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Memorial Gestures – Jordan Baseman

Details are Important

We seem to be at a time in our history where there are many open divisions in our society, exemplified by vaccine/anti-vaccine, Brexit Leave/Remain, Trump, January 6th at the Capitol, etc. Facts are distorted, known truths are maligned and manipulated, fuelled by anger and hatred. Authentic voices are lost, information is denigrated which creates fear and opportunities for openly promoting discord. This is familiar…

Image Credit: Jordan Baseman

Culturally I think that it is imperative that we actively do not forget what happened during Nazi Germany, that we continue to study the social, economic and political conditions which enable forms of genocide to occur, that we continue to broadcast truths about the Holocaust in many different forms, forever.

As we move away from those moments in history, as decades accrue, these events are being denied in the first instance with damaging contemporary narratives forming and shaping counter-narratives, in attempts to undermine historical events – to erase anew. Details are lost, information evaporates. I believe that personal testimony, witness accounts continue to hold the keys to dismantling hatred, preventing future harms. Preventing future harms through research and the production of artworks is a primary reason as to why I am interested in this project.

More generally, I think it is important to try to counter hatred, with compassion and emotional intelligence. I believe that we can’t be afraid to study hate, to understand the ramifications of teaching and instilling hatred to be able to prevent future genocidal opportunities.

Art is a useful way to challeng ideas: facilitating emotional encounters for audiences, opening new ways to discuss and question, new ways to understand and reflect.

For me, contemporary art is uniquely able to address false, dangerous notions, to instigate conversations that make active contributions to the prevention of genocides, to the reduction of fear and harm and to preventing the spread of hate. For me, art does change the world: incrementally, slowly. And maybe one person at a time. I know that art changes us and has the capacity to soothe and to upset – often within the same artwork.

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