When I arrived in Berlin in July 2020, between the lockdowns, and after living in Zagreb for 8 months, I had a long phone call with my mom. It was almost a year since I left Romania and we last saw each other. We were both sad that were not able to meet again very soon. During our talk, she said: “you know, at least you live in Berlin now, and I can send you once in a while a package with food from home and this makes me happy”. Her words touched me, and made me reflect on the connective routes between the East and the West, and that she was right. Thanks to all of the working force coming from Romania to Germany, it was easy for her to send food packages to her son now.
Like everyone else during the lockdown, cooking became part of my daily routine and I embraced that every day, asking myself when did my mother have the time to cook, go to work and raise two children. Coming across “Who Cooked Adam Smith's Dinner?” book by Katrine Marçal, I decided to make visible all the work that my mom was happy about.
Looking to preserve the shapes made by my mother's and sister's hands, I documented each handmade package without opening them. Inside there was homemade jam, smoked meat, zakuska, sarmale, pickled watermelon, and other treats.
Monuments of mothering, care, and love.
Sculptures produced by my mother, Liliana Brăteanu, together with my sister, Ioana Brăteanu, sending me food from my hometown, from Bacău to Berlin.