A bomb exploded in a city where I spent part of my childhood. Destroying lives and buildings and flooding my mind with memories of more carefree times. The two don’t go well together, happy memories and bombs.
In a great interview with Arna Mackic in Vrij Nederland
by Annemiek Leclaire I read how memories are often specific targets in war times. By destroying buildings and artefacts aggressors also destroy or distort the memories attached to them. Eradicating history.
This might also be part of the explanation why the destruction of antiquities hurts so much. When journalist Thanassis Cambanis
tried to figure out why some many hardened and seen it all war correspondents were so devastated by it, he came to this conclusion: ‘For those of us who hold a belief in the ascent of man, it refutes the idea that we’re heading to a better level of humanity. For everything else, you can delude yourself into thinking, we can have a better tomorrow. Someone destroys a 3,000-year-old statue with a sledgehammer, there’s no bringing that back. There’s no fooling yourself.’
This song welled up in an immediate response to the attack. Maybe an attempt to fool myself, trying to hold on to memories, because I can already feel them fragmenting. Or not belonging to me anymore. But these attempts are my only means of defense. Three minute monuments.