The Visionary

It was a beautiful day in spring. Three women were sitting underneath a tree, overlooking the city of Skopje in – then Yugoslavia, Macedonia. It was one of those dull lingering moments, enjoying each others company, playing with the fresh grass, feeling the soft breeze, the sun, touching their faces through the leaves high above their heads, whispering.

Then a man passed by. From afar he waved at them, then came closer and asked: “Would you like your future to be told?” They couldn’t believe what they just heard. With amusement they asked him how the thought to do this trick? “Well”, he said, “I’d only need one hair from each one of you, then I’ll tell you your future.” If it was that simple, they thought, then what would it cost, if they only pulled one hair from their head? And so they did. All three of them. Thus the visionary’s words, years later, became reality. Until today, Dafina can’t understand how on earth, this man, held their future, with only a gaze at their hair, in the palm of his hands…

1962, Skopje, Macedonia (FYROM). Dafina portrayed together with a good friend.
Written and directed by Ilse Frech '13 Women, December' is a narrated slideshow (2’53, 2012). Performed by Leili Yahr, recorded at the sound-studio at HEAD-Geneva, Switzerland.

The poetic text based of 13 Women, December, is written upon the story of Dafina, my mother and the other women, co–workers at the time, and gives an account of their journey and personal experience of leaving their homeland, Macedonia, in order to work in German textile-factory BAWI, Wilhelmshaven. None, except one, would return to Macedonia and remain living in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, until present.

The photographs shown in the video belong to the women, of which some originate from the BAWI archives in Germany. Produced during the MFA HES-SO Contemporary Artistic Practices – WORK.MASTER program (2011-13) at HEAD-Geneva University of Arts and Design, Switzerland.

Wilhelmshaven, Germany, 2012.
Wilhelmshaven, Germany, 2012.
Wilhelmshaven, Germany, 2012.
Wilhelmshaven, Germany, 2012.
Project

…Und dann habe wir uns hingesetzt und haben wir schön unter dem Baum so Schatten gehabt, weil es war ja warm ne… und da kam ein junger Mann, wo der herkam? plötzlich war er da.. war echt unheimlich für uns. Und dann meinte er… darf ich mich bei euch setzen? Und wir, ja… wir waren – weißt du, jung, am kichern weiß du (lachen), alles so jung und so.. mal gucken ….und wir… die Mädchen interessieren sich.. wo wirft er die Blick, aber er interessiert sich auf uns überhaupt gar nicht… Er sagte: “Weißt ihr was? Ich kann sehen… ne?” Was? Wie bitte? Das haben wir gesagt, haben wir rum gekichert … “Doch ihr könntet von euch jeder ein Haar von eurem Kopf abnehmen, und dann reibt ihr das in der Hand und dann lese ich euch aus der Hand”. Dann habe wir so gesagt.. will er uns verarschen oder was? Und ich weiß nicht, wer zuerst war… Da hat er tatsächlich uns gelesen aus der Hand und er sagt zu Sveta: “Dir steht eine Hochzeit vor die Tür, ein blonder Mann steht da und der holt dich ab”. Dann waren wir wie … ähhh? Das kann ja nicht sein!

Dafina, Wilhelmshaven, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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