Ravensbruck and a Book

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Here come two new projects: one, a book. The other, a short film. Both of them based on, or inspired by, what you see here. Me. Researching. Throwing myself wholly into the past, into the shadows of human behavior. Into the other side of comfortable edges, places that push buttons, raise hairs and stir nausea.

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This photo was taken in Ravensbrück last month. Many of the original buildings are gone, but I'm sitting in a factory that remains. Here, the women slaved in horrendous circumstances making garments, textiles, and shoes. I can feel the imprint of minutes ticking by, machines whirring, hearts racing, hushed and hectic whispers, and the shouts of the factory supervisors. I've read the survivor's accounts of the cruelties that still reverberate through the walls. Time has marched on. But this building and its occupants have not.

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The expression on my face is not an 'act', put on for effect. Spending seven days in a concentration camp is the biggest challenge I have willingly stepped into. I was undone. 

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A great deal of my time and energy goes to studying the rise of fascism and its causes and consequences. It has changed my life completely, and the way I experience and perceive collective humanity - and that is one of my greatest understatements ever. 

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I've been a little uncertain about how to wrangle it all into work, and how to outwardly share my devotion to remembrance ... (and its shrieking drumbeat of caution, so palpably present for any who dare to listen).

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I've come to believe that this era of humanity's inhumanities is far more relevant than any of us would like to believe. 

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And so. I will do my best to share my ponderings. In a book. And a film. 

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It's a little nerve wracking. Because there is a part of me that screams, high-pitched: 'how dare you even?' 

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But let's see what happens if I choose to listen to the slightly more dominant voice with its heavy baritone: 'and how dare you not?'