“No one notices you in a foreign country, there you can do things that you can’t do at home. It is proven that in a foreign country you notice everything, but you can’t change anything.”
Lila, a young Macedonian writer, arrives in Vienna for a 3 month Artist-in-residence program. She shares a flat with two more artists: a peculiar Albanian photographer Edlira and sophisticated Pakistani musician Joseph. The story about three artists who meet in Vienna is just the frame for Lila’s auto fictional journal in which she notes her reminiscences of childhood days in Šlegovo, adolescence in Skopje, college days, instructorship in Romania, academic travels across the globe, and finally of her last home in Slovenia where she lives for an unusual reason – love.
It is not by chance that a Macedonian and an Albanian meet in Vienna; the choice of nationalities served the author to dig deep into complex Macedonian- Albanian relations in light of real conflict in Macedonia from early 21st century. The author makes it known that friendship between a Macedonian and an Albanian, along with a moving and tragic Albanian-Pakistani love affair transcend all nationalist theories, stereotypes and clichés. The story is written as a transcript of a film captured by a hidden camera. It involves a plethora of events, impressions and historical facts that appear as journal entries and a kaleidoscope of pictures, connected by the idea that sincere human relations go above all societal divisions.
Author: Lidija Dimkovska
Translator: Borjana Prošev-Oliver