Migrant Poetry – Anthropological Analysis on the Collection of Poems by Drago Trumbetaš

  • Ana Banić Grubišić Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade
Keywords:
Drago Trumbetaš, migrant poetry, gastarbeiter’s self-identification, „Poems of guest-workers“ (Gastarbeiter-Gedichte)

Abstract

The subject of this paper is a thematic analysis of a bilingual collection of poems by Drago Trumbetaš entitled “Poems of guest-workers“ (“Gastarbeiter-Gedichte“). The poems in this collection were written during his stay in FR Germany from 1969 to 1980. Drago Trumbetaš (1937–2018) was a versatile Croatian self-taught artist and a member of the first wave of Yugoslav economic migrants who went to “temporary“ work in the developed countries of Western Europe in the 1960s. During his stay in FR Germany, Trumbetaš worked various low paid physical jobs and his artistic expression was strongly imbued with personal migrant experiences. Almost all artistic work of Trumbetaš (series of drawings, novels, plays and poetry) is devoted to depicting the life of Yugoslav gastarbeiters. After determining the prevailing topics on the collection of poems, an analysis of their meaning will be undertaken through the anthropological, sociological and historical literature on the phenomenon of “temporary workers abroad“. Poetry of Trumbetaš has been interpreted in the broader context of the “migrant poetry” development in FR Germany since the 1970s. Particular attention will be paid to analyzing the ways of poetic self-representation of migrant workers, the ways of articulating identity through poetry in a new and different cultural and social environment respectively. The problem of using literary texts written in the first person, which are therefore shaped by the subjective aspirations of individual authors, as relevant sources in ethnological and anthropological studies of migration is problematized in this paper.

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Published
2020-01-05