Libuse Jarcovjakova

Roma Settlement, Levoca. I have come back. My last visit here was 20 years ago. I sit in the kitchen of Anna Kokyová (84) opposite a shabby mirror in which the clock runs backwards. “Chav! Besav! Pijav!” “Eat! Sit! Drink!” she keeps on saying, and I have my fifth cup of coffee and sixth glass of juice. There is no money in the house and the coffee was brought in by the neighbors. Nevertheless, she won’t take money from me, and the groceries that I brought are only grudgingly accepted. Outside, a crowd gathers. Everyone wants to see the photos I have brought and they want to have new ones taken as well. Mothers with children all dolled up, young girls in disco outfits. They’ve become poor but their dresses have remained important to them. It takes a long time before I am done with all the photo taking, what with all the kids pushing their faces forward to be in every picture. The third day I am no longer the carnival attraction and can freely explore the place.