Author Archives: paloma

(no)words enough to communication


So here I start my English thoughts. And I ask myself how to make myself be understood by people who are not native English speakers, reminding that I’m not neither. We may all be lost in translation… And what occurs me is that many wars may start exactly in this point… by the other hand I’ve learned that not understanding words it’s not a limit to communication.
Sharing personal experiences…
Banja Luka 1:40a.m.
I wait for a train to Sarajevo.
It’s cold, very cold. It’s raining for the past couple of days.
I say good bye to Branco (another chapter in this story) and go into the train with a few other men.
I walk through the wagon till I find a cabin with open curtains. The one I found it’s totally empty… and very cold.
I’m very tired so I lay down.
I’m dressed with all my warm clothes, but I’m still shaking.
I cover myself with the raincoat of my backpack, but I still shake.
I try to sleep, but the most I can get is a sleepy stage.
I can hear the sound of some men laughing drunk next door.
I see the dark landscape.
I hear the sound of the train friction. Yes, I fell a bit scared…
An old man in uniform say something in Serbian-crotioan. I don’t understand the words but I can safely assume that he’s asking for my ticket.
He gets my ticket and says something else that I don’t understand.
He leaves.
I close my eyes again trying to go back to sleep. I’m shivering.
The man shows up again, grab one of my bags and make a gesture telling me to go with him.
He opens another cabin door. This one is empty as well, but it’s very warm.
The kind man show up again saying something. All I could say was: “da. Hvala�. A few minutes latter he appears with a coffee with milk. Sit down in the seat in front of me, cross his legs, light up a cigarette and start talking to me.
Once more, I don’t understand his works, but our conversation goes for 20 minutes and, beyond of the meaning of the words, the truth wish to know each other, who’s this unknown person who needed to be save and how’s this unknown person who, dismissed of charge, help someone he never saw or will see again.
Unknown is the complexity of the human being.
How can we all be so dual?
Would this man be as kind as he was with me if I was a man? If I wear muslin clothes or if my backpack had a Croatian flag?  Would he help me if he were in pain for some reason or if he had just lost someone he love? Would he help me if we sees me everyday? Is there a quote for kindness?
Besides of all the “ifs�, that day I was just a human being, and so was him, besides of labels or personal needs.
I wish I could thank him somehow but I’m sure life will take care of that.

A different point of view…


Once upon a time I heard this very personal history and my soul became unquiet.
It was a story about a boy who was born in a country that suffers so many changes that his and his people’s identity has become part of political games restricting their identities to land borders that are not there anymore. And they are there but different. No, sorry, not there, a bit further. A bit shorter… and so on…
This is not a fairytale.
It’s a live history being knitted day by day for sensitive and kind hands that showed me the power of the human kind.
So I grabbed: my backpack, my camera and my curiosity and went towards the mysterious Balkans in a quite different experience than I have in my day by day.
Brazil is a country with a vast landscape surrounded by sea and a few borders far far away. Most of those borders are part of our economic union, Mercosul, what makes those borders more expanded. There’s no much war in the history of my country (this is actually a point to be return because all of our internal problems, such as organized crime in Rio de Janeiro can make another point of view of that, but for now, a very brief point of comparison let’s put that way…). In fact, the nearest big conflict event I can report was in dictatorship time around 70ths which it not part of my generation…
To me, the main focus of those comparison thoughts is exactly this question of limited land borders which actually can lead us into a infinity of possible researches…
But, this is a primary thought.
And I arrived to this land with a child’s look: part innocent, part ignorant (in the meaning of not knowing the history for what books says) with the wish to understand a little who are those people. What I know about it it’s what media showed me in short news about war and “evilty�, media showed me a people with no heart, and no comprehension of the “superiority point of view of the great western Europe-norht-amercian way of life�.
Should I be scared of “those people�? I didn’t know what I would find in my way, but I decided to see through my own eyes what’s going on in this part of the world, the same world I live, therefore, the same people I am.
I don’t have many hours recorded, but I met so many people in my way, so many stories, so many lives…
It was just me, a young little girls lost in the world and what happened is that the world took good care of me. I found hope. I found people with scars and smiles. I found a generation of people who are willing to restart and make it all different, seeing people the same.
What impulses my life is exactly that! The possibility to find where usually we don’t expect a reason to believe world can change and be better to all of us.
This research starts here and the way will show me where it leads… a documentary? An interactive installation? Technologies are no more than a way to connect people and help in the world evolution including possibilities of education and exchange…
What actually changes our lives it’s the interchange between each personal history.
Millan Kundera (with The Unbearable Lightness of Being) makes me
understand how different we all can be… in a sad loneliness but also
tight in the life intersections) and Clarice Lispector makes me
believe in truth beyond the eyes, specially, beyond what the other expects of you.
This is just the sensitive of the begin… shall the exchange begin!