Click here for pictures: Raman Mundair - Mobile Snapshots

(taken on my wee mobile phone so apologies for the grainy quality...) 

the Zagrebi crew in Macedonia The Croatian Posse larging it in Macedonia.

(Mima Simic and Marko Pogacar)

Turkish border control at night Border control Turkey (from Greece) where some of us were unceremoniously dragged to a wee outbuilding in the middle of the night to pay for visas which I'm not entirely sure we needed...?!

  sign at Skopje station 2 Brutal Bahaus-ish archetecture at Skopje Station.

the luminescent Mima   The ever luminous and entertaining Mima.

(Mima Simic)

The last of the noble gentlemen poets - EFE Efe - the last of the gallant poet-gentlemen, Skopje.

(Efe Duyan)

smoke trails Macedonia to Greece - glimpses from a train Swirling, smoky skies. Glimpses from the train from Skopje to Thessaloniki

  the city lights laid out before me - Skopje at night 2 Skopje, Macedonia - the evening sunset bled blood red and night fell like a stone into the deepest blue.

Word Express train at Istanbul station Istanbul,  emerging from the Word Express train at Sirkeci Station

me with a tired butterfly head Butterfly head bowed and tired - another hotel room in another town in another country and surrendering to exhaustion somewhere between the East and the West.

Raman Mundair

MIMA SKOPJE Marko, Efe, Natasha and Mima at Zagreb just before we boarded the 'train to hell' - where we travelled for 24 hours (with a brief spell in Belgrade) to Skopje without berths in a wee stinky carriage. We started to joke about how we were 'so over' inter-railing and that we may have misjudged the project and actually it was some sort of Satre-esque 'No Exit' or Big Brother social experiment. Well, we emerged at the other end intimately aquainted with each other's feet, exhausted and stinky but still pals. :0)

night train to Istanbul The only train journey where I had a berth - woo hoo! The train from Greece to Turkey. Waiting for border control.

minarets in the near distance Skopje Macedonia, From a distance - two lovers and a minaret.

Mima taking a picture of Marko at Skopje station Skopje station and Mima shoots Marko.

on the waterfront - the white tower Thessaloniki Greece The white tower, Thessaloniki water front.

Mirt Skopje Mirt - Slovenian poet-philosopher

MARKO EFE IN SKOPJE Marko and a tired Efe.

Sashka Efe Igor Macedonia Saska, Efe and Igor, Macedonia

Marko an his little furry friend   Yes... things got so desperate at some points on the Word Express train journeys that we took comfort where we could... Marko turned to his furry friend...

CISTERN BASILLICA ISTANBUL Istanbul and the beautiful and atmospheric Cistern Basillica where one of the readings took place.

Greek sunset01   Snatched Greek sunset

. Belgrade city centre Belgrade, Serbia. This city has a real mix of architecture, some impressive, some brutal, some melancholy. Lots of facist/anti gay grafitti stained parts of the city. After Belgrade talk turned openly to war on the train. Precious and emotional stories were shared generously.

EFE ZAGREB Saska and Skopje. 

its all a concrete and steel blur - the insides of an Eastern European station Efe paces the platform as we wait for yet another train. We're all a bit blurred by this point...

in the wee wee hours Me - tired and emotional and having 'The Shining' flashbacks in the red-carpeted corridors of the hotel in Skopje, Macedonia!

Raman Mundair

Greek sunset02 Greek sunset, Thessalonik

film installation on anti gay facist violence Belgrade Film installation in Belgrade. This was a very powerful piece of art. Two screens: one showing footage of recent Gay pride marches in Belgrade and Zagreb where anti-Gay, homophobic violence was rife and tolerated by the police to a certain extent. Blood on the streets. Highly emotional. Juxtaposed with screen two where the artist (whose name I've unfortunately displaced.) has filmed the same spaces, this time peaceful, idyllic even, occupied by solo dancers who mimic/role play the physical aggression and violence from the marches. Very, very powerful. Mima and I end up talking at length about realities of being Queer and out in the Balkans. 

Greek Cafe on the border with Macedonia with the lovely fragile faced girl and her grandma and grand Border control Greece. This is the perfect cafe. The place where 'fragile faced daughter' served me while Grandmama and Grandpapa looked protectively on. I could have stayed there for hours.

bombed out Belgrade building Bombed out building in Belgrade - in the middle of the city centre - gaping and melancholy. A piercing reminder of the recent history of the landscape.

ARISTOTLE GREECE Aristotle on his perch near the water's edge in Thessaloniki.

anti gay graffitti Belgrade Anti gay graffitti, Belgrade.

Thessaloniki Greece Thessaloniki, Greece - Became fascinated by the real mix of architecture here. Efe (an architect, as well as a poet) switched me onto it - his head raised high, constantly grazing the skyline looking for new shapes and forms. This picture isn't a good example of the best building in Thessaloniki, but it an example of the best photo my poor, wee, under developed camera managed to take on the day!

the ever gallant Efe bag minding at Llublijana station Efe bag minding at Lublijana Station, Slovenia.

(Efe Duyan)


News

'I like to use the languages of the various arts – literature, music, theatre...I think that is the spirit of the modern global era.'- poet Ivan Hristov spoke to SJ Fowler of 3AM magazine about the evolution of the contemporary Bulgarian poetry scene.

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Cosmin Borza discusses the work of Romania's 'Generation 2000' poets, including Radu Vancu and Claudiu Komartin in an essay at Asymptote.

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At the Sofia Poetics festival, which was organised by Word Express participant Ivan Hristov, Scottish based poet Ryan Van Winkle caught up with fellow festival guests SJ Fowler and Tomasz Rózycki. To hear Fowler and Rózycki discussing their work and reading some of their poetry, listen to the Scottish Poetry Library podcast here.

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