21 Mar With great respect, we send you our last greetings from this side, dear Dubravka
Dubravka Ugrešić entered some people’s lives as the author of the cult novel “Štefica Cvek”. And other people’s lives as a person who introduced Russian avant-garde artists to generations of former Yugoslavs. Whatever she is remembered and known for, it is certain that she was considered one of the best and most widely read writers in the former Yugoslavia, but also a person who very bravely expressed her views on today’s culture and politics.
She left behind an impressive bibliography: six novels, two collections of short stories, five collections of essays, numerous studies, editorial work on the Glossary of the Russian Avant-Garde, many domestic and European awards, a long-term teaching career at the world’s most famous universities. An indispensable part of such a resume is the fact that she was among the first women in the territory of the former Yugoslavia who, due to criticism of nationalism and collective war hysteria, was labeled a “witch”. Thanks to the media persecution in Croatia and all that it entailed, Dubravka Ugrešić was – in addition to everything mentioned above – a person who was forced to leave her home in the early nineties. And to live since then, and meet her death, in another place.
At the beginning of December 2018, Dubravka Ugrešić stayed in Belgrade as our guest. In the newly opened KROKODIL Center, we talked about media, about euphoria and claustrophobia, about false revolution and modern slavery, about women and calculators, about who we are, where we started and where we will end up… but also about her character and work.
One of those evenings, we took a long, easy walk by the Sava River. We talked anecdotally about people, funny situations in hospitals, gifts, Zagreb, children, kajmak, and birthday cakes. About parties. Dubravka knew how to rejoice like a little child. She was a child at heart and remained so until the end, even though she spent most of her life as one of the most famous Yugoslav and post-Yugoslav writers.
She left a strong and deep mark on the creation and development of our KROKODIL Association with her continuous presence through performances at the festival, through her contribution to the Common Library edition, through a series of talks and lectures; through a critical approach to our work, but also through socializing, informal conversations and all kinds of friendly and warm exchanges… She was here as a part of us, she is here now and she will remain here. Forever.
With great respect, we send you our last greetings from this side, dear Dubravka.
Yours Milena, Vlada and the rest of KROKODIL team.
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