Zabret Valerija


From : Ljubljana, Slovenia
To: Thessaloniki, Greece

The Silence of the Balkans

Writing/ Research, Interdisciplinary, Visual Arts

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How did this grant contribute to the realization of your project in regard to artistic exchange, local cultural development and/or the promotion of cultural diversity?

I was planning to start this research for a long time but didn't have funds or time to go on a journey through Balkans to do a field research. The Roberto Cimetta Fund helped me financially and organizationally, so I planned my journey and went to the specific destinations on the way and recorded materials which helped with my research for a new art project. On my way I met interesting artist and other people and I discovered a lot of interesting facts and things about the Balkans and ex-Yugoslavia, which was once a common country with our Slovenia, but now I don't know much about it because we (younger generations) are not anymore connected to the southern cities anymore. It was a pleasure to do this journey because it showed me the Balkans in a different perspective and it gave me lots of inspiration and wish to return many times more and do collaborative work with different Balkan artists.

How does exchange, networking and international contacts contribute to the development of your artistic and cultural project?

My research is based on different Balkan countries and I will also extend the research all the way to Israel. Exchange, networking, and international contacts are important because I want to get the biggest picture of different cultures co-existing in the Balkan and Israel area, and I think it's very important nowadays to learn about this harmony and also about different tensions, which create contrast and teach us about the humankind. I always learn about the history when I think about the future, so I hope the past and current political situations will teach us not to make same mistakes. Networking is very important to me because I like to make connections with people in different countries to broaden my sense of creativity, different cultural influences, and creative freedom.

Can you elaborate on the learning and knowledge you have gained and shared throughout this experience?

I've learned a lot about the Balkans. I've never been to most of the countries I've visited on my way and I have to say I imagined them differently. Besides the general impression, I've also learned a lot about the culture of graveyards and other traditions, which was the focus of my research. I collected a lot of material and I hope to continue with the postproduction and create a great new piece of art to get my message through to people to never forget the past and always be aware of the fragile state of the memory.

Please indicate a link to your current work (website/facebook page)

Roberto Cimetta Fund

c/o ONDA
13 bis rue Henri Monnier
75009 Paris - France


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