Josipa Draisma: Songs from one homeland to another

Memories: Josipa Draisma’s background comes to life on stage.
Memories: Josipa Draisma’s background comes to life on stage.

THE wild violets of Croatia are for performer Josipa Draisma symbols of her family's homeland.

The Bexley North actor, singer, writer, producer and comedian is about to appear in a new one-woman show.

Ljubičica - Wild Violet features family stories and Croatian songs performed by a gypsy jazz musical ensemble.

"The violet symbolises enduring hope and innocence, and a rural childhood beset by poverty and dispossession," Draisma said.

The story being told on stage is that of her mother.

The family's memories and legacy are woven through the emotionally charged Croatian musical styles of Bećarac, Klapa and Sevdalinka.

The music reflects the sorrow of loss, the glow of love, and the glimmers of hope for a brighter future.

"For the first time in my performing career, I am embarking on a very personal and emotional voyage to my family's homeland," Draisma said.

"I tell the story of a Croatian girl growing up in a remote village and her migration journey to Sydney."

Draisma said that many people from multicultural backgrounds would empathise with the story.

"With the current Australian immigration laws in place and the flood of negativity that surrounds migration and refugees, Wild Violet offers an alternate perspective on the positive long-term effects of welcomed migration in our country.

"It should highlight how people who deeply desire a new life in Australia invariably seek to make the most of the opportunity to create peace and prosperity for their families, contribute to productivity and in turn, contribute greatly to the economic and cultural prosperity of Australia."

The musical ensemble also features the soprano Mara Knezevic, Draisma's younger sister. The play was written and directed by playwright and director Melita Rowston.

Ljubičica - Wild Violet is part of the Sydney Fringe.

and is on at The Seymour Centre from September 17-19.

Tickets: or 9351 7940.