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  • Molly Scarborough

Belgrade: Day 7

Today was a day of conversation.

Today I saw a dark green mannequin wearing a bright purple wig.

Today I noticed a familiar face.

Today I finished the SPOT Festival programme.

Today I had my very own personal translator. Today I felt fancy. Today I felt a little bit claustrophobic.

Today I was baffled.

Today I went on a bus.

Today I noticed that the picture in my room is of the middle section of two men wearing suits... not just a random pattern... Today I watched a naked man for 45 minutes.

Today I was serenaded.

Today I laughed a lot (not too different from all the other days).

Today I wore another 'cold shoulder' top. It appears that all my new clothes have this feature...

Today I went to the Salon of Contemporary Art to see 'The Pleasure of Love' exhibition curated by David Elliott.

Today I saw a dead dog. Today started as every other day does: at Magacin. Today I thought about how I am going to miss the routine of going to Magacin each morning.

Today I saw a really cute dog - not the dead dog - a different one.

Today I felt like the smoke was enough.

Today I saw stacked furniture as art.

Today I ate too much meat.

Today I noticed much of the conversations around art in different countries are the same - it's all about money money money.

Familiar face: The same guy sits on the street each day. He's sits and plays his guitar with his cap on backwards rocking out with his long blonde hair hanging down beside his face. He's content. He's just jamming on the street to get by. It's not a bad life.

I felt fancy: We went back to the book fair today to the EU stall to witness a talk about Culture in Belgrade. We were greeted by a man in a suit with a lanyard. Today we didn't have to pay for our entrance. They escorted us in on free tickets. We sat down, it was almost 1pm. A man pulled up a seat behind me, introduced himself. His name was Alexander and he was going to be translating the conversation for me today. I felt fancy.

I felt a little bit claustrophobic: It seems like everyone in Belgrade smokes. There's a constant stream of smoke. I feel like I've smoked a pack of cigarettes. The cafes, the clothes, the breath is stale. But that is normal. I'm not sure if anyone can smell it here.

I was baffled: As I mentioned. Alexander was translating the hour and 20 minute long talk for me. And well. This was baffling. How can he translate so quickly? First of all he has to decode the conversation, what the speakers actually mean... And then he has to translate this into English. How do completely different languages translate? It honestly just baffles me.

I was serenaded: After the 45 minute performance of watching a naked man we went to dinner where we were serenaded by a three piece band.

I saw a dead dog: At 'The Pleasure of Love' exhibition the first installation we saw was a dog. A dead dog. A dead dog hanging. A dead dog that was completely still. It wasn't just a dead dog on the street. It was an art installation. And not to worry, apparently no dogs were killed for the exhibition.

Conversations are the same: The talk at the book fair questioned the Creative Europe Programme. The talk was about money, about funding and about inter-culturalism. To get the funding Serbia needs they will have to work with other countries. Programming international companies to perform is not enough. The culture budget is only 0.6 % of the whole budget. Can Serbia grow without Europe? They spoke about the introduction of a cultural strategy to help fix the unfairness in the culture sector. Small companies get no money. How can we bridge the gap between institutions and smaller companies?

Here are some pics:

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