One spark is enough

public interventions 2019

ONE SPARK IS ENOUGH (original in Croatian: JEDNA ISKRA JE DOVOLJNA) is a series of 6 public interventions made in a small village Lipa located in the northern part of region Istra in Croatia. Interventions consist of six graffiti made with paint that glows in the dark – they charge up during the day and then they glow in the night.

Lipa is a village that suffered unspeakable tragedy during World War II. On 30th of April 1944, a group of German and Italian nazi-fascist soldiers came to Lipa, burned the village to the ground and during two hours killed almost every human and animal being in the village. Total of 269 people were killed. Youngest victim killed that day was a baby girl and she was 7 months old. Her name was Bosiljka Iskra (Iskra = spark). The crimes, arson and killings in Lipa are completely incomprehensible and it is difficult to even grasp the magnitude of this monstrosity. However, the death of a little baby who has not event begun to comprehend the world around her completely transcends any power of reason and leaves us in a state of shock and helplessness.

Title of the work and the main graffiti (painted on the wall of Memorial Center Lipa remembers) holds her name – Iskra (Spark). In this way, this interventions preserves the memory not only of the collective tragedy that happened to the people of Lipa, but also on one personal, specific story of little Bosiljka Iskra and her sacrifice. Sacrifices of every individual who laid down their life in Lipa in 1944 must give us the power to persevere in the fight against all kinds of opression, violence and crime.

Texts of graffiti were insipred by the authors such as Vladimir Nabokov, Danilo Kiš, Miroslav Krleža, Friedrich Nietzsche, Antonio Gramschi, Anvari and such. Every graffiti is placed in particular space in Lipa, referring to a specific place of tragedy or place where new life in Lipa is sparked. Since graffiti are written with photoluminiscent color, they fill up by day and light up by night, symbolically as a reminder that in difficult (dark) moments we must find strenght in those happier (brighter) times. The Spark that glows in the dark reminds us that there is very little needed for us to revive the fire that has been extinguished, just as citizens of Lipa have revived the whole village after the horror that struck them.

This piece was produced as a part of “Recognizing the abscence” program, which is a part of Rijeka – European capital of culture 2020.

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