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10. Macedonia


The power of sense

What to say about a country you would like to talk about for weeks while visited only a few days? Macedonia was the last country that separeted from Yugoslavia, and didn't really wanted to. In the old days, when war was only a thing overreacting people were talking about, Macedonian told me that war was only selfdestruction and not a thing to mention because it could become a selffulfilling prophecy. I had put my aims in visiting Macedonia again but as you know, things go slow and Balkan people force you to take a lot of time. So I went slow, learned more about the region and never made it to Skopje again because the war already started. Later I could not go there unless taking a plane; I was refused visa for Serbia for some time. So I did it with Macedonian music and stories by Macedonian I have met during all those years.
Now we're here again. Several newspapers waiting for us, people speak about books and art, we listen live music all night long. They catch my serbo-croatian bosnian language but I have a hard time understanding them. It seems they like it that way.
At the country side we meet people more reserved as in Bosnia for example. But it is just a small thing. Here you need to make more selfinitiatives and if you do so, the hospitality is like everywhere in the Balkans. With that difference they do not start speaking about girls, cunts and other useless jokes. With Macedonian serious jokes work better.
After Skopje, Veles and Gradsko we visit Bitola, and ancient and very lively town where we make an appointment to get back with Dutch musicians next year. We finally end up in Ohrid near the Albanian border. A typical border town with a border that is only open since a decade. Ohrid and the region is extremely beautifull and it was an excelent touristplace in the days of big Yugoslavia. Now borders and the fact it is unknown make it more difficult for the tourist industry. However, with such a beauty, such a mentality and such a modesty trouble will not be for ever.
So we make a small report about this small country and hope to return like we did in other small countries.

(November 2003)

We returned regularly in 2013 and 2014 and created a complete selection of Macedonian artists. It is availlable here online but bu need to present it to the audience. the selection contains a wide variety of Macedonian artists. It also expresses the strong cultural heritage this country is crrying, and it shows the reflection of the people, represented by these artists, towards a failing state and a future without beginning.

See link to Macedonian selection of artists.



Name : MKC, Skopje
Objectives : Preview presentation

Through my personal history I was very, very much longing to see Skopje again. There is great music, there is enough sense to keep the radicals isolated, there is great people with excelent skills and education. There is a Balkanflavour with self made elements.

Name : Skopje remembers
Objectives : Preview presentation
date: 26 July 2013

It was 60 years after the devestating earhquake that struck Skopje and destroyed an lage part of the city.
It might have been throught the solidarity of the world community that Skopje has such a great sense of being a community together.

Name : Natali Nikolovska
Objectives : fantastic support

kilometer : by truck and by plane, by bus and by feet.


Name : Dnevnik
Objectives : meet musicians
date : 2003

Supported by a very nice journalist from this newspaper we have also met Skopje on different ways. Here we have an appointment with Stefce Stojkovski, excelent kaval player and nice man.

Name : Local newspaper
Objectives : information in the Netherlands

See our press site


Name : the team
Objectives : saying goodbye
visiting in October 2003

Gerard has traveled with us for several weeks now but he has an appointment in Albania. Rob drives the most straight road to the border of Iraq and will follow the road through Greece. Martin needs to work out a painters workshop in Albania and later needs to take the road through Istanbul. So here we say goodbye to each other for a while. Within some weeks we will meet again in Turkey with another guest.


Name: Bitola
Objectives : get concert for JJB

In order to get in touch with this country for a longer time we visited Bitola where the youth organization has invited us last year. We like province towns.