Friday 24 August 2012

Remembering Lidice / 1 November

Recently I was very impressed by a book about the attack on Heydrich and its repercussions by the Germans, mainly on Lidice. The book: HhhH by Laurant Binet

I wanted to make a videopoem as a remembrance piece for Lidice.
Lidice was a village in the Czech Republic just northwest of Prague which, as part of the Nazi Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, was on orders from Adolf Hitler and Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, completely destroyed by German forces in reprisal for the assassination of Reich Protector Reinhard Heydrich in the late spring of 1942 On 10 June 1942, all 173 men over 16 years of age from the village were murdered, another 11 men who were not in the village were arrested and murdered soon afterwards along with several others already under arrest. Several hundred women and over 100 children were deported to concentration camps; a few children considered racially suitable for Germanisation were handed over to SS families and the rest were sent to the Chełmno extermination camp where they were gassed to death. (Wikipedia)

As usual I made a track first:

and went looking for a suitable poem. And I found one, here in Belgium; '1 November' by Belgian poet Bernard Dewulf
(Remember Alastair Cook and I made a video for 'aan het water', his first  poem as 'city-poet' of Antwerp a few months back)
I found a recording of the poem on Lyrikline and asked Bernard if I could use his poem.
I could. Good.

1 NovemberDe doden hebben verzameld vandaag.
Ze kwamen klagen tot in mijn hoofd.
Mijn zoon gaf alles zijn woord, mijn vrouw lag als een graf te slapen.
Jaarlijks gingen bloemen langs de ramen.
Het leek of ik nooit zo aanwezig was.
Ik zat met iedereen samen,
onvindbaar bij mijn noemende kind,
in een verwarmde kamer vol namen.
(© Bernard Dewulf)

November 1stThe dead assembled today
They came and moaned up to my head.
My son gave his words to everything, my wife was lying, sleeping as a grave.
Every year the flowers went by the windows.
It seemed as if I had never been so present before.
I was sitting among all the others,
near my child naming, yet I was not to be found,
in a heated room full of names.
(English version by Sapphire/Ramona Lofton - © 2001 by Sapphire/Ramona Lofton)

For the images I made use of a small piece of footage I found in an online documentary made for Lidice; Lidice Lives by James Trusswel. I placed that piece in between a loop I made of images I filmed myself. Repetition was the key word here. I chose to show everything in black and white to fit the atmosphere of November the first.

Words & voice: Bernard Dewulf
Translation: Sapphire/Ramona Lofton
(poem recorded by literaturWERKSTATT berlin, M. Mechener, 2001 - for
Concept, camera, editing, treats & music: Swoon
Footage:  Lidice Lives by James Trusswel

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