After this important announcement, let’s get back to what happened during my second-and-something month in Maribor and within the gulfs of Infopeka.
It is true that I am starting to get used to the city, however I will not hide the fact that homesickness hits back quite hard sometimes. But it is also a challenge to learn how to deal with the reality that friends and family will not be always available to resort to during your mood swings so it’s a good chance to come up fast with solutions alone.
This post will not be that long, but I want to focus on two highlights that got me really excited this past month and kept me going and expecting more to come.
The first one was Gala ZIZ, an annual performance that has become more or less a sort of a tradition every 1st of April for the last 4 years now. This year’s gala was dedicated, if we put it in broad terms, to “male oppression”, but this was of course only the first level of interpretation; rather, it was more a chance and opportunity to criticize female objectification in media and especially in these kinds of fancy events such as fundraising, in the form of which gala ZIZ happened to be presented. Sexism is here and present and it’s always problematic cause it is so internalized and patched up with the way both genders socially perform and interact, that tends to be normalized and authorized. And it’s even more alarming when you realize that people sometimes don’t even know the meaning of the word, implying that they most probably think that such thing does not exist. So gala, was a good chance to expose this reality and reflect on the fact that we have to make steady and secure steps to figure out what bothers and appalls us in gender representation and try to act upon it. I have also to admit that even if it was the first time participating in a “gala”, I really enjoyed it and I think the group mood and connection helped a lot to my positive experience. I wouldn’t expect to enjoy and have fun in a performance that I couldn’t understand its main language, but I realized that you can receive and transmit a bunch of emotions and situations without talking or without understanding what is being said; cause you have the chance to examine other things that spoken words might overrun sometimes, such as the function and the importance of the body as a performing tool in theater.
Which brings me to the second thrill of the month, the clown workshop, which I had the chance to attend during the same busy weekend of the gala. I had never thought of digging into the clown as a theatrical figure before, or about the concept of the red nose as the slightest indication of a theatrical mask but this workshop was really a revelation. We were a small group, diverse in ages and backgrounds, a fact that really helped the workshop be so elaborative and multi-layered. It was a very good and intense induction to physical theater and how our own body knows more than our brain most of the times. And I realized that in most cases, I tend to think so much about things that my body would already know how to adapt to. We have lost this “organic” touch, the sense that we have actual body parts that can do the job for us! Important realization for me was the fact that – in contrary with what I perceived so far – your body posture and energy can affect your emotional display and not only the other way around. It is quite hard to put in words what this 3-day workshop taught me, but I think and hope my body remembers better than me.
I think I am getting quite fond of theater and performing and I quite glad that I could do this during my EVS period.
In other news, March was the month of the on-arrival training, but Coline already gave a good description of what happened there, so I will not dig into that. We travelled al little bit in Slovenia as well, meeting with other EVS and getting to know them better.
I seem to get a hold of Slovenia and I am looking forward to new plans and actions.
Till next time, Sofia