9 Posameznikov, 3 Puloverji in 1 #YOKEEPITREAL zgodba
Več na Pirate Piška Instagram profilu.
Do konca meseca novembra bom tukaj in na socialnih omrežjih objavljala zgodbe osmih različnih ljudi, ki me navdihujejo s svojim delom, razmišljanjem, filozofijo ali angažiranim družbenim delovanjem. Vsi imajo v sebi del s katerim se poistovetim in bi ga skozi njih rada predstavila tudi tebi. Vsi smo del zgodb, ki nas kot ljudi izpopolnjujejo in iz nas delajo to, kar smo. Nekdo lahko s svojo iskreno zgodbo razbija stereotipe, drugi s svojo navdihuje, tretji pa lahko ob tej priložnosti v prvi plan postavi to, kar je mogoče večini na prvi pogled skrito.
Na kakšen način pa ti osmišljaš pristnost in iskrenost? Uporabi #YoKeepItReal in deli svojo zgodbo.
P.S.: Vsi puloverji imajo Fair Wear in OEKO-TEX® Standard certifikat – to pomeni, da so puloverji nastali kot del pravične trgovine in so okolju prijazni.
Žiga Komperšek – Murksli Custom Boards
Svobodni šušmar / Hustler
Spletna stran / Website: murksli.com
Sem Žiga, nekateri me poznajo kot Murkslija. Izdelujem skejte in longboarde iz lokalnega lesa. Predan procesu izdelave iz gozda na ceste. From woods to streets.
Drive mi daje celostni pristop. Menim, da je naša družba preveč zasuta z nepomembnimi informacijami, kar nas dela površne, in zato k vsaki stvari pristopamo na prvo žogo. Rat race. Sam raje stvari začrtam iz nule in se ob tem naučim veliko stvari. Poskušam scati proti vetru in ob tem uživati, ker sem prepričan, da si svobodo ustvarjanja vsak izbere sam. Najbolj mi je všeč proces ustvarjanja, ko je treba združevati več različnih področij, da nekaj nastane.
Želim si, da bi lahko napisal, da sem svobodni izdelovalec, vendar bi si dal avtogol. Keš nas sili v šušmarjenje na vseh področjih. Ni kriva država, krivi smo si sami. Sem Žiga, svobodni šušmar.
I’m Žiga, also known as Murksli, a maker of skateboards and longboards from local wood. I am dedicated to the crafting process I like to call ‘from woods to streets’.
A holistic approach to my work is what drives me. I think that our society overflows with trivial information, making us superficial in our dealings with everything. A rat race. I prefer to draw up things from scratch, learning a lot in the process. I try to piss against the wind and enjoy it, because I am convinced that everybody chooses their own creative freedom. I particularly enjoy the creative process which needs to include multiple disciplines in order to produce something.
I wish I could say that I am a freelance crafter, but that would be like scoring an own goal. It’s money that makes us hustlers, and it’s not the government’s fault, but our own. I’m Žiga, a hustler.
Maša Pirc (Štrikula) – Mestni mačjak
Predsednica društva Mestni mačjak /
President of the Mestni mačjak Association
Spletna stran / Website: mestnimacjak.com
Že od nekdaj sem se čutila povezano z živalmi, zato me je zelo prizadelo in me še vedno, ko jih vidim, da trpijo. Vedno sem se trudila, da bi jim po svojih najboljših močeh pomagala, in zato sem pred dvema letoma ustanovila Mestni mačjak, prostor, kjer se še z drugimi prostovoljci trudimo pomagati prostoživečim in zapuščenim mucam. V prostem času torej božam muce. Sliši se super, a ne? Resnica ni tako lepa, kot se zdi na prvi pogled. Časa zase skorajda nimam. »Prosti čas«, ki ga vzame oskrba muc, velikokrat poseže tudi v moj službeni čas, kar vpliva na mesečni zaslužek.
Zaradi občutka, da se boriš z mlini na veter in da ne vidiš konca zapuščenim in zlorabljenim mucam (in drugim živalim), se sprašuješ, ali ima tvoje delo sploh smisel. Pomagaš eni muci, v naslednjih minutah je pa že 10 novih, ki potrebujejo pomoč. Zavedanje, da ne moreš pomagati vsem, je nekaj najhujšega, s čimer se srečujem. Srce se ti trga, ko moraš zaradi pomanjkanja prostora ali denarja odkloniti pomoč. In takrat si sam pri sebi jezen, zakaj ni več ljudi, najditeljev, ki bi bili bolj pripravljeni pomagati in priti naproti, ne pa da komaj čakajo, da se »znebijo« najdenega muca in odgovornost preložijo na drugega ter so celo ogorčeni, ko jim poveš, da žal ne moreš pomagati na način, kot so si ga oni zamislili, lahko pa skupaj najdemo rešitev.
Še ena stvar je, s katero se srečujem, pa se raje ne bi. Smrt. Ko narediš vse, kar je v tvoji moči, pa žival vseeno izgubiš. Takrat te boli, ker veš, da se jim v vsem življenju ni zgodilo prav veliko lepega; sprašuješ se, ali jim je sploh kdo kdaj rekel, pokazal, da jih ima rad, in krivdo vališ nase, češ, »če bi prišla prej, bi bilo mogoče vse drugače«. Kljub vsem groznim in slabim stvarem je prostovoljstvo še vedno nekaj, kar me osrečuje. Ko pomagaš muci v stiski in potem vidiš, kako najde ljubeč dom – to je nekaj najlepšega in razlog, zakaj vztrajam.
Cats forever. Itak.
I have always felt a strong connection to animals, which is why it still hurts to see them suffer. I’ve always tried to help the animals as best I could, so two years ago I launched ‘Mestni mačjak’, a shelter where I and other volunteers strive to help free-living and abandoned cats. And so, in my free time, I pet kittens. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? But the truth is not like it seems. I hardly have any time for myself. The “free time” taken up by the care for cats often encroaches on my worktime, which in turn affects my monthly income.
Because of the feeling you get that you’re battling windmills and that you’ll never see the end to all those abandoned and abused cats (and other animals), you start wondering if the work you’re doing even has a point. You help one cat, and within minutes there are ten others that need you. The realization that you cannot provide for all of them is one of the worst things I have to face. It’s heartbreaking to have to refuse help because of space or money constraints. And you feel angry that there aren’t more people willing to reach out instead of just waiting for the opportunity to dump a found cat (and the responsibility) on someone else, even to the point of being indignant when you tell them that you simply cannot help in the way that they’ve had in mind but that you are willing to try to find a solution together.
There is one more thing that I’m confronted with which I’d rather avoid. Death. When you’ve done everything in your power but you lose the animal anyway. It hurts to know that not a lot of nice things happened to them in their lives; you wonder if anyone ever even told them or showed them they loved them. You blame yourself, as if it would’ve made a difference if you’d been there sooner. But in spite of all the terrible and bad things, volunteering is still something which makes me happy. When you’ve helped a kitten in distress and you see that it’s found a loving home – that is one of the best feelings in the world and the reason why I carry on.
Cats forever. What else.
Tibor Rep – REPeat
Ojačevalec okusov / Flavour enhancer
Spletna stran / Website: repeat.si
P.S. Zapis ostaja v originalu brez prevoda. /
The entry remains in the original without translation.
My name is Tibor Rep. I’m a food person and I craft thoughtful and inspired dishes for you – the people who enjoy food. When you’ve tried my food you just might wanna do it again. That’s how the name REPeat was born. I cook for any old reason: birthdays, holidays, road trips, touring bands, street food festivals and so on. Sometimes I’ll stay up all night preparing the ingredients, wake up in the morning and make patties which I would grill later in the afternoon. Then start all over again.
People often ask if I’m self-taught, and I guess that, yes, technically I am. But really I’ve picked things up from many awesome and skilled people I’ve shared a kitchen with over the years. The world has been (and still is) my cooking school and I am proud of that fact.
I try to cook and eat healthy and simple food with natural ingredients, whole grains, good fats, fruit and vegetables. No, I don’t have any food allergies. I have simply discovered how much energy I get from eating nutritious food. I believe that one of the most important things in a diet is variety. That is why my recipes are sometimes raw and other times cooked, sometimes they call for buckwheat and other times for oats. Eating is about feeling good, not following rules. I’m so ecstatic to see simple cooking gaining ground every day. Simplicity sure is my key to creativity whenever there’s food involved.
Masha Mazi – Mashanator
Grafična oblikovalka, Blogerka
/ Graphic Designer, Blogger
Spletna stran / Webpage: mashanator.eu
Kaj, če ti povem, da sem kompulzivna lažnivka? Tisti, ki me poznajo danes, bodo to težko verjeli. Ampak sem, resnično. Tako kot zdravljeni alkoholiki, ki do konca življenja premagujejo svoj samodestruktivni alter ego in ga potiskajo nazaj, jaz dan za dnem premagujem potrebo po laganju, že leta in leta. Menda otrok do 5. leta ne loči fantazije od realnosti, in če sem čisto iskrena: moji fantazijski svetovi so bili že od otroštva neprimerljivo bolj zanimivi od realnega sveta. Mislim, da sem se zaradi tega že kot otrok ujela v zanko laganja in užitkov, ki mi jih je prinašalo. Danes pa je tista lastnost, na katero sem pri sebi najbolj ponosna, iskrenost, in do nje sem prišla po težkih notranjih bojih s samo seboj. Kompulzivna lažnivka v meni pa je še vedno močna – nenehno si izmišljuje scenarije, zgodbe in preobrate, ki bi jih lahko v kateremkoli trenutku naglas povedala in z njimi zabavala družbo, šokirala ali dobila ekstra pozornost. Moč sem v roke dobila s tem, ko sem se odločila, da to potrebo v sebi zadušim.
Potrebovala sem leta, da sem se naučila, kako cenjena, predvsem pa redka lastnost je iskrenost. In da je ranljivost, ki z njo pride, čudovita lastnost, ki se je ljudje ne bi smeli bati. Človeško je, da se motimo in da na kakšna izmed svojih dejanj nismo ponosni. Ampak namesto da svoje negotovosti oblačimo v odeje obrambnih mehanizmov, mislim, da bi morali biti ljudje bolj real. Bolj surovi. Bolj odprti in pristni. Ne samo do drugih, tudi do samih sebe. Te vrline so razlogi, zakaj na ves glas brutalno iskreno govorim o vseh svojih napakah, o spopadanju s svojima življenjskima sopotnicama – anksioznostjo in depresijo, o travmatičnih preizkušnjah. To so tudi razlogi, zakaj si ne maram zakrivati oči pred resnico in živim okoljevarstveni aktivizem, zavračam vsesplošno razširjeno nezdravo mero deloholizma in odprto sprejemam različna mnenja.
Biti iskren zame pomeni živeti. In to se zgodi takrat, ko se spustiš nivo nižje zato, da svet vidiš z odprtimi očmi točno takšnega, kakršen je. In ej, res je lep.
What if I told you I was a compulsive liar? Those who know me today will hardly believe it. But I am one, I truly am. Just like recovered alcoholics struggle for the rest of their lives with their self-destructive alter egos and push them back, I need to conquer the need to lie on a daily basis, and have done so for years upon years. They say that children don’t know how to separate fact from fantasy until their 5th year, and to be completely honest, my fantasy worlds have been far more interesting to me from the real one ever since my childhood. I think this is the reason I was, even as a child, caught in the web of lies and pleasures that lying brought me. But today, for me honesty is the best policy; I’m proud of my own, seeing as I have reached it through countless inner struggles. The compulsive liar within is still going strong, though – constantly inventing scenarios, stories and twists, which, if said aloud at any given moment, would make me the life of a party, shock, or bring me extra attention. I’ve managed to empower myself by deciding to suppress this need in me.
I’ve needed years to learn just how appreciated, and above all, rare, honesty is. And that vulnerability that comes with it is a wonderful attribute which people shouldn’t shy away from. It is human to err and to be less than proud of some of our deeds. But instead of tucking our insecurities away under blankets of defense mechanisms, we should all just be more real. More raw. More open and sincere. Not only to others, but to ourselves. These virtues are the reasons why I am being brutally honest about all my flaws, about grappling with my life partners – anxiety and depression, about traumatic ordeals. These are also the reasons why I refuse to shut my eyes before truth and why I live environmental activism, why I shun the ubiquitous unhealthy measure of workaholism, and why I’m open to different opinions.
Honesty to me is to live. And it happens only after you’ve stepped down a level in order to see the world with open eyes just the way it is. And hey, it is really beautiful.
Tjaša Piška Križnar – Pirate Piška
Spletna stran / Webpage: piratepiska.com
P.S. Zapis ostaja v originalu brez prevoda. /
The entry remains in the original without translation.
I struggled with writing this for a while. Before, I was always so eager to tell my story, ‘coz there’s so much work that goes into my brand that people don’t realise; I felt the need to speak up and tell everybody what’s going on behind closed door. Now that this moment has come, I have a feeling I don’t know what to say. I feel I’ve changed so much. I realise it’s hard to cover everything I do and even harder to make people understand what I mean by ‘Independent-one-girl-brand’. There were years of me trying to explain everything about my handmade and independent approach but there are still people who are killing me by not acknowledging what I am trying to say.
If I say I do all the work myself – everything from illustrations, graphic design, hand printing, sewing backpacks and packing orders to making sure the shop and the webpage are working properly, taking photos, planning photoshoots, taking care of promotion, etc. – people will say, find yourself some help. But what if I can’t financially afford help? Then raise your prices. But then people won’t buy my products. It’s a never-ending story and I need to make a cut. I’m tired of this kind of conversations with people who are experts on everything but actually don’t know shit about making business on your own ‘coz they enjoy the comfort of regular jobs and monthly wages. It’s exhausting and it’s a waste of my energy. People often presume that I’m a strong, powerful and creative force, but in situations like this I crumble.
Everybody wants to have a brand nowadays. New names are popping up on social media daily, but hardly any of them survive for more than a year or two. And I can’t blame them ‘coz I know what it takes to run a business. People tend to get very envious of me – or any other artist/maker, for that matter – ‘coz they imagine how romantic it must be to be living the life of a freelancer. That’s why I often thought, well, anybody can do what I do, so why all the hate? But I’ve just recently realised that’s so not true. I can’t count how many parties, concerts, festivals, social meetings, gallery openings went by and I hardly ever took the time to go ‘coz my passion to create was bigger than whatever else was going on. I had my priorities. ‘Had’, because they are changing now. This crazy hardcore passionate drive has taken its toll. Depression has been after me ever since I can remember and in the last few years anxiety and panic attacks were only getting stronger. It took me years to make a step forward and leave all the negativity I had inside me behind. The passion to create was often just a cover up for dealing with my inner demons, for hiding what was eating at me from the inside. It’s a beautiful outlet, nobody can deny that, it’s just that this roller-coaster ride of self-destruction is so hard to handle.
Many can’t relate to a project-to-project kind of job. The ups and downs of this kind of lifestyle. How frustrating it can be to not decline low-paid jobs just because I need to pay the bills and put food on the table. It’s not the actual work I struggle with, it’s the time, the energy and care I put into getting shit done just because that’s my nature. There’s always a sort of a guilty feeling for doing these kind of jobs because I know I am worth more. Yes, I know, it’s me who chose this path. I know. I know. But that doesn’t mean or change anything.
Then here are so-called friends who are giving me a hard time about not having a standard job, others who think I wake up at noon or take time off whenever I want just because I can. Stupid trivial things that I couldn’t care less about, yet they tear me apart from the inside. These are the same people who never gave me support or a HI5 when I made a new collection which I poured my heart into. Jealousy got the best of them and some just couldn’t handle it. Backstabbing is also pretty common in my field and there’s been way more of it than I could handle. Sure, after a while we went our separate ways. Natural selection, many would say. Including me, but it still hurts.
This feeling right now is so surreal. Something I would never have imagined coming over me. I feel tired. Tired from so many things. Maybe for the first time in my life I am able to confess that to myself and not feel bad if I’m not in working mode 24/7. I’m sick of this constant battle between hyper and low. Hardly anyone understands this. Usually just people who are in same spiral as me. I love what I do, but I refuse to let it kill me in the long run.
Now, for the first time in my life, I don’t feel the need to overexplain my work, if at all. It’s like a huge load has been lifted off my back. If I thought before that I knew or had learnt some things, I now have a feeling I actually don’t know shit. I need a complete reset and start over. This is how I feel right now. I need to rediscover my inner core, inner power, fight for what I’ve already built. If I’m missing an occasional HI5 and a little bit of support from the people around me, I sure don’t give myself enough credit for achieving what I’ve achieved. Always running from project to project, always chasing deadlines, never taking the time to take care of myself. Times are changing now, and I’ve learnt a lot.
It’s a thin line between complaining and telling it like it is. If the sun isn’t shining, how can I talk about the warmth if I’m freezing in this cold, insensitive environment? I can’t. You know why? ‘Coz KEEP IT REAL for fuck’s sake. Some will and have called me negative for that, but how can I paint a realistic picture if there’s a heavy storm raging about? That doesn’t mean I don’t always wish for the positive outcome. Of course I do. It is that which has allowed me to accomplish everything I have, isn’t it? It’s just the wisdom to be present here, not in the past, not in the future, but here and now. For me, that’s kind of the same as saying to ‘keep it real’. Don’t put cherries on top if there’s rotten meat underneath.
With all that said, I’ve always returned to this naive will to create. Now with a little more Zen, a clear head and a different approach. Reality check. I was always all about KEEPING IT REAL, but now, the ‘real’ has really shaken me. It’s given me a different new push to go and make the best of what I’ve always dreamt of. It’s not about the strength ‘coz I know I have it, it’s about finding peace within.
Everything takes time, and we especially need time to grow, to heal, to transform. Now it’s my time. Everything will be OK. No, it’s going to be A-OK, little Scorpio. It’s been hard years of figuring things out, but I am happier now than I ever was. Happy birthday to me. I really mean it. Peace out.
Anja Korošec – New Edge Magazine
Ustanoviteljica, glavna urednica
/ Founder, Editor in Chief
Spletna stran / Website: newedgemagazine.com
New Edge Magazine je neodvisna revija in platforma za mlade, ki omogoča izražanje kreativnosti brez omejitev in spodbuja povezovanje in ustvarjalnost. Je medij, ki dokazuje, da premoremo veliko talentiranih ustvarjalcev, ki jih druži velika želja po izražanju.
Ambicija je tako velika, da lahko dvakrat letno svoje ideje in inovativne poglede na svet prelijemo v revijalno oz. tiskano različico. Splet pa nam omogoča prostor, da izpostavimo zanimive sogovorke in sogovorce, dogodke in ostale vsebine, ki bi sicer ostale spregledane – vse to, že štiri leta, popolnoma neodvisno, brez sponzorjev.
“We keep it real” – tako, da ostajamo zvesti sami sebi in se ne pustimo uokviriti. Če nam drugi ne dajo priložnosti, si jo vzamemo sami. Mislim, da je treba početi, kar imaš rad, v kar verjameš in za tem tudi srčno stati, četudi to ni nekaj, kar prinaša denar.
Vesela sem, da ob meni stojijo izjemni ljudje, ki so ključni del New Edge-a. Modni urednik Anže Ermenc in urednica vsebin Maja Podojsteršek, ki sta z mano od samega začetka, ter naši izjemni pisatelji in sodelavci, ki prispevajo svoj del k neverjetni celoti.
Še naprej bomo opozarjali na dejstvo, da je treba življenje pogosteje pogledati tudi z drugega vidika. Pridružite se nam in skupaj zakorakajmo po robu. Yo.
New Edge Magazine is an independent publication and youth platform which enables unlimited artistic expression while fostering networking and creativity. As a medium it provides evidence of an abundance of talented creators in Slovenia who share a great desire to express themselves.
The ambition is large enough to allow two printed issues per year, brimming with innovation and creative visions of the world, while the web provides us with a space for highlighting interesting creators, events, and other content which would otherwise remain unnoticed. We are in our fourth year now, completely independent, without any sponsorship.
We “keep it real” by staying true to ourselves and not allowing anyone to put us in a box. If no one will give us a chance, we’ll go for it ourselves. I think it is important to be doing what one loves and believes in and boldly stand behind that, even if it doesn’t bring home a lot of money.
I feel blessed to be surrounded by exceptional individuals, key contributors to New Edge. They are fashion editor Anže Ermenc and content editor Maja Podojsteršek, who have been with me ever since the get-go, as well as our amazing writers and collaborators, who make an incredible team.
We will continue to be ambassadors of looking at life from a different angle. Join us, and let’s walk the edge together. Yo.
Linn Julian Koletnik – TransAkcija
Direktor_ica / on_a / Executive Director / they
Spletna stran / Website: transakcija.si
Utelešati življenje – spoj raznoraznih notranjih konstelacij – ki jih družba smatra za nezaželene, nevredne in nelegitimne, je precej naporna pot. Uteho najdem v oblakih in nebu, radikalni ranljivosti ter kvir (so)odgovornosti.
Embodying a life within which the collisions of all your inner constellations are deemed socially unwanted, unworthy and invalid is a pretty rough road. I find my solace in the clouds and the sky above me, radical vulnerability and queer accountability.
Nina NinaBelle Kodrič in Nina Hudej – Warrego Valles
DJki, glasbenici, aktivistki / DJs, musicians, activists
Spletna stran / Website: warregovalles.bandcamp.com
Warrego Valles je elektronski projekt producentke in DJke Nine Hudej ter akademsko izobražene glasbenice ter DJke Nine Kodrič (aka NinaBelle), v katerem intenzivno raziskujeva stranske obvode klubske in eksperimentalne elektronske glasbe.
Kot glasbenici, promotorki in aktivistki se zavzemava za večjo vidnost in ustvarjanje enakih priložnosti za ženske in LGBTIQ+ osebe v elektronski glasbi ter za njihovo aktivno participacijo pri procesih odločanja v glasbenih poslih (klubskih, založniških itd.).
Warrego Valles is an electronic project by producer and DJ Nina Hudej and academically educated musician Nina Kodrič (aka NinaBelle) in which we intensively study the by-passes of club and experimental electronic music.
As musicians, promoters and activists, we strive for greater visibility and equal opportunities for women and LGBTIQ+ people in electronic music and for their active participation in decision-making processes in music (club, publishing, etc.).
Bor Čeh (Vasily Orlov Wagner) – Leti Vili
Kurir na kolesu / Bike Messenger
Spletna stran / Webpage: letivili.com
P.S. Zapis ostaja v originalu brez prevoda. /
The entry remains in the original without translation.
“It’s 22:00 and I’m walking up the last flight of stairs that lead up to my apartment. Or rather, my room, that I can afford with the salary I make as a bike courier. Exhausted from the last 3 days of double shifts.
Nobody made me do it, I chose this life I know. And here I’ll stay. I chose it, as a project, an evolution of a living organism. An experiment of some sort. I’ve never been the type of guy that watches documentaries on Discovery Channel or jerks off to scenes of what others are doing. I prefer to feel the sweet taste of my own blood on my lips, the pain of frozen limbs in the harsh grips of the winters around here, or feel the sting of the safety pins that hold in place the racing numbers on my back.
I’ve devoted my life to this calling. Or rather, I like to write about it as a calling and make it seem larger than life. Down the line, and the naked truth is: I deliver items in a backpack, or strapped to my bicycle. Partly because I’m cheaper than employees doing it themselves, but also because winters tend to be brutal around here, and rainy days really depressing. But that’s what keeps me going. Nature and the sheer power of it.
I guess it all comes down to that first calling, the desire to do art. The deeply rooted will to create things from nothing and give them purpose and names. Form and life. I’ve never understood art as a representation of beauty, or a reproduction of reality, but more as an experiment. And the ultimate experiment for me is living the story you feel is chosen for you. I don’t dress a certain way because it’s fashionable, shave my beard, or wear a cover on my head. Nor do I care about other people’s opinion about the path I decided to go down. So one day, I got up and quit art, and never looked back.
The way people understood art where I came from was too fake, artificial. And I was never excited by the understanding of art as a painting, sculpture or even installation. One thing that always attracted me was fanaticism. Just like a moth to a flame. That poor soul can’t help itself. And maybe it is the acknowledgement that we’re all going to die, which I was left with after years of self and substance abuse, that made this whole thing easier. I know It’s going to kill me, but at least I’ll die, sooner than the average Joe, yet I’ll know I lived my life to the fullest. Decadent, I know. But it’s part of the project. These days I’m watching kids walking down the streets, pretending to be the part. Buying H&M Nirvana (or other 90’s band) t-shirts, pretending to know the names of the bands, or Googling all the lyrics in 2 seconds. And I feel that this is what society today has become. Google a string of words in 2 seconds, and the result will determine your next obsession, or outside image, with the attention span of a mayfly, or a ‘one hit wonder’. Some of them I’ve tried to help and fulfil what they called dreams. I was blinded by the idea of how I’d wasted my years. With the arrogant, yet illusive and naive perception that they are like I was, looking for oblivion in whatever substance I could find, without a clear objective. I wanted to share what I learned from my journey and spare them the falls and mistakes that can never be repaired. Every time I stand on the start line of a major international bicycle race, I see those shaved legs and cocky youngsters, their lungs clear of poison, their minds sharp. Perfect skin, hairdo, and tattooed sleeves, and legs. And then I look down on my scarred, dirty legs, never shaven unless to get stitched in the ER, my trashy tattoos covered by cloth, telling the story of my ancestors and the long journey that has led me here. Being at the start line of the Brooklyn Red Hook Crit or doing the job, I’ve learned to love.
Not because I’ve seen it on some Vimeo Clip, of some New Wave Mash rider, but because I feel I earned every meter of it. Just like I own every single stone of this city. And because I’ll make this my project. My Art Piece. My Life Time achievement. Not for the pose of carrying a big backpack strapped on my back, not for the desire of covering my bike in stickers out of boredom. But because I watched this cancer grow, devour me and slowly kill me, but with a smile on my face. At the end of the day, we were brought up believing that it was better “to burn out than fade away”.
So, about my project. I guess it all started from the desire to build myself a replica of a 1942 BSA Paratrooper bike; to match my VW T3 I just restored and painted it in NATO RAL (or RAL 6003, whichever you prefer). Told you already I never liked watching Discovery Channel. After restoring 6 or 7 cars I decided it was time to venture into the field of bicycles. Simply because they are smaller, cheaper, and easier to build on your own. It wasn’t long before I started to look into ways of living off bicycles. And since we are the generation that got hit the worst by what they called Financial Crisis, there were very few jobs available for artists that weren’t happy with collecting social checks, wearing scarves and French berets to other people’s exhibitions and talk Philosophical Bullshit at openings. I decided to walk my own path. To learn craft from old and cranky craftsmen, to sweep the floors as they were making up stories, told with heavy breaths that smelled like brandy, cigarettes and sorrow. From masters who had a strong desire to pass their knowledge to the youngsters, or the only youngster dumb enough to care about their stories. Not their kids, but that oddly dressed individual. So, I built my first trike. And, like I’ve told the same story 1000 times before (I think there were 36 articles and other media published about it), owning a trike and doing nothing with it is like having a truck just sitting in your backyard. Rotting. Building my first trike bike was therefore just the beginning of my project.
I guess that my favourite article still remains the one written for Finance, where the interviewer didn’t do her homework and mentioned ‘Trostreščki’, my illegal Milk and Eggs delivery business, as the ‘Entrepreneurial idea of the month’. Later on, somebody anonymously pressed charges against me, probably because they were jealous of those 200 or 300 euros I made from delivering knee deep in snow and cold, but it taught me to be stubborn. Which helped me to ask my friends, and two of the best individuals I know, if they would hire a pizza delivery guy on a bicycle. Something this country with no history of street biking or bike delivery had never heard of. Of course, there were legendary companies, such as City Express, and independent, brave couriers, such as Boris Petovar, who delivered post on their 26’ mountain bikes, but Dobra Vila was the first place in town to start a proper bike delivery service from scratch. And it all started with a bet: “If you think you can beat our motorcycle delivery guys, the job is yours.” And I did. I remember when me and Zekir lit a cigarette in front of the pizza joint before the scooter guy came back. He still remembers that day from 3 years ago as if it was yesterday. Back then I still smoked, even though I’d promised Mom I’d quit. But the best ideas came from addictions, I guess those were really the things that made this whole thing so true. The fact that they hurt us a lot, you have to be stubborn to get over them. Just like the idea of ‘Trostreščki’ came from a drunk night behind a bar with my good friend, a young farmer, who I deeply respect since he was left, together with his older brother, from the tender age of teenhood with the harsh reality of running a farm alone. Anyways, it was a drunken debate on how unfair the prices of milk and eggs are these days, and all of a sudden it hit me: “I’ll deliver your eggs and milk!” I never knew how much it would take from me. And how little it would give back. Just that small satisfaction of not being a burden on anyone’s shoulders, of not robbing an old lady of her pension check by collecting your unemployment one.
I don’t know if it’s in our national interest or nature to whine and cry about stuff, but I don’t want to end this on a sad note. It’s not like I rejected my mother’s coffee as Ivan did, or that I was sent at the age of 20 to die of some STD in an old sugar warehouse.
I’ll stick here. I love this land, and I’ll kill myself to make it out here. Cause it’s better to make it with all odds against you. And I have a tendency of looking for influences and role models. And since I’ve made it past 27, this time I’ll follow in the footsteps of Marko Šajn, or Chas Christiansen, and make it in this land where motorists don’t respect cyclists, and those 200 people pushing pedals divide themselves in 50 groups of 4 brave individuals by the shape of their handlebars, width of their handlebars, or length of their leg hair. I’m not choosing the easy way, hell, I never knew how to. I think chocolate that is given to you never tastes as sweet as the blood you’ve spilt in an epic race, or is as good as the feeling of failing miserably when delivering some unimportant document for those measly 3.20 euros. But for me it means my world, my reality, my project and my life. And I call it my art and Life. What am I?
I’M A BIKE MESSENGER AT LETI VILI AND I’M DAMN PROUD OF IT!”
Umetniška in kreativna direktorica: Tjaša Piška piratepiska.com
Asistentka produkcije: Vanja Žižić www.instagram.com/zizivan
Fotograf: Luka Prijatelj www.lukaprijatelj.com
Oblikovanje: Tjaša Piška, Jan Virant www.janvirant.design
Lektura Tina Perić www.facebook.com/JezikovnaZadrugaSoglasnik
Prevod: Domen Kavčič www.instagram.com/inter_allia
Plac JNŽ https://janza.si/ & Fuga www.instagram.com/fuga_eu