POPLAVA: Young Writers from Obrenovac

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TABLE OF CONTENTS TOC...........................................................................1 A painting by Aleksandar Todorović.............................2 Editor’s note...................................................................3 Multimedia by Jelisaveta Vićić...........................................4 Giants by Emilja Stojanović, translated by Nikola Mihaelj Ross..........................................5 Džinovi....................................................................................6 The Boy by Nenad Kalabić, translated by Dana Todorović...........7 Dečak...........................................................................................8 Odysseus by Mirjana Narandžić, translated by Miljana Protić...........9 Odisej.................................................................................................9 A painting by Katja Topalović...............................................................10 Cities Never Die by Aleksandar Veličković, translated by Miljana Protić..11 Gradovi ne umiru.....................................................................................11 The Astronaut by Emilija Stojanović, translated by Dana Todorović...........12 Astronaut....................................................................................................13 The Master by Nenad Kalabić, translated by Nikola Mihaelj-Ross.................14 Gospodar.......................................................................................................15 Bios..................................................................................................................16 Front cover art by Jelisaveta Vićić Back cover by Aleksandar Todorović



EDITOR’S NOTE The Balkan Floods of May 2014 was not the first disaster to wreak havoc in Serbia, and for me to commemorate the events of this tragedy may add to an already heavy burden of local memories. Not to mention that this is yet another reminder of how a series of unpredictable and chaotic events can serve as a platform for opportunists. This country is politicized almost beyond recognition. The real Serbia is often hidden behind sensational headlines in international media, the tomfoolery of its politicians, or the long shadow of Yugoslavia. When the name Serbia does appears in print (in the Western media anyway) it is often coupled with words like “transitioning” or “developing”, terms that belie the temerity of the individuals who continue to build upon a legacy that’s a potent tincture of myth and reality. So, this short collection is not a memorial to flood victims - these young people are not victims. Nor is it a desperate plea from the helpless citizens of a developing nation - a strong will and a pen are never helpless. Instead it is a testament to the resilience of the individuals that attracted me - an American expat with no Balkan heritage - here in the first place. Even with my limited experience I can confidently say that resourcefulness and a determination to survive must be a birthright of the Balkan people. “Poplava” translates as flood: in this case, a flood of words. At the beginning of the writing project I told each writer that the theme would be May 2014, but they were free to write whatever they like within the context of that theme. If they chose to ignore the floods, then so be it. Not only did they choose not to ignore them, they saw far beyond them. While these short pieces are only a selection of voices from one small city, they exhibit a forceful hope that I’ve witnessed time and again in young people from this region. I am happy to see it reveal itself in their short poetry and stories. This journal is a culmination of the work of a civic organization I began after the floods of 2014 called Art in Times of Need. The workshops that led up to the publication of this journal were led by professional translators and writers. Rather than giving lectures, these workshops were casual and gave the contributing writers an opportunity to ask questions about writing as a profession. A warm thank you to the workshop leaders, translators, and artists who volunteered their time, energy, and work to this small project. Art in Times of Need gathered professional artists, cultural managers, international students, and art enthusiast volunteers in the days following the floods of May 2014. Together we visited shelters in Belgrade to entertain children with dance classes, art projects, and theater games. We also collected art supplies and distributed them to affected areas so that they could conduct art therapy courses, art classes for children, and other relevant activities in the cultural sector to make culture a part of the recovery efforts. In the course of a few days, we built a database of hundreds of volunteers, partnered with some of Belgrade’s most influential youth centers, scheduled training workshops for artists with psychologists and art therapists, and presented our project to the public. In the end, we were only able to arrange for small groups to help out from time to time. Now that the cities are on a path to recovery, our operations have all but ceased. This is also nothing to regret. We existed as long as was needed and came to a peaceful end when the work was done. A few connections were made and this journal is evidence of that. If every project were to end peacefully and produce a few geniune connections, what a world this would be.

Constance A. Dunn Founder and program director of Art in Times of Need Writer and other things www.constanceadunn.com


Jelisaveta Vićić - multimedia


Giants by Emilija Stojanović from Obrenovac Translated by Nikola Mihaelj Ross Tall people don’t always rise above the crowd with their stature, but they do breathe thinner air and they do breathe clouds. Their pupils are wide, their hair rumpled. Due to their height, they easily lose balance and trip over their own big feet. As they’re lying there on the pavement, with their bloodied lips and black eyes, countless little feet march over them, not feeling the warmth of extinguished volcanoes beneath. That’s when the Tall people rise and continue their walk with blazing knees and red-hot palms. They want to walk across the north, south, east, and west, not just over the land they sprouted from, like scattered weeds that shoot up during the drought and dwarf the oaks and the pines. Tall people are exposed to every lightening strike. They love when it shakes them up and lights up in their blood like plankton in the ocean. Afterwards, for a long time, they sense tingling in their fingertips. They see the widest landscapes and want to embrace them. They ripple the northern lights with their fingers. They see themselves in hail crystals, on the surface of the arctic ice, on the inner wall of the eyelids. Tall people hide Tall sorrows. Hidden, it doesn’t sleep. It wanders inside their chest, inflicting pain. The pain spreads beneath their skin until it overflows in the waves of silence; in the tide of stillness that keeps on coming until the Giants are left breathless in their own flood. Then the Tall people start breathing through their eyes, and live breathing in the rays of light that leave streaks in the water like comets. And the Tall people start to swim – like slugs, like whales.


Džinovi Visoki ljudi se svojom pojavom ne uzdižu uvek iznad mase, ali dišu ređi vazduh i dišu oblake. Njihove su zenice proširene, a kosa razbarušena. Zbog svoje visine lako gube ravnotežu i sapliću se o sopstvena velika stopala. Dok tako leže na pločniku, raskrvavljenih usana i modrih očiju, veliki broj sitnih stopala preko njih gazi ne osećajući pod sobom toplinu ugaslih vulkana. Ustaju tada Visoki ljudi, pa vrelih kolena i užarenih dlanova nastavljaju svoj hod. Oni žele da hodaju severom, jugom, zapadom i istokom, samo ne zemljom iz koje su iznikli poput retkog korova koji tokom suše toliko izrasta da nadvisuje hrastove i borove. Visoki ljudi izloženi su svakom udaru groma. Vole kada ih on protrese i zasvetli u njihovoj krvi kao planktoni u okeanu. Dugo potom osećaju peckanje u vrhovima prstiju. Oni vide najšire pejzaže i žele da ih zagrle. Oni prstima mreškaju severnu svetlost. Oni vide sebe u kristalima grada, na površini arktičkog leda, na unutrašnjem zidu kapaka. U Visokim ljudima krije se Visoka tuga. Sakrivena, ona ne spava, nego kola po njihovim grudima nanoseći im bol. Ta bol se razliva svuda ispod njihove kože dok se ne prelije u talasima tišine, u plimi ćutnje koja neprestano nadolazi, sve dok ovi Džinovi ne ostanu bez daha u sopstvenom potopu. Visoki ljudi onda počinju da dišu na oči, pa žive dišući svetlosne snopove koji šaraju vodu kao komete. I Visoki ljudi počinju da plivaju – kao puževi, kao kitovi.

Painting by Katja Topalović 70 x 70 cm oil on canvas


The Boy by Nenad Kalabić from Obrenovac Translated by Dana Todorović He stood on a hilltop in his light blue shirt, watching the crimson Sun set against the dusty purple sky above the Kingdom. Sunset colors were his favorite colors - something he had never told his friends for fear of being teased. He was a Boy! In reality, the Boy stood on the first-floor balcony of a decrepit building in the outskirts, his view of the sky, and most of the sidewalk below, obstructed by the branches of a tree. Barely visible through the narrow gap between the neighbor’s balcony and the greenest of the leaves was the blackness of the sky, whose raindrops have tirelessly been sucking the life and colors out of the town for three consecutive days. Somewhere in the Sahara desert, the scorching grains of sand dreamt enviously of the wind sweeping them across the horizon! In his eyes, the cumulonimbus were the muscular forearms of sailors where lightning could draw and erase all sorts of tattoos. A splash of cold water that the wind blew from the direction of the street jolted him back from the Kingdom, but he managed to hold his ground, knowing that even the slightest sound would cause mother to appear at his door with the usual questions, like what was he doing on the balcony in the middle of the night, again? And why wasn’t he asleep like all the other children? Instead, he took a few deep breaths. The air suddenly became clearer, the colors more vivid. The rain awakened his slumbering senses. Encouraged, he poked his head out over the balcony rail and let the wind play with his long blonde hair. The hill on which he was standing was not any ordinary hill. It was the hill where the Boy always stood to defend the Kingdom from impending threats. It was the magic mountain where adventures would begin under the stars and end in the dewy mornings. The dusk now foreshadowed one of those adventures, perhaps the greatest yet! He did not wear a cape like other knights and heroes, only his light blue shirt, its color faded from wear. This shirt, however, as you may have guessed, was not any ordinary shirt. It was magical, which was no surprise considering that it was given to him by the great wizard at the village fair! It had endured the breath of dragons, countless bites from piranhas and wild dogs, punctures made by porcupine quills and the thorns of wild roses. The greatest damage to the shirt was inflicted by moths while it was in the closet. It was later mended by the royal dressmaker for half a gold piece, but that’s another story. Now was not the time to reminisce or daydream! The rainfall seemed endless and the dam on the edge of the Kingdom was threatening to give way. The beavers would surely help him “they’re experienced at fixing dams,” the Boy thought as he was getting ready to jump from the hilltop and swim towards the forest. Then suddenly, he felt a cold hand on his back. This time the cold was too much. He turned around. The Queen... “Nenad, you fell asleep on the balcony again. Let’s go inside. It’s been raining for days, you don’t want to catch cold. We’ll be safe indoors. They said the dam broke, but the water won’t reach us.” “But, mom, I was just about to go see the beavers...” he mumbled in his sleep. “I’m sure you were, dear.” his mother answered and carried him into his room. The Queen laid him back in his bed and he waited until she had fallen asleep, then he snuck out to meet the beavers. Together they managed to fix the dam. Once again that evening, Nenad from the balcony became the Boy of the Kingdom.


Dečak Stajao je u svojoj svetlo plavoj majici na vrhu jednog od brežuljaka i posmatrao kako crveno Sunce zalazi na prljavo ljubičastom nebu iznad kraljevstva. Ovo su bile njegove omiljene boje, ali to nikada nije rekao svojim drugovima da ga ne bi zezali. On je bio Dečak! U stvarnosti, Dečak je stajao na terasi prvog sprata oronule zgrade na periferiji grada, čiji pogled na nebo, a većim delom i na trotoar ispod, skrivala je krošnja. Kroz mali procep između komšijske terase i najzelenijeg lišća na vrhu naziralo se crnilo neba koje je već treći dan kroz svoje neumorne i mnogobrojne kapljice upijalo život i boju grada. Negde u Saharskoj pustinji vrela zrnad peska ljubomorno su sanjala vetar koji ih raznosi po horizontu! Kumulonimbusi su u njegovim očima bili mišićave mornarske podlaktice po kojima su gromovi crtali i brisali svakojake mornarske tetovaže. Vetar sa ulice ga je osvežio šakom hladne vode prenuvši ga iz Kraljevstva, ali izdržao je, znao je da bi i najmanji zvuk sa sobom ponovo doveo mamu i sa njom neizostavna i neizbežna objašnjenja: „Šta to ponovo radi u sred noći na terasi i zašto ne spava kao sva ostala deca“. Umesto toga počeo je dublje da diše. Vazduh je najednom postao čistiji, boje življe. Kiša je razbudila njegova uspavana čula. Ohrabren ovim proturio je glavu preko terase i pustio vetru da se poigra sa njegovom dugom plavom kosom. Breg na kome je stajao zapravo nije bio običan breg. To je bio breg na kom je Dečak uvek dočekivao nevolje koje su pretile Kraljevstvu. To je bio čarobni breg na kom su pod zvezdama otpočinjale a rosnim jutrima se završavale avanture. Ovaj sumrak je nagoveštavao jednu od njih, možda i najveću do sada! Nije imao plašt kao ostali heroji i vitezovi, samo svetloplavu majicu izbledelu od nošenja. Ali ta majica, kao što pogađate, nije bila obična. Ona je bila čarobna. Kako i ne bi kada ju je dobio na poklon od velikog čarobnjak na seoskom vašaru! Izdržala je plamen zmajeva, hiljade sitnih ugriza pirana i divljih pasa, ubode ježeva i trnje divljih ruža. Ipak najveću štetu su joj pričinili moljci dok je stajala u ormaru. Kasnije ju je za pola zlatnika popravio kraljevski krojač, ali to sada nije bitno. Sada nije bilo vreme za prisećanja i maštanje! Brana na ivici Kraljevstva pretila je da pukne od silnih padavina čijem kraju nije bilo nagoveštaja. Dabrovi bi sigurno mogli da mi pomognu, oni imaju iskustva sa popravljanjem brana, pomislio je Dečak, spremajući se da skoči sa ivice brega i da zapliva ka šumi. Međutim osetio je hladan dodir na leđima. Ovog puta hladnoće je bilo previše, okrenuo se. Kraljica...„Nenade, opet si zaspao na terasi. Hajdemo unutra dok se nisi nazebao, vidiš da ova kiša ne prestaje danima. Ostavićemo dršku od metle na terasi. Bezbedni smo unutra. Rekli su da je brana pukla, ali voda ne bi trebalo da stigne do nas.“ „Ali mama, baš sada sam krenuo po dabrove...“ govorio je nerazumljivo kroz san dečak. „Ne sumnjam sine.“ Odgovorila je majka dok ga je unosila u njegovu sobu. I premda ga je kraljica vratila u krevet na spavanje, on se išunjao kada je zaspala i zajedno sa dabrovima uspeo je da popravi branu. Nenad sa terase je te večeri ponovo bio Dečak kraljevstva.

Painting by Katja Topalović Suitable for the newly arisen situation “Hold Your Breath” Gouache on paper 72 x 28 cm


Odysseus by Mirjana Narandžić Translated by Miljana Protić Ungrieved traumas have grown together with Odysseus’s thought; creeped into his mind, enveloped his lungs, grabbed onto his heart, and won’t let go. They are born out of doubt. Whence? How? Why? Where? Where to? Who? And with whom, and for how long? Too many rhetorical questions bring nothing but an explosion of helplessness and loneliness. The real questions have gone, have left with the sailors turned into filthy animals; have gone after bloody songs sung by tainted sirens. They’ve gone after the shadows whose memory has been lost forever. Ungrieved traumas are wedged between the tongue and the throat under the stale cigarette smoke and the air smelling of swamps. Fear is their feeder, the desire for truth their Kryptonite. And so Odysseus meanders between fear and desire, leaning often to the former; because it’s more natural to say - I dare not than to utter – I want. Between the new sky and the new earth, he chooses the Ithaca of old, ancient, on crutches, foolishly believing that his own sword would let him grieve his ungrieved traumas if only he turns it away at someone else’s grief.



Neotpaćene traume srasle su sa Odisejevom mišlju. Uvukle su se u njegov mozak. obavile njegova pluća zakačile se za njegovo srce i ne puštaju. One nastaju od sumnje. Otkud? Kako? Odakle? Kuda? Gde? Ko? I s kim? I koliko dugo? Previše retorskih pitanja dovodi samo do ekspanzije nemoći i samoće. Prava su pitanja otišla za mornarima pretvorenim u prljave životinje, za krvavom pesmom pokvarenih sirena i za senkama kojima je pamćenje zauvek izgubljeno. Neotpaćene traume skrile su se između jezika i grla ispod ustajalog dima cigarete i vazduha koji miriše na močvaru. Strah je njihov hranitelj. želja za istinom je njihov kriptonit. Tako Odisej meandrira između straha i želje naginjući se češće ka ovom prvom jer je prirodnije reći ne smem nego želim. Između neba novog i zemlje nove bira Itaku staru prastaru na štakama glupavo verujući da će neotpaćene traume otpatiti sopstvenim mačem: ako ga uperi van sebe u nečiju tuđu patnju.

Painting by Katja Topalović - acrylic on canvas 60 x 80 cm


Cities Never Die by Aleksandar Veličković Translated by Miljana Protić

Gradovi ne umiru

If you hear tonight That the dams have burst, And a torrent is rushing through the city, Grab my hand tight, And we’ll walk through the water Just like we’ve walked through grief. Don’t think about what’s below us And don’t lift your head up Even the sky has betrayed us. Look into my eyes; the sun is Where it’s always been. Don’t say That there’s no way out, That the river, gone wild, Is destroying the bridges tonight; Confront it with our memories. Keep your head above the water, Remember where we kissed And danced for the first time; Remember the willow Where we used to sit, sad; These walls can’t be breached. Keep walking steadily, Don’t let go of my hand; We are on dry land; The water is on foreign ground. If it comes up to your mouth Just breathe through your nose. Don’t be afraid! Look at everyone Striding through the water Let it be afraid Of our steps. You’re most beautiful When your hair’s wet. And if it comes over your eyes, Don’t give up, Don’t let go of my hand. I’ll show you, You’ll see there’s no meaninglessness Nor death. It is the water that we’re born in It is the water that’s our salvation You’ll see it’s not over yet. You’ll see our city still stands proud.

Ako čuješ noćas da su popustile brane i da bujica juri kroz grad uhvati me za ruku snažno, gazićemo kroz vodu kao što smo gazili kroz patnju Ne misli šta je ispod ni gore ne diži glavu i nebo nas je izdalo pogledaj u moje oči- sunce je tamo gde je oduvek bilo Ne govori da nemamo kud da poludela reka u ovoj noći ruši mostove, suprotstavi joj naše uspomene Drži glavu iznad vode Seti se gde smo se poljubili, prvi put zaigrali, seti se vrbe pod kojom smo tužni sedeli to su bedemi nesalomivi Koračaj čvrsto, ne puštaj mi ruku Mi jesmo na svom, voda je na tudjem, Ako ti predje preko usta diši na nos Ne plaši se! Gledaj kako svi kroz vodu gaze neka je nju strah od naših koraka, najlepša si kad ti je kosa mokra I kad ti predje oči, ne posustaj, ne puštaj mi ruku pokazaću ti, videćeš da nema besmisla ni smrti u vodi se radjamo, u vodi je spas, videćeš da nije gotovo videćeš da još ponosan stoji naš grad


The Astronaut by Emilija Stojanović Translated by Dana Todorović Don’t swim too far the water will take you away and land will become a memory, an inscription on the soles of your feet, erased by water Swimming is a weightless state I am an astronaut – launch me to the open sea where water is as deep as pupils where it writes on your skin in the language of the gods and lifts you to the moon and to the milky way I shall drink it! And I shall speak the language of the gods and become a d r o P WAVE river w h i r l p o o l rain you them (or not?) You will not see me, as appearance is illusory and water is invisible water is elusive water is ungraspable water is unstoppable Like the gods Don’t swim too far the water will withdraw and the land will become mire an imprint on the skin while the water in your eyes will be dried by shame 13


Ne plivaj predaleko voda će te odneti i kopno će postati uspomena zapis na tabanima koji briše voda Plivanje je bestežinsko stanje astronaut sam – lansiraj me na pučinu gde voda je duboka kao zenice gde piše po koži jezikom bogova i uzdiže do meseca do mlečnoga puta Ja popiću ga! i progovoriću jezikom bogova i postaću k a p TALAS reka v i r kiša ti oni (da l’?) Nećeš me videti, jer pojavnost je iluzija a voda je nevidljiva voda je neuhvatiljiva voda je nesaznatljiva voda je nezaustavljiva Kao bogovi Ne plivaj predaleko voda će se povući i kopno će postati živo blato na koži žig a vodu u očima isušiće sram

Painting by Katja Topalović - acrylic on canvas 80 x 60 cm


The Master by Nenad Kalabić from Obrenovac Translated by Nikola Mihaelj Ross He tried to bind together the broken fragments of a Leonard Cohen record with a lock of long hair. In some realities he succeeded. This wasn’t one of them. In this one he was standing by the window, gazing at his own reflection in the dirty glass. If only he could’ve seen beyond it, he would’ve peeked into the world of a boy who fought his demons with a broom. But he was looking at his disarranged master, smiling at him with eyes that were hiding the blues of days gone by. Sometimes, in his reflection he would catch a glimpse of the master, enjoying life with wine, and books, and her. Night always brought the nostalgic monotonous sound of strings, and once again he would try to piece together the vinyl puzzle with a lock of hair, but the pieces were too little and too much alike. Then he takes a dog collar, puts it around his neck and ties himself to the window handle. His duty is to wait for his master. If he could only look beyond the darkness he would’ve seen a boy sleeping on a balcony and the rising water. But the smile of his master’s eyes is his flood. He didn’t clearly understand his orders, but he returns the cracked leather leash onto the coat hanger by the door and lays down on the black fragments that draw blood down his back. A disfigured smile adorns his face while he’s lying in a bed made out of snow. If only he could’ve looked through the window he would’ve seen a mother bringing her sleeping son from the balcony back into the apartment. But he was lying on the floor in his blood, submissive and obedient to his master. In one of the realities she was lying next to him and her black hair was falling over his shoulders. This was one of those realities. The record was quietly crackling while Cohen was slowly reciting his words which were becoming reality. The two of them were silently staring at the wall and their chests were tightening. Cohen was doing the talking for them.


Pokušao je pramenom dugačke kose da poveže komadiće razbijene ploče Lenarda Koena. U nekima od stvarnosti uspeo je u tome. Ovo nije bila jedna od njih. U ovoj je stajao pokraj prozora i posmatrao svoj odraz u prljavom staklu. Da je samo mogao da vidi iza, zavirio bi u svet dečaka koji se metlom borio protiv svojih demona. Ali on je gledao svog neurednog gospodara kako mu se smeši očima koje su krile žal za danima koji su nekada bili. Ponekad bi u svom odrazu uhvatio belsak gospodara koji je uz vino i knjige i nju, uživao u životu. Noć je sa sobom uvek donosila nostalgično monotoni zvuk žica i on je ponovo pokušavao da spoji slagalicu od vinila pramenom kose, ali delovi su ponovo bili suviše sitni i suviše slični. Onda uzima ogrlicu, stavlja je sebi oko vrata i vezuje se za kvaku od prozora. Njegov zadatak je da čeka svog gospodara. Da samo može da pogleda iza tame video bi dečaka kako spava na terasi i vodu kako nadolazi. Ali osmeh očiju njegovog gospodara je njegova poplava. Nije baš najbolje razumeo njegove reči ali vraća povodac od ispucale kože na čiviluk pored vrata i leže na crne komadiće koji puštaju krv niz njegova leđa. Iskrivljeni osmeh mu krasi lice dok leže u krevet napravljen od snega. Da je samo mogao da pogleda kroz prozor video bi kako majka unosi usnulog sina sa terase nazad u stan. Ali on je ležao na podu u svojoj poniznosti i krvi, pokoran svom gospodaru. U nekoj od stvarnosti ona je ležala pored njega i njena crna kosa mu je padala preko ramena. Ovo je bila jedna od tih stvarnosti. Ploča je tiho pucketala dok je Koen polako izgovarao svoje reči koje su postajale stvarnost. Njih dvoje su u tišini gledali u zid i grudi su im se stezale. Koen je govorio umesto njih.

Jelisaveta Vićić - multimedia

WRITERS Aleksandar Veličković lives in Obrenovac. He is studying language and literature. Emilija Stojanović was born in 1992. She is a literature student at the University of Belgrade. She lives in Obrenovac. Mirjana Narandžić was born in 1992 in Belgrade. She is studying literature at the University of Belgrade. Books. Theatre. Film. Music. She currently lives in Obrenovac. Nenad Kalabić was born in 1988 in Belgrade. He is a psychologist and a psychotherapist in training. Sometimes he writes short stories. When he is satisfied with them, he publishes them on his blog. He enjoys running and cycling. Currently he resides in Obrenovac. TRANSLATORS AND WORKSHOP LEADERS Veljko Miladinović has worked as a journalist since 2005. His articles, interviews, and reports on political and social issues have been published in the daily newspaper Press, as well as NIN and Pressmagazin weekly magazines. He is one of the co-founders of Nedeljnik magazine where he works as a journalist, literary editor, and the editor of the online edition. Miljana Protić graduated from comparative literature and literary theory at the Philological Faculty of the University of Belgrade, she’s been working as a freelance English translator since 2010. She has worked with several cultural and scientific institutions in Serbia, translating works from the fields of history, sociology, philosophy, art history, etc. She is a member of the Association of Literary Translators of Serbia. Dana Todorović studied drama in New York and Indianapolis and obtained a B.A. in Drama Studies in London. Following her studies, she spent six years working as a translator for the UN. Her first novel, Tragična sudbina Morica Tota (“The Tragic Fate of Moritz Tot”), was published in Serbia in 2008. It was shortlisted for the Branko Ćopić award presented by the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. She also writes books for children and her second novel will be released with Geopoetika in 2015. Nikola Mihaelj Ross is a translator, writer and cyclist from Belgrade, Serbia. His translations span from the technical to the artistic. Constance A. Dunn is an American writer residing in Serbia. Her published work spans topics from urbanism to fiction. Her first novella, “ApartFrom”, was published in the USA in 2013. She is the senior essays and articles editor at The Missing Slate, a literary and culture journal based in Pakistan, a regular contributor to the Prague Revue in the Czech Republic, and a management consultant to various art organizations. She produces a podcast series interviewing Balkan artists called “On the Couch..”. She was once a professional actor and performer under a different name. ARTISTS Jelisaveta Vićić was born, lives and works in Obrenovac. Her field is sculpture and multimedia. She teaches art in an elementary school. In her spare time, she volunteers in the community. Katja Topalović is a painter and visual artist. She lives in Umka,a suburban town set on the banks of the Sava river, therefore water becomes her constant inspiration, with its reflections, optical illusions, and underwater flora and fauna. Beside painting, Katja makes decorative illustrations mostly inspired by Serbian folklore and Slavic mythology. She works in Belgrade. Aleksandar Todorović is a painter and artist born in 1982. He finished the Faculty of fine Arts in Belgrade, Serbia in 2007 as a master in the field of painting. He had more than 30 exhibitions (group and solo) so far in Serbia and abroad. He exhibited his works in Bulgaria, China, Austria, England, Greece and France. He has won several international awards, most notably the Beers Contemporary Award for emerging art, and his works were published in the Thames & Hudson book “100 painters of tomorrow” in 2014. He is also one of the founders of the art group C4, he lives and works in Serbia and the US.