I learned about the World Memory Project from a video report by Athena Jones on CNN . I was intrigued, to put it lightly. One of the existential themes in my life as been “genocide”. Another theme is media and stories. (Trans-media – is what they call it now… ). And a third theme is my belief that the more we move from seeing different peoples as The Other instead of individuals we understand and respect, even if we barely agree with them.
So it instantly struck me that these themes thread through the World Memory Project, in addition to the healing it brings to the inter-generational trauma affecting victims and survivors of the Holocaust. I also realized this approach could help other survivors, from modern day genocides, from refugees forced from their ancestral lands, and for Native American Indians. These are all areas I have been working with. I am going to take a careful look at the World Memory Project for ideas on how to structure some of this work.
World Memory Project
Their website is http://www.worldmemoryproject.org/. Click back later for more – I will report on this program once I have looked in depth at it. (Not this morninng! 11/26)
My Existential Brush With Genocide
Growing up 20 years after the end of WWII (it seemed as ancient as the civil war to me then – ) there were occasional signs: the horrible pictures and the articles about “Jewish Nazi Hunters”. But when my mother told me the numbers tattoed on the Church’s custodian / workman where from a concentration camp it became real.
Later, in my first years at college, news of the Cambodian Genocide affected me hard. I felt helpless, there was nothing to be done. I didn’t yet understand the U.S.’s role in this, and did not understand why we didn’t try to help. That made the situation seem even more hopeless.
Later, after the Siletz tribe was “Restored”, I began reflecting on the genocide of the Native American Indian. That has become a consuming passion – as I work on a documentary exploring this attempted genocide, the effects on the 7 generations in my family, and the hope for future generations.