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I remember myself

On Mechanics of the Conformity 

Mexican Cardboard Technique 
Acrylic, feathers, hair and wood
Suomi 2018 

Muistan itseni, is a mask and video performance inspired in a poem written by Rosamaría for a collaboration with MOC Collective in 2018. This collaboration lead her to a deeper reflection, about how norms and values are introjected into our behavior since our childhood.


The poem is talking about “how society judges us and teaches us how to behave ourselves from childhood to old age not to be punished, excluded, but accepted”.

Supported by TAIKE

I remember myself

I remember when I was a little girl
my mother
brushed with her thick fingers
my bulky hair
in the mornings before school

I remember not liking those mornings
I protested her pulls
and cried at the beginning
even before starting the daily ritual

never did I protest
when my hair was being fixed
for school dances

high hairdos
very flashy
those wavy bangs
which had involved
endless pulling

high colourful buns

I remember myself
all those mornings

me sitting on a yellow chair
my mother standing behind me
me listening to the radio
her with my hair in her hands

me protesting
her pulling
me protesting
her tugging
me protesting
her pulling

protesting protesting protesting
pulling pulling pulling
tuuugging and puuulling

my eyes stretching out towards the sides of my face
towards the corners of the house

tugging -pulling-tugging-pulling-tugging-pulling

it was compulsory to follow the school rules:
clean uniforms
polished shoes
tidy hairdos


for years I protested
until one day I shut my mouth
I don’t remember what came first
learning to do my own hair
or to repeat the ritual I so detested:

tidy hair
clean and ironed wardrobe
well-polished shoes.

Mask and a ritual for a society
that judges us and teaches us
how to behave ourselves from childhood to old age
not to be punished, excluded
but accepted

Bolom 2017

Translation in English by Anne Ketola

© 2022 by Rosamaría Bolom

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