Jul 28, 2016 @ 9:59 CET


Dear Ivan,

It’s indeed very hard to resist a fatalistic approach to what’s happening to mankind nowadays. I should stop lamenting this, and thank you for the way out. I sure wish I was there for the conference at MIT Lab, discussing the necessity of disobedience.

My mind is now making connections between realities and their depictions. The borders of the Warsaw ghetto constantly being adjusted. The secret mapping so crucial to the ZOB for their reality, their plans, their hopes. Conversely, the public mapping crucial to the nazis. Reality defines the map. The map defines reality.

Your image of a revolutionary sends me a powerful disobedience message. But also the person in arms strikes me as being a child, forced to be too old for his age. A depiction of a singular heroic moment, filled with the purity of anger. Hope, the opposite of History. What we wish for, connected to what we cannot escape. Both shape us more than we can imagine, disobedient or not. The powerless angel yet again.

What would it take for me to be up in arms? What if it were astonishingly little. We all know civilisation is a very thin layer for all of us, and we resent that, but imagine there were to be a call to arms right here right now. A Revolution. You are required. I’d be ashamed if I were a coward; embarrassed if I were a fanatic.

Are we the mountain that gets carved out piece by piece, dying the death of a thousand cuts, pieces from us scattered over the globe like a diaspora? Or are we instead each a single marble block cut from the mountain, true form slowly appearing, chipped away turning into a sculpture holding history, standing in front of next generations, looking towards hope?

On a recent radio interview I got asked if I ever doubted any decisions I made, creative or otherwise. At least fifteen times every single day I’m filled with an unbearable doubt. Haunted to my very soul. And the tiny victory every time, an invisible, necessary, personal act of disobedience to my self.

 /// #image_by_image is an ongoing conversation between photographers Ivan Sigal and Anton Kusters. @ivansigal and @antonkusters on Instagram ///