Justina Kralj [1968] HR

Biography

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I am the little sister of my dead sister

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When I am one year old my parents leave me behind with my grandmother, furious, in the Yugoslavian countryside

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When I am five years old my parents come and take me to their Germany of migrant worker and leave me alone while I go through the lonely adjustment to the strange new place

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When I am eleven my father is my confidant and our nostalgia is replaced by prosperity

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At the age of fourteen I am not afraid of the use of cocaine among my circle of rich kids

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At the age of sixteen I escape to follow a course in the city, far away from my parents’ supervision

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At the age of eighteen I marry a Yugoslavian criminal and adapt to a traditional wife’s role

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When I am nineteen my husband escapes from a German prison to Yugoslavia, he doesn’t like it there, and I get him to come to Switzerland

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At the age of twenty I am living a life of bored luxury and every day I do some money-laundering for my husband’s drugs and arms trade

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When I am twenty-five my husband terrorises me with violence and death threats and I start taking cocaine regularly

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At the age of twenty-five I abort my unwanted child and try to kill myself

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When I am twenty-six my parents come and take me home and have me locked up in a psychiatric institution and my father threatens my husband

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When I am twenty-six my husband shoots his way into the institution and frees me, and I use his cocaine, alcohol, crack and heroin

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When I am twenty-six I use my power as a wife to put pressure on another dealer and accept lovers with money and drugs

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At the age of twenty-eight I lose my Swiss residence permit and deal Swiss drugs in Germany

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At the age of twenty-nine I am sentenced to five years in prison in Germany and let myself be carted off to Croatia

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While aged thirty and thirty-one I am clean, lead a normal life and am frightened

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At the age of thirty-four I deal, and use endless quantities of heroin and cocaine

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At the age of thirty-four, I follow my husband to our seaside house, am helpless in the fatalistic use of drugs and allow myself to be terrorised, raped and abused

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At the age of thirty-seven I leave my husband and start a relationship with a young Croatian war invalid

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At the age of forty I am serving my prison sentence, suffer from Hepatitis C, am clean and will sacrifice kicks for a happy family life

From a dialogue with the participant and with the aid of the matrix a biography of basic facts is developed, which portrays the person’s life as a sequence of events and decisions, of acts and reactions.

The texts of the biographies are spoken by the participants themselves, and recorded for the audio modules of the Baby Dolls and the project’s audio archive.