Why the Unity for Community Week in Tuzla, Bosnia was a multi-layered experience?
I have to be honest, I was expecting Bosnia to be different. But that’s what happens when we go to a place we have never been before. We collect information to check whether the stories and the images someone put in our heads are somewhat representative and, guess what, most of the time they are not. Bosnia is a beautiful country, the green and stunning landscapes, the energetic people, the richness of the food. Yes, if you just sit down, make yourself silent and listen, you will hear those stories, of a war that ended only 20 years ago. If you ask the right questions, you will hear about those young people trying their best to go abroad to build a better future for themselves. If you look close enough you see those EU signs shouting to Europe to take Bosnia with her. But you also see the courage, the wisdom and will to do good, to create, to change. I am proud of saying that I saw those traits in the Hip Hop heads and dancers in the city of Tuzla, in the guys and gals who travelled all the way from Sarajevo, or Mostar, to support the culture, to grow, to build together. This is the beauty I have seen few other times, when I was in those places where the Hip Hop culture is still in its very early stage, just like a child (cit. Machete)… I know I always try to see the positive, the opportunities, the glass filled with enough water to calm the thirst for a long while, but there is not much I can do with it.
What did we do in Bosnia? We danced, we gave workshops, we did stuff with the local Hip Hop dancers community and, of course, we had fun. In a week spend together in Alisa’s place we lived together like a family. And we ended up being a badass group! Unfortunately, Yordana had to leave us on Monday, but she stayed connected with us. Me, Vale, Terence, Alisa, Blaine and Nina were the rest of the crew. We did the craziest things, be it trying different types of workout, such as the #blaineworkout or the #terenceworkout, setting up temporary barber shops, hunting ghosts in the woods at night, visiting a breathtaking castle, living the Bosnian culture with Alisa’s uncle and cousins, drinking homemade rakija, speaking on national television or trying to understand the recent and terrifying history visiting Srebrenica.
And since making lists is such a handy way of describing things, here we are. We organized a battle together with Alma and her team, we gave more than 15 hours of workshops about Bboying, House Dance, Locking, Popping, Wacking, Experimental. We met a lot of awesome and truly inspiring people, we learned, we exchanged, we sat together with the two main crew of Tuzla, Dirty Angels and Way2Ill, to understand together how to develop the community further.
Each of us had their personal highlights, being Valentino talking with a dog and actually creating a real dialogue with him, or having the two crews committing to form a new group to represent the city. Each of us processed what happened during the Unity for Community week in our own way. Personally, I am going to remember the smell of the woods and the hunger to do BIG I saw in the eyes of many. It’s now up to you guys in Tuzla, in Bosnia, in the Balkans, in the World. It’s time to create, to go big.
We are obsessed with creativity and originality in the way we move, dance and create our styles. What would happen if we would put the same energy to find new creative ways of making the Hip Hop community, grow, take are of each other, and help spreading the word to the outside world?
I guess that time will tell…
Doing is the new talking!
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