Monday, 21 September 2009

A is not for Apple, Z is not for Zebra.

This project began with a smmer trip to Berlin..during my time there I became intrigued by the history of the city, which seemed so prominent in the surroundings, only 20 years since the wall came down, and Berlin has re-built and re-generated itself into the city it is today, amazing what it has achieved in such a short space of time. Eager to find out more about the cities infamous history, I visited a concentration camp named Sachsenhausen. I found the experience extremely educational and emotional. Mainly I realised how little I knew about the history surrounding WW2 and the holocaust, despite thinking that I knew a reasonable amount. I think it takes to see a place in context to really understand the history behind it. Emotion came not only from the horrific tales from the camp, but also from my own family history. The thought that parts of my distant family were living in Germany at the time, resonated throughout the visit. I also learnt that the concentration camps were not only used by the Nazis, but also by the Russian Soviets as a prison, with much the same conditions. So I decided whilst I was there that I needed to make a permanent record of the story being told, something, which would tell more than pictures ever could. So armed with my dictaphone I began to record the tour. It was not until returning home, after I had experienced the rest of the trip, that I decided come back to the recording, as well as all my other Berlin experiences. The whole point of tours of concentration camps is so as people do not forget what happened, I felt I wanted to create something to expose and remind people what happened. I transcripted the tour from an analogue tape, and began to try and represent the meaning of the words, by my use of typography. I wanted to be restricted in dimension, therefore i kept the text confined to width of my dictaphone, and the length of 26 inches (a loose representation of the alphabet)

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