Why enter a Holocaust Memorial Competition?
The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” ~Albert Einstein
In February 2010, we came across a competition for Holocaust Memorial on a beach front of Atlantic City Boardwalk. The holocaust referred to in the context of the competition is targeted specifically towards the Nuremberg related history. We are magnanimous in our response to the holocaustic claims, and compare this to other genocides that occurred throughout history.
We consulted several knowledgeable friends about our intention to participate. Now, many would be surprised to learn that Desypher eventually submitted an entry.
The intention was to throw a number of challenges up in the mindsets of those of Jewish and non-Jewish backgrounds. Our contention is to firstly challenge the notion of Holocaust as an exclusive event that by definition lessens recognition of all other genocides committed against a host of peoples, and secondly to demonstrate the cycle in which the victim can easily finds him or herself to be the innocent bystander, the perpetrator or the ethicist.
The design represents an overlaying of two ongoing processes;
The first is an examination of genocide – past, present and future; and the basic required responses to any genocide – acknowledgement, repentance and intervention.
The second is the creation of a stage-set made up of spatial installations that invite those that frequent the boardwalk to experience various roles;
The “Innocent Bystander” sees and hears from a distance but may elect to walk on.
The Naiveté unsuspectingly wanders into the path that is the victim – the endpoint obscured by each turn until the path converges as a “plank” – and he or she is left standing alone under the domineering gaze of the perpetrators
The Egotist seduced by the glitz and cliché of the propaganda wall. Embarks upon a more deliberate path that widens as support is collected, peripheral view blinkered, fortified by heartless post mobs until too confronted by victim’s vulnerability at arm’s reach
The Ethicist driven by higher consciousness rises the stair and sees all in perspective; enabling reflection and resolution for change and intervention, a trail of moist footsteps from whence he came evaporating
We enter this competition to demonstrate how history can be interpreted and dis- or misinterpreted. Lessons from history are multidimensional. Understanding the diverse viewpoints or efforts towards understanding the diversity requires mercy and empathy at all levels, something that contemporary polities had antibiotics online not been able to embrace. By participating, we increase our efforts to gain knowledge and understanding, from all sides possible.
Verily, our entry drew upon consequences of genocides throughout history of mankind, and the message of peace and mercy, in moving forward. Perhaps understandably, it did not make it to the final selection. We are a little disappointed, but not surprised.
Images for the competition is available on our Project page. We welcome your feedback on this discussion.