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‘Na rucak kod bake i deke’ *


Sunday afternoon,

a residential street in Novi Sad.







Cutlery clinking against plates,

the only sound present on the street.


A sound,

a trigger,

a memory,

a feeling.


Memory of a moment passed,

of lunches had,

of the plates.


A lunch

A conversation

An occasional nap.


Repeated again,

a couple days later.


6 months of repetition,

turned into a ritual.


A vague idea of a project,

turning into a series of lunches.


2 days i’d cook,

2 days she would.


Making up for the time lost,

due to migration, education.

A better future.


Obsessive documenting,

trying to preserve a moment in time.


As if I could sense how quickly it would go.


There are many things I miss,

but these lunches I miss the most.


A ritual,

a home.


My grandma,

the warmth.


Simple recipes,

made from memory.


Year of making the same dishes,

over and over again,

turns simplicity into a craft.


The ways she would make them,

no recipe could replicate.


You need the person

to make it whole.


Her hands,

her touch,

her care.


When she died,

this ritual went with her.


The physical touch is gone,

but the memory remains,

bringing back emotional warmth.


So it lives on in my mind,

to be relived in a different space and time.


Perhaps one day,

i will be lucky enough to make this ritual

as special as she did.


A ritual turning into a passing ritual,

and a tradition is made.




* ‘Going to lunch and grandma’s and grandpa’s’ is what it roughly translates to.

The poem ‘Na rucak kod bake i deke’ was originally created for the first issue of Finger Food Magazine. The poem stems from an ongoing project, started in 2017:  ‘Jedan dan kod bake i deke’ (translation: One day at the grandparents’) which explores my grandparents' memories and our relationship. 

What started many years ago as an exercise in mapping their memories associated to space, quickly turned into a deep observation of a relationship and its legacies. It explores how memory is manifested and preserved, as well as what role rituals have in forming what we remember or value.

The poem became a starting point in creating 'Kutija Uspomena' (Memory Box) in 'The White Box'. This installation combined objects, photography and sound from 'Na rucak kod bake i deke’ as memory triggers. The sound played stems from the original interviews conducted with my grandparents with a background sound of clinking plates. 

Memory Box Sound
00:00 / 06:15
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