hand-painted metal


Mar 2023 - Romanian National Literature Museum


Mihaela Caravan


Ira Efremova

Back in communist Romania, children in kindergarten were ‘’rewarded’’ for their good deeds with a paper dot (red or black) pinned to their chest. The red lapel was offered for learning long patriotic poems or being able to read ahead or learning faster than the other kids and the black one for misbehaving and even for being a bit slower or simply different than the other kids or not following the imposed rigid rules.

I personally didn’t get many red dots. I was a generally shy kid, dyslexic (as I found out in my 30’s in Germany) and not very happy about the demands at that time. The patriotic poems were far from my interest and I was a very slow reader and learner.

Looking back I realise how damaging this system was for the kids’ self-esteem, confidence and generally further development in life. It took me quite a while to accept the fact that being different doesn’t make one inferior to others and that it is a beautiful thing that is worth being accepted, celebrated and loved.

I believe that each of us deserves to wear a red dot as a symbol of acceptance of the imperfections that make us so beautiful.

The pins are made of metal and hand-painted. The price of a pin is 15 € and the money raised from this project will be donated to Children of Savinesti. For orders please contact me directly.

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