America is a country of great possibilities

April 1, 2013 9:54 AM

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Alma Telibečirević, artist and PR manager

Sarajevo professional painter and PR manager Alma Telibečirević is a well-known face of BiH public scene. This freelance PR and project manager has participated in numerous successful projects, and her solo exhibition ‘Sand painted symbols vol.2’ apart from people in BiH and Austria, was also seen by art fans in the USA. For more than a year, Alma is living in the USA where she studies PR, communications and journalism. For ‘Sarajevo Times’ she talked about her life as a student in the USA, her travels, exhibitions, and further business ambitions.

By: Maša Branković

After you finished the Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo, you wanted to continue your education outside BiH. I suppose you explored different possibilities? Why the USA?

During my studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo I had a two year excursion in Venice at the Academy of Fine Arts, so the USA is not the first ‘excursion’ for international specialisations. I came here as a part of prestigious scholarship ‘Hubert H. Humphrey’ for specialisation in the field of journalism and communications. During my professional life, I felt that I’ve reached the point where I have use all the possibilities for professional growth and specialisation in BIH, so I’ve decided to try to expand my horizons and other possibilities. The aforementioned program has fit perfectly into my search so I’ve decided to apply. I’ve passed all the interviews and since July last year, I’m living in the USA. I’m stationed at the prestigious Walter Cronkite University in Phoenix Arizona.

 You’ve enrolled in studying public relations, communications and journalism. What are the conditions of studying? Can you draw parallels between studying in the USA and in BiH?

 What makes this program unique and remarkable is the possibility to specialise yourself on several levels. During 11 months, apart from studies, we are obliged to have our own lectures, to travel to different conferences in different parts of the USA, and we go through the program with 9 professionals from 9 countries which can teach us a lot, but also to show them my own professional experiences. The USA is a big country, filled with opportunities and potentials, a perfect place for ambitious and creative individuals that want to learn and to succeed. BiH is a country in transition which has problems in all spheres of life, including education as well. Here, I was amazed by the professional attitude towards students; possibilities they have, and manners in which they create professionals that have the possibility to work immediately after finishing the University. Here, a good part of education is actually practical work and field work, which is rather neglected in BiH.

 In BiH you are one the most appreciated PR managers. Do you miss your job?

 I’m by nature, very dynamic and curious person. I like to learn and discover new challenges. This is program is pretty intense, in one year of specialisation, we manage to do the job of several years. I am fine with that, because I love to me in the move and be confronted with various challenges. However, that does not mean that if I’m here, that I broke all my business relations with BIH. I’m proud to cooperate with our talented band ‘Divanhana’ (www.divanhana.ba) which currently starting a big tour in BiH and in Sweden. Also, in June this year, we’re celebrating the 10th Edition of Kids Festival, my favourite project, on which I worked from the very start. Even now, we’re working on preparations, and I’m try to be included in all that from this distance and help as much as I can.

 Is the USA really a promised land as they say?

 There isn’t really a Promised Land or perfection. It all depends on what we want and what we strive for. The USA is a country of great possibilities. I’m fine with it, because I like freedom, wideness and challenges. I believe that because of its size and true diversity that every individual if he or she is persistent enough can find a way to succeed here, which cannot be said for the countries.

You’re the author of Sand painted symbols, and you had exhibitions all over BiH, and your exhibition has been seen in Wien. And so, you had an exhibition in the USA, more precisely in Phoenix? How were the reactions?

 The USA is indeed the country that appreciates and consumes all sorts of art. I was amazed by that, because wherever I travelled I’ve managed to find plenty of art galleries that work and cooperate with famous and those not so much famous artist, but also big museums with amazing exhibitions and plenty of workshops and interactive projects. The exhibition was indeed well visited, above my expectations, and the reactions were very positive, and because of that the owners of that space have decided to keep my exhibition longer than it was initially agreed upon.

 Since you left in July last year, you’ve seen a big part of the USA, which part impressed you the most?

 I cannot say that I did not find something different and original in every part and in every city. So far, I’ve been to many cities, but I was most impressed by California, because of its beautiful natural diversity, relation towards people, towards art. Concerning the cities, New York, the capital of the where everyone can feel like it belongs there, impressed me the most. It is the city of art and the city that truly has a character and a very lively beat. Apart from New York, San Francisco and San Diego are my favourite cities. Grand Canyon is definitely a wonder of nature who beauty cannot be described by any photo. Washington DC impressed me with it greenery and nature. Seattle is the most damp and cloudy city, but it also offered me several sunny days, and I’ve enjoyed discovering all the stories of that rock’n’roll city.

 And your further plans are?

Concerning the fact that I’ve been a freelancer in BiH for the last three years, my plan are quite open. I’m currently focused in several directions, each having an opportunity to be realized both in BiH and abroad. You’ll hear more about that when the time comes.

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