INVISIBLE SIGHTS: Café Turco sister blog!

I still keep the card that Jelena Markovic gave me when we first met. It says:

Jelena Marković

Film and TV Director

I understand that in such a small piece of paper we can only write the essential informations that we want others to remember, but as I got to know her I realized that her artistic skills go much further than her chosen profession (although Film and TV Director does sound glamourous). Jelena expresses her perspective about the society in which she lives as well as her impressions on everyday life using all forms of art that she can reach. She writes, not only her scripts, but also poetry, prose and essays, both in her mother tongue, serbian, and english; she photographs, she also draws and recently she started developing the technique of collage, with impressive visual effects. For her, art has no boundaries, and she is not afraid to dive into the unknown. That’s one of the features I most appreciate in her, because i particularly dislike boundaries, frontiers and all physical or mental devices designed to keep people apart and diminish their freedom of movement and expression.
A committed artist, Jelena works with the purpose to reach an audience, but she does so in a very subtle way, so that we, her audience, may immediately feel attracted by her art productions, but only slowly will realize our their deeper meaning. I remember that, the second time that I watched her documentary Connections, I was amazed with the amount of details that had escaped me the first time. The same happened with some of her poems, and then with her collages.
I consider myself extremely lucky to have a person like Jelena Markovic as my friend. Jelena always welcomes me to her home when I go to Belgrade, and the first time I ever drank turkish coffee it was Jelena who prepared it for me. It is also a privilege and a pleasure to observe her work progressing and to discuss mine with her.
On my last stay in Belgrade, after we concluded our deep research on our favorite saint, Sveti Sloba, I invited her to join me on my blog. We then decided that it made more sense that each of us should have its own blog. Friendship allows intimacy, but also requires a certain distance, and anyway blogs are nowadays our best presentation cards so it’s better that they are individual. This is how Café Turco’s sister blog, Invisible Sights, was born.
I believe Invisible Sights is a blog worth visiting, not because Jelena is my friend, but because there we can find a cosmopolitan, uncompromising perspective on serbian society and life in Belgrade that may be very helpful to help deconstruct the prevalent stereotypes about Serbia. It is not only an artist’s blog, but really a citizen’s blog. Serbia being a country where culture was and still is so widely exploited by nationalism, I am sure that those people who think it is worth supporting the development of a civic culture in Serbia will find her blog appealing.

On the photo: Jelena drinking turkish coffee (my photo).


Filed under Art, Belgrade, Brave Women, Non-conformism, Serbia

9 responses to “INVISIBLE SIGHTS: Café Turco sister blog!

  1. jelena markovic

    Sarah, although sitting in the office, alone, at night, after the shamefull rally that has just taken place in my city, I still blushed when I read your text about me. So I quote the poem that belongs to you “Sarah, thank you, Sarah”.
    I miss your presence to discuss what/who (the hell) is crowling around Belgrade streets and what is its/their vision of future? “Who” refers to the Radicals and “what” to the flow of self-un-aware crowed, Radicals united into an ugly river that’s alive and canibal, considering human origins of it… So, I wonder, what is the furute they/it see(s)? Do they/does it have options of desired future and the one they/it fear(s)? Events like this bring out the worst in me: I look at an other human, wondering how come he/she manages to talk, when I would call him/her “it” and expect “it” to bark. I admit my shovinist thoughts, but to whom? To political opponents? About 99% of the people in my city are my political opponents, yet they do not provoke such bare and savage ideas in my head… only this canibal river does it, Radicals phisically joined together in public. Luckilly, I work on my own thoughts and deconstruct them, until I repeat for 10 times: “a human being that not only denies war crimes, but cheers to them, is a human being too”. How does it sound? And who is to help them all see? And where are the laws that will make them censor their mind before they speak it, spreading hatrage, (historic) lies, neonationalistic spirit, insults to others?
    I do miss you! I got carried away, for too long, and you would have intervened ten times by now if you were here:) but you would have had a laugh on my expectations considering barking, I know that much!
    And most important: thank you Sarah for doing such important work for my country! Your research is precious and gives me hope: not all reality will forever be forged over here, because you and only a small number of people will not allow it! Thank you!

  2. Sebaneau

    You are not alone, Jelena !

    Although the Helsinki Human Rights Committee has removed its list of authors –lest they be targeted by radicals, I suppose, here is a list of links to brilliant studies about Serbian and Serbian politics, all by wonderful Serbian women like yourself:

    Michael Totten has just published another article –on Macedonia:

  3. sarahfranco

    well, the good part of not being around is that at least nobody tried to steal my photo camera this time 🙂

  4. sarahfranco

    Sebenau, I agree with you, but anyway we should question ourselves what is it that makes a person like Jelena feel alone in her envirnoment.

    that sense of isolation is induced, so the best way to go against her oponents is to show them that she is not isolated, that they are failing in their goal of isolating people who don’t think like themselves…

    for that a blog is an excellent instrument.

  5. Lisboa, 1 de Agosto de 2008 – Lamento informar que a publicação de novas notícias e imagens no SHIPS & THE SEA foi bloqueada pelo BLOGGER por alegadas suspeitas de desrespeito das normas de conduta da “Net”, nomeadamente o fomento da actividade de SPAM!
    O BLOGUE DOS NAVIOS E DO MAR está sob ameaça oficial de ser encerrado definitivamente dentro de menos de 20 dias! Já recorri destas posições aguardando serenamente a reposição da legalidade.
    Entretanto solicito aos muitos visitantes e leitores deste espaço – e são entre 300 e 2000 por dia, que se solidarizem comigo, deixando os vossos comentários na caixa associada ao “post” mais recente ou se não o conseguirem enviando um mail para[]
    Obrigado pela vossa compreensão e apoio.

  6. Lisbon, 1 August 2008 – I am very sorry to inform thatSHIPS & THE SEA has been blocked by BLOGGER for suspect of being a SPAM BLOG and disrespect of Blogger Practice. I have been noticed that my beloved Blog may be closed in 20 days!
    As those accusations are complete nonsense we have requested an official review of BLOGGER present position.
    SHIPS & THE SEA readers – and there are between 300 and 2000 every day can help stating their opinions and comments. Those unable to post comments at the comment’s boxes below the more recent “Post” can email me at[]
    Thanks for your interest and support.

  7. Sebaneau

    What is a “spam blog”?

  8. sarahfranco

    Sebaneau, that’s a good question… I hope google, who owns blogger can provide miguel with an answer.

    In any case, I advise everyone to leave blogspot and come to wordpress, it’s much better, easier to post, quicker to upload images and much more commited to freedom of speach that google.

    also we should take care not to concentrate all internet services in a sinlge company, so if we already use google search and gmail, for instance, why should we use blogspot too?