard to German conventions for doing so thereby producing comical results.
In 1989, he became a member of the New Forum (Neuen Forum) and later an employee of the first GDR Civil Rights Movement weekly, The Others (Die Andere). Since the 1990s, Faktor has reflected retrospectively on the character of the independent literary scene of the GDR on multiple occasions in his own writings as well as in interviews.
- Berlin, Germany
Polish actor, comedian and by background – graphic artist. He was involved in the Solidarity movement from its beginnings. In the 1980s he thought against the socialist regime with his humour as a weapon. He produced numerous posters, comics, graphics and illustrations that were humorously discrediting the authorities. His works were commonly recognised and illegally distributed by the underground opposition. He also opposed the state propaganda during illegal performances of a stand-up nature.
Jacek Fedorowicz is a member of the Historic-Programme Council of the European Solidarity Centre in Gdańsk. He donated to the institution a wide collection of his graphics (along with stamps and patterns) and video recordings of his illegal performances.
- Warszawa, Warsaw, Poland
Alexander Fedynsky served as director of the Ukrainian Museum-Archives in the years 1977-1981. Like his predecessor, Leonid Bachynsky, Fedynsky was a refugee and immigrant from Western Ukraine. Arriving in the U.S. with a Ph.D. in law, he worked in management at a factory, while actively amassing a private collection of Ukrainian books and other printed material. Under his guidance, the UMA continued to function as an institution that worked toward the goal of a free Ukraine and in service to the local community, which meant actively preserving the heritage and history of Ukraine and Ukrainian-Americans.
In addition to actively acquiring periodicals, Fedynsky’s major contribution was his work in compiling bibliographical indexes of the Ukrainian press outside of Ukraine, which were published by the UMA. During his tenure, the UMA published nineteen titles, while also collecting most of the UMA’s émigré literature via Fedynsky’s wide network of acquaintances around the world. In 1981, Fedynsky resigned as director due to ill health.