Monday 6 May 2024

Micro-interview with Katie Kopajtic

We’re delighted to welcome Katie Kopajtic, author of “Terranueva” in The Future Fire #69, over for a quick chat.

Art © 2024 Melkorka
TFF: What does “Terranueva” mean to you?

Katie Kopajtic: “Terranueva” is how I honor my experience marrying into a Puerto Rican family. My wife's hometown of Dorado has earned a reputation for an increasing number of wealthy continental American residents, as the government continues to spend on development to encourage further gentrification.

It is also a love letter to cross-generational relationships in a family, and to the jibara lifestyle as a means of resistance against colonization. Jibaro is simply the term used to describe a laborer of Puerto Rico's mountainous regions, but it can also be wielded as an insult, synonymous with country bumpkin, hick, or someone who is uneducated. But a new generation of Puerto Ricans have reclaimed jibaro as a culture to be honored, and worth preserving, especially as resort development continues to threaten the island's natural landscapes and working class.

TFF: What is the oldest memory you have?

KK: My oldest memory is of being a toddler and watching my immigrant grandfather Mirko play the accordion while my grandmother sings Croatian ballads. Mirko was a proud Yugoslavian, and a jibaro in his own way. His ‘old world’ ways and nostalgia for the village had an impact on my father and his siblings, and it continues to inspire me.

TFF: What are you working on next?

KK: My next project is completing my feature length documentary Heritage Fantasy, which tells the story of a struggling actress's journey to connect with her Croatian heritage and overcome her self-doubt: Believing that making a film about her roots will help with her brand and overall marketability, she travels to Croatia and interviews three generations of her family, uncovering themes of escapism, longing, and the artist's struggle. But when her film fails to solve her problems, she must confront her own expectations of what success means.


Even with a healthy brain, Marisol would not have recognized her old neighborhood. Turf grass yawned from the wrought iron gate to the ocean, crisscrossed with glittering quartz pathways that led to identical cream condos. She stared at The Ritz Bungalow #4 (‘Pearl’), supposing that the concrete walls, at least, hadn’t changed.

Reminder: You can comment on any of the writing or art in this issue at

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