This educational and cultural symposium celebrated the humanist legacy of inventor Nikola Tesla – through a program embracing art, music, science, history and dialogue about international relations, leadership and peacebuilding across borders.
Participants were from France, Serbia, India, Portugal, Turkey, Croatia, South Africa, Botswana, Cameroon, Albania, Greece, Russia, the United States of America and more.
‘THINKtent welcomed people aged 16 to their 60s, from a wide range of backgrounds. Professors talked philosophy and productivity. We all revisited the imaginary life of the village – a slower time, where work and life and connection seemed to mean different things. A young woman explained how it feels to have already moved house fifteen times, across two continents – an older man asked if she was married? We explored ‘thought garbage’, barbarians, colonisation, the contours of the soul, the ‘superhuman’ literature of Wongar, Sarajevo 1992, design, culture, Cyrillic, memory, Plato, Protestantism, anti-politics, hell and climate change. We communicated in English, Serbian, French, Russian and Spanish, and without actual words. We con scated the distraction of a young man’s tablet device, and he read a poem instead – one he’d composed himself, listening to music – about identity and greed.
‘We travelled to the imagined land of Lativia, we tasted sweet and seductive strawberries from Montpelier, we floated down the Danube, we played with our common and glorious humanity across time and place and borders. A thunderstorm trapped us in the tent – pitched directly under the television tower bombed by NATO in 1999 – filled with wildflowers picked from the roadside near Šišatovac monastery, a place of legendary inspiration to Nikola Tesla. Love multiplied.’ – from ‘THINKtent Tesla’ in The Essential Nikola Tesla: Peacebuilding Endeavour (Tesla Memory Project, UNESCO Center for Peace and TESLIANUM Energy Innovation Centre, 2015)