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Nonna – Carolina Dutca

noun [ feminine ] /’nɔnːa/
grandmother, grandma, granny

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

Before your death, you wanted someone near. I held your hand in intensive care when your liver failed and you had only a few hours to live. The last thing I heard was, “let me go.”

After your death, I found your personal diary. There were moments when you felt too lonely, despite your close ones. There were moments when it seemed that you loved this life like no other, while other times you did not leave the house for weeks, absorbed in apathy.

At home alone you made earrings from old beads, ones 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 my 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.

I work with photography, video, installation and text. Born in the Transnistria region in 1995, I studied art and documentary photography at the Academy Fotografika, Saint-Petersburg, Russia. My work explores the themes of relationships, home, nature and memory. /

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