The other day I met with a person from Fylkeskommune, responsible for the Oslofjordfond. It was an unexpectedly interesting and open meeting. It was amazing to observe (again and again!) how sincere and interested “people” are, here in Norway. I have been describing some times ago how welcomed (and even exceptional) I felt when I first started to seek for a job here. Here again, I felt the very positive and supportive attitude of the people towards the institutions/projects seeking for funding. For 2 hours and a half, she was giving me precise tips and very interesting advices on how to better apply, how to increase my chances to get the fund – getting almost eager to show me some paths or to avoid some others.
I am genuinely amazed since I have been witnessing for long the exact opposite attitude! Specially within the European Commission some years ago. At that time, I was working in the EU in Brussels in the Culture department which was called at that time “DG X – Culture Unit”. We were a small group of people, civil servants, senior experts and a bunch of younger consultants – like myself – working on the ancestor of today´s culture programme called “Kaleidoscope”. It was 20 years ago and it was only at that time that the European Union treaty had allowed culture to be treated as a community competence and gave it the appropriate legal base. Among all our tasks, we had to receive people who were starting to understand that they could access there some kind of money. I remember very specifically a group of Romanian visitors wandering in the corridors, having met for some minutes a colleague of mine (a cold-blue-eyed luxembourg girl, long legs, tall neck, blond hair with no smile to be found anywhere on her face or on her body!); she expedited them in an 8 minutes fabulous length explanation of how the programme works, gave them a pack of papers to read in english (they were french speaking) and pushed them gently out of her office pretending she had to go into another meeting. So out they were, chatting as low and discreet as possible – how discreet can a group of 6 lost Romanians be in the long echoing corridors of the Commission? I remember going out to meet them, asking if I could be of any help. I remember the glimpse of hope in their eyes specially one of them, Emil Boroghina who I would meet again in my next professional experience – with theatre. He was so happy and relieved to meet some smiling brunette offering them a shelter and some more time and information in this scary and restrictive environment.
Maybe it is just my distorted memory, maybe I made a very romantic film out of this event, but this new experience with this woman here and also because I am reading the magnificent and inspiring book by Sir Ken Robinson “The Element” made me aware of when a discussion is really creative, when people are really working with a creative mind, without blocking or protective energies, everything is sooooo different.