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Macedonia Timeless

Categories: Eastern & Central Europe, Macedonia, Arts & Culture, Film, Governance, Media & Journalism, Travel

On December 24, 2008, there was a presentation of a promotional video for Macedonia – “Macedonia Timeless.”

The video is written and directed by Milcho Manchevski [1] (an Academy Award nominee in 1995 [2]), and its purpose is to promote Macedonia as a tourist destination. The video will be aired on CNN, and a dozen countries in eight different languages. There is a special website www.macedonia-timeless.com [3], designed to support the campaign.

The video was published under a Creative Commons license Attribution – No derivative works 2.5 Macedonia [4], and the license will allow users to download and republish the video on other sites. Macedonia is one of the few countries to integrate a Creative Commons license in the internet promotion, although many countries use satellite TV to promote themselves.

The video quickly became the news of the day, and many of the bloggers posted it on their blogs and commented on the promotion and the website [mkd] [5]. Although the comments on YouTube are positive, most of the bloggers had negative impression of the video, especially when they found out the amount of money spent on its production (190,000 Euros)

When the video was suggested [mkd] [6] on the Kajmak.ot, many users commented on it. Some of them wrote:

Pero:

The video is fine from an artistic point of view, but not from an essential point of view […]

Zlochko:

I didn’t like the video also. If I may criticize a person with a resume like Manchevski, I will say that I didn’t see anything touristic in the video. Where is the village tourism, where are the smiling hosts for the tourists, where is the extreme tourism, where are the beaches…?

But, the book was a good moment. That was the most interesting thing for me.

The Arheoblog published [mkd] [7] a post on the situation with the incoming tourism in Macedonia, inspired by the video:

[…] This is a video that needs to attract foreigners to come and visit Macedonia. I’m not bothered with the fact that there are too many motives from Ohrid [8], and also from the artifacts found near this city. I’m not bothered that the Muslim art and architecture from Macedonia is not represented enough. I’m not bothered with the fact that a man who doesn’t know the religion phenomenons in Macedonia will get a wrong picture that in the country frescoes and crosses are dominating. I’m not even bothered that too many things are not included, because for a country with such a rich tradition it’s very difficult to put everything in a one minute video. […]

I’m bothered with the fact that in Macedonia there is no stable infrastructure for incoming tourism […].

Razvigor commented [mkd] [9] on the video from another angle:

For me the most important thing is that the promotional video for Macedonia is published under a Creative Commons license [10].

I think (correct me if I’m wrong) this is the first time in the world for a government to publish something on the internet in this way. Also, it’s probably the first time one director from this level, with an Academy Award nomination, to give one of his works in this way.

The campaign of the government has just begun and we'll see if the reaction of the citizens is wrong and if the video succeeds in achieving its goal.