This has existed in this form my entire life. It's a box from 1966 that contains a ring that has darkened a lot, which my mother bought for my grandmother for her birthday when she first started working. I wanted to bring it because only my grandmother wore it in her life and when she died, my mother put it back in the box and it stays in it and periodically comes out if we want to talk about it. This object is important to me because it illustrates well the relationship between my grandmother and my mother since they were extremely poor and as far as I know my grandmother had this ring and before that the wedding ring that my mother wears. But somehow in my family the women managed to give each other very precious things, not necessarily in the form of objects. My grandmother bought my mother a new stojadin because it was important to her that she be independent and drive. It was never clear to me what the calculation was, but I also watch my mom find solutions as a single mother. It's as if these gifts have some element of magic and magic that mathematics does not have. That ring was not the most important thing to me until the earthquake came, when it occurred to me that all that porcelain and glass balls were for pine, that maybe I would have nothing left but this . What is indestructible to me in all of this is my relationship with my grandmother, and if someone asked me who is the most important person in my life, I would say my grandmother, even though I have never met her. My grandmother died long before I was born, but I live with her all my life thanks to my mom. Through all these stories, she managed to transfer that love to me and my grandmother is always alive for me. This is the main reason why I write, because if the stories are told well enough, they are the best way for those we love to stay with us and move on with us to others.
This item belongs to my mom's mom. She passed away when my mom was 17 years old. They lived in Bosnia. Grandma got married because she wanted to be a housewife. She was happy, although she later said that she would have been happier if she had worked. She got this clasp from her godmother, I wear it as a pendant and I guess it's the most beautiful thing she had had. Grandma and her were very different, so it's interesting that grandma left it to mom. And now she came to me.
I brought a gingerbread mold. It's a mold from my great-grandmother. It was made by an artist who was madly in love with her but she did not marry him. It's a mold from 1913. That mold has been passed down for generations, and my mom used to make gingerbread with that mold, I can't wait to start using it too. It's crazy, it’s a thing of incredible beauty and yet the fact that it was given out of love, it’s wonderful. Now I am also in some way connected with all these generations of women before me, and with that love and care for those who come after you.
I brought a photo of my mom in which she was photographed as a girl. Smiling, sitting relaxed on the grass, beautiful, slender, smile, hairstyle. She was very careful about the way she dressed. I see it's a coat with matching shoes. She is actually beautiful, young, happy, a person who has hopes for life, expects a lot from life.
I chose the wallet as a symbol of financial independence that my mom always instilled in me and my sister, that we must be independent, that we must have our own money and that we must not depend on anyone. I am grateful for that.
This is one of the few things I still have from my grandmother, my mother's mother. I don’t know why she had it, it’s not for self-defense, she didn’t even wear it, but I decided to keep it in our family.
My mother sent me to that school, I was afraid of what I would do, I am not a craftsman. But over time, I fell in love, I worked for a while in the People's Handicrafts, so it disbanded, and we did that for Zagreb and for Germany. When it disbanded, I got fired and I did it at home but then I got married and stopped. And now I have the will again, I don't see well, but I like to work. My late dad built me that little loom, I keep it, I would never give it, and when I die, whatever happens, I won't be there anymore.
This is a photo of my dad in a partisan uniform sewn for him by the fighters of the Sixth Krajina Brigade. He was born in 1936, he was four years old. They are from Bosanska Krupa and when they were on the run, his mother lost him. He went along with the partisans for two years until he met his mother again. In front of him you could neither insult nor hurt a woman, he constantly showed his gratitude especially to his grandmother. In these crazy times and with everything related to my life I often remember that as children we were raised in the spirit of anti-fascism and that´s inside me.
I brought a very dear object, and that is a photograph of my granddaughter, son and daughter-in-law. They are my dearest and live in Ljubljana. It’s not far, but we had a little hard time visiting because of the Corona virus, although my son always finds a way to see me. And I brought a boomerang too, because those are my stellar years, the 8 years I spent in Melbourne, I keep that as a dear memory.
I got this item from my grandfather even before I was born. Grandpa didn't know they were two girls so he only bought one and I won this because Ena got one dog toy from another grandfather. It means a lot to me because I feel safer with him.
This medal reminds me of friends and everything from karate. We worked in a team and won it together. For me it is a symbol of friendship.
I chose one stone that I took recently on Petrova gora, as I love hiking very much, and I took it for my mom because she collects stones. It's great for me that they have those boulders at home, I know sometimes they take a boulder, it is kind of memory of where she was. I took this one just for her because it’s reddish. I don't take it every time, it would be a lot of stones, but when one catches my eye then I take it for her.
This is me at the time when I was a partisan, I am proud of that, I show it to everyone, I don´t care what people think about it. I fought for freedom.
I chose a leash from my newly adopted dog. Considering that I last held a leash 15 years ago when I had a dog, this one took me back to my childhood and symbolizes freedom, movement and some kind of mindfulness that I am now learning from Istra.
There is one strong sentence: "Don't be just an audience, don't let life pass you by." That sentence pulled me out of the audience into the field in my early 30s and I realized that the difference between the impossible and the possible lies in our determination. The decision was to go to the World Championships in orienteering in Venice, which is a real maze for this kind of sport. It is a sport in which, in principle, one does not go for a medal, but for running into the unknown on unknown terrain in the shortest possible time. The challenge is every wrong step, but every way to the goal is an absolute victory. It’s a competition with myself and I was ready for it. The ranking in that competition was better than expected.
This book is very close to my heart, although there are many other books from my childhood that my mom or grandma read to me at the time. This is the book "Dear Oliver" by Mirjana Mrkela, a writer from Zadar who visited us in 2015. Whenever I look at the signature inside, I always go back to those six years back when the librarian told me that the writer wanted to talk to me. I had a feeling I was dreaming. We talked, it was my first time hanging out with a writer, and we even found that we had a common trait because she was blind, and I had one psychomotoric disorder as a child. Every time I look at that book I have the feeling that my heart is beating, when that memory comes back to me.
This space in which we are now and in which we will remain, abounds in objects from five years ago. And that's why I chose a letter from my friend from Split that in a way shows that transition, the change, the attitude towards my twenties, my life in Split. Everything that connects me to Split, but also everything new that we built in this apartment. And all that transfer of thoughts and feelings is in that letter from my friend Katarina from Split.
This is a book with old Korcula costumes. There is also a section with designs, not to be forgotten. Some skirts and dresses were for the church, some for the cotillion, some for the dance. I sent that book by the little one, going to second grade, to give to her teacher. She photocopied everything, asked how grandma remembered that, and I don’t want our tradition to be forgotten.
I brought "Dalmatian cookbook", it was the most popular cookbook at that time, by Dika Marjanović. That's what my mom gave me when I went to Switzerland, she didn't know we were coming back. "This is so you can cook for your husband and father-in-law when I won't be close to you to give you advice."
I chose Kairos, Kairos is god of the happy moment. It was found in Trogir, in 1928, when it was determined that it was very old and only a piece of that relief was found. My mom always loved that Kairos, we had that relief at home. Mom, my sister and I have that necklace, that pendant. And Kairos has an interesting meaning related to Greek methodology, it represents time, but a time of happy moments.
I really like books, and this one is my favorite. I got it while I was in mourning, and in this book one actress was writing about her husband, he also died early and that’s all she describes, this grief. I know it by heart, it's already torn I've read it too many times.
I got this Aloe vera as a gift from a client and that Aloe vera has been growing, developing and flourishing for years. There is so much life in that one plant, even when I am a stepmother with its conditions, we move, it still grows. There is no no for her, there is only yes. This plant loves life so much that when I look at it, I really feel empowered.
I have had this teddy bear since birth. Dad brought him to the hospital when I was born, at the time the bear was bigger than me. All my life, whenever I would move, I would carry Bubi too so he is with me even today, home is where Bubi is. Probably because it’s the only thing left for me as a memory of my dad from my childhood.
This ring reminds me of my mother. I brought it with me from Syria. It helps me to see to World optimistically.
This is a notebook I made. It´s called "Universe is playing with 70 stars". That was a gift to my grandmother for her 70th birthday. I wrote it as a journal, from me to her. So, things that happen to me and some nice notes. I binded it all in a book and it means a lot to me. Everytime we read it together we cry.
I didn´t bring what I wanted and that is a braid my mother kept, the braid of a person we all called nanny, she was my mother´s aunt. I think I carry her genes. She was a teacher, not married and brought my mother here and put her through school. Otherwise my mother wouldn´t be who she is now. She lived with us and was probably the most important person in my life although she died when I was in fourth grade of elementary school. She was incredible, remarkable person who dared to be different. She was so tender, kind and gentile, those are the only things I didn´t get from her. I cherish, even though today I have a lot against the church as it is in Croatia, I still wouldn´t give those rosaries she always picked in the quietness of her room and prayed
This is my grandmother´s scrapbook, my mother´s mom. It dates from the 30´s of the last century when she went to primary school, she only finished four grades. A part of her is in this, even grandfather´s drawing. She married late but she didn´t care about anyone´s opinion. We have a bond in her love for literature. My mother resented her for not letting her go to school, she picked her older sister for that so my mum had to earn for her books herself. Besides, it´s a scrapbook from World War II when her two sisters went missing. They were taken to the building of the museum which used to be a prison and now I work there. It´s kind of like we closed a family circle although we didn´t really, because the sisters were never found.
This is a part of a key chain which is a bull with a football. This object connects two of my most important people, besides family. My best friends Tea and Goran who got it for me. Tea and I took that object when we were learning for an exam filled with latin terms for plants, animals and so on. Then we named that key chain bos primigenius fudboliensis and it became our good luck charm which we share. Whenever one of us had an exam, a big shooting or opening we always carry the bull with us for good luck and to be with each other. We literary call and take it from the other when we need it.
This is Schubert. I took him in with my children 10 years ago from a woman because he was not full bred. From that moment I started to become free. I took Schubert to park three times a day and made friends with other dog owners. Although my husband used to say nobody will be friends with me because I´m complicated and a nagger. I found friends there I spent New Years´ with, 20 years younger than me. At the time Schubert took over some of my allergies and became sick. When he felt bad I walked him, cried and talked to him about my problems. When he felt it was enough, he was 10 years old, he died on my hands. He did his mission, I moved, divorced and now I have a new adopted asylum dog. But Schubert always stays with me.
My mother and grandmother were both extremely attached to one object. My grandmother had two of those. She gave one to her son and one to my mother. One left with her when my mother left and the other stayed with me as a memory. It´s a rosary. Not because it´s a rosary, it´s a symbol of trust. That´s faith, connection. We don´t share that connection within women in the family anymore but when my mother was born I was already in her and so was my daughter and granddaughters. I learned a lot from my grandmother, she taught me to make my first steps in the nature and all she learnt from her female ancestors. They told me I idolised her but I didn´t, she was special.
I got this doll when I was less than two years old. It´s my favorite toy, I sleep with her. I have many things for her, like wheels, pacifier, carrier, a helmet and a dress she inherited from me from when I was as little as she is now.
My grandmother made this sweater 40 years ago for my mother when she went to college. There is a story there, very emotional for me. My grandmother sacrificed a lot for my mother to go to college. She was illiterate, her father decided that the sons will get educated while she took the role of a housekeeper. I think she never recovered from being illiterate, many years later my sister and me taught her how to read and write. I find it touching that a person who couldn´t write gave us what she could with her hands. This sweater is made out of wool and it´s in perfect condition. When I wear it I am aware how much care and dedication is knit in it.
When my friend died, he was very young. His parents had no money for a monument. I made a book with his poetry, people didn’t know he was writing. So we raised all the money, he lives on in the book, and for me it was actually the first humanitarian project. I’m writing too, I’ve published two books already, and now I’m working on a book that would empower girls. Everything I collect with the book, I donate. Now we have collected 3345 euros for the girls, so that they could go to school. The book presents me with the alchemy of Love. Love turns everything bad into good. Gosh, for me the whole life is one big School of Love. We have all come here to progress in Love. Some repeat first grade all their lives. They can also be directors, but what does that mean to them, if they are unhappy? Where do I see myself in 10 years? Well, not climbing up the food chain biting others to fall down. I would like to be in the spiritual landscape of spring, joyful, deep in my roots, embraced by grace and peace. In this way, my children will start living from a higher level, raising the collective vibration. This will ultimately determine the fate of the world.
This is a small hourglass which goes for exactly 3 minutes. It´s usually used to know that you have to brush your teeth for that long. I chose that object because it beautifully symbolises the passing of time. But I have an unusual story about my grandmother and that object. She died last year, she was 95. We had a complex relationship, she was always harsh, distant, cold. But what´s interesting, when you get some time in life, people do change. After she turned 90 my grandmother got softer and we made friends. For the last five years of her life we spent time connecting. We knew she was going to die, her body was shutting down. On the night she died I was brushing my teeth and I turned the hourglass. And what happened was that a little grained of sand stopped it halfway through. It was a mystical experience to me and I dare to think of it as more than a coincidence.
When my mother died I was cleaning her things. I remember this pen very well because every day when she came home from the factory she would count how much she earned that day. It´s more than 50 years old but still works.
My daughter is a father´s daughter in many ways. When she calls, she calls for him and I get upset. She´s a girl, what do you see in dad? I know, I have a bit of a temper. Sometimes I say to her, Klaudia, shame on you for not calling me for a week. When I call her she is in a hurry, and we don´t get to talk. She talks about football with her dad. And those are long conversations. She could talk to me about music, but dad is dad. She is more of a father´s girl. Although I think of her as mine.
My mother got this certificate when she came from Slavonija to Zagreb. One time we had guests and that was the first time I saw that she needed to have a permit to stay in the city.
I decided to take this object because I love stones. I love rocks, I love hiking. That´s a certain symbol of nature which is also a bond with my mother and my child. What I love about stones is their shape, almost every stone I brought from my travels or the ones I found on the street has some kind of shape. I have sort of an altar with special stones. By the stones I also have a tree or a leaf, everything that´s connected to nature.
This little cloth is soft and I like to take care of it. My mother gave me that cloth when I was a baby. I sleep with it and I only leave it when I play.
These are my family photos, this is me when I was a child. My father is a photographer so I have a lot of those. I cherish them because they remind me of moments when we were all happy. I was surprised when I saw the photos I chose, all of them are from our summers in Brač where we don´t go anymore since my grandparents dies. I probably chose them because of a sense of nostalgia for the time when we were all there and some kind of an inner peace they always remind me of.
When I take this scarf which my mother knitted herself, I can feel her and that warmth which only a mother can give. This scarf is more than precious to me, it radiates her warmth, the thing that I sometimes need so much.
I got this as a wedding gift from my office friends 65 years ago. It´s unique and those were the first things made out of ceramics that we had in our country. I am always taking care of it so it doesn´t get broken, I am so attached to it. I don´t use it anymore, I keep it as a memory. It was important before to serve the coffee in that special way. That´s not important anymore.
I got this bunny from my father when he came back from a trip. We are almost always together, when I learn how to read, I read to him.
Dildo was a natural choice that represents what I do, not only because I believe that the women only need themselves to be happy. And in that sexual regard, I believe that a woman who finds herself sufficient can be satisfied in sex with a man, and that we need both sex and masturbation equally. And that´s why dildo is here, as a symbol of female independence so she could, being independent, easily give herself to a man both physically and emotionally if she chooses to. Also, dildo stays up even after the sex act.
She was in the pound only four days, I got her photo and couldn´t stop looking at her. When I told my grandmother about her I knew that was it, I have already made my decision. She was timid, neutred, in stitches. I didn´t even know what dogs eat but I brought her home. We went to the meadow and I told her, look girl, I understand that you might want to flee but I don´t want to keep you on the leash so please let´s listen to each other and be good. And that´s how it started, we go to work together, we take walks together, we are very happy and love each other a lot.
This is a pearl necklace which I bought when my friend died. When my Mirjana died I was looking at this pretty necklace in one store, I thought it was beautiful. But I kept telling myself that I don´t need it and that it´s too expensive, there are more important things I should save money for... When she died I went there and immediately bought that necklace. I believe that when someone dies their love stays with us and when I put that necklace on I feel like that love is hugging me even more. That neklace is not only a reminder of her love but also that it´s important to put yourself first.