The Managing Board and Presidency of the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences adopted Aleksandar Mandic’s proposal to form a collection of auto-portraits of all current Academy members. This project was initiated in 2019 and more than half of the members can now be seen on the Academy’s website. All auto-portraits have a similar format according to which every member is introduced with a four-part video engagement that explores the human life.  


In the first part, basic biographical facts are explored. Where and when were you born. Parents’ profession and biography. Brothers and sisters. Early memories. Family life. Historical circumstances and transformations. Migrations. Basic education. Life rites of passage. One’s own family. This segment covers the period from elementary school to childhood.


The child becomes an adult. From the onset of high school to the doctorate, a period when man absorbs, learns and grows. The continuation of schooling. Circumstances, friendships, life in youth. Major influences, teachers and professors. The discovery of one’s own path. Difficulties. Critical junctures and decisions during education. Role models. College years, diplomas.


This section is naturally the longest, as it covers the member’s own accomplishments in artistic and scientific pursuits. Principal areas of engagement. Major works and discoveries. University career. Professional positions and functions. Successes and failures. Peaks, setbacks and surrenders. Recognitions, domestic and international. Awards. Membership and work in the Academy. Self-valuation of one’s own work.


In closing, everyone has the opportunity to share something about his life experience that may have congealed as a guiding wisdom for others, for the youth, for the Academy and for Serbia as a whole. A vision of the world for the profession and the world. Concluding remarks.

Auto-portraits last from 30 to 75 minutes and are available under each individual’s personal webpage on SAAS’s website. They are an integral part of the audio-visual centre of the Academy that is still emerging. It is the beginning of a tradition that ends the improvisation of SAAS members and creates valuable cultural inheritances for future generations.

Author: Aleksandar Mandic

Production: YES-PRO Media Company

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