It’s half past five in the morning and it’s party time! In a couple of hours we’ll be in the plane on our way to Berlin to write new stories for ATLAS2018. I brush my teeth, wash the last remnants of sleep from my eyes and I’m happy. Four days of hard work and toil lie before us. Four days of exciting moments, unexpected plot twists, setbacks and pleasant surprises. In other words: party time!
Of course, Bert and I came up with the idea for ATLAS2018 ourselves. We know exactly what the goal of this project is – the welfare of others; and hopefully many more. That heartfelt desire doesn’t however detract from the opportunism that accompanies this ambitious goal. Because as much as I believe that investing in the welfare of another is extremely virtuous, I think that a project like this really gets off the ground when it makes you, the initiator, happy.
Everyone from the party committee meet at Schiphol. It’s a bit of a strange group. Willem, our film director, has been a member for years. He’s married and father of two of the loveliest boys in Amsterdam. Willem isn’t really very interested in partygoers with HIV, Willem is more interested in partygoers who have an extraordinary story to tell.
Marjolein, our photographer, is a new member of the club. She is the undisputed party animal of the group. When she’s working, she’s always the last one to leave. For Bert, our producer and partner in crime, nearly every day is a party. Rare, but oh so wonderful, are his rose tinted glasses. When times get difficult he just lets me look through his glasses.
The chance to compose stories only increases the fun. A trip to Berlin, a city built on stories, really is the icing on the cake.
Now, after so many years, I begin to realise where it comes from, that euphoria that bubbles up with the start of a new project. It’s the unwritten page in front of me and the desire to fill it with the best we have to offer. With thoughts, images and stories that matter.
Mmm, barely underway and already derailed by a sentimental journey. So be it. Reality with all its daily worries and obstacles is never far away. Maybe that’s why I so enjoy going back to that euphoria; all together on the road to the next party.