Fathers Stamp

The Serbian Post has just issued a special edition of stamps to mark the ocassion of the 75th anniversary of the Filmske Novosti Newsreel.  The collection features a number of renowned personalities, among them is a stamp dedicated to the memory of my late father, Stevan Labudović, holding his treasured camera.  I cherish the memories of days when he took me along on assignment— the sensory elements surrounding the bulky, heavy machine he lugged.  With it he recorded millions of meters bearing witness to major political, cultural and social events of the former Yugoslavia that left their mark on history. He recorded proceedings of the Non-Aligned Movement, and most importantly the war for the liberation of Algeria.  Despite the great risk to himself, my father was the sole cameraman who remained and became known as a hero to the Algerian people.  To the end of his days, he held Algeria, its people, and its culture close to his heart. One final anecdote that can best tell the story:

One day, when President Houari Boumediene of Algeria was on a state visit to Belgrade he disappeared from his residence.  When his absence was noted, panic broke out as security searched high and low for him.  Finally, they found him in our small apartment asleep on our living room couch. When asked: “President, why are you sleeping here on a couch?” He replied: “I slept with my Godfather, Stevan, for years on the ground. The couch is much more comfortable.”

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