July 20, 2020 – A few months ago, in the wake of the spread of Covid-19, each and every one of us found ourselves in a crisis, when we had to stay home in order to protect ourselves and others.
Lockdown has distanced us from our usual social contacts and patterns and forced us to look at the same view each day. In those times various groups and initiatives have emerged on social networks, where people from all over the world started sharing their views. The former manager of booking.com for the Central European region and one of the initiators of running tourism through Run Croatia project, Iva Hafner from Zagreb, saw a chance to continue traveling and give each other support, even though it was not possible for us.
“During the pandemic, various groups and initiatives were created on social networks, in which people from all over the world started to share their views from the windows and balconies. Back then I was in contact with my longtime friend from Subotica, Slavka Antić, and we talked about how great it would be to connect people from the former Yugoslavia by letting them virtually peer out of other people’s windows anywhere around the world. As soon as we opened ‘Pozdrav s mog prozora’ (‘Greeting from my window’) on Facebook, we started receiving fantastic photos and testimonies from all over the world. We couldn’t believe that people from our region who live in Alaska would send us their view or from the deck of a ship in the Atlantic Ocean, where they got stuck because they could not travel home due to the crisis. An avalanche of support and positive emotions started among the members, which additionally encouraged over 60,000 members to join within just 3 months of forming the group. We may not be allowed to travel, but we can always fantasize about travel. Technology is enabling us to connect with each other in authentic ways, so we can build up positive anticipation for the times when we will be able to travel again.” says Iva.
From view to the wall of a neighboring building to the views over the pools, from big cities to jungle, from beautiful gardens to the top of the mountain… each view is a story with emotion that sends a spark to the world. Thanks to these views from all over the world, that our folks were sending, we could travel, even when it was not possible. A large number of processed images and maintaining the group itself requires a lot of time, energy, attention, and love. From the very beginning, friends joined the project, volunteering in shifts to approve hundreds of pictures a day: Dragana Vilus (Subotica), Iva Bencun (Zadar), Miljan Brašanac (Vienna), Damir Subotić (Arnhem), Goran Pleše (Poreč). But the group didn’t just stop at virtual socializing. Since the measures were relaxed, the founders have been recording live meetings of members – in the south of France, in Florida, in Mexico, in Greece.
“We listen to the dynamics in the group and we take note of the wishes among our members. So naturally came the idea to launch a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the book, which will be a valuable testimony of the times we live in and a positive clue for future generations. Our plan is to organize traveling exhibitions with the possibility of meeting members live, and the plan is to launch a website, through which members could contact and arrange visits. We recognize the great desire among members to go on trips when the borders open. They are delighted with foreign and distant, but also with our domestic destinations, which serve as a reminder of the times when they traveled and explored. Friendships are also formed, as between members in the south of France, who are already agreeing to see each other live. That is the charm of this group, that the members feel at home in a large colorful neighborhood, which has become a large extended family in a short time,” says Iva.
This is one of the great examples of community building and excellent tourist promotion of the destination because it is an authentic individual way of promotion. Thus, one view from the window from Dubrovnik attracts thousands of likes from the region and the diaspora with a great desire to visit this destination, when we start traveling again. The group has recorded over 5 million enthusiastic comments so far, which shows a high engagement and an interesting opportunity to create the image of the destination.
You can support their book publishing project, as a valuable testimony to the times we live in when we have not lost our sense of beauty and togetherness. Part of the funds raised from the campaign will be donated to charity for those who need it most.
How you can support “Pozdrav s mog prozora”
Your contribution will help us finance costs of 7.000 € that we need to raise in order to publish the book and build the website. Book will be published by ourselves, on a voluntary basis, but we need your help in order to cover the following costs:
- book production (hard cover, 300 pages, edition: 1000 pcs)
- print, design, lecturer, editing
- book promotion through local travel exhibitions with the possibility of members meet up
- extra costs, crowdfunding fees
- donation to humanitarian causes that we support in Serbia “Budi Human” and in Croatia “Ljudi za ljude“
Book and project content
Book “Pozdrav s mog prozora” will bring striking author’s pictures as well as stories of our folks from all over the world, taken in time of the global pandemic. This global crisis has shaken us through, but like any crisis, it represents an opportunity for better and more sustainable initiatives for a happy and fulfilled life. In this book, we would like to explore further what gives us strength and inspiration to move on, in time when circumstances are a great challenge to us – both on a collective and individual level. Our plan is that book sees the light of day beginning of February, 2021.
More ways you can help this project
Share this campaign with your friends on social networks and by e-mail
We believe you can help us so we can together leave a positive trace and reach the goal to publish the book “Pozdrav s mog prozora”
Thank you all for your support! ❤️
(Written by Iva Hafner)