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Day 11

 
It was an unexpected and very successful workshop today. New Belgrade proved difficult to focus for our project needs - a big borough has many different places for community gatherings and they are dispersed, changing and even broken into. Rhizomatic atmosphere was challenging to negotiate with, so we failed to book the workshops in the spaces in that part of Belgrade and ended up visiting the crowd in the local restaurant, but out of the blue, they called us and the same week we were ready to work with them. Geared with the knowledge we obtained in the morning from the city archives, also in the New Belgrade, we headed for block 70's pensioners center, full of chess, domino and card players. We were welcomed by Jelica, a matron of mostly man's place and she prepared a turf for our work by pulling the tables, people and even her own stories for our project.

So many came to talk to us on the break between the games and some stayed throughout to listen to others or offer addendums to the personal accounts of the local area that we were exhausted much more than after any other workshop we have done by now. It was scorching hot, smokey and we were in the shade, but the notices and pictures on the walls of the center started appearing hazy at some point so we decided to stop. We will come to visit Jelica and her gang, but only for a coffee next time as this was an effort on all our parts today. Still, we got much from a diverse group of man over 50 who illustrated a break down of Yugoslavia more than the socialist time as they seemed devastated by the current social conditions in Serbia more than impressed by the better past when New Belgrade was in the process of building or when they were given flats through their jobs. They are disappointed, beat and with little hope for the future, but they stick together, still - a little oasis they made might spread around...