Our adventure began with the thrilling news of CIM Horyzonty’s call about the incredible art festival project, YOUGO, prepared in cooperation with InterAlia (Greece) and OPEN SPACE Foundation (Bulgaria)
Upon being chosen for the project, we were filled with excitement to embark on a lengthy journey. As for myself, I experienced a mixture of emotions due to a recent ankle sprain, which made walking difficult and painful. Thankfully, I was fortunate to have the support of my wonderful team, including Marta, Loic, Asia, Paulina, and Vampek, who gave me the strength to persevere. I am sincerely grateful for their assistance.
Our train departed at a certain time, one might say early in the morning, and to me, it was definitely midnight. And we arrived in Warsaw with the excitement of having completed the first of 5 transfers with hours of jokes, deep philosophical conversations, and occasional naps.
I’d like to touch on the third transfer, as it holds a special place in my memory. It was truly a unique experience, as it marked Loic’s very first time boarding a plane. Our destination was a breathtakingly beautiful island called Corfu.
We were blessed with five hours to savor the local delicacies while enjoying the breathtaking view. It was a perfect spot to commemorate an occasion, so we chose to celebrate my birthday there. Loic confidently approached the public table and raised his glass of Soplica Pigwa for several toasts. Meanwhile, Marta serenaded me with the famous Polish birthday song, making the celebration even more special.
Upon our arrival at the hostel, after a long journey involving a plane, bus, and an exhausting 20-minute walk, I couldn’t help but notice the evident weariness on everyone’s faces. However, we tried to shake it off and get ready for the big day ahead. The next day has begun with broken eyeglasses, an unhealed ankle, and petty arguments that could be encountered on any long trip.
At the start of the project, my focus shifted away from any worries as the project conductor pulled me into the rabbit hole with her questions. “What is Athens to you?” As we discussed stereotypes and shared unique perspectives, we were challenged to capture the essence of Athens – where history and the future converge.
The journey has begun; for others in the streets of Athens for me rather inside; as I was not able to walk long. The same road may look different when you are given a task and different when you use the road just as a gateway. Our task was looking for the spirit of Athens, so we had to be really careful and try to see even the smallest details.
I walked with an interesting lady from Bulgaria who volunteered to accompany me on my turtle pace walk. We were not only exploring the neighborhood but also exploring each other. My sprained ankle was keeping most of my brain cells busy with the pain, therefore it wasn’t easy to focus but turned out that I collected all the data to analyze later.
Upon reflection, I have arrived at the realization that our observations of the city were reciprocated. In fact, it seemed as though the city was observing us wherever we went. There were eyes that shadowed the city that melted aesthetics, history, freedom, and art in the same pan.
-Is the purpose of the existence of metaphors; fear of saying what is meant to be said or is it an artistic arrogance to show how you can use your imagination and the words in a mysterious way?
-Eventually, to me, Athens was the rabbit hole. A journey I seek for a long time without even knowing that I was; somewhere I wanted to reach but was afraid to get lost. Turned out, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.”
As time goes on, our memories of events become less about the actual timeline and more about the emotions attached to them. Our brains store these memories like filtered, edited snapshots. Unfortunately, relying on these memories can be difficult as they can become distorted over time. I must admit that my recollections are influenced by my own perspective rather than an objective reality.
During our trip, we stumbled upon a charming local bar that left a lasting impression. The night was dedicated to pure joy and pleasure as we allowed ourselves to be fully present in the moment. Local artists sang beautiful songs, which added to the indescribable beauty of the experience. We even learned about a joke that suggests how you drink your coffee is related to how you have sex, which brought laughter to the group. This memory holds a special place in my heart and will always be cherished.
On our way to the hostel, we ran into our friend and decided to listen to street musicians instead of returning to the hostel. We sang many songs along the way and I believe our music filled the city’s atmosphere. There’s something about singing and dancing in the streets that makes me feel liberated, youthful, and mischievous.
On the last evening, after a delicious feast, we were looking for an after-party with the people we finally had the honor of meeting. Our street artist friend, who found inspiration to perform his art the moment while we were walking, chatting, singing, and laughing on the streets, was caught by the police. The situation was not so colorful, but fortunately, they discharged him quickly. Although he was worried about his art being left unfinished, I believe the art was complete by its meaning attached to it. Street art has very political roots. Therefore when it remains unfinished by force, it will shout louder than ever. In fact, anything left unfinished screams with all its might. And it would reach us as a whisper of what we call inspiration.