Dubrovnik, Croatia is a recognized World Heritage Site for all the right reasons. It has an astounding cultural past, and it is an architectural gem of a city with amazing form, structure and history. Dubrovnik could also be recognized as a World Heritage Site for colored plastic clothespins and hanging laundry. This may seem like an irreverent or inane observation, but it was impossible not to notice these nice visuals as I snuck my way through the back alleyways, avoiding mobs of August tourists. And “mobs“ was no exaggeration.
There were myriad laundry still life compositions: quirky studies in color and texture and pattern. Contemporary textiles contrasted with ancient backdrops of stone and tile, suspended like personal flags or banners. No logos, just honest reflections of local culture. Laundry is just what it is — personal, often beautiful, and totally devoid of pretense. We don’t see it much here in the US — it goes from machine to closet and dresser or comes home from the cleaners shielded in blue paper wrapper. Click here for more laundry examples.
There is a lot more to see in Croatia than hanging laundry. Click here for examples. Color, patterns and graphic details like these pop out largely because Croatia has not suffered from the negative effects of modernization and development. Not yet. The towns were built along the seaside to accommodate commerce by sea, not road, so there are not many cars. The streets are walkable, on a human scale, and refreshingly free of commercial signage. The signs you do see are easy on the eyes and probably more interesting when you do not know the language.
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