What a fucking rollercoaster ride. We are facing week eight and all I can say is that the last couple of weeks felt almost like a dystopian movie. The safety instructions in Serbia are extreme: Few weeks ago, the government imposed a nighttime curfew during the week and an entire lockdown for the weekend. I asked a couple of Belgraders about their #stayathome time.
Aleksandar Stojanović, Curator
1. What is your favourite quarantine look?
Lounge, lounge, lounge. Over the years I could never resist buying vintage robes and pyjamas, in silk, cotton and wool – these fabrics are quite rare in loungewear available here. Spending little time at home prior to this apocalypse I thought them unused, but I was wrong. Changing robes has been essential during the lockdown, I was even passing out to bed in them. I was previously wearing the pyjamas outside, but I wear them properly inside now. It is all quite comfortable, without looking frumpy or too casual, which is psychologically essential when you’re spending all the time in a small apartment. On the other hand, I was supposed to start gym and bought work out clothes two months ago, so it is high time to use it and start moving around the house.
2. Must do during lockdown?
Disinfect, clean and work. These are the objective daily activities, especially work. Outside of those, I started doing some repressed OCD things, like organizing my clothes, I even changed furniture layout in my room, but I tend to do that anyway. Also, it was very appropriate to resume reading Borislav Pekić’s novel Besnilo, which conveniently deals with rabies epidemic at the Heathrow Airport, despite some online advise suggesting to avoid such literature. I gave up reading it due to too many characters being thrown in at the same time, and I am still struggling with that, but I am definitely motivated to find out the epidemic outcome. I am also having an activity everyone should avoid – following the news. This habit developed together with the pandemic development, but it ultimately has to do with my OCD tendencies. I am able to calm down with cocktails which I definitely suggest, because the political drama is too staged and pathetic.
3. Three quarantine essentials?
Alcohol, alcohol, alcohol. I’m joking, but not completely. Alcohol in pure or drinking form is frankly quite necessary to me. Disinfecting surfaces and my mind respectively. I have mastered dry Martini mixing, while watching Jane Fonda in Grace and Frankie, gin and tonic serving, hight tea, I even take out the fine china for everyday coffee drinking, due to more time and patience to present every drink on a higher level as a mental defence against boredom and anxiety. I am not going to talk further about drinking since it is a borderline problem for me, hahaha. Other essentials would include fresh flowers, which I do not buy frequently on normal occasions, as an unnecessary expense. However, being stuck at home it is very therapeutic to look at them all day. Finally, internet, obviously, but that doesn’t change in spite of state of emergency. I was expecting internet malfunction, but the connection has been consistent, which is important for work and communication in general.
Straja Tabaković & Mara Janković, Dim Promoters
1. How do you kill your time in these hard times?
With a knife.
2. What do you wish you had done before the lockdown?
Straja wishes he had escaped from Serbia, so he’d now be stuck in another country. Mara wishes she had got a dog.
3. What is the first thing you will do after Covid19?
Mara will never cook again. Straja will continue washing the dishes.
Mara will never cook again. Straja will continue washing the dishes.
Marko Milošević – MKDSL, Electronic Music live Performer
1. Who is your hero without a cape these days?
My hero without a cape is professor Kim Woo-joo from South Korea, the country’s leading expert in Corona. In this time of stress he, very calmly, explains his experience with infections diseases similar to Corona, while doing his best to battle it.
2. What does the policijski čas (engl. curfew) mean to you?
Policijski čas for me means business as usual. Just no parties. I usually spend my time similarly to the way things are now. Lots more time for music. I might actually finish some books I’ve been postponing. Sidenote: Marko started a new project shortly after this interview. Read more about MKDSL’s virtual lajv kafana project on Twitch.
3. What do you miss the most from the time before corona?
Sex, I miss sex.
Dekadenca, Cabaret Drag Performer
1. Dekadenca, describe your quarantine mood in three words.
Kinda like champagne – fuzzy, bubbly and a tad boozy.
2. You are a gamer-girl now? Tell us more about it.
Often times I’m not sure I get to be categorized as a girl, still I do love a mean game from time to time. That’s why I’ve chosen the title of a “Fake Gamer Girl” for myself and my latest project. Video games have been a private passion of mine for a long time now, and seeing how this quarantine thing is blurring our minds and lines, I’ve decided to share that with my beloved audience as well. You can check out my live-streams on twitch.com/FejkGejmerka and my short ‘n’ sweet video game exposés over at youtube.com/c/MotherDekadenca.
3. Whom would you choose for your Quarantine?
The very same person I would bring to a desert island – my personal portrait painter and an ex-husband, Otto Dix!
Jelena Stanković aka. Chorbika, DJ, Promoter, Label owner
1. Tell me what positive thing has the lockdown brought you?
First and most important: holidays. I can finally rest at home and get some proper sleep. Moreover, it has thought me an intense time as a couple and some new values.
2. Will you change something after the Covid19 period?
Yes, I will definitely have more gigs. Hopefully. The plan is to work at least as much as before the lockdown but I will take better care of myself at the same time. I will also value my and others time more. And I will definitely start with sports.
3. What’s your favourite Corona meme?
It’s definitely this one.
Kene Beri, (T)rapper
1. How important is the applause to you?
I think the applause means a lot more to those applauding than to those who are applauded. To me personally, it means everything. It’s something I always look forward to, it keeps me going and helps me get through the day. I just play plava ptica by Razni izvodjaci and feel like we can beat anything together #solidarity. I myself am not your typical medical worker but I do have a significant level of knowledge and expertise, and am always ready to help those in need. Many people recognize that so they applaud. I guess it does make sense. People often forget things but will never forget how you made them feel. And I made them feel safe. I am positive they all remember how I offered them a well-known perfume to protect themselves in the beginning stages of this madness. People are grateful after all. Also, SO to my biggest medical rival, Nestor zi Pulmoložist, keep tryin’ son. I AM HEALTH.
2. Who has the best Instagram stories right now?
This is a trick question. I am not going to say me. I do this for all those that are thirsty. I am here to quench their thirst. I provide. I am here for you. Stay humble.
3. What is for you the positive thing about the lockdown?
A positive thing regarding the lockdown is that you are not missing out on anything. Also having the opportunity to pour boiling water on children playing outside when they shouldn’t is a big plus.
Nađa Kračunović, Artist
1. What is the last fun thing you did before the lockdown?
I went to Bosnia with few friends in purpose to be a DJ for the first time in my life. I was dressed like a Rosalinda with red flower in my hair. We were playing the music of the pop singer Zdravko Čolić for 5 hours in front of the many Čola’s fans screaming his songs so loudly, that I can still hear ’’April in Belgrade’’ instead of the sound of my vacuum cleaner.
2. Who was your last facetime call? And what did you talk about?
COVID-19 made my realtime bday not existing, so I figured out a new plan. It is my bday and all I touch would be special, right? And the magic started – I had my bday hot bath, a nice lunch with my mum, bday dancing (special choreography) in my room, because no one enjoys their bday as I do, trust me. But the night was different because I had my first online party with 13 people meeting on the Zoom platform. Each of us was dressed according to the given topic, so we had tropical, prostitute, rich, emo, Christian and many other Zoom video cubes…
3. What’s your favorite quarantine ritual?
Even if I cry a little bit every day since I’ve been isolated, at the same time I’ve been enjoying it so much. Some Corona ambivalence, probably… First of all, I do not have to hurry in the mornings because nothing is happening outside my walls. So, I have my ritual 7TMSF (7 things morning spiritual formula): 15 min of tai chi practise, 1 pill of magnesium, Biloba 30 drops in a teacup, a shot of one squeezed lemon, some breakfast, the most black and strong coffee ever and a glass of hot water. After the 7TMSP ritual, there is no way for corona.
Marija Strajnić, Photographer and Founder of lovers.rs
1. What is your favourite picture you took during quarantine?
2. Did you learn something new during this period?
Yes, I’ve learned how to cook beans! Been wanting to make it for a long time, but I could have never find the time. Then I’ve taught my 21 month old son to pee in a potty, which is a gigantic accomplishment for both of us. Lastly, I’ve learned to not feel guilty for not working constantly.
3. How is the Corona period affecting your inspiration?
Inspiration is the same, I have million of ideas but even less time for achieving them, because having a small child inside a small home all the time is quite a challenge for not losing your mind.
Luka Nebo, Founder of Kvaka 22
1. Have you done something illegal during the lockdown?
I will give one free legal advice to anyone who is reading this, never admit to anything you have been doing or planning to do, if it is illegal. – what the Chinese brothers would say : crouching tiger, hidden dragon!
2. If Covid19 was a person, what would you tell him/her?
I would ask him where he was born, where he came from?
Whether it’s from the lab or from the bat, how much he plans to contain and whether he plans to return, to think a little and to realize that he is not welcome anywhere, to fuck off and die!
3. How is your inspiration treating you these days?
I spend the past time in the pandemic of Covid19 in the cultural center known by the name of Kvaka 22 where we are constantly working on new art projects, we also make major changes in every sense of the space itself and in its functioning of new collective.
I decided to stay in the space myself so I could continue to work on my own artistic projects, I am currently making metal lamps collection of different formats, which I will present in a “new light” after quarantine. Also now maybe for the first time in five years since I’m working and creating in this space I somehow feel that I am really using it for myself, sometimes I like the lack of people. Currently Gino Mindiola also known by the artist name “Puffy”, who has started a 3 month artist residency in Belgrade a sculptor artist from Texas of Mexican descent, resides with me. he is currently making a huge sculpture of metal in the gallery, which is currently transformed into a large workshop. I won’t reveal much, I’ll just say so much that we will have to cut the sculpture into several parts if we want to get it out of the gallery.
We are active in collecting art materials from abandoned factories and warehouses, that’s the half answer to your first question. Hopefully this will all pass soon, so we can see each other at the well known place, Kvaka 22.
Skreč Majstor Ljuban, Scratchmaster
1. What type of quarantine person are you?
I am a person in a chill zone. 😉
2. How often do you go to the fridge?
Too much, man, too much.
3. Do you feel like a cam girl these days?
Maybe some poor cam girl. 😉