“Primarily, about a man, it should be its deeds and achievements that speak of; about his character and personality, it should be the people with whom he spends his time that speak of.”
No, this is not a quote from a book of some famous writer. The author of these poetic words is from Kamenica – Vesel Salliji, and the words are part of his answer to a question “How would you describe yourself?”. We believe that he will not agree with our label on his answer, but on his answer, you will agree that it’s one of the key messages to life. We do not judge about others, and we won’t judge to others with anything, except his deeds.
Those who know Vesel, would be surprised about the mosaic of his interests. Painting, sociology, design, science…
Portraits, Behind Melancholy – are the titles of his solo exhibitions of paintings. Have you seen Vesel’s paintings? Critics say – a unique artistic manuscript.
“There is no method by which I work. I consider myself a young artist who is still searching for himself. The motives I use in my artistic expression largely depend on my current interests, or the one that is imposed on me,” explains our interlocutor.
Sometimes, in his paintings, even the ‘cheerful’ color cries:
“In it too, you can see the pain, the suffering, the reflection of the microcosmos in which I’m part of. I express that motif mostly through the atmosphere, which is usually a reflection of my inner state. I consider that artists are not strictly tied to the motif itself, it is there just to serve the expression, which the observer will later shape in his mind as he likes.”
Because Vesel believes that art in itself is not enough for an artist to be satisfied, inspiration from other fields is necessary. His interests are directed also on ethnicity, social satisfaction, dictation of cultural trends, media…
That is the reason, he says, that he did scientific research on the topic of Roma ethno-culture in Kamenica, under the mentorship of Slobodan Miljkovic, a graduate sociologist, master ethnologist, anthropologist, and a doctoral student in sociology. He was inspired by the lack of a theoretical framework on this topic and it was needed to leave a mark behind in his community.
“On the other hand, the natural sciences must not be neglected so that we can understand the directions and actions of nature. Only by creating a correlation between all parts, and by a constant search for knowledge, we can progress and give life to our deeds,” he concludes.
Civil activism, creativity
We arrive to new parts of the mosaic – design and civil activism.
Now in a third year, in a row, Vesel has been a participant in the Petnica Research Station at a designing seminar. He is involved in civil activism and he is a member of Kamenica’s cultural shelter, Krik.
He considers civil activism primarily as a way by which he can act for the good of the whole community. He sees a wide range of his interest as a possession of wealth.
Mosaic cannot without…
But part of this mosaic is made of something else too. Kamenica is a place where different cultures, languages, communities overlap each other and coexist… Without the intention to divide based on whichever previous “criteria”, the question of trust arises itself. This smart high school student from Kamenica’s Gymnasium – Veliko Ropotovo, certainly has the answer to the question how he built it, for example, with his peers?
“Kamenica, as a multiethnic place, with all the people who live there, with whom I have daily contacts and communication, for years, is a place where I brought up to see people as people, without sticking labels on them. I hang out with my peers, as well as with people of other ages with whom I share the same habitus. Seeing that conversations with such people are pleasant, that we improve ourselves, we get to know ourselves and the world around us, is a sufficient reason to accept a person and consider him a sincere friend,” he answers us.
While we are thinking about this answer, the message from the beginning of the text, but also about the fact that openness towards others is also built by science, creativity, inclusion, engagement, Vesel makes plans. Enrollment time for a faculty is approaching, and he is starting the new year while getting prepared for another solo exhibition…
We are waiting for it!
This project is supported by the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and is implemented by the New Social Initiative. Expressed opinions represent the authors’ views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations, UNMIK or New Social Initiative.