Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Bklyn connection: Ngo Kontrapunkt

This months cover by K.K.W,
with layout by Aleksandar Ares.
Original photo by Ivan Durgutovski.
NGO Kontrapunkt: The Brooklyn Connection. By K.K.W
Symbol/poster of Kontrapunkt.
Image courtesy of the organization. 
Prior to a few months ago I had never heard of Ngo Kontrapunkt - which is strange being as I probably know more about the country its in, then most people in Brooklyn. Life can be strange that way.

I had finally traveled to Skopje [in the Republic of Macedoina] last April and met - for the first time - many people I only knew through Facebook. One of them was Abe Ana Choveche [a Jazz singer & one of the most cultured people in her country], who I had not communicated with since Oct of 2011. At an anniversary event for Kanal 103 radio station with Abe Ana, I met Elena Veljanovska, a friend of her's and a curator who works with Kontrapunkt. Elena is an intriguing person with a deep sense of dedication, especially since she has built-up quite a resume outside of the normal administrations & networks of curators. 

@  the  Kanal 103 radio station anniversary
event. On the far left Elena Veljanovska,
& on the far right Abe Ana Choveche. photo by K.K.W.
After returning to NYC, I began thinking about having an exhibition for my project Rise Of The Young Ones, in Skopje,  perhaps Oct or maybe Nov [I had returned on May 2, 2014]. Elena was interested in the proposal and after agreeing, very supportive in getting the needed paperwork to make it happen.

Suggesting that I under-take an "artist-residency" for 3 months [given that the project involved documenting the urban landscape of Skopje], Elena began speaking with Iskra Geshoska, executive director of NGO Kontrapunkt, who in-turn agreed. Miss Geshoska took over the task of gathering the needed documents, after Elena had written the letter of invitation. It was a some-what long process, but Miss Geshoska was dedicated as the Sun in her duties [for a residency of such a length, the executive director had to sign the letter of invite, and procure few other forms as well]. Abe Ana Choveche facilitated the process between me here in NYC & Kontrapunkt; finding a translator for the documents and coordinating with Miss Geshoska on my behalf. 

It occurred to me this could be the beginning of a great international connection; not only for myself, but perhaps for other artists also here in Brooklyn, N.Y. With so many creative individuals in both places, there is an immense potential for diverse &  interesting creative endeavors. As with so many things it usually starts small, indirectly or by chance and has the potential to become so much more.  

Established in December 2001 in Skopje, Ngo Kontrapunkt is an association of citizens devoted to developing alternative urban cultural polices, and strengthening the culture of connecting - locally in South East Europe & internationally. The organization is committed to creating alternative public spaces, questioning models  of cultural actions based on the principles of diversity and integration. De- monopolization of culture, joint platforms, partnerships,  and exchange of creative ideas are at its core.   

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