How did the Trenčín 2026 team survive the pandemic period and how did two young people from Trenčín decide to reflect on it? See the photo story and artistic text from the Europe at Home cycle by the author Terina Barčáková (International Relations Manager Trenčín 2026) and photographer Matej Slezák entitled "Behind the window".
You can see the whole project on the page https://www.europeathome.eu/trencin.html
Photographer Matej Slezák talks about the project: "Behind the window is a collection of images that shows the team of Trenčín 2026. We managed to make use of the best safety measure there is - staying inside, while I stood in the outside garden, balcony or just in front of a window on the first floor. This made me able to capture the beauty of the work from home atmosphere without any facemasks. The element of reflection is intentionally preserved to portray the thin line between inside and outside visible only thanks to my own reflection."
I would like to tell you how hard it is to prepare a major European project during a pandemic. It is difficult, which is not surprising, but beautiful as well. I guess this can be a surprise. The cliqué, you can do anything you set your mind to'' has been working perfectly in my case. My ears hurt because of earphone overuse. I gained weight. My back aches from sitting. My windows are not clean. Pasta is for lunch again. But everything is ok because I am here. I have got an opportunity to work. In fact, I should be happy to be at home. Currently, the city of Trenčín is in the second round of its candidacy for the European Capital of Culture in 2026. In February we managed to succeed, and we made it to the next round of the most important cultural title competition together with Nitra and Žilina. Now we have a chance to change our city and the region. Even the entire country.
Joining in this ,,battle' 'is a huge commitment and a very serious one for us. In this terrible pandemic era, after a very sad year full of bad and worse news, I clearly see a light at the end of the tunnel. It is European Trenčín caring about its people, culture, city, and nature. It can be its citizens, who are both Slovaks and Europeans. It can be our disadvantaged friends sitting in the front rows at cultural events. It can be creative people working in Trenčín. It can be our communities in suburbs, but also in the city centre. It can be artists, organisations, and cultural managers who always want to do and know more. It can be the Green bridge, city of sustainable fashion, and design hub. It can be an international friendship. It can be a city, where curiosity is more valuable than gold.
It is far from ideal to work online on such ambitious plans as my computer screen can act as a big barrier. On one hand, it helps us connect with each other, on the other it also separates us. My first intention was to complain about online work because everything takes longer and efficiency is low. But after a year of the pandemic, you all know it: we are not the only ones who must/want to work under such conditions. Nevertheless, a group of dynamic, determined, and ambitious people who want to break down barriers met in the Trenčín 2026 team, and we are not alone. Citizens of Trenčín are clearly and loudly with us. Therefore, I just want to tell you - let's hold on. One day it will be over, and we need to plan and be prepared for such a world.
Culture is the plan. It is a cure which does not conquer covid, but our souls need it even more. Let's applaud doctors but also artists because culture connects even in these difficult times. Culture is a language that everyone understands. In Trenčín, we said to ourselves that culture would not work without curiosity. Curiosity is the starting point, the journey, and the goal. It is a way of perceiving the world and enjoying it. Nonetheless, a question is sometimes more important than the answer. That is why we need to cultivate curiosity.
How do you feel about this? Will you join in this exciting trip?
More about project Europe at Home - https://www.europeathome.eu