This site is part of the research and development of a larger project by artist and film maker Roz Mortimer.
Reduced to Silence is an exploration into memory, atrocity and landscape.
At first I was interested in places that had witnessed catastrophic events, yet remained without any formal memorial. I wondered if these unmarked landscapes might hold any tangible traces or memory of the events they had witnessed, and how I might translate those traces through film and photography.
As my research progressed the project has become less about memory, and more about a culture of forgetting. I began to think about why societies choose to remember and memorialise some events, yet choose to forget others.
The project is mainly focused on places in Central Europe that have witnessed atrocities in the 20th Century, specifically the genocide of Roma during the 1940s. That said, I have also completed a series of works in the USA – Sites of Memory – work that raises questions about the construction of Native American history. Many of the places I have visited are unmemorialised. They are rural landscapes that are sites of trauma such as mass graves, in some cases long-forgotten.
Working with unmemorialised sites of atrocity has led me to also think about how we memorialise and what value formal memorials have for us as sites for anchoring collective memory. So there is a section on memorials with video responses to Auschwitz and Eisenman’s memorial in Berlin and further posts about Oradour-sur-Glane and Pauer and Togay’s memorial in Budapest.
The blog section is an ongoing collection of thoughts and connections around these ideas…from thinking about the lupins at Treblinka, to the rise in popularity of dark tourism.