Puno, puno, laku noć (lots and lots, goodnight). 

The story never starts at the beginning. We wake up and we realise that things have been written before us, around us, through us and after us. Our histories leave little traces in the dirt and on our faces and in our names. But they also fold, like a losing hand, leaving one less crumb to follow. I carry precisely two words of Hrvatska (Croatian) from childhood into my adult life: ‘puno, puno’ and ‘laku noć’ – meaning ‘lots and lots’ and ‘goodnight’ respectively. My sister and I would strip handfuls of tiny leaves from the poinciana tree that grew on my baka’s (grandmother’s) farm near Innisfail and throw them enthusiastically into the air yelling “puno, puno!” “Laku noć” was simply a reciprocal gesture we would chime as we went to bed. When my baka passed away I wore orange to her funeral. Orange was her favourite colour – something I only discovered after she was gone, like many other things. Puno, puno, laku noć (lots and lots, goodnight) is a practice-led research project that aims to complicate a reductive view of nostalgia and explore how its affective dimensions can be used to maintain cross-cultural connections through creative practice. Driven by a personal desire to reconnect to my heritage after the death of my grandmother in 2020, this project traces over my experiences as a third-generation Croatian and through collaborative methodologies considers how fragments of my cultural identity are reflected (perhaps even revealed) through the collective experiences of others. In the form of a photographic book, these encounters, archival sources and other visual investigations become points on a map that constellate my own narratives with those of the broader Croatian community. This connected yet disconnected dialogue speaks more broadly to notions of migration, identity and belonging as they are entangled




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Teva Cosic
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