At 3.30am we took a taxi from our hostel to the airport.  With the scent of sleep still in our hair we watched the billboards and neon signs of Sofia glide past the window. In 5 hours we would be hitting London rush hour in the milky dawn.

Experiencing a foreign city from a moving vehicle at night is filmic and loaded with emotional significance. In the past week artists from all over the world have spun a web of images, words, bodies and sounds. Some of these fragments rise to the surface as Sofia slowly disappears, but mostly I am aware of the fleeting nature of what we created together- the scattering of this web of people back across the globe. What are we left with?

After months of intense production and curation, the speed with which the festival comes and goes must leave the team feeling slightly empty, yet relieved. The truth of what we are left with, when the exhibitions are dismantled and the artists have all gone home, is deeper and more enduring than anything we can easily measure.


The questions we asked, this newly created web of people, and the images with which we express our varied experiences of being human, continue to influence the way we live our lives every day. Already, as I sit in the cool air of our little studio, munching my last few Bulgarian almonds with seagulls squawking outside, Sofia, and the Water Tower Art Fest, feel a long way away.

Such a disjuncture in our everyday lives reminds us of the incredibly varied ways that we all experience life. However, for our short time in Sofia, immersed in the thoughts and feelings of people from all cultures and walks of life, we focused on what brings us together, rather than what divides us.

A space in which to do this, at a time when the European far-right continues to grow, is more valuable than I can express. We thank you all so much for making this festival possible.

WTAF 22Raquel Esquives ‘Silhouettes’

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