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019~ Student Works from workshops part 2

Updated: Aug 20, 2023

I never know what seminar participants may come up with. I do encourage them to think with the camera and outside the box. I am a strong believer that associations, and therefore ideas, can spark from visual input and form into thoughtful concepts.

Of course, there were many cases in which participants remained locked within the obvious and maybe banal approach, unable to let their individual intuition guide them through the chain of events or a particular private incident that could have provoked a unique understanding or point of view. However, simply trying was all I asked for, and for the most part, they did. I believe the seed was sown, and even a small crack in their automatic responses is something I appreciate and am grateful for, since it's a very important step forwards!

But here are some (I find) outstanding concepts and images, accompanied by profound observations and ideas that participants shared with me. They make my day and fill me with optimism as I eagerly anticipate the contributions the next workshop group could bring to our upcoming seminar discussion. ♥️🌱🌻

1. Ethnic cleansing

Photo by workshop participant - Ethnic Cleansing

This photograph was taken by a participant who realized that the leaves on the stairs best visualize how ethnic cleansing works: at first, the whole society exists. In the next stage, some disappear, and as you go higher, the population decreases. This can be achieved by dividing the masses. Eventually, all are gone. She said that if you allow the cleansing to begin, it can result in total annihilation.

2. Indifference

Photo by workshop participant - Indifference

As I projected this image in class, the spectators' responses ranged from calls of disgust to no response at all. At first, I was concerned that she might be hurt by this, but then I saw her look back, content.

Then she said, "This is what I think happened: Once the value of Jews (and other sectors, I added) life has been diminished, dehumanizing them to nothing but rats or bugs, it becomes easy to do anything to them. Their response to atrocities will be no more than the way this class responded to this dead fly."

3. Transcendence

Photo by workshop participant - Transcending memory

I wish I could repeat exactly what she said, but it went something like this: I captured an image of a pen that has ceased to function as a pen, and all that remains visible is the ink that has permanently stained the stones. The pen is no longer a pen, and the ink is no longer just ink; it has transformed into a new form of memory. This signifies that it is time to confront reality directly, abandoning the old symbols we once relied upon.

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