Today on the first day of my next Blue Skies journey, to the Buchenwald and Flossenburg concentration camp clusters this time, I’m yet again traveling through history within the present.
One thing that strikes me time and again, like your empty lakebed, is the silence. Indeed, it’s not an absolute silence as such… but conversely there’s always a clear absence to be felt. Walking the grounds of the main camps that are now memorials, one only hears one’s own steps, the crackling of gravel underneath, that unstoppable grinding, loudly pulling my thoughts into the Now, brutally cutting me off of history and hope alike.
Seldom have I felt such vivid moments of being alive as in those places; seldom have I sighed so deeply as in those places; seldom have I doubted as much my very existence as in those places; seldom have I felt so present. Following your advice I try to speak my thoughts into a voice recorder. But all I can manage is this silence. Maybe it’s what I’m meant to record.
Night is falling. At a former camp in Stulln I turn my car to head back to Nürnberg for the night. Out of nowhere, huge yellow flowers show up in front of me, reflected in my bonnet, my headlights illuminating the gates. The church bells toll in the distance. The sun has just disappeared behind the horizon.
I take it as a good omen, even though on the way back I run a flat tyre.
Nürnberg, the city of the rallies; and, fittingly, the city of the trials.
I really shouldn’t be making these journeys all by myself.
/// #image_by_image is an ongoing conversation between photographers Ivan Sigal and Anton Kusters. @ivansigal @antonkusters on Instagram ///