This post is also available in: polski (Polish)
Can I stay with you inside your brain
We won’t be alone”
-so wrote Jamila Faber of Leeuwarden in the Netherlands in her poem. I discovered her, among other authors, in the album “Europe at Home”, where my text was also published.
Several dozen authors from 27 European cities, with many different perspectives, could meet together and present in the pictures and literary texts various feelings, short reports, and details of cities from the time of the pandemic when all of Europe was sitting at home.
I have never been to the most of cities, although they are my neighbors, countries, and people quite similar to all of us. And as I turn the pages of this book, they become closer to me. A boy doing a trick on a skateboard, somewhere on a bright street in Chemnitz, which looks similar to my hometown Wrocław. And the laundry drying on the lawn in Maribor, Slovenia, reminds me of a garden of childhood. In Jelgava, Latvia, cats look out the windows. A girl is lying on a couch in a sunny room in Faro reading a book. And another in colorful pants on the roof of a townhouse in Cluj, Romania.
All these images show me that we are a community of people experiencing similar dilemmas, each in his own home. And that in difficult moments it is not worth locking yourself up, but trying to reach out to people. Although sometimes it is not easy for us. Because we like to stay inside our own brains.
All photos are very natural and show ordinary places, the alleys in Croatia are not as so sunny as in tourist guides. What I see in the album could happen anywhere. And at the same time, it is something unique from individual places and ideas from specific people.
The project “Europe at Home” was created in Faro, Portugal, which will be the European Capital of Culture in 2027. Because all these cities have been or will be capitals of culture. The authors wondered if we would be able to refer to each other, holding our uncertainty together in a creative and life-affirming way? I think it worked.
I read this book together with friends, and we try to understand other languages (I had no idea Maltese existed). Because the texts, apart from in English, were also presented in the original languages of their authors.
Recently, Malena wrote the Wave Makers what’s up group (we still keep in contact even Galway2020 is gone) that she is going on a trip around Europe and asked us for different tips. So we write to her some recommendations because we are from different countries. However we go hike together, and we exchange cultures like sandwiches. We wait for each other on the steep path, even three years ago, we were strangers.
Thanks to the author of the idea for inviting me to this project and publishing a great book which is like traveling to other countries and various brains. Thank you also to Elena for giving me this album as a surprise.