Final preparations underway….following the red line in February
Forced Walks: Honouring Esther
From Winsen-an-der-Aller we have had news of how a local family hid escapees from a death march. We will visit the memorial there. We have discovered another horrific story known as the Celle Hare Hunt where escapees from a bombed trains were hunted down in the nearby woods by Gestapo, SS and local people. Out of 4000 people on the trains just over 400 were forced to walk to Belsen, probably on the same route we will walk. There are memorials, this is about retelling the stories, repatriating the memory and connecting with the present.
At the end of the first day of walking we will be met by the Mayor of Winsen, his 1945 predecessor was one of the Mayors rounded up by the British to ritually witness the mass burials taking place at Belsen. At the end of WW2 this whole area was criss-crossed by refugees from the newly carved up Europe, that experience runs deep and through it we may make sense of the welcome extended to, and difficulties experienced by, contemporary refugees from Syria, Libya and elsewhere.
Lorna Brunstein and I had a really useful ‘in conversation’ with artist Jon England at 44AD in Bath last week, part of process of focussing on the work we are making…the idea that in some way we are giving some form to the intangible in what we experience on the walk is strong. Much new work may come out of it but in the meantime it is about catching a live experience and propagating as far as we can and seeing what happens. Amplifying the resonances. For at least the next few weeks and specifically on 4 and 5 February this will be on social media.
Viewranger look out for the live notification on Richard White