After many, many hours of travelling, I finally made it to Prespes for Made of Walking 5.
It is an extraordinary landscape with a huge lake which is flanked by many beautiful mountains. Prespes is also a famous area for birdwatching and in particular for spotting large Pelicans. Lake Prespes also borders on three countries – Greece, Albania and North Macedonia, making it a powerfully symbolic site to consider what borders mean on many levels.
This place and its borders is not unfamiliar. Here we see a lake which belongs to three nations, with an invisible border in the middle of the water. In Australia we also have huge invisible borders surrounding our mainland. The borders may be invisible but there are dire consequences for people to cross these watery borders without permission. The location of Prespes offers much to consider for the artists participating in the event.
After getting settled in our place in the nearby village of Agios Germanos we headed to the Artistic Station/Guest House in Psarades to check out the program and to connect with the other artists. The house belongs to School of Fine Arts in Florina (University of Western Macedonia), who are cohosting the event.
What is different about this year is it is a much bigger event – I think there will be around 200 people at the conference with about 50 already here and participating in the residency. Although a much bigger group, I am already finding the richness of conversation and thought very inspiring.
Early this evening, I led a workshop which was a conversation about borders and how we imagine them. It was a group of about 20 people and we shared our thoughts about technology, mobility and what borders actually are. It was a really rich conversation which I hope will expand into a collaborative video work exploring some of these ideas.
Now I am trying to catch some words before the day of walking begins, enjoying the coolness of the morning. It is quite a similar summer climate to Canberra – about 700 metres above sea level with big blue skies, long hot days followed by cool evenings. Gorgeous ❤
Feeling much gratitude to the beautiful people who supported my Australian Cultural Fund project and Arts ACT for getting me here. ♡♡♡
Event details: In the frame of WAC – Walking encounters/conference in Prespes Greece, July 1-7 2019. 30.06 > 07.07.2019. Walking Arts Encounters Conference, Prespes, Greece. Department of Fine and Applied Arts of the University of Western Macedonia and Made of Walking (V) / the Milena Principle.