Praise for the Kolo…

Anne Wilkerson Allen

“Working with you has taught me so much about global trauma and more importantly, global healing. I am constantly amazed by the strength of these wonderful women and their importance and fundamental grounding of entire communities. You are a blessing.”

Kabagambe T Moses, UNICEF

“Danica Anderson, you’re doing a wonderful job around the world bringing hope, healing and love to thousands of people. Your work is a source of inspiration to many starting organisations like ours The I’ll Be There Foundation, that’s dedicated to addressing the challenges of HIV/AIDS, sexual violence, gender equality,drug abuse among youth in high schools,within Uganda. God bless you and hopefully in the future, you will be open to partnership.”

Rob Drew reviews Blood and Honey Icons: Biosemiotics & Bioculinary on Amazon.com

“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.”

Dr. Jeane Rhodes, Birth Psychology Editor reviews Blood and Honey Icons: Biosemiotics & Bioculinary on Amazon.com

“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.”

Melissa Potter reviews Blood and Honey Icons: Biosemiotics & Bioculinary on Amazon.com

“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.

Angela Davison, JD reviews Blood and Honey: The Secret Herstory of Women: South Slavic Women’s Experiences in a World of Modern-day Territorial Warfare on Amazon.com

“You do not read this book. You experience it. As you live this book, you find your emotions layered in contradiction to each other. The stories shared simmer in your memory, and only with time have I been able to process what I’ve read and the myriad of ways I feel about it. Dr. Anderson’s work with the survivors of the genocide that tore apart the former Yugoslavia was done at significant personal risk, and the courage she repeatedly shows in the course of her work with the survivors is quite moving. Individual stories of survival and life in the aftermath paint a complex picture of hope and strength, staggering loss and grief, and women helping to heal each other and change a society that can be hell-bent on endless cycles of revenge. This is not an easy book to live, but the journey is worth it.”

Patty Kay reviews Blood and Honey Icons: Biosemiotics & Bioculinary on Amazon.com

“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!”

 

The Kolo collaborates with blogs…

The Girl God

A Book Review: Blood & Honey Icons: Biosemiotics & Bioculinary by Donna Snyder  “I bought this book to support work with South Slavic survivors of war and war crimes in the Balkan conflicts of the late 20th Century. For my money I got a complex book that ably serves many roles: a socio-political history of that specific conflict and related prior wars; an anthropological study, particularly of the women there, its mythology, its cultural artifacts from pre-historical times to the present, and the Slavic immigrant community of Chicago; a primer on reading tea leaves and coffee dregs; a set of iconographic images to use in self-discovery; a book of recipes of traditional ethnic food; and a lesson on healing practices useful for victims of violence and trauma anywhere. All that in one book of 208 pages.

…Reading this book, I became enamored of the imagery from the South Slavic culture throughout its existence. I developed a keen admiration of the folk ways of the region’s women, the kolo and healing practices, the passing of memory from mother to daughter, both in their homeland and in their immigrant communities. I found hope for healing, not only for the women and children of the Kolo, but for our own sisters and brothers of Juárez, the families of the murdered women and girls who are victims of the internationally notorious femicides, and the entire Juárez community wrecked by years of narco wars and military violence. I hope others here and everywhere will buy this book and share its lessons so that we can all move into a future of health and peace. [READ FULL BOOK REVIEW]

The Return to Mago Ezine: Bearing Witness Transmigration (Book Excerpt) by Danica Anderson, Ph.D.

Goldenroom: My Story: Danica Anderson and the The Kolo Women’s Cross Cultural Collaboration