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So Long, Princess! Chaos Calls!

Quiet Saturday morning. The time has come to tie the last knot in this online quipu, a reminder of the 2017 Summer Academy in Salzburg. After six intense weeks, I have met a lot of new people and many of the conversations I’ve had are still trapped in my RAM. I guess they will need a bit of time to settle in my permanent memory, so at this time, I am only capable of speaking about impressions.


Daily view from the Fortress

 

Salzburg, as many people know by now, has left an odd impression on me. It’s hard to find a fault in something so perfect and I would be wrong in saying that I don’t like it at all. In fact, I am smitten with landscapes and views around it, it’s wonderful how the city is completely adapted to bicycle riders, coffee is good, and pastry shops are impossible to resist. However, constant tourist throngs, stage-set-like perfection of the center and persistent lack of spices in local food have killed the mood more than once. Still, I cannot say that this is where I’ve spent my month and a half.


Elevated from the city’s beaten track, the Summer Academy is a village in itself. A never ending swarm of people from the arts, it provides a completely different environment filled with life and creativity. Clean medieval walls accept whatever is thrown on them with grace, as the atmosphere changes along with the courses. Finally, my absolute favorite thing about Salzburg are the people I have met at the Fortress - the entire staff plus many of the partakers have been open and kind, contagiously relaxed, curious and respectful. And most of all - interesting, making a welcome contrast to the somewhat stale flawlessness of the city below.


Now, I am looking forward to going back to Belgrade. Despite the continuous political turmoil, completely chaotic urban planning (or the lack thereof), dreadful traffic and lots of temper, my hometown has a set of its own perfect spots, nooks to discover, modeled after the deeply embedded need of the Balkan people for socialization and enjoyment. We love us a bit of chaos, mixed with passion and slight recklessness. We love to spend long hours drinking coffee with friends, we love to cook and eat together and we have a specific sense of humor. It’s a matter of mentality, I guess. And nothing will ever be perfect in my city, even if things do get in sensical order, but that’s alright. Because for me, that is home.


A Salzburger institution, the Summer Academy has provided me with a bit of turbulence hidden in trials and errors, messy studios, junk-filled spaces and creative disorder. It’s doubtful that I could have lived through 6 smooth weeks in this lovely town, had it not been that artistic chaos I crave so much.


Now, I must say farewell to Salzburg, the princess of Austria, and to the Summer Academy, its most interesting place.


Thank you for having me and may we meet again!


Ana


Belgrade sunset
26/08/17 11:45 Summer Academy 2017

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