When the horror of a moment renders a body speechless, the acts of pen to page, brush to canvas, fingers to keys––become negotiations with death. Yours, mine: what are they and how do they relate? To account for whole cities of dead, a vast underground rendered invisible through banality. What is it to write a voice, paint a vision––while standing on ground in full recognition of the brothers beneath it, and the invisible sisters with their children and parents in mass graves? Welcome to the necropolis, says one, where screens herald the battalion.
What are the stakes at this scale? Life. Lives. Forget numbers, abstractions. Try instead: One.
Each a brother, sister, mother, daughter, each with a scent of their own, a particular laugh and secret hopes––erased.
What is at stake? The human condition in the age of the war machine.
How to resist? The first act is naming.
Inspired by the work of Juan Ruflo, Christina Rivera Garza, and Achille Mbembe.
4 thoughts on “For the Living and the Dead”
Wow … so many great phrases and connections in this post …
Thank you for this comment, Jef. Have been reading some remarkable thinkers that I am so grateful to find.
A powerful reminder of the of the importance of identity, reminding me of Elie Wiesel. ❤️