VISUAL CULTURE AND CONTRIBUTION: A TRADER FROM PIROT – KOCA STEFANOVIĆ
Etudes balkaniques (Sofia) 2021 N 3
Tijana P. Zebić-Bjelica
Metropolitan University, Belgrade
Abstract: The aim of the research is to present the effect of a prosperous trader from Pirot onto the visual culture in the second half of the 19th century. After the Tanzimat reforms in the Ottoman Empire according to which the non-Muslim vassals gained certain freedoms under the Gilhana hatt-i sharif in 1839, a new middle class was formed. In Pirot, specifically into its less populated part Tijabara, the residents from the nearby villages came and settled there. This migrating process resulted in trade development in the town itself, and contributed to a rapid enrichment of the newly-formed middle class. The assumption is that one of these settlers was the trader Koca Stefanović, who has been often mentioned throughout the available documentation. This trader was a socially responsible, devout Orthodox Christian and a distinguished citizen. This paper aims at reconstructing the activities and the importance of this trader in the visual culture and cultural history of Pirot.
Keywords: Pirot, Koca Stefanović, visual culture.