Carolina Dutca - NONNA

Sunday Spotlight — April 21, 2019

Photographer: Carolina Dutca

Project: nonna

Artist Statement: nonna

noun [ feminine ] /’nɔnːa/

grandmother, grandma, granny

Nonna, you didn’t like being called a grandmother. You have always been a big kid, even after you are seventy years old. You had cancer twice in your bright life. Knowing about this diagnosis, you actively traveled, traveled around almost the whole of Europe. But you made your last trip alone.                       

I held your hand in intensive care when the liver failure took over and you had only a few hours to live. The last thing I heard was: “Let me go.” There were moments when you felt too lonely, despite your close ones. After your death I found your diary. There were moments when it seemed that you loved this life like no other, while at others you did not leave the house for weeks, absorbed in apathy.

At home alone you made earrings from old beads, once brought from abroad. Immediately after your death, I took both earrings and beads for them. I began to wear these earrings and continued to create new ones. At your funeral, I decided to throw one of them into the grave, because I was very afraid of losing our connection. Since then, I wear an earring in one ear only. We are born and die alone, but I still see you in dreams. You asked me to look at the sky more often after your death. In these moments, I can always hear your voice.

Are you still in my heart.

Your Caroline.

Carolina Dutca is a documentary photographer, filmmaker, and artist specializing in long-term projects on human rights. Her work involves conceptual and street photography, photojournalism, video and installation. Born and raised in the breakaway republic of Transnistria (Moldova), many of Dutca’s artworks are deeply personal - reflecting on her background and drawing on her subjects as well as her own experiences with discrimination, domestic violence, xenophobia, feminism, and social and cultural stereotypes. Two major documentary photography projects from within Transnistria have been completed recently - NO SILENCE raised the issue of LGBTQ+ discrimination and The Places of Violence investigated domestic violence. Also she has the post-media project Fem#In about women’s opinions on feminitives (gender specificity in job titles in Russian language), and two installations. Ongoing projects located in Moldova and Transnistria include Doska Pochiota (multimedia) and The Decisive Moment (conceptual). 

Sunday Spotlight is curated by Tara Wray and Zuzanna Szarek. The weekly series features work related to the mission of the Too Tired Project—to foster a community of wellness by sharing photography related to depression. To submit email us here with a link to your project. 

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