Miljana Niković.

Second Prize
Two Simple Letters

Vocal and visual poem on the joys of online dating during the first lockdown. / 2020

March 2020: in a messy and apocalyptic world, what happens if your

mind is egotistically obsessed with your love life? If you start searching

for potential lovers via dating sites? If most of them do not react to your

messages (although you see active status) probably insufficiently

stimulated by your profile? Others might agree for a walk, if it does not

rain, Saturday afternoon or next Tuesday. That does not sound

promising. Almost always, communication stops for no obvious reason,

even though everybody stays online. Attention and curiosity disappear.

Will they all remain virtual fantasies? Was it any different before the


Internet multiplies screens that become our new fragmented windows

to the outside world. Connected with anyone, anywhere, anytime.

However, isolated: alone, lonely in a cell, in a self.

This vocal and visual poem is a deconstruction of short sentences that

one is used to arrange a meeting with a stranger. Hesitant and polite, two

simple letters imply permanent insecurity, modesty, timidity — avoiding

to offend or frighten the interlocutor(s). To put a lighter tone on this self-


ironic situation, there is a conscious use of playful pop-elements, both with sound and color palette.

Miljana Niković (M.A. Architecture) is a researcher based between Serbia and Germany, experimenting with video, photography, sound, and words combining multiple languages.

She currently works on her doctoral thesis and archival video project on filmed cities through collective memories, while being involved in the academic field as a lecturer on temporary spaces.

Her first published poem in French was “Le Jeu des Voyous et des Voyelles” within the competition Poésie-en-Liberté in 2009. One of her Serbian poems, “Instructions for Successful Isolation” was selected at the 44th Poetry Festival Rukopisi in 2021. After having initiated a collective for French-speaking poets in 2020, her video-poems as well as

her first experimental short have been screened at various international festivals and cultural events, such as Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin, The Film and Video

Poetry Society in Los Angeles, Alternative Film/Video Festival in Belgrade, the first edition of the Youth Biennial in Belgrade, etc.


Comment / 2022

Inspired by various topics related to Nature & Technology, this short video-poem brings another approach to the simulation theory: what if we are all parts of a cosmic video-game? Is there any way to prove the contrary? Is there even a rational method to differentiate real from fake, and who can claim if fake is, indeed, fake?

Meanwhile, what we understand as Nature melts in front of our eyes by losing its own definition — a definition set by humans. What if the object that we, humans, tend to call “Nature”, is not at all the Nature as we understand it?

Finally, is there any rescue plan in case Nature continues to react with ecological changes towards our anthropocentric disrespect?