My name is Nikolina and I am currently finishing my studies at the Faculty of Technology in Banja Luka at the Graphic Engineering curriculum.
From an early age, I showed interest in technology and disassembled things like watches to find out how they work. In my spare time, I loved to read books, so I got interested in how books were made. This is how I got into graphics technologies. I was always creative and an art lover, most of all interested in photography, so this faculty is a mix of things that I love.
You probably expect me to write about something from my profession right now, but you are wrong. This is a story about my experience in online and photojournalism training conducted by the Association of Citizens eTrafika.net as part of the project “The Power of a Positive Story”.
Surely, most of you are wondering why I signed up for something that I won’t benefit from?! But you’re wrong again.
Namely, through projects, seminars, workshops and the non-governmental sector, I gained various experiences that were not directly related to my study field, but they helped me a lot to develop myself and in the end, those experiences shaped my career path. Among other things, I gained a lot of experience in the field of PR and marketing, where I could express my creativity in addition to design through writing. Therefore, I signed up for this training.
The training lasted five months, from April to August and was organized in three cities: Banja Luka, Gradiška and Prijedor, but the lectures were held in out-of-town settlements. For example, Banja Luka participants had classes in a primary school in a place called Vrbanja. This was unusual for me because I was used to having such or similar training in some, let’s say, “a more serious space”. Honestly, it was nice to be away from the city noise, spend those four or five hours on weekends in the “colorful” classroom and the schoolyard. Everything had its charm. I miss being adventurous with my colleagues, looking for a place to have coffee in Vrbanja and listen to the stories of one of the best boxers in Yugoslavia, Marian Beneš who lived in this place.
We had 6 lectures (workshops) in the field of photography and journalism. Most things in the field of photography were familiar to me, nevertheless, it was useful to remind myself of those things. However, the most experience I gained from the workshop of journalism. I got a new insight into this profession. Journalism is not that easy at all and you need a lot of skills. It’s not all about writing and knowing grammar. The journalist investigates and gathers the necessary information. He/she must recognize a good story. Knowing what is important and what is not. To be fair, this is not even a tenth of what they need to know. Most interesting to me is that they have to know human nature, at least when they are interviewing someone (for example to recognize if the interviewee is magnifying things or lying).
In the end, we applied the acquired knowledge practically. Of course, during this work, we were not left to ourselves. We were mentored. We had to find and writing about positive and inspiring stories and people in our cities who have achieved valuable success in the business, educational, scientific, cultural, sports or social spheres. Since I love challenges, I decided to write about people who are not doing things close to me. My three texts were about an illustrator, an athlete, and a vegan cook. As for this practical piece, honestly, I hated typing the audio recordings of the interviews, but I am grateful that I became more open in communication while interviewing others.
Total of 42 texts was generated during the project, which was published on the eTrafika.net (here you can find my articles) portal and compiled into a separate magazine. I love that magazine because even though we live in the digital world, I still love to print things out. For me, a book is not a book if I can’t hold it, smell the paper and the ink. I guess it is a professional deformation as a graphics engineer.
Now looking back, as a child, when I was asked “What will you be when you grow up?”, I answered, “I will be whatever I want”.