“Here her heart hovers” as part of “My Oma”, Kunstinstituut Melly. 
photograph by Floor Besuijen


written for “Here her heart hovers”, performance by Laure Prouvost. 


My grandma (baba) lives with us - or rather we with her. We moved in after her house got robbed a couple of times. I was very little, and i only remember my mom being very upset and telling me how most if not all of the jewelry she brought back from Ukraine, Russia or Belarus got stolen.

Not all of it because i have two rings
She got in Kiev after she moved
She was the first of her family to study abroad, and shes still in deep love with Ukraine

My grandma wasn’t home much as a mother,
Which in the 60s probably wasnt great
My grandma was divorced,
Which in the 60s probably wasn’t great.

My grandma saw communism, saw the wars, saw the fall

My grandma wasn’t home much, because, my mom said, she was out until early morning playing cards at the translators’ club.
The translators’ club or the literary club or the journalists’ club. Sofia at that time was littered with clubs and associations and they were a big deal, she said.

She’d play cards until early and drink until early and then sleep a bit and work. And translate, translate, read and write.

My grandma can’t walk. Or she does, but it’s difficult. My grandma now is always at home. She plays card games on her laptop, reads and types on her laptop, and translates, translates, shes a bad cook. I don’t like her cooking at all. But she’s at home all day, reads and smokes and plays cards on her laptop. And translates.

My grandma speaks a lot to my mom and much less to me. We went out once - she took me to her book launch at a big residence in the mountain. The book she wrote was the first bulgarian-ukrainian dictionary.

I think we have more books in foreign languages at home than in our mother tongue.

My grandma wasn’t home much but i have two rings to show for it. Two rings that are too big for me and i wonder how swollen her fingers would get from translating on a typewriter all day.

My grandma used to drive. She had a car with only two doors my mom said, white, and the windows at the back wouldn’t open. She said it would be a gas chamber when grandma started smoking.

They would go for months at the sea because the translators’ club had a residence at the seaside.

After communism it got privatized.
They all did

My grandma once got a big package of canned prunes. It was from the government. Because she’s disabled, they said, it’s help from the government. There was also some spaghetti.

My grandma has the tv on while she plays cards on her laptop. It’s turned off while shes working.

When it’s on, it’s in a foreign language.