Tragom Rebecce West: Photo-book “YU: The Lost Country” (2)
Dju 06 S

Photo: Dragana Jurišić

Jugoslavija, sjećanje na izgubljenu domovinu

Povodom knjige YU: The Lost Country, Dragana Jurišić govorila je prošlog kolovoza za “Novi list”: “Projekt se u zapravo bavi sjećanjem o toj nekoj zemlji koja je izbrisana s mape i o tome kako su nas ovdje sve izdresirali na prisilnu amneziju. Preko noći su se promijenila imena ulica, nestala je pop kultura koja je dotad postojala. Baš kao poznati stih iz pjesme – ‘Mi smo jedna hipnotisana gomila’. Čak i danas kada u nekim ovdašnjim lijevim umjetničkim krugovima pričam o ovom projektu, česta je rekacija nešto tipa ‘što se više tuli po toj Jugoslaviji’. Pojam jugonostalgičar, što ja recimo nisam, danas zvuči poput psovke. Ali to je, htjeli mi to priznati ili ne, bitan dio naše povijesti. Ne možeš samo izbrisati jedan dio svog i kolektivnog identiteta. Meni se čini da se puno stvari samo sakriva pod tepih i iz toga proizlazi veliki broj problema u društvu”.

“Ni Hrvati, ni Srbi ni Bosanci se ne nose s odgovornošću o tome što se događalo za vrijeme rata, a mržnja se nastavlja kroz mlade generacije koje ništa od toga nisu ni doživjele, smatra Dragana u koju mržnju, međutim, nije mogla usaditi ni činjenica da je u ratu izgubila dom i nemali broj prijatelja i svjedočila bullyingu koji je njezina majka morala prolaziti zbog svoje nacionalnosti.

– Na kraju tog proputovanja na kojem sam pokušala Jugoslaviju metafizički rekonstruirati kroz umjetničku djelo, shvatila sam da ta zemlja uistinu više ne postoji. Bilo je to moje opraštanje od ideje da mi uopće treba neki nacionalni identitet. I bio je to jako oslobađajući osjećaj”.

YU: Lost Country

  “It was a flat-topped rock, uneven in shape, rising to something like six feet above the ground, and it was red-brown and gleaming, for it was entirely covered with the blood of the beasts that had been sacrificed on it during the night.” (Rebecca West); Govedarov Kamen, Macedonia.

 

U razgovoru za portal Libela, Dragana Jurišić kaže:  “YU: The Lost Country je bio pokušaj da razmrsim konfliktne emocije i misli koje sam imala prema tome što se kod nas dogodilo u zadnjih 25 godina. Po nacionalnosti sam bila Jugoslavenka – majka mi je Srpkinja, otac Hrvat. Ta nacionalnost je izbrisana kroz svojesvrsni birokratski genocid – u tom radu htjela sam saznati što se dogodilo s milijun i pol ljudi koji su se identificirali kao Jugoslaveni. Gdje su nestali? Gdje je ta zemlja nestala i što ju je zamijenilo?

Možda jedan od razloga zašto je bilo toliko negativnih komentara na razne novinske članke koji su pisali o projektu YU: The Lost Country je moj stav prema nacionalizmu (bilo čijem) –smatram da je nacionalizam ideologija idiota, ignoramusa kojima je lakše pljuvati i vrijeđati nego razmišljati. Ovdje je bitno spomenuti da ni jedna osoba koja je pisala takve komentare nikada nije ni vidjela ni pročitala moju knjigu.

“I knew this rock well. I had lived under the shadows of it all my life. All our Western thought is founded on this repulsive pretence that pain is the proper price of any good thing.” (Rebecca West)

 

Govedarov kamen, Macedonia.  It took a long time to find the fertility stone. Through the orchards and vineyards. And there it was. I mounted the rock, amazed to see blood in its crevasse. Last years’ sacrificial blood, with cigarette butts thrown in for good measure. I squatted over its bloody hole and watched the fertile landscape in the distance.

Najbitniji razlog, uz činjenicu da je navedena knjiga literarno remek-djelo 20. stoljeća, je taj da mi je dalo mapu i raspored putovanja. Počela sam putovanje na isti dan kao i ona – 75 godina kasnije i pratila sam njezin put točno u sat. Ona je bila u Jugoslaviji tri puta (1936., 1937. i 1938.) – svaki put kroz period od 4 do 6 tjedana. Rebecca West se uvijek osjećala kao Druga – bila je iz stare, ali osiromašene obitelji, majka joj je bila Škotkinja, otac Irac – tako da ni po nacionalnom identitetu nije znala gdje pripada, bila je samohrana majka na početku 20. stoljeća, feministkinja od svoje 16-te godine – zbog toga nije nikada, kao većina zapadnih pisaca, pisala o Jugoslaviji i ljudima koje je tamo srela kao o Drugima, nego se s njima poistovjetila.

Ohrid, Macedonia: On the lake’s still waters, a bird boat going nowhere. Raining all day. My shoes leaking. Sick with a cold.

Mi nismo nikada izbjegli iz Slavonskog Broda. Hrvatsku sam napustila 1999., kada sam shvatila da je ono što smo dobili nakon skoro desetljeća ratova, stotina tisuća mrtvih i milijuna izbjeglih bilo nešto gdje nisam htjela potratiti svoju mladost.  Pri završetku YU: The Lost Country shvatila sam da me pripadnost bilo kojoj naciji više uopće ne zanima. To ostavljam onima kojima je lakše ponašati se po nametnutima šablonima. Ja sam slobodna”.

 

Struga, Macedonia: The Museum of Natural History. The man that opened the door looked like an old smoked-out ham that had been left hanging in the chimney for far too long. He charged me 50 dinars. Never uttered a word. The place was indescribable. It was not a natural history museum at all; it was a ghost museum. At the entrance: a wolf, slaughtering a black lamb for the last eighty something years. A grey falcon, looking at me from the same branch it had looked at her two-thirds of a century before. Dead birds, chirping the same old song.

I remember thinking it all must be some sort of a joke.

I remember being excited and scared at the same time.

I remember how I put all my LP’s into the hallway so they wouldn't get damaged by the crossfire.

I remember that my father and my brother were out that afternoon.

I remember bullets spraying the front door of our building.

I remember hearing what sounded like someone trying to get in.

I remember my mother thinking ‘it's them’ and running towards the door.

I remember grabbing onto her until all my nails broke.

I remember meeting my neighbours for the first time in the basement of our building.

I remember thinking 'pity I met them only now when we are all about to die'.

I remember the building burning above us.

I remember...

I remember being sad about all those books my parents brought through the syndicate and never read... only consumed by me and the fire.

I remember being pissed off that I would die a virgin.

I remember when they came to pull us out.

I remember how I learned to zigzag run in order to escape sniper's bullets.

I remember taking shelter in the local supermarket.

I remember falling asleep on bags of washing powder, next to a boy I had a secret crush on (he was our local basketball star).

I remember him waking me up at 3 am and whispering: "What can I get you, Madam?”

I remember asking for ice cream and champagne.

I remember captured Yugoslav army soldiers sitting scared shitless opposite from us.

I remember Croatian soldiers handing them box of sweets.

I remember walking into our burned down apartment the following morning.

I remember feeling relief that all the mess was gone and I would not need to clean up my room.

I remember that everything melted except for a big orange gas bottle, laying in red

crackling 'coals', waiting to go off like some post-apocalyptic witches cauldron.

I remember the soles of my red converse shoes melting.

I remember walking out.  

"This river, the Drin, is clear like no other river, it is brighter than water as crystal is brighter than glass, it is visible only to the point that it can give pleasure to the eye.” 

(Rebecca West)

Sveti Naum, Macedonia: We are at the border here. The other day five men got executed while fishing. On the walls of the monastery above, the ancient saints staring blindly. Tensions are swelling like the river Drin.

On the bus to Priština, a prominent ‘NO SMOKING’ sign. It does not apply to the driver, who has been chainsmoking from the moment we drove out of Skopje bus station. Almost turned back on the border by Kosovo police. Taken out of the bus by a man who looked comfortable with his authority. My Croatian passport was of no help here. My fine Serbian name seemed to be the issue.
“Dragana,” he said repeatedly, each time making a grimace as if something unpleasant was scratching his throat. He was trying very hard to think of a reason not to let me in. Eventually, after realizing I was not traveling on my own, he relented. Still, not a great start to the Kosovo part of the journey. He was worried about my safety, he said, as I left the office. And maybe he had a reason to be?

Šutka, Macedonia: “There are two thousands houses here which means ten thousand gypsies.” “Yes,” said Gerda, her voice hoarse with indignation, “that they are thousands of them I can easily see, but the question is, why are they allowed?” “Why are they allowed?” repeated the Professor. “I don’t understand.” “Yes, why have you allowed them to come here?” persisted Gerda. “But, Gospodja, they have always been here,” said the Professor, “they have always been in this district, for six hundred years at least, and most of these people have been actually settled here in Skopje since the time of the Balkan wars.” “They should be driven out,” said Gerda, trembling with rage. She pointed at six children who were making mud pies outside a cottage just beneath us, under the care of a grandmother who had the delicate profile of an elderly Maharanee. “Look at them! They should be driven out!” (Rebecca west)

Šutka, Macedonia: The biggest Roma neighborhood in the world. Big, golden skirts flying in the wind. Twisted swings and young lovers. Toppled wedding cake palaces surrounded with shacks. You know who the kings of this place are. Mighty ear-deafening noise. Two small girls, toddlers really, are carrying a large heavy wooden chair across the road.

Set off for Nerezi monastery early in the morning. Discovered it was closed that day. A Shar-mountain dog chained to the tree, growled at us. Left for Tetovo. West described it as a handsome town. I doubt it bears any resemblance to its 75-year-old self. Arrived during Wednesday’s market. Streets full of people stepping carelessly into the path of oncoming traffic. Like holy cows in some Indian town. Albanian schoolgirls like grey birds.

Rebecca West: "If during the next million generations there is but one human being born in every generation who will not cease to inquire into the nature of his fate, even while it strips and bludgeons him, some day we shall read the riddle of our universe. We shall discover what work we have been called to do, and why we cannot do it. If a mine fails to profit by its riches and a church wastes the treasure of its altar, we shall know the cause: we shall find out why we draw the knife across the throat of the black lamb or take its place on the offensive rock, and why we left the grey falcon nest in our bosom, through it buries its beaks in our veins. We shall put our own madness in irons. Then, having defeated our own enmity, we shall be able to face the destiny forced on us by nature, and war with that. And what does that mean? What name is behind nature, what name but one name?"

(Nastaviće se/ To be continued)

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