My smile and my pen are my weapon- Leila A. Balázs

My smile and my pen are my weapon

8th International Youth Media Summit

01-06 August 2013, Belgrade


Our third day was very active, although the hot weather slowed things down a bit. We returned to the hotel with many new and useful experiences in terms of film shooting and the ways in which people treat each other. I was fascinated by the sound effects and their implementation in the film making process.

The only problem with the Summit is the food, that doesn’t meet the expectations of Hungarian cuisine, nor any kind of cuisine. Without salt, it is not only the food that has no flavor.”Lejla

This morning arrived with a cool breeze at last. It felt surprisingly good to feel fresh at this early hour. Each morning we have to hurry up to get prepared and be on time for the presentations, because the “reward” for being late is having to sing or dance, in front of an the audience. Most people choose both, thus setting the groundwork for a good atmosphere, which can be seen on everyone’s face’s.


Halfway walking down the street, we met with the German group. After having watched our short film, they had their heads down, trying to avoid eye contact. The truth is, the film we made on the Roma Holocaust has become my favorite. They were all amazed while they were reading the English subtitles. They were really moved. As they later said, they cared so much about our memorial tribute, that they considered our short film their own. As if it was shot in the memory of all of them and their families. I could see teardrops rolling down some of their faces, making a soft, yet significant sound as they fell on the floor. Their appreciation was afterwards expressed in applause, respectful handshakes and a hug from a Swedish girl who still had tears in her eyes. I think, the excellent work of the Sheja team and their trainers, has achieved its purpose.


This morning, equipped with my loveliest smile, I waved to them (the German group) from the other side of the road, showing them everything was alright. I have no reason to feel angry with these people. Why should they be responsible for the insanity of a former dictator? Why walk with their heads down? They are just as much victims in a certain sense as we are, Roma, non-Roma, gays, Jews.

I transmitted my secret message and it reached its goal. The last day we took part in role playing games. It was interesting.

My language problem seemed to be less of an obstacle: I had an interpreter. I tried to comment on everything as much as I could. I liked the performance of ’the sounds’, too. It was presented by a handsome Serbian man, who showed us short films and longer film excerpts in order for us to better understand. It was a wonderful day. In the afternoon we discussed with Dragana, (the only other Roma girl from Bosnia) the interview for the next day. Now that I’ve documented the events of the day, I can lay down my head, rest and enter the world of dreams.

IMG_5531Leila A. Balázs

Participant of the Buvero women’s Media camp

University student in Debrecen