Global Lens Reflections on life, the universe, and everything

f8 Belgrade

I don’t think I’d last long in an office. Don’t get me wrong, it would be nice to never break a sweat, to have a fast internet connection, to never get your feet wet, to not have to run through an airport to catch a connecting flight. But it would be so . . hmm, for lack of a better term . . . boring. So I give thanks for the blessing of a job that is constantly not boring.

Here’s an eight-minute look at part of a shoot in Serbia last year. It was the first of two visits to Serbia to document the life of Roma communities in the Balkans. I’ve blogged about that elsewhere, first here and then here. Before that first visit, some folks at United Methodist Communications had loaned me a little video camera and asked me to hand it to someone while I did my thing. So I recruited Jovana Savic, my all purpose Serbian translator, fixer, cultural interpreter, reflector holder, and drinking buddy, and she cheerfully multi-tasked, seamlessly weaving one more job into her already full load.

Let’s be honest: taking care of a visiting photographer isn’t easy. We carry too much stuff, we smell bad, and half the time we’re complaining about the lack of light. The other half of the time we’re complaining about too much light. But Jovana was endlessly patient and knew all the right people and pulled all the right strings to get me into these people’s lives. Although the video focuses on me, all I did was push a button on a little box. Over and over. In Serbia, as everywhere I go, the real craft is that of local folks who navigate through the cultural currents to find me the right place to be at the right time with the right people. Thanks to people like Jovana, my job is easy. And fun at times, as you’ll notice in this video.

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