Final postcard from Sofia

Report by Nina Czegledy, published in Deep Europa (1997).

Date: Thu, 5 Dec 1996 17:51:08 +0100
Subject: final postcard from Sofia

Nina Czegledy writes in her FINAL POSTCARD FROM SOFIA

Dear Syndicate Members:

Many apologies for a very very belated summary "postcard" from Crossing Over 1. The last days were so hectic, that we were unable to find time and immediately after the end, both Iliyana and I (Nina) left to our respective destinations - after all these excuses here we go from the beginning:

In our introductory session each of the participants outlined their experience, goals and aims. During the first week of the Crossing Over 1. workshop, conceptual issues and video production strategies, including low and high technology approaches, advanced video effect were discussed and demonstrated by Nina. In addition to evening public screenings, our guest lecturers Marina Grzinic, Tapio Makela and Susanna Paasonen, each spent an afternoon session with the participants, discussing media concepts and their own experiences.

At the workshop we moved to practical sessions focusing on the topic of "body as a land-scape", using material from a live shoot. For 2D and 3D animation and various digital effects demonstrations, still-image contributions were contributed by the participants.

And then we had a very interesting development. By the end of the first week, a group of participants, who had previous video experience developed a video performance idea with the original title of Synthetic Street Performance. The first performance was quickly and efficiently organized for Saturday afternoon. In addition to workshop participants, students of the Aca-demy carried chairs to the Terra Nova store and viewed the parade of live models dressed in synthetic furs, in the shopwindow. Everybody became enthusiastic and over the next few days all the participants became involved in the following performances. Based on various concepts and ideas we carried our chairs and marked our "Terra Nova" all over Sofia, from parks to metro construction to a church garden. We hope to edit the tapes (from 3 cameras) in the second phase of our workshop.

This is our manifesto for Terra Nova:

"Terra Nova means "New Land". With a few chairs, we the participants in the international workshop Crossing Over, mark an independent Territory, which for the moment might be ours, as well as yours. Yet we do not conquer it - it is free, free of taxes, free of rent and free of landlords. Our camera eye tries to capture and match our perspective of this place with all its temporary joys and miseries to yours. We are crossing over our Terra thus rediscovering it and making it Nova awakened. Let's enjoy its hospitality together."

In addition to our joint Terra Nova project - each participant - on their own level - will develop a video concept for the spring workshop. Ideas and practical considerations will be discussed with Nina by e-mail. Upon agreement, people with experience and access to cameras, will be able to shoot their own material for a short video in advance. We intend to edit these tapes in the spring. We also hope to choose one or two projects for final production from those participants, who had no previous experience.

We are all looking forward to the Spring workshop and our many thanks for the possibilities offered by the Soros Foundation and especially for the tireless wonderful input of Illie Nedkova. Nina

Iliyana Nedkova adds:

And a very essential closing line, saying BIG SPECIAL THANK YOU to Nina, Marina, Tapio, Susanna and all the workshop participants for your incredible rewarding efforts to turn Crossing Over I into a real success.

CHEERS! Yours, Illie

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