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In memoriam:  Boris Trivan

Boris Trivan: Egyptologist, broadcaster, journalist, editor; friend has unexpectedly died. He suffered a fatal heart attack in Berlin, where he was due to give a keynote speech at the annual Noizz conference on Thursday 25th October 2018.

Boris grew up in Zrenjanin, just over an hour’s drive north of Belgrade, Serbia. He studied Archaeology at Belgrade University, specialising in Egyptian New Kingdom Ceramics. His first fieldwork in Egypt was at Berenike/Sikkait in 2003. A year later he achieved his ambition to work at Amarna, joining Paul Nicolson’s study season and later Barry Kemp’s field team. From 2004-12 Boris enthusiastically undertook the pottery backlog, latterly extending his interest to the newly excavated material from the Stone Village. He not only contributed as a ceramicist but also designed and typeset the 2007 volume ‘The Eighteenth Dynasty Pottery Corpus from Amarna’ by Pamela Rose.

Those of us fortunate enough to have worked with Boris will have no doubts as to his dedication. He put in long hours in what he termed the ‘pop work-room’ – ‘pop’ due to his own choice of music. Boris was a remarkable intellect, effortlessly switching between languages, a creative and insightful thinker. However, it was his infectious excitement for excursions, Beni Hasan (yes, again!), shopping in Malawi, messing about at the Happy Dolphin, which put him at the heart of dig-house life. His was an irresistible charisma.

Often camera in hand, Boris took countless pictures he thought he might need one day for a publication, he took pictures because the light was beautiful, the colours or the scenery inspired him, and he took lots of pictures of his friends. Filmed in one continuous stream, on a memory card “borrowed” from the site camera, Boris created unscripted a documentary tour of the dig-house. He wanted to record the present at the house that Borchardt built. He did it from behind the camera, with more than a sprinkling of irreverence.

“As long as I don’t have somebody’s leg on my plate, I don’t mind” he once said, not wishing to make a fuss over meat broth in his vegetarian lunch. But Boris did not often take the path of least resistance. He was a vocal proponent of peace and refused to carry a gun during his national service.

Although continuing to be involved with the Egyptological community after some radical changes in his personal life, his attention turned more to social media, journalism and to politics. Lecturer, mentor and Research Fellow at Petnica Science Centre, he was also Co-founder and Creative Director at Educa Humana (Centre for Sustainable Development and Education). He co-founded the Digital Communications Institute, and lectured there, providing world-class education and training in digital marketing.

It was his most ambitious creation, Pokojna Mileva, who ultimately opened the door to national recognition for Boris. He created her as an alter-ego through which to comment socially and politically, she gave him phenomenal reach through print, television and online, with a Twitter following alone of almost half a million. In 2016 Boris brought his characteristic flair, style and energy to the role of Editor-in-Chief at Noizz.rs. He wanted to change Serbia, and he wanted to have a good time doing it.

Boris got under your skin. His humour, sometimes cutting, often teasing could go straight to a weak spot, and then make you laugh about it. He could be teased about his appearance: he modelled for Diesel and was instrumental in establishing the Noizz Fresh Fashion award in 2017. He used to tease me about getting old. Now he is 39 ad perpetuum.

An online book of condolences has been opened by Noizz.rs:

Pippa Wainwright née Payne