In the last few days, after hurricane Sandy left us with no power, no water and no phones, we scrambled to press on. We have refused to stop! We have hiked every day to find a place where to plug in and work. We have texted, emailed, phoned, and met, whatever and whoever was available. Today I finally stopped for a moment and wondered why we had not taken the hint and just laid low. Maybe we could have taken this opportunity to take a week off and enjoy “camping”. It could very well be a good idea, except that we have a video installation coming up next week in Union Square.
Last week we received the transcripts of Krzysztof Wodiczko’s interviews with each of the fourteen veterans. As I had mentioned in an earlier blog post, when each person began to open up in front of the camera and speak to the history that lay beneath their surfaces, we were all surprised and taken aback. Until you know what’s going on inside someone’s head, or until you know an individual’s story, you can’t understand. You can attempt to relate to what they’ve experienced, but quite simply, until you have heard their stories, you can’t.
While reading these interviews, we realized that the point of this project is not only to give voice to a culture that is normally silenced, but to make their stories available to the public, for listening, internalizing, and processing. We are creating an open space for the exchange of experiences, in order to foster compassion and relatability, and the opportunity for deeper understanding of one another.
This is why we press on. This is why Krzysztof Wodiczko’s “Abraham Lincoln: War Veteran Projection” will have to open in Union Square Park next Thursday, November 8th, at 6:30PM, as scheduled. See you there!