Born in Cetinje, Montenegro |
Unable to find work at home in Montenegro, Mladen came to Canada to do his Masters of Fine Arts in Acting Studies at York University, and then decided to stay. As he was already married when he got accepted into his master’s program, he and his wife spent their first two years in Canada living at York University’s campus and both of his children were born here. In several years he managed to gain financial independence, and further his career. He says Toronto has allowed him “to stop and think, to choose, and to experiment”.
Toronto as Home
Mladen wanted to be photographed in the St. Sava Serbian Church, beside the Serbian Cultural Centre where he teaches. At the front there is an icon of St. Petka, one of the most important female saints in the Serbian Orthodox Church. She is also the protector saint of one part of Mladen’s family, on his wife’s side. St. Sava is the biggest Serbian church in Toronto and twice a year, on Orthodox Christmas and on Orthodox Easter, thousands of believers flood through its doors to celebrate their biggest religious holidays.
Connection with the Past
Mladen is holding a starfish that he brought back from the beach in Budva, a Montenegrin town by the sea. Mladen spent all of his summer vacations on Budva’s beaches. His father still has a residence there so whenever they go to Montenegro, the whole family spends most of their time there. These days it’s Mladen’s sons Matija and Vuk who are the most excited about going to the seaside. Throughout the year they keep talking about their summer there and can’t wait to go again.