This project consisted of supporting a young Syrian creative with a refugee status to engage in what is important to him, as it appeared important to us and it should be to other people in our region. This project was a real possibility to engage in first hand debates and dialogues with experience, we were during that time very fast to judge, although the major part of information we disposed and until this day dispose of, came primarily from the mainstream media, repeating certain stereotypes and doing propaganda for the western idea.
The entire project was a spontaneous idea that we came up during a work related stay in Germany, the country that granted Noor Bali an asylum. We knew Noor Bali from the Int. Graffitti- and Street-Art Festival STYRIA 2016, where he was a participant sent by Kai e.V., our friends from Germany. However, it may sound too simple, when it is described here as spontaneous, in fact, quite complicated procedures followed. Official invitations and guarantees were needed to make it possible; we would never get hold of without our befriended associations around Europe. Noor, a person who had been granted asylum by the German state to travel through Austria to Slovenia, be guested for one week there and leave again, back, through Austria to Germany. It was an encounter with the paradox world of the EU. A dilemma showing up, all along the so-called migration crisis, that should later on show, once more, it is possible. The fatal consequences, in 2020, when suddenly the Covid-19 virus appeared on the world stage. Therefore, we say, “Long live the European Republic!” Nevertheless, back again…
There have been little financial needs for this project though and this fact should be seen as an additional option and opportunity to every community. It is evident, that the possibility to dispose over physical spaces, fitted with decent technical possibilities and the support of non-profit organizations besides local communities is a winning business for any public administration. The demands of such groups are usually quite modest compared with any other, profit-driven subject, not bothered, nota bene, by any public concern!
Noor did establish his One-Week-Atelier in the Postaja Raum AU, that time still at Celjska cesta 10a, and as it was mid-May, temperatures did provide a wonderful ambient for many people, that came, day by day, to see, to talk and to set their minds anew. Even when there was no special opening event and we did not try to gather big crowds (as it would have been probably an impossible task), it could have not been more adequate. All visitors came, got the right amount of attention, felt comfortable, I would personally say.
Moreover, the idea having been to bring empathy through dialogue and involvement, I think we got it right!
Thanks to all involved and all our best regards to Noor Bali, who is well off, back in Syria!