Heyoka’s Workbench


Thanks to Axel for telling me about the Croatian mini-series »Podrucje bez signala«. It’s available in the media library of the European TV channel arte under the title »The Last Socialist Artefact« (which is not a translation of the original – and wittier – Croatian title).

The six episodes tell a straight but all the more compelling story. If I were to sketch out the main theme I’d say it’s about people whom history and circumstances have left cheated, forgotten and insignificant but who unexpectedly get a chance to reconnect to a past when they or their parents were not meaningless. It’s a tale about the industrial worker and the pride he takes in his work and the things he builds – irrespective of the ideological yoke that’s forced upon him.

Westerners who’ve fallen in love with their own self-painted picture of the countries and people in the former Socialist bloc as a wretched conglomerate of sloth, inefficiency, ignorance, and failure might be surprised to learn that there were and are bright and skilled and diligent people there …

(The sketch shows Janda, one of the key characters.)

Quick sketch of Janda, a main character in the series “The Last Socialist Artefact”