Birth house of traveler, cartoonists, painter, director, writer: Zuko Džumhur, the inhabitant of the world and the most famous person from Konjic

PHOTO: VELIJA HASANBEGOVIĆ

Besides the stone bridge, Neretva, rafting, tables, Tito’s bunker, woodcarving, Konjic is also recognizable by the birth house of Zulfikar Zuko Džumhur, a travel writer, painter and cartoonist who still lives in memory not only of Konjic people but also of many venerators of his work throughout BiH.

Zuko’s birth house is an addition to the Konjic Local Heritage Museum, with holdings of authentic furniture made by carvers from Konjic and decorated with beautiful, traditional motifs. In showcases, there are also parts of the recognizable Zuko’s clothes, a multitude of literary materials – published and unpublished texts of this traveler, his family, and photos with the most significant Zuko’s friends, writers and numerous artists he met during his life.

Unique style

The visit to the Heritage Museum and a visit to the home of Zuko Džumhur is organized upon request of guests. The visitors who come to see his house are a proof that Zuko will live while Konjic people exist. People laugh when they see his cartoons and quotations, they admire his paintings, enjoy listening to anecdotes about his life, and the door of his birth house is open to anyone wishing to look at what remained behind Zuko. Employees of the Museum will gladly show it.

-School children and people who knew Zuko are our most common visitors.  Last month we had about 1,500 school visits in several months and we are particularly pleased about this – says Sabira Šahinović, curator of the Museum and a presenter at Zuko’s birth house.

The house looks almost identical as it looked during life of an unprecedented travel writer, cartoonist, painter, director, writer, TV scriptwriter, great humanist and guardian of our heritage. Behind the large doors made of oak and stone wall, greenery comes out of the garden paved with the river stone, and the old wooden entrance door conceal authentic and traditional motifs of the interior of the house.

-We owe great thanks to Zuko’s friend and to the man in love with art, Safet Hebibović, who donated more than 500 caricatures. Each of these is a story for itself, and is distinguished by unique style of Zuko – explains the curator.

The original Zuk’s clothes, especially coats, which made him recognizable, brings us back to his peculiar interpretation of art, the light language he spoke … He often talked about celebrating running away in travel writing, painting and reading because “art is created so that we have where to get away from hard work and even harder lives.”

Besides thousands of Bosnians and Herzegovinians, who visit Zuko’s house each year, foreigners are also interested in his work because, according to Konjic people, they react differently to the caricature as an artistic expression.

Reputable family

Caricature in BiH has had a great influence on society and authority in history, it was somewhat corrective. Today, the humorous drawings, as a form of political and social satire, are almost expelled from the newspapers. Zuko’s caricatures, on the other hand, are still recognizable and living today as a proof of the time in which people admired this art.

Zuko Džumhur comes from the old, reputable family. His father is Abduselam Džumhur, and his mother is Vasvija. He was born in 1920 in Konjic. He finished elementary and lower secondary school in Belgrade and the upper secondary school in Sarajevo in 1939. He began studying law, but because of the restless spirit he transfered to the Academy of Fine Arts and finished in the class of Petar Dobrović. He has published more than 10,000 caricatures. He has written a screenplay for several short and three feature films. He has created 35 theater sets, and for the last ten years, he worked on Sarajevo Television as a script writer and a host of the series “Hodoljublje”.

Despite such a life opus, he remained modest, though he was offered to live in the villa of Ivo Andrić in Herceg Novi. He spent last years in this town with his wife Vezira and died on November 27, 1989, and was, according to his own wishes, buried in the hometown Konjic, which jealously keeps the memory of this traveler.

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