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Lazar Nelkovski

Age: 17
Language : Macedonian, English, Serbian, French, Japanese
Favorite food: Ajvar

Festival New Spaces

Division of Greek and Turkey

Q1) How do you define the word “Beauty”?

The moments I feel beauty in life is when I can see people embrace love and empathy through expression of art.

Q2) What is an aspect in your counry that represents your definition of beauty?

I LOVE my country and the beauty of my country, North Macedonia, is that everyone is determined to seek their own happiness. Nobody in our country does things that make them unhappy. The “Beauty” photo is a photo that was taken in a festival that I organized on November 13th, 2021, a birthday of my city skopje. I have chosen this photo because it was the day when I seeked my own happiness. The moment I feel happy is when there is peace. It's the moment when I see people getting united regardless of their age, gender, ethnicity and social class. In addition, I believe peace will be achieved when there is mutual respect among individuals, and when people are able to express themselves without being judged. Therefore, I decided to host an event where people can express themselves through the form of art such as poetry, prose, dance, sing, musical, classical performances. I found this moment truly beautiful because it was the time where everyone was united as a whole, by expressing who they are and who they want to be. 

Q3) What is a challenge that your country is facing?

The main challenge that my country is facing is the political instability characterized by polarization between the ruling party and the opposition, allegations of corruption and election fraud, and deep seated policy disagreements. This instability had led to many protests, demonstrations and a general sense of disillusionment among the public which is the challenge that my country faces. One example is the “anti Bulgarian campaign” which is a set of allegations that we are promoting a narrative of history and identity that is hostile to Bulgaria and Bulgarians. The “Challenge” photo depicts a protest from the “anti-Bulgarian campaign”. While this photo depicts a scene of us being united to go against our government, this photo makes me feel sad because the reason why we are uniting does not come from peace but comes from violence and mutual hate. 

Q4) Are there things you are doing to help solve that challenge?

I am doing everything I can do to solve this challenge and to attain peace and prosperity in my country. A thing that my father used to say was “in order to grasp Macedonia, you need to grasp the world”. That's why I decided to go to a UWC school; to broaden my understanding of diverse cultures and experiences, and to witness firsthand how individuals from varying backgrounds can effectively collaborate and coexist in a harmonious and productive manner. Thus, I hope to bring back what I learned here to my country. Moreover, I decided to host artistic events where people from different backgrounds can come together and express themselves in the form of art. Through these events, I hope to prove that peace and freedom can be achieved without using violence and we can come together as a whole. 

Q5) What is your ideal world?

A world of peace; where everyone can celebrate their differences through art and love instead of hatred. 

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