The date was 16th of January, 2019. I was opening the
At this point, I can say that it was definitely the best job opportunity that I have had so far. This might sound like a strong statement. However, when I take into account all the side-projects and opportunities that I did during my EVS experience, I have no doubt that it was the most flexible and enriching job opportunity that I had so far in my 30-year long life.
But enough nostalgia for now. Let’s go back to the date from the beginning of this article. I want to tell you a bit about one of my personal projects, which I brought to life in La Latina on the date of my departure, on 16th of January, 2019.
I should first clarify one more thing: while doing EVS, volunteers have to come up with ideas for personal projects. They should develop at least one of them, or more if they want, so they grow in an area of their interest.
My personal project
For me, such a project had to reflect on all the wonders of the volunteering experience. I wanted to create something that would capture all the dimensions of EVS life in itself. This was quite a challenging task and it took me some time to figure out something that would fit into these ambitious conditions.
I brainstormed a lot and then at some point it appeared to me as clearly as the sky on a hot summer day. I decided that my personal project should be about the art of meeting people and also about meeting people through art.
As a comic book writer, I had quite a lot of experience in working with different illustrators. This experience helped me to capture and grow my visual ideas. Now, I felt like it was time to give something back. I wanted to approach the process of artistic cooperation from a different perspective and decided to collect illustrations from various young artists from all around Europe. I wanted to present their works to the world of art-lovers in the form of a printed calendar.
In the first phase of the project, I prepared a portfolio of ‘
I did my best to match the visual characteristics of each flower with the illustrators’ artistic preferences and style. At the same time, I tried to give the artists enough space for personal expression. I wanted them to be able to develop the
Once the illustrations were ready, I also asked each artist to present their Oddflower in a short text. In the calendar, this text would appear with each flower, together with a short biography of the artist. This would allow viewers to find out more about the artists’ other creative activities.
In the second phase of this project, I planned to print the calendar. I wanted to distribute it to NGOs and bookstores around Europe. Unfortunately, I did not collect enough financial resources for printing and distribution. This meant I had to come up with a plan B.
After reflecting on the budget limitations, I decided to present these wonderful illustrations directly to an audience. I then decided to set up an exhibition during one of the Tandem language exchanges organized by Balkan Hotspot in La Latina.
Fate seems to have a sense of
In the beginning, I had the joy to introduce the idea behind the exhibition to the visitors with our great coordinator (and founding father of Tandem) Christian Cibba by my side. We were then treated to a short mind-blowing beatbox act improvised on the spot by our precious Italian friends, Pierluca and Umberto. After the introduction, visitors went upstairs to examine the exhibited illustrations. It was satisfying to discuss the ideas and origins of various Oddflowers with well-known friends and other curious visitors.
At this point, I also experienced one of the greatest moments of the whole event. One of the illustrators appeared at the exhibition and his presence triggered
Even though the project did not make it into its calendar form (yet), it was a great experience to see many spontaneous joyous moments triggered by the exhibition. Also, the idea of inter-connecting the worlds of art makers and art-lovers started to work right
I am not quite sure yet what the future holds for the