Co-operation and care amongst the people of the Balkan peninsular is feasible, despite the enmity that often occurs between our similar and contradictive cultures. When there is no political interference, such as in the case of art or academics, the amalgam coming out of the “melting pot” is strong as steel, valuable as gold.

The history and current situation in the Balkans often seems to be disheartening for future association and discouraging for potential fellowship between the peoples of the area. Yet, several movements take place, which are most of the times not widely covered by the mass media, still their results are inspirational for the generations to come. Such a move in the field of intercommunication and journalism is the Balkan Forum of Communication, that was organised in the town of Cavalla, on July 2006. Academics, journalists and students from six Balkan countries, with plenty of unsolved political problems between them, are the participants of this experimental initiative.

Within the four days of the Forum’s work, people from Albania, Bulgaria, F.Y.R.O.M., Greece, Romania and Turkey managed to prove that politics and politicians more often than not divide peoples rather than uniting humans. Youth from the Balkans practically speak the same language. And this is not something new, nor something surprising, since experience has proved that where official language is abandoned, fellowship thrives. Regardless the misunderstandings that usually occur among people who are obliged to stay together for a few days, nothing happened, during the conferences, to prove that national and nationalistic datum could interfere with the interpersonal relationships of the participants.

The atmosphere in the Balkan Forum for Communication was pleasant and fruitful, reminding something of a music concert, consisting of singers and musicians, with the same Balkan musical culture, the sounds of whom cohere beautifully and produce a harmonic tune. Would you consider this an optimistic estimation? A prepossession, irrelevant to reality? An illusion perhaps of the confident comment-writer? Not really since the picture described above has been inspired by a real music concert.

Back in 2003, Dionissis Savvopoulos’ Balkan Wheels brought the peninsular people together in a performance full of the essence of the Balkans, bubbling over with enthusiasm and companionship, which was evident to the final outcome. Artists from Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Turkey, sang their common tunes, their common woes, their common bliss. During the performance, the artists forgot all about discord and division and focused on the things that bring us together.

There is virtually very little connection between the Balkan Forum for Communication and Savvopoulos’ Balkan Wheels, and quite a distance in terms of time. Yet the symbolism of these actions remains. It doesn’t really matter if the first lies in the academic fields and the other in the art spectrum. What is truly important is the fact that the results are positive for the Balkan peoples, particularly because they prove that co-operation is doable, that respect for the other and affection to our neighbor is feasible. Peace can be accomplished, when interaction and partnership outbrave isolation and hostility.

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