MARIJA BRAUT

Imagine, I am a street photographer, my entire life and then, it comes a time when  I am simply not able to walk enough secure: Not even thinking about to hold my camera like I did, every day, last forty-five years.

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Marija Braut is not only an excellent street photographer. She has also worked as a photographer in many Croatian theatres. She took excellent portraits of many famous people: musicians, painters, actors, politicians, writers, photographers, journalists, dancers and many other different artists. She has documented a life around her for the last forty-five years.

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The only walk I can do without help is the one from the first to the last bed in this small room with only three beds. And even if there are only few meters, I am always in a hurry, not to miss another decisive moment. But nothing happens in this boring room. At least, there, you see, there is a small table in the corner. I can sit and smoke a cigarette and drink cup of coffee and I can think. Quietly. So nobody can hear me. To smoke? In the nursery home? Yes. I like to break the rules. I always did it.

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Marija Braut is a famous Croatian photographer. No, you cannot find her on Wikipedia. She was born in 1929, in Celje, Slovenia. In 1941 she moved to Zagreb where she graduated and started to study architecture. She worked with Tošo Dabac, another famous Croatian photographer. She had her first exhibition in 1969 together with her colleague Petar Dabac.

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You know what. I feel very dizzy this morning. These two ladies are rarely moving in their beds. Are they still alive?  Even if they do not like the smoke of my cigarettes, they cannot talk. Well, I cannot lose my sense of humour, just because I feel dizzy. I do not need to argue with them. I want to go outside. I want to walk and walk and walk and walk. But I cannot without a help. Let’s call one of the nurses. She might help me to put my socks on. I cannot even do that without their help. 

Have you seen my beautiful photo cubes?  With the photographs of my children. Tošo took these photographs.

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I have no appetite. And that might be the reason for feeling so weak. That is what happens when they start to give you pills. And I am not ill. Once they put you here, you start to be. 

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You know what is really funny. When I was taking photographs in the National Theatre, and it was mostly during the performances, one of the actors said to me: “Marija, walk slowly, so they cannot hear you.” He should have seen me now. I cannot be loud even if I wanted to.

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Let’s have another cigarette!

©Zoran Kulusic-Neral All Rights Reserved

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