Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Republic of Macedonia [East meets West]

Original photo & digital art by K.K.W
East meets West; The Republic of Macedonia. Photos & text by K.K.W, curated by Aleksandar Ares. 

"Skopje (the capital of Macedonia) doesn't have a straight-forward narrative; a friend once told me that 'Skopje was 'shabby, but charming!' Let me try to scratch under the surface and maybe, reveal one or two things about what makes the city what it is; a place of many intertwined small worlds, different, yet compact." [1]

1. That first morning, look over the balcony,
of all the things I felt, jet-lag wasn't one of them.
2. Bathed in spring rain, Urban-Hostel
exuded a great feeling. 
3. On those streets & Blvd's, every moment
 presented something unexpected. 

4. Skopje in April is a bit like England; Dorian Grey. 
The sun takes a back seat to dark clouds & rain; 
the mood is set for almost anything. 

5. A sudden burst of color reminded me 
of Berlin & Bauhaus; 
Partisan Blvd straight to the city center [To the right].
8. From Bauhaus to their house;
glass, steel & modern dreams. 
9. Just for moment, I thought it was London.
Double-decker buses seem out of place, yet normal.
11. For those who crave diversity, the Roma are always about; 
at times friendly and yet at times understandably anti-social. 
They usually collect card-board boxes, 
glass & plastic bottles for recycling, as a means of basic income. 

13. Towards 'The City' center, silence 
was carefully intermingled with the light.
14. Would the "Sliver Prince" [2] be proud of their work? 
In the wake of, steel 
and modern dreams consumed everything.
16. Skopje is a city dying...while being reborn. 
Much Like NYC, construction and development 
is the latest trendy-beast.
17. Although somewhat-unknown to the rest of the world, 
their urban problem is the same as our own; 
Zeno's paradox [Achilles & the Tortoise] (3)
19. The lion's roar is like a distant crow's caw; 
few of us can hear it anymore.
20. I only looked back once, "...cause its a feeling that you get, 

when the afternoon is set, on the bridge into the city...

" [4]

21. Playfully, she closed her eyes; and just like that, 
we broke through towards daylight.
I hadn't spoken to Ana since Oct of 2011,
& only knew her through facebook.

22. The old bazaar [Charshija], and the strange feeling 
of bygone days; another time. 
Walking those streets, we savored everything. 
23. All at once we came upon a relic [standing guard]. 
No one remembered who wore the armor, she said, 
though as a mark of honor the memory is kept alive.
25. Along another road, the fortress seemed out-of-place, 
and yet integral to the landscape. 
A humbling reminder of "Days of future past" [5]. 
26. On that bridge, for a moment, there was nothing else. 
She said "...Its been a long time...since someone 
looked at me that way, Its like you knew me...
and all the things I couldn't say..." [6].
28. Along with the vastness of Skopsko Kale
 [pronounced ka-lay, Turkish for fortress], 
was the immensity of the past looming over the city. 
She said it was built in the 6th century, 
with material from the Roman city of Skupi.
30. When I asked about the cross, she seemed uneasy, 
unwilling to look at it. 
I knew Orthodox faith held sway in the East, 
yet this was strange. 
As if they need protection from something.
31. I hardly noticed them watching us; 
they seemed frozen near the edge, 
waiting for something.
33. The city seemed in a state of becoming, instead of being. 
Urban-development devouring everything, 
leaving wounds that may never heal.
34. She said the old city-center, haunted all of them "...crystal memories.."[7].
Often enough the gulf separating us is, in-fact, an invitation to cross it via the bridge we cannot see, but slowly begin to feel. If you would like to  purchase a print or send your email address, please contact the artist ( or 1-347-328-7903). To leave a remark, click comment below the post, choose anonymous for your ID, & follow through. To see more work from the artist, go If you would like to know more about The Republic of Macedonia, go to the content list on the upper right-side, and click on September for each year. 

1: text by Tanja Stoimenovska from the article "See it now: Skopje in Autumn Blues", 2: from the book "From Bauhaus to our house" by Tom Wolfe, 3: from the novel "Simulacron-3" by Daniel Galouye, 4: "Over the love, by Florence + The Machine, from the soundtrack of "The Great Gatsby" 2013, 5: Title of the X-Men comic, 6: "Together", song by The XX, from the soundtrack of "The Great Gatsby" 2013, 7: From the song "River of Crystals", from the soundtrack of "Ghost in the shell: innocence". 'Art is the reason, art is the way'