Make Happiness Your Obligation!

TIIIT! Inc - fotka Interview by: Emilija Georgievska

How many times have you wanted to change something about  the city where you live in? There certainly are things that you mind about your environment and you probably have various interesting ideas of how to make it a better place to live in. However, the big question here is what do you actually do to change your life and the lives of other people to better? Having amazing ideas and realizing  these same ideas are two very different processes which are dependent upon each other, but what we see today are many people who stop at the first phase and never realize what they had in mind.

Luckily, counter-examples who serve as a source of inspiration and motivation do exist and  we, as Mladiinfo, are very pleased to know such enthusiasts who truly make this world a better place to live in and who actually realize their amazing ideas. What you are about to read is an interview with an informal gathering from Skopje, Macedonia bearing the name Tiiiit! Inc. who felt the need to act on behalf of the city’s youth and spice the cultural life up by organizing a series of events that brought about a wave of freshness, enthusiasm and vigor to Skopje’s staleness.

1. Who hides behind the name Tiiiit! Inc.?

Behind this weird name Tiiiit! Inc. are Kika, Jana S. and Jana K. , three girls who are best friends and who at one moment decided that they want to spend their energy and free time  engaging with their home city, Skopje. This “judgment day” happened two years ago and since then we try to spice every season and organize at least one event in Skopje (and if time allows, even more). So far we have created seven events and we are very happy with the direction in which Tiiiit! Inc. is heading.

2. Your motto is “Happiness is an obligation!” How seriously do you take this obligation? Do you think that Skopje needed an intervention like yours?

We take our motto pretty seriously and we deeply believe that Skopje needs interventions like ours. We are talking about interventions, in plural, because we believe that our city needs them and deserves them. We are not the only an organization that offers “interventions” that make the citizens happy, in the last few years there are numerous events that are trying to awake the sleepyheads and inspire them to be more active. We hope that people will continue to visit our events and that they will enjoy them as much as we enjoy preparing them. Without active participation we won’t be able to make any changes and a change is what we owe to our city

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3. What kind of events have you organized so far? Do you have any specific concept that you follow?

In the first question we mentioned that so far we have organized seven events. Maybe we can describe each in few words. Our first event was dedicated to Woody Allen and happened in GEM club and in Menada on the 13th March 2011. In September 2011 we started our collaboration with MKC (Youth cultural centre), collaboration that still lasts. Then we organized an event as part of White Night, it was a night dedicated to David Bowie. Then followed Women in revolt, a ‘warm up’ for our last event. In September 2012 we organized an event for White Night, again in MKC. The event was dedicated to Skopje in the ‘90s and was one of our most successful events. For our next event we decided to collaborate with other informal groups and we created a collaborative happening with Skopje Casual (a fashion blog) called Film Boutique, again in Gem club and Menada, where few months later we organized the fund-raising event This is important!  for our friend Joce to continue his health treatment in Moscow.

Our last, whole-day event ‘Our firstborn is a GIRL!’[1], that was had a more serious context happened on the 8th March 2013 in MKC. This event for us represents a different type of achievement and with this event we managed to create something that we’ve wanted to do for the last two years. When you are creating something you should pass all the stages of the creative process, the idea for the event was present two years ago but this year the timing felt right and then everything followed. With the finish of the event, the hard work and the period of three months intensive organization process paid off and we gave a birth to a beautiful healthy baby.

4. As I understand, there is no organization behind you and no institution provides you with  financial support. How do you manage to organize and carry out you events?

Yes, it is true, we are an informal organization and for most of the events we don’t have any financial support. We previously mentioned that we have established a mutual collaboration with MKC (Youth Cultural Center), they are always prepared to help and support us, whether it is a technical support or other type of support. For our last event we were supported by the Open society foundation, and without their donation we would’ve had many difficulties in the realisation of the event. Our constant supporters are Kanal 103 (an independent radio station from Skopje) and Menada. We are always supported by our friends that regularly help us around our events, they deserve a special mention because without them there is no sense to continue on doing what we do.

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Photo by: Ivana Petrushevska

5. For a successful mission (and if we consider the number of visitors at your events, I responsibly confirm that yours are successful) one should own a big dose of energy, enthusiasm and even free time. What is your source for all of this, do you have any secret recipe?

For the energy and enthusiasm we have constant inspiration, we cannot unravel the location, but we believe that every one can find if they are persistent enough. We don’t have much free time, but I guess we know how to manage it. The ingredient X to our event is that we are not afraid to achieve our ‘unachievable’ ideas. We like to remind people that they should be real, and for us it means demand the impossible[2]!

6.  The last event that you ‘cooked’ in your creative kitchen was “Our firstborn is a GIRL!”, it took place on the 8th March on the International Womens’ Day. You offered a completely new way of celebrating this holiday, contrary to the traditional Macedonian way of celebrating it. What are your impressions now, after you had time to think and summarize your thoughts?

We are happy that we managed to offer our visitors a different celebration of the holiday. In our opinion we succeed in sharing our ideas and perceptions of what the holiday means, the positive feedback from the visitors proved that we need to ofer alternative celebrations with the goal of attracting more and more numerous visitors in the following years. That is why we hope that we are going to have the chance to have a second born girl next year!

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Photo by: Kristijan Karadzovski

7. Last but not least.. What are you preparing for us? We would like to know if you are preparing a new surprise for Skopje.

At the moment we are in a post-birth phase. We are returning to our everyday chores. We don’t have any specific ideas but it doesn’t take us long to get an idea and then turn it into an event. But in any case, we would be really sad to leave the city empty during summer.

So, If you ever feel unhappy about some things in your life and see there is a need for change, then try to make happiness your obligation and act not only for your benefit, but for the pleasure of your surrounding as well.

[2] Guy Debord: ‘Be realistic, demand the impossible!’

[1] ‘Our firstborn is a GIRL!’ or Прво па женско in Macedonian is a contra-analogy to the famous saying Прво па машко, saying that signifies the importance of a male firstborn, something that is still important in our society.

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