if you do not have time to go through all my three process blogs from December 15th, November 15th and October 15th, I would like to ask you to have a look at a video I created recently.
as you know I am investigating the different identities certain places have over time and in the past I have layered maps on top of each other in my paintings. My first year project was a sound piece in which I had wanted to put together the following 5 different loops:
-voices of right wing extremists demonstrating every Monday in Dresden against Germany accepting refugees from Syria
and juxtapose those to these four sound loops
-my voice reading Paul Celan's Todesfuge, a poem about the genocide by a Holocaust survivor
- Hitler's voice
- voices of the Nazi's at the Wannsee Conference (where the Holocaust was decided)
- the voice of Dr. peter Gary, a Holocaust Survivor
Once I had put all of these together and edited my interview with Dr. Peter Gary, I wondered if I should not go one step further and create a video.
I want to project the experiences of the past (using my own voice (reading poets who are Holocaust survivors) or Dr. Peter Gary's voice) on images of burning refugee homes of today or on images of the destroyed cities of Aleppo and Homs.
Not only containing these above, but also the voice of a Syrian regufee, Fareed, who's family I have been trying to get to Canada (his wife and children are in a refugee camp in Turkey) and the situation in Syria.
So here is the video and the explanation for it that I had on my Nov 15 blog. Please be so kind and see the video. Thank you.
I have sounds of Hitler’s speech and the interview I did with the Holocaust survivor, yet I wanted in my juxtaposition of Holocaust experiences also show images of right wing extremists demonstrating in Dresden’s streets. Since these new right wing extremists are now fighting against refugees from Syria to come to Germany, I had the idea to interweave an interview I had done with a refugee from Syria in Berlin in the spring of this year and show images of Syria and the war.
Including the two-minute credit lines with some background information, the film is now 18:32 long.
What I am doing here and want to explore
Is to juxtapose experiences of the Holocaust to current events: Nazis and extreme right wing people in Germany protesting against accepting refugees of Germany. Show the situation in Syria of the refuges who came to our country. So I want to show newly arisen hate against foreigners, this time against Muslims in Germany and weave images and voices from our German Nazi past into those current experiences. Due to those new right wing extremists coming up in Germany, the authorities changed the law last year and it is not possible anymore for war refugees from Syria to bring their families. The two poems I am reading (in German) are reflecting on war and on the Holocaust.
So this is not a public Tv documentary but since I am a MFA student, I am allowing myself certain liberties, such as for example overlaying the sound of a poem that talks about the one genocide, over images of a different war. But as we know, this is not only a civil war, also several ethnic minority groups are being oppressed and killed in Syria. So I do that deliberately.
I have had some feedback from Derek, Malvina, Gabrielle, Kayoko, and Jay. By some it was suggested that I put the translated text of the poems as subtitles in the video, but I have decided against it, because I want the images to speak. During my workshops in the summer Jean-Marie encouraged me to work with my voice, so I used it a couple of times (in German) in those films. I am reading poems by Holocaust survivors Primo Levi and Paul Celan.
Also it was suggested that I do not put subtitles over Fareed’s voice, but several people said they cannot understand what he is saying, so I thought it is better to put subtitles.
Material I have been working with:
- I did an interview Fareed Abd Albaki, Refugee from Homs, Syria, in Berlin 2016
- I did an interview with Dr. Peter Gary, Holocaust survivor, 1923-2016, you hear his voice in the film
- otherwise I used material I found on u-tube, but I am mentioning all of them in the end of the film
In between you hear the voice of Adolf Hitler, I am playing excerpts of his infamous ‘prophecy’ speech from January 1939 in which he openly announced that the Jewry of Europe will eventually be destroyed. (this is interesting because so many Germans after the war said they had no clue what was going on in the camps and didn’t know where Jewish people were taken and what was happening to them).
The first setting in my video is the destroyed city of Homs in Syria, which I am juxtaposing to a sound piece I created. I am reciting the poem Todesfuge (death fugue) by Holocaust survivor Paul Celan. In the poem which is full of metaphors, he describes life in a concentration camp in the face of death. The sound piece is a collaboration with NY composer Concetta Abbate.
The next scene is at the closed border of Macedonia in the spring 2016 where solders are shooting at refugees. The rest of the film so far is, I think, self explanatory…..
So here is the piece https://vimeo.com/197113022, the password is ti16
It is important that you watch it in the biggest possible format, if you can listen to it via a headset, it would be even better.....