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And ode to laundry

Nives Otaševič

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I try to do my laundry at the end of every week.

When the morning sun is touching my balcony doors, I feel motivated to do it early in the day, so the clothes and linen can get a good amount of fresh sun rays.

I can see people around putting their fresh laundry in a rooftops of apartment buildings. Probably because the awnings and the greenery on their balconies are shading them too much. Big bed linens are dancing between antennas and sun panels where they are becoming a standard part of window views.  

In our balcony we don’t have an awning because our landlord is too penny-pinching, so my washings always have an opportunity to be touched by the sun, even if I leave them inside. The shadows of clothes can play freely, without interruptions by branches of greenery.

Sometimes I’m too indolent to organize washing schedule with other room-mates and I’m postponing it until I’m out of clothes to wear. In the meantime, my laundry stand is staying open for more days as it is necessary. I like the feeling of having my clothes hanging around, where they are co-living with my other small pieces. Together they are presenting my characteristics in personal, weekly changing pop-up exhibitions.

The process of doing the laundry feels like the process of communicating with neighbours. In the mornings I can hear their washing machine. I’m guessing that they are an older generation because they wake up so early, maybe they are having a siesta in the afternoon. We are talking through smells of our washed clothes being merged into each other.

I’ve done more than 50 laundries in this place, and I have around 5 of them left. The practice of doing the laundry is moving with me and through it, I become a part of a surroundings. It is hard to define my home, but wherever I’m doing my laundry, I feel like I’m able to describe it as my domestic place.



Winner of the second prize in the A-Place : MAPPING contest "Share your experiences of domestic places" 2022

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