Through the inscribed memories collected a cookbook and trauma healing practice (bioculinary and biosemiotics) topanalysis of South Slavic women war crimes and war survivors serves as an experiential approach to food in conflict, domestic dwelling, agriculture and husbandry.
Blood and Honey Icons are the representations of past and present life experiences, instructions passed down throughout the millennia speak of what space we occupy in navigating our journeys through our own lives. Biosemiotics adds the depth of the pedagogy of South Slavic female war and war crimes survivors social collective practices.
A portion of the proceeds go to the women war crimes and war survivors.
“Like a dream or a Rorschach test, the card and cup readings in Danica Anderson’s “Blood and Honey Icons, Biosemiotics and Bioculinary” give us something to project upon, another way to get to know ourselves. But unlike them, working with the cards and cups is a social activity, and that makes all the difference. Ms. Anderson uses this technique as well as others grounded in the women’s cultural traditions of Eastern European to attempt to lessen the pain of war and conflict, in this book specifically the pain of the Bosnian war.
The writer’s personal history has created her deep empathy for the conflict ravaged areas of the globe, especially her ancestral homeland in the Balkans. As a child she realized that the words used to refer to the disaster, such as “trauma” and “Balkan” triggered a physical reaction. Being as young as she was and not a native English speaker she turned to expressing herself through symbols and icons rather than words and thus intuitively discovered the power of symbolic thinking. She later wondered if, instead of being the holding place for terror, the symbols could be put to better use furthering insight, art, and learning. This book is her attempt to show how. Dense and multi-layered, this ambitious book is a tribute to the resiliency of the human spirit. Like the Kolo, a Slavic dance performed in a circle that the book often references, we are connected to each other and to our ancestors; Ms. Anderson demonstrates in so many ways that we need to nurture these connections to survive.” – Rob Drew
“For those interested in cultural anthropology of Bosnia, this is a goldmine. I particularly liked the inclusion of recipes and discussion of how food plays such an important role in culture. The author has worked with this population for many years and shares their cultural background – this personal connection shines through in her eloquence and obvious respect for the people of whom she is writing.” – Dr. Jeane Rhodes, Birth Psychology Editor
“I found this amazing book while researching women and war in Bosnia as part of an ongoing investigation of family legacy. I was so taken with Dr. Anderson’s approach that I asked her to do an interview with me on my blog, Gender Assignment.
From that interview, which I based on reading the book: On a quest to connect my grandmother and Zejna, the Bosnian refugee we sponsored together in the 90s—I am sure not by accident—I discovered the work of Dr. Danica Anderson, author of Blood and Honey: The Secret Herstory of Women, South Slavic Women’s Experiences in a World of Modern-day Territorial Warfare. In this book, she explores war trauma experienced by women during the Balkan War. Through recipes, and cultural customs, Blood and Honey is a book of spells for these women to heal themselves through bioculinary* arts and biosemiotic** communication. In this beautiful interview, she brings me closer to Zejna and my grandmother, and reveals woman-centric secrets to understanding the rhythms of our subconscious. From coffee readings, to Marija Gimbutas you will love the magic, mystery and healing of this interview!
* Inscribed social memory working collectively with agriculture, herbs, food crops, animal husbandry to bee keeping that preserve South Slavic ancient Neolithic Practices.
** (from the Greek bios meaning “life” and semeion meaning “sign”) is a growing field of semiotics and biology that studies the production and interpretation of signs and codes in the biological realm. As well, I started some of the culinary experiments outlined in the book, which were amazing for me. The flow of each recipe and intervention is historically and psychically contextualized, which made the cooking a wonderful healing ritual. – Melissa Potter
“The ignored cost of war is brilliantly illustrated by first-hand accounts and colorful narratives by Dr. Danica Anderson in her book, “Blood and Honey.” A forensic psychotherapist, Dr. Anderson bravely goes to war-ravaged sites to implement trauma healing for women who’ve experienced generations of savagery incurred by endless armed conflicts. Drawing from her own upbringing as a child of survivors of Bosnian prison camps, she uses cultural traditions in an attempt to soothe the many scars left by the inhumanity to women over the past hundred years in that locale. The lesson being, as told in Dr. Anderson’s own words, is that “If women say a resounding ‘no’ to male-dominated world, will it eventually be forced to take notice?” I pray that ‘no’ will begin to be heard!” – Patty Kay