Listen to podcast: Kitchen Conversation with Marta Sulima

Parcelpaedia Dossier - A speculative medical file on Italy Syndrome

Marina Sulima is a Moldovan visual artist currently based in Groningen, the Netherlands. In her work, Sulima creates absurd worlds with their own logic, bizarre categories and uncanny physics. Playing with reality and fiction and using non-humans as actors allows her to bring unique insights about our living-together-on-a-damaged-planet.

In fall 2020, Sulima graduated with cum laude and with Minerva Prize for design from the Minerva Art Academy in Groningen. Her graduation film Parcelpaedia responds to Italy syndrome – a socio-medical term used to describe a type of depression experienced by Eastern European women who work as caregivers in Italy. The movie features Dr. Cara, a fictitious physician who examines care parcels sent back home. The short film invites the viewer into an absurd world, where objects are alive and active in the Moldovan-Italian immigration.

During Kitchen Conversations, Sulima reflects on her work Parcelpaedia and the way it relates to her own upbringing as a child of an immigrant family. The immigration of Eastern European women (mostly from Moldova, Romania, and Ukraine) to Italy is a drop in the ocean compared to the global immigrations happening at all time across the world. Nevertheless, by telling a story close to her heart, Sulima hopes to create a space that allows an open and honest conversation about the complex phenomenon of immigration and its inevitable after-effects.

Parcelpaedia - poster

For us, the kitchen is not just where we cook, it’s a dining room, a guest room, an office, a soapbox. A space for group therapy sessions […] It’s where ideas were whipped up from scratch, fantastical projects concocted.”

Svetlana Alexievich, ‘Secondhand Time – The Last of the Soviets’

In the Western education system, the Eastern European narratives are often neglected or highly underrepresented. The podcast series Kitchen Conversations provides a platform for artists and researchers to share their interest in the post-Soviet part of the world. Through art to politics, the podcast invites the listener to explore and learn about the often stigmatised Eastern Bloc.

Parcelpaedia, 14’53’’ film, 2020 

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About The Author


Artist and writer. Studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and the Critical Studies Department at the Sandberg Institute. Her ongoing research relates the post-Soviet countries. In 2020, she launched a podcast series called ‘Kitchen Conversations.’

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