In June 2009, I, together with my father, my four children and niece, travelled to Poland, the Czech Republic and Munich to retrace my parents’ past. I saw this trip back to ‘our roots’ not only as a personal, historical and educational event, but also as an opportunity to create an artistic interpretation of our experience.
The video installation, Dancing Auschwitz stemmed from my desire to create artwork that conveys a new response to historical memory. I consider this to be a necessary moral lesson, which might otherwise be neglected or forgotten.
Dancing Auschwitz comprises three primary video pieces:
The major component of this project is the I Will Survive video. Even though it is a celebration of life, it also evokes absence, loss and mourning. In this dance, the family, comprising three generations, improvised a dance to the pop song ‘I will survive’ (Gloria Gaynor, 1978). We performed at numerous traumatic sites where my parents had been prisoners during the Holocaust.
I Will Survive and The Documentary video were filmed during our family trip while Old Family Footage is from a family home movie from my childhood.
By creating a new response incorporating dance, the generations and memory, I have endeavoured to capture the poignancy of the past, the uncertainty of the present, and a hope for a more tolerant future.