Vojin Perić (HR)

I was born on December 2, 1959, in Sarajevo, where I was educated in the elementary school of the Blind Children Institute. From 1976 to 1980, not having a great choice in the matter, I continued my education in a specialised institution in Zagreb, and enrolled in the telephone operator course at the Vinko Bek Centre. After graduating I took a job in the district economic court on the switchboard, and at more or less the same time started working actively in the Novi Život (New Life) dramatic studio for the blind and visually impaired. In 1980 I enrolled in the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb to study history and comparative literature. In 1981 I (successfully, so it is said) played my first dramatic role, of Golub in Branko Čopić’s Vuk Bubalo. In 1984 I tried to enrol in the Academy of Dramatic Arts. I found out that according to the academy’s statutes the blind could not be enrolled, and so decided to go on acting in spite of the obstacles to my being trained. I have taken part in the management of the drama course for the blind and visually impaired since 1984, and have directed this institution since 1998. In the context of the Croatian Federation of the Blind I am a member of the executive committee of the Association of the Blind of Zagreb, and a representative in the assembly of the Croatian Federation of the Blind, as well as president of this federation. Since 1983 I have been working on the employment of the blind for the municipal authority of Zagreb. Recently I became a member of the parliamentary committee for disabled persons’ issues. In 1999 my long-cherished idea came true, and we organised the first international festival of theatres of the blind and visually impaired – BIT – Blind in Theatre. In 2003 I won a prize for the best male role in SKAZ. I was accepted as a member of the Croatian Association of Dramatic Artists, and thus won the status of actor. On June 24, 2004, marking Statehood Day, the President of the Republic, Stjepan Mesić, at the recommendation of the Ministry of Culture, decorated me with the Order of the Croatian Daystar with the Figure of Marko Marulić, for outstanding services to culture. In almost twenty five years of work in the theatre, I have tried my hand at various theatrical disciplines, have acted, composed recitals (of Croatian religious or devotional poetry), written plays and poems, assisted in directing and so on. This has been almost twenty five years of art, as well as a demonstration of what the blind are capable of, and an endorsement of my own capacities.