In this reportage I interview Andrea about her time as a volunteer in Slovenia, her learning experiences and how living abroad influenced her life. Andrea is a Journalist graduate who started learning recording, editing, photo and video making afterwards. She has lived in many countries and combines her passion for art and the audiovisual world with a comittment to human rights and social change.
-You have lived in a lot of places, Andrea. Tell us a little a bit your internacional experiences and projects.
So far, I’ve lived in Leipzig, Porto, Varazdin and Krsko (in Slovenia). All of them have been pretty different. In Leipzig I was studying and doing an Erasmus year, while the other were more related to my professional development.
In Porto, I was part of a project at the Universidade do Porto, that consisted on creating a database of women scientists and their influence on the arts area. In Varazdin, I was part of an online magazine and I mainly took pictures of the events and wrote a column on my experience in the city. My project in Slovenia was an ESC-project and it was focused on media education and filmmaking.
-Why did you decide to take part in your ESC-project?
When I finished my Eurodyssee internship in Croatia, I didn’t have any future plans. I had already tried to take part in an ESC-project days before, but had no luck, so I decided to try again. This time around I had an idea in mind and it was that I wanted to go back to Croatia, because I liked the language and was interesting in learning more about it.
Looking for projects, I found one about education on media and filmmaking and decided to apply. It wasn’t in Croatia, but I was attracted by the idea of learning of to work on videomaking, something that I had been wanting to pursue since I finished my studies. I saw the project as an opportunity to redirect my professional path.
-Describe your project in three words.
Eye-opening, enriching and free.
-Now it is time for more insights. What was your project about? What was your role in the project?
The project I was part of was focused on media education and filmmaking. As volunteer, I had two main tasks: to create two videos a month and put together a monthly youth magazine and conduct workshops for children and young people of different ages.
The videos we produced could be of any topic and have different forms. While I was part of Luksuz Produkcija, I film reportages, experimental videos, funny videos, etc.
As a mentor in the workshop, the main task was to guide the participants during the filmmaking process and teach them some basic technical aspects: how to draw a story board, how to film or record sound, for example.
-Are you still in contact with the people you met during your ESC-project?
Yes! We don’t talk often, but we still keep each other updated of what’s happening in our lives. It is difficult to mantain contact, when each of us is far away and busy with our day-to-day, but we still make an effort to talk every once in a while. Although not with everyone. During my stay in Slovenia, I met a lot of people and it is difficult to keep up with so many people.
-Think about a moment of your ESC-project that was particulary meaninful to you, like a snapshot frozen in time. Can you describe it?
I remember participating in the first LGBTQ+ Festival in Maribor. The festival was organized by some friends as part of their ESC-project in Maribor and I went with other volunteers from Krsko to help with everything possible and, in my case, to film a video. The three days we spent helping were memorable, but I hold really close to me a memory of the six of us eating at a japanese restaurant after preparing the venue for the last event and going afterwards to secondhand store to find appropiate clothes to wear for the final party. There was nothing particularly special about these days, but I think all of us created a safe place for ourselves to hang out and have fun.
-Let´s think about utopies. Germany, Europe, the world in 2030. How does it look like?
I would dream of a world where everyone can go wherever they would want to without worries. That means not only not worrying about borders, but also not worrying about money, not worrying about the possibility of being attacked on the streets or suffer any kind violence. I would like to live in a world where someone can decide what they want to do and who they want to be without backlash, restraints and repercussions from the system, where anyone can access any kind of support they need without much hustle.
-What does it make you feel empowered?
One of the things that makes me feel empowered and like myself is travelling or living abroad. It reminds me that I’m able to do things on my own, I’m able to learn another language or communicate in a language that is not my mother tongue, I’m able to create bonds with people I only know for a few days, I’m able to plan and improvise when nothing goes as expected.
-What are your plans for the future?
My plans right now involve Germany! I want to live in Germany for a bit, have the chance to improve my German and maybe find something that makes me stay.