BraLou contemplating about the future. Photo by Constanze Flamme. What about the future? Project Reflections. Branka Bajić brings us a story from her Tandem Europe journey with Malou Lintmeijer. Their partnership has even seen a new name born: BraLou! They share the importance of human connections and understanding in building projects, and shaping a better future together. My Tandem journey started in October 2017. I was absolutely lost in so many amazing stories and projects people are doing all around the Europe, and summarising what I’m doing in one minute during speed dating – oh my god, it was a nightmare! Then I met Malou. Though our theater companies collaborated in the past, I didn’t know her. She is a business coordinator at ZID Theater and part of its organisational team. In Serbia, in small independent theater companies its pretty rare to have logistic and business team to support the artistic one. Usually, as it is in my case because I’m an actress and drama pedagogue, if you want to make art, you have to build up all of your competences and skills (even those you don’t have or don’t like) regarding organising, writing applications, marketing etc etc. So, Bralou was born. First we came up with ideas for collaborations regarding projects our companies were already developing; but slowly, throughout our conversations with the Tandem team, who were sensitive and smart enough to catch the real essence of what our project and process could be (bravo Tandem!), we switched to and focused on a theme of young leaders in theatre companies, as well as on methods of knowledge transfer from senior management. In a way, we switched to ourselves. And this was the exact and real need for my company, and for myself. We are non-stop in a working mode, that time and space to reflect, (re)think, plan and even fantasise about the possibilities for the future are so rare and so precious, so when you finally have them it feels like the touch of a fresh breeze. Young people of POD. The process we’ve designed and followed during these months were quite intense and beautiful at the same time. We went back, together with our directors Karolina Spaić (ZID) and Tatjana Pajović (POD), to the very vision of our work, and through this “Autodiagnosis phase” we came up with certain important points from our personal history and the history of our companies, as well as circumstances that led to this moment and created the context in which we are now. As one of the most significant revelations during this time was that after all, when you put out everything together: the context, the turbulent circumstances, people coming and going away, the micro and macro point of view, the only thing that is sustainable is: yourself. It is also how real change can happen, through individuals who are aware of the importance of human competencies such as empathy, communication, leadership. Change that comes from the inside, but change that connects us on a human level. Therefore, we focused our work into this direction. workshop During Malou’s placement in Belgrade, we’ve created a workshop for the young people of POD that dealt with personal competencies, and we’ve tried it out also during the interim meeting in Greece with our Tandem colleagues. We have an idea on how to develop our work in this sustainable way of thinking, but we will write more on this subject some other time 🙂 This was a little sneak-a-peek into this deeply personal process of ours. We will present the outcomes and methods we have created during my placement in Amsterdam and ExploreZ festival at the end of September. We will also present it during the Conference What about the future – 18 years of POD in December in Belgrade. And the future is yet unknown, but we started to shape it together!