Marija is 38 years old. She is a fashion designer.
Cultural heritage plays the important role in Serbia that Marija would like to see in the future. “I would like us to take care of our cultural heritage a little more, and preserve it in our own way, and at the same time to use the modern moment to pack it all cleverly to make it more interesting to people in the world. If we look at this through handicrafts, it is not an idea, and it is not a solution to weave towels as our grandmothers used to do and to offer them like that, but rather to design them and to pack them in accordance with the current trends and it is absolutely certain that someone will lose their heads over such things. So, we shouldn’t be too conservative, but rather open to the world, we should listen and adapt our cultural heritage to the world in the most beautiful way.”
Serbian heritage is a positive thing in Serbia, says Marija. “I think we all really need to remember a little more often who we are and where we are from, who our ancestors were and what characterizes us. We should look into what we carry within ourselves, rather than what comes to us from the outside and what is imposed on us. It seems to me that as we get older, we are increasingly becoming aware that we find many answers within ourselves. Certainly, the positive things are that we still live in a friendly, unpolluted environment, relatively healthy and normal. Also, we have beautiful wool, and this is a resource that is not used enough.”
Rapid adoption of the values coming from the outside is a negative side of Serbia. “We are easily adopting some of the values that come from the outside, and we are not aware that some things can be done much better and more beautifully in our own ways. Maybe the problem is that we’re not allowed to do that in some way. We simply cannot think much using our own heads, and it is “important” that we listen and do what we are told. If someone decides, then it is “better” for us to be cheap workforce rather than driving force. We need to be more aware that this should not be the case.”
Marija was able to weave the Serbian tradition and past into the present through her creations that represent spirit of the past, but which are not démodé by any means. She considers himself the keeper of the Serbian tradition.