Up My Street is a regular feature on the Boat Mag website. We talk to interesting people around the world about their immediate neighbourhood – their favourite spots, secrets, food, and people. After heading to Johannesburg, South Africa last week with choreographer and dancer Gregory Maqoma, this week we take a trip to Belgrade, Serbia where our local, Saša Aleksandar, takes us around his neighbourhood of Zeleni Venac.
Saša is the pseudonym and studio name for Aleksandar Skoric a Sarajevo-born, Canadian artist and designer who has been living in Belgrade, Serbia for just under a year. He’s a multi-talented artist working with textiles, illustration, and graphic design. His project PAPERAL is what caught our attention.
“At the moment I am working on PAPERAL, the mask project I started in Tokyo almost 5 years ago. It’s a series of paper masks on my friends’ faces, awakening something new in them. I find that even though we literally don’t wear masks, we use our faces to seal our emotions and feelings so through my masks I aim to show something I see in my friends that sometimes they might not see or want to reveal. There is also an element of having fun, giving people a surprise because through the process they dont have a chance to see themselves until I am done placing the paper and taking the photos.”
He also hand-paints and designs textiles for his own range of tee-shirts and clothing and for others such as Zoran Dobric.
Which neighbourhood do you live in?
Zeleni Venac, Belgrade, Serbia
What is the name of your street?
Where do you spend most of your time?
Lately in my apartment working.
Where can you get the best local bargain?
At the local bakery, where after 9pm all prices are 50% off.
What is your favourite local business?
KC Grad. Aside from having some of the coolest art shows, I find KC Grad to be open for dialogue between all people, no matter where they come from. Winter they serve a mean honey mint tea and in the summer the beer is extra cool. Also the fact they are next to Sava river doesn’t hurt.
Photo via KC Grad.
Who is the most inspiring person in your neighbourhood?
An old lady from the market below my street. Her hands show what life is all about.
Where is your favourite place to go on a sunny day?
This happens to be 7 minutes away from my current place and on a humid and super hot day,
Kalemegdan Fortress becomes refuge for anyone thirsty for a quiet shaded spot.
Where is your favourite place to go on a rainy day?
Walking the streets of Belgrade, they become deserted so it’s a lot easier to walk around and soak in the environment.
What is your favourite secret place/thing?
Z`s tub on a hot day, or any day for that matter.
Where is your favourite place to eat?
Zeleni Venac fresh produce market. I love to walk around, pick the fresh veggies and fruits, meet the people and plan my next meal.
Where is your favourite place to drink?
Sadly I don’t have that, since Belgrade is still a city of smokers. I reluctantly enjoy a drink close to wherever smokers are enjoying their fix.
Is there any street art in your neighbourhood you like?
There is an amazing mural in Sava Mala area, below Kosancicev Venac, 2 minutes from my apartment.
What is your favourite memory since you have lived on your street?
3 days after I moved in and cleaned my apartment, I couldn’t believe I would be living in a salon style apartment, 1930s heritage building with high ceilings and giant windows. Very spacious and so not what my shoe box style apartment in Tokyo was like.
Photos by Aleksandar Skoric except where noted.