“Outcast Europe” presents an exhibition of personal items, offered by residents of six European countries – Greece, Bulgaria, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Czech and Hungary. The items carry the personal experiences of their owners and at the same time contain the impact of migration experience in the group conscience of the respective countries, and therefore of Europe.
.My blanket – my grandmother gave it to me to keep me warm when I was a baby. I and my blanket are inseparable, and from then, it was keeping me warm in the student dorm in Bitola, in the resident halls in Skopje, and now here in Melbourne. I took it with me, not because there are no blankets here, but because it reminds me of my home, my life in Macedonia, and it gives me the warmness of my parents that unfortunately are no longer with us.
Hand-made ashtray i
.In 2012, I was at my friend’s in Antakia, and there I bought this ashtray from a refugee from Syria who made these ashtrays handmade, I wanted to help him and I bought this wooden ashtray, by the way I am passionate smoker. At the end of 2016, when I moved to Ireland, until I was packing, I decided to take the ashtray, because I felt like a refugee even before going away from home, refugee in search for other home…
Traditional Belt i
.Ones upon a time, around 10 years ago, at the attic of my house in Krushevo, the long nights of one cold, snowy winter, I knitted jewelry – necklace, “kolani” and earrings. My inspiration was the shirt, the vest, the “skutina” and the scarf from my grandmother’s old robe. Two threads tearing from the heart dear, one is black, the other red, one waking scary sadness, the other desire, and brightness and famish. Then with them, knitting with еднолична низа, song of desire and song of affliction, while I knit the flax sleeve for white bride’s arm. And like “Vezilka” from Blaze Konevski, in the jewelry I knitted my feelings, love, happiness, desire, warmness that my country gave to me, to my home and the “birth fire”. With the two threads, red and black, I knitted my Macedonia. And when one day, short after I left to leave in another country, I brought the jewelry with me. People desire from what they lost, from what they do not have, from what they miss. My nostalgic view and the view of everyone that left their country is “вперен во запретаниот хрнонотоп”, in the country I am born and raised. The closeness with her, makes me happy the same as the separation makes me sad. I feel my country like part of me, proof of the existence of happy spirit that turns off the moment when they separate from “родната грутка”. The birth country is like utopia, the place for the soul and peace. The jewelry gave me power to live further outside.
.Will “chorbadzhi” (rich man) hear there in the foreign land? Far, maybe even across the sea… You are a foreigner to everyone… There is no one to speak with, to share the tears! Not one year, not two. Years and years of brutal life to pass, to earn money, to come back home until you can show your face. If I get sick, will “chorbadzhi” Jordan ask for me? Will there be someone to wipe off my sweat, to change my shirt and to cover me with a blanket?... Ah, black and bloody is our “pechalba” (seasonal work), mother? Even more bloody is the beggary, which is hunting us down! Проклет да и е коренот!... И големо има лечко нишан носи од неа за цел век!... Look what that poor “pechalba” did to us!... Man - slave! Son – slave! Daughter – slave! And the mothers, born for tears only!... This verse from “Pechalbari” from Anton Panov, my grandfather was repeating every day of my childhood, drinking rakia from this bottle, remembering his days of seasonal work. Now, when I went to seasonal work in Germany, I took the bottle that reminds me of my grandfather, of home, of the work and of the longing for home
.My grandmother’s “pindzur” prepared with mortar and pestle to me is synonym for Kavadarci, for Macedonia. The ritual of baking and peeling “chuski” (peppers), garlic pestling and all of that, was the time when everyone was getting together. Pestle is an object that reminds me of my grandmother, and trust me, she was the most Macedonian from all Macedonians.
.The first reason was the education. For my choice of studies - graphic design, besides some private faculties and courses, there is no other appropriate education here, so I had to look at the options outside of Macedonia. The fact that Greek college offered a British system of education and diploma, and even more financially acceptable than the rest of Europe, was a good reason to pick it out. Here I have finished the second year, I am over satisfied with the higher education system they offer, but also from the student life in Thessaloniki. Because of the short distance Skopje - Thessaloniki I am often in Macedonia, which makes me feel less nostalgic then my friends who are studying far beyond Skopje. The object i.e. the flag of the protests of the High School Plenum. That object will always remind me of the most positive moment of my education in Macedonia. On the one hand, it symbolizes the reason I left - education, but on the other hand it symbolizes a spark of hope that there may be some changes in Macedonia.
Portable House i
.When I left home, I did it without a final destination. I told my mother once: “If nothing changes, I will pack a suitcase and leave.” “Where?” “Anywhere!” I left for Belgrade, then I left for Athens, and then for Barcelona. These days I’m returning to Belgrade. Often I felt homeless, which is normal if you live with a suitcase and everywhere temporarily. In order to stop the panic from uncertainty and homelessness, my boyfriend gave me a little house. He said: “This is your home, now you have it and you are free.” And so, my home is packed in a small section of my backpack; sometimes I put it on the table, cooking plates across Europe for known and unknown people and learning one Norwegian to sing “Macedonian girl”.
Book “Jacksonian America” i
.In great details – It’s been a struggle for years, spinning in a “loop” without the opportunity to create something of myself or for myself in the future. I’m fed up with the Macedonian mentality. I’m tired of having no time for private life due to unhealthy working hours. I’m tired of politics. I’m tired of Skopje. I’m fed up with a bunch of different things. This book is important to me not because of what is written inside, but because of what it used to have inside in the past. :) In the past, the money I collected for moving outside Macedonia, I didn’t store them in a bank (I know it sounds stupid), but I kept them in the book.