MEND: A movement project exploring memory and trauma

For this project, EDD was commissioned to explore the topics of trauma and memory for the University of Denver’s Judaic Philosophy Week. We took this invitation as an opportunity to explore how trauma affects the individual, how the senses record trauma in a person’s memory, how trauma can impact a community, and how traumatic events or memories can become imbedded in a history or impact a culture. The resulting work, titled Mend, was performed at the University of Denver’s Holocaust Memorial Social Action Site, which was also a catalyst for the creative work.

This site, an outdoor, permanent installation of stone, metal, and shattered glass, offers both visual art and symbology of post-Holocaust Jewish philosophy and of a present day call to heal the world. The work resonated with images of struggle, surrender, internal and external conflict, community, healing, helping, along with a mix of images resembling various forms of prayer, the Muselmann as it is found in Judaic philosophy, and the battle of wills one faces with trauma and decisions to move forward. This work was commissioned by the University of Denver’s Center for Judaic Studies and Associate Professor Sarah Pessin, Program Director.