stacy kranitz – the other

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Stacy Kranitz

The Other

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My project engages with history, representation, biography, personal narrative, and otherness in the documentary tradition. Each year in Pennsylvania, 500 people come together to reenact the Battle of the Bulge. During the reenactment, I portray Leni Riefenstahl and behave with soldiers, as she would have. I am intrigued by the complex story of a woman with a problematic set of morals. My work aims to understand people beyond the constraints of good vs evil. I have inserted myself into the Nazi reenactor photographs to subvert the viewer’s instinct to dismiss these people as different from themselves. This allows me to reflect upon atrocity, delve into my own relationship with my Jewish heritage, and contemplate the camera’s ability to re-imagine history.

Much of our conception of history is based on images. Historical images have been filtered through media and propaganda. These images become history as generations pass. Images are the dominant force that shape the public imagination. My images of the reenactment are part of the deconstruction process by which images first represent and then replace history.

The next phase of this project will explore Riefenstahl’s life between 1962-1977 when she lived with the Nuba in Sudan. I will visit the same Nuba tribes to focus on the disjunction between her fetishized images and my own exploration of the Nuba’s complex modern reality. The Nuba were victims of genocide during a recent civil war and it has deeply impacted their culture. They were forcibly relocated to camps and Islamicized. Hundreds of thousands died from warfare and starvation.

My project asks how we live in a world where genocide takes place in continuum? It reflects on the history of the documentary tradition as it poses new ways of expressing identity in relation to ‘otherness’. This project deconstructs the notion of the photograph as document, its power as a tool of propaganda, as a witness to history and a call for change.

 

Bio

Stacy Kranitz studied film and photography at New York University. Her work focuses on the ways we express aggression and violence in our daily rituals, habits and pastimes. Additional themes in her work include the relationship between music and culture, the emotional growth of children and environmental racism. She is interested in the theoretical underpinnings that bind together the evolution of the documentary tradition. Her work looks to explore important social issues while commenting on this tradition and challenging its boundaries.

Her clients include Adbusters, Dwell, Elle, ESPN, Entertainment Weekly, Forbes, Fortune, Men’s Journal, Mother Jones, Metropolis, Newsweek, New York Times Magazine, People, Rolling Stone, Spin, Vice, Wall Street Journal and Wired.

She was awarded a Young Photographers Alliance Scholarship Award and also received a Story Project Grant from the California Council for the Humanities. She has shown her work at galleries in NY, CA, LA and FL.

 

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Stacy Kranitz

102 Responses to “stacy kranitz – the other”


  • As is so often the case, people seem to be tripping over the artist’s statement rather than reacting to the photographs. The photographer has linked the photographs with her text, she has played with a specific concept in mind. One cannot just treat it as the pretty picture game and do justice to the photographer. As most have stated great photos but there is a yawning gap between them and the intent the photographer something that the photographer should respond to

  • Here the photographer’s statement is crucial to know, to understand when looking at the pictures, because the pictures should fulfill a purpose.

    “During the reenactment, I portray Leni Riefenstahl and behave with soldiers, as she would have. I am intrigued by the complex story of a woman with a problematic set of morals. My work aims to understand people beyond the constraints of good vs evil.”

    Now, after looking at your pictures, I would want to understand, how does it feel now, what did you understand? How is life there – beyond good and evil?

    How much research have you done, to understand the role of Leni Riefenstahl?
    She was certainly at no moment in time problematic with her morals. She, like many other women loved Hitler. That was the time, and all documents from her about the time show that. He, and what he did was above everything for her. This is why she created this overheroic look in her pictures. She had no doubts about her morale – not at that time, and not later. (However, to admit that in the post-war era was not opportunistic, so she denied talking about the time, like all Germans. And got pretty emotional, if someone wanted to know. – one can see that in a documentary about her life). But she was no prostitute.
    And she was never have acted like one. That would have killed her even being a close friend of Hitler. In such things, the Hitler was overly moralistic.
    There is a documentary about her life, showing some snippets of the old movies and look into her role and acting throughout her life. Maybe you find it on youtube.
    She actually did some photojournalistic works in the beginning of the war in Poland.

    Retrospectively one could challenge her morals, because she put one of the deadliest and evil person into a very shining light, dragging even more people on his side. She created an image about Hitler, and all other filmers followed her up. You – and your friends from the “Battle of the Bulge” should not mix that with what you have seen in Hollywood Movies, or Comedies about Nazis. But these comic Germans is what I see in your pictures.

    When I see your pictures, I see a group of people playing war, making fun of it. They make fun of the killing, they make fun of the death-camps and the holocaust. This is something, which really scares me to the bone. You know – the SS Soldiers had a racist mindset, and were willing to kill everybody in cold blood who said anything against Hitler, or that the war could be lost – even in the last days of the war, some maybe even after the war. None of your pictures by definition can come even close to something like that.

    Do more research, if your artistic statement is not only a phrase.

  • Jamie Maxtone-Graham

    I like the subversion of this. I like the injection of the photographer into the work and I like the subjective take on the photographer playing as a historical figure within the reenactment of history in this absurd context. There is a lot at play here and, clearly, a lot of buttons being pushed as one can read in the comments. So my statement is, isn’t that a good thing.

    Good to see this published here and looking forward to Stacy’s next installment from Sudan – or wherever the Sudanese civil war gets reenacted…….

  • My project engages with history, representation, biography, personal narrative, and otherness in the documentary tradition.
    Each year in New York City, 19 people (and 2645 non participating extras) come together to reenact the Historic Battle of 9/11. During the reenactment, I portray Mohamed Atta and behave with other hijackers, as he would have.
    I am intrigued by the complex story of a man with a problematic set of morals.
    My work aims to understand people beyond the constraints of good vs evil. I have inserted myself into the jihadist re-enactment photographs to subvert the viewer’s instinct to dismiss these people as different from themselves. This allows me to reflect upon atrocity, delve into my own relationship with my non muslim heritage, and contemplate the camera’s ability to re-imagine history……..

    Now assuming someone actually did the above, and that the pictures were strong in and of themselves. I have to ask….Would ANY Magazine or Blog in the United states run it??? Would this one??

  • Sorry if I came off a bit harsh last night, but I’m not sure I can do a lot better by dawn’s early light. On the positive side, I think the basic premise of inserting oneself into the war games is very interesting and the photography itself is mostly well-done, if not always to my taste.

    Yes, most of my problem is with the statement. I don’t think the work achieves any of the goals set out by the statement and agree that a lot of it is morally problematic to put it mildly. Perhaps, as Gordon says, the intent wasn’t to make photographs like Leni Riefenstahl, but based on the precepts laid out in the statement, I think it should have been. If you’re going to dress up and play Nazi photographer, you might as well go all the way. And I think that approach may have softened the moral issues surrounding the glorification of these people and their glorification of what was no doubt the greatest moral catastrophe and horror show of all time.

    For example, from a review of Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, by Timothy Snyder:

    “By Snyder’s careful and conservative calculations, a minimum of 14 million people altogether were deliberately murdered there during that period: those POWs, almost all the Jews who perished in the Holocaust, at least 3.3 million inhabitants of Ukraine who died in the famine caused by the Soviet collectivization of agriculture, civilians starved or shot by Nazi occupying troops, and people from a variety of ethnic groups targeted by Hitler or Stalin or both. This appalling total does not even count the many millions of combat deaths in this region, on the bloodiest front of the bloodiest war in history…

    In refocusing our view of those years on Eastern Europe, Snyder brings out additional parts of the era’s history that are less familiar. For example, the first people to be mass-murdered by gas were not Jews but Poles. And when Eastern European Jews were killed, they were almost as likely to be shot as to be gassed—a full million having been shot in the last five months of 1941 alone. Nor was it only SS death squads who carried out these shootings; they were aided by German police, local collaborators, and units of the German army, the Wehr-macht. Such authors as Daniel Goldhagen and Christopher Browning have paid attention to these matters, but few Western historians have bothered to study the Wehr-macht-run camps where more than 3 million Soviet POWs met their end. Some were reduced to cannibalism. At one camp, conditions were so bad that prisoners organized a written petition asking to be shot.”

    And when you get down to the details of German troops on insane murder sprees through one small town after another, the horrors increase exponentially. Glorifying these people is just plain sick.

    The author asks why Americans and other western Europeans are typically unaware or unsympathetic to most of the reality of what happened during those years.

    “Another American tendency—and in this we are not alone—is that we like to imagine ourselves always making the right moral choice; hence we prefer to hear about times and places when people could do so. And in Western Europe people sometimes had that chance. If you were living in Vichy France or its territories, for instance, and were not Jewish, you might have had real choices. You could collaborate with the Nazis as an informer; you could, at great risk, join the Resistance or shelter a Jew; or you could, usually, lie low and remain uninvolved and unharmed. Similarly, British or American POWs in German camps could heroically try to escape—but if they chose not to they were reasonably certain to survive the war on Red Cross food parcels. From these moral forks in the road have sprung a thousand films, plays, and novels.

    But the essence of living trapped between Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union is that your choices were indescribably grimmer than those discussed over the piano music of Rick’s Café.”

    I think that’s more where we, re-enactors and photographer included, are coming from. A “Great Escape” version of the war, if not “Hogan’s Heroes,” when for most of the participants it was nothing like that at all. It was definitely beyond good, but I don’t see how anyone could seriously argue it was beyond evil. It was evil. Evil in all its quintessential forms. Those re-enactors should not be glorified. I’m more of the opinion they should be ridiculed, if not lose their jobs over it, just like if they dressed up as Arabs and pretended to fly planes into buildings.

    Regarding Riefenstahl, she was far from an innocent and her life provides an illustrative set of lessons on the dangers of artists becoming involved in politics. Unfortunately, I see little evidence that much of anyone has learned those lessons. No, the lessons learned from Riefenstahl were by the political handlers, not the filmmakers and photographers. I worked as a late night photo editor at an agency during the 2004 elections and saw the Riefenstahlian imagery every night. The campaign events are staged and lighted for heroic looking photo ops and the photographers pretty much tripped over themselves like so many lesser Lenis to oblige. And I know there are questions of scale, but how much better are those photographing Obama in these days of mass murder by drone strike? Leni liked hobnobbing with the powerful and she traded large chunks of her morality for access. It’s an old, old story.

  • I find this project to be substantially cringe inducing. That’s all I’m going to say.

  • @Jamie Maxtone-Graham,:)))
    Exactly! Thank you!!!

  • John G!!!
    I loved your scenario!!!
    Yes!! Trust me! BURN would absolutely publish that hypothesis u mentioned above..
    1000% sure:)

  • MW:) u stated:
    Leni liked hobnobbing with the powerful and she traded large chunks of her morality for access. It’s an old, old story.
    ———————

    MW I thinking you just described human nature, not just Leni with this statement..
    Yes Leni was a human too, indeed :)))
    Smiling…

    ( it’s so weird! We all know who Machiavelli was, we know what it means, we pretend we are not Machiavellis at heart and we believe that anyone else that succeeded is..)
    Right?
    How many times havent we heard about someone’s success comments like:
    “oh she/he knew power players”
    “oh her daddy was rich”
    “she combed the ladder on blowjobs ( that was said on maddona’s early career”
    Or “oh he is bob Dylan’s son,acquaintance , friend, whatever”

    It’s rooted to human nature to NOT giving credit to anyone.. Jealousy became a virtue,
    Christianity teaches us that the world is EVIL or GOOD and nothing in between,
    Everything is simply BRIGHT WHITE or SCARY BLACK..
    Everyone else is a Machiavelli EXCEPT our own selves I guess..

    But I think Jamie nailed it above..
    Photographer here pushed so many buttons on the audience’s traumatized soul and poof, balloon exploded, feathers and fears and shit hit the fan!
    Once again congrats to the photog for pushing everyone’s buttons and let them (us) get out / escape our boring bourgeois everyday common lives…

    Can u imagine a world without fetishes, drugs or loud music how boring sterile would that be?
    Laughing! You made my day!
    Guys guys reset your “pushed buttons”, reboot ans restart your system , stop acting / pretending you’re all so very sensitive..
    Please please, nobody buys that anyways.. Try harder!
    Thats exactly I was saying to
    Mr. Vink last night..
    Someone’s Fear does make someone “good”!
    Religion stealing your money selling u fake hopes making u believe that there is “good” and also a great REWARD , but not now, afterworld, afterwards we will be sitting next Jesus and Mohammed in the heaven..
    Oh please!
    Why wait? You can get the same effect with a Xanax and some weed!
    Why wait???
    Big hug yall

  • But Im so impressed with the average person’s OBSESSION AND FEAR OF SYMBOLS…( submission to Symbols I would add)
    I mean I was expecting this kind of reaction in a heavy fundamentalists religious gathering/convention but not from the audience here..wasn’t expecting that reaction.. Demonizing everything from the photog to Leni , all under a huge fear colored broom..
    Sweep sweep sweep all under the floor…
    We can only hide that much under our subconscious “floor” you know!
    There’s always the possibility to step on it a break a toe.. Watch out

  • And to make a little joke so we all lighten up a bit:
    If I was a shrink I would diagnose most of REACTIONS here as a classic
    PTSD SYNDROME
    (google it, it’s fun)

  • and to avoid (avoid? laughing..is that possible anymore?) misunderstandings, no dissing shrinks here.
    I do believe deeply that most war photogs (soldiers too in huge numbers)are suffering from PTSD and living untreated, un-diagnosed dealing with post traumatic stress, nightmares, insomnia…. etc.
    you dont even need to be in an actual war or be attacked by police or nazis to develop that mental “problem”..
    So im not making fun of folks been diagnosed with PTSD…of course not..
    All im saying is that i clearly see PTSD signs in most reactions here..a “collective” PTSD mental stress, not on particular individuals here but in that collective consciousness of most countries, communities, tribes etc..its the Fear of extinction i think which is a basic fear/instinct in all of us i guess..
    Therefore im afraid of it too but trying to stay conscious and not let my emotions/subconscious take over..
    Does it always work? nope! but it worth trying i think!

  • And i noticed that PTSD syndrome taking over greece lately…Many comparing Merkel to Hitler, old anti german sentiment fear and hate arises etc…why? well many reasons, but one main reason is that collective PTSD i was talking about… “The Germans Return” or the “4th Reich” many greek newspapers call the “Troika” leaders…
    Could that be true?? well obviously in some minds yes…and its caused by trauma, propaganda, fear, religion and strong symbolism is a good weapon for any ideologies..
    Look how many people of ANY country how they get all teared up when they hear their national anthem..why? why this pride? of being a citizen of any random country? how come in a shitty world like this everyone is so proud?
    well i’ll tell you why! coz when we sleep at nights instead of emptying our minds we prefer to cuddle with our fears and hold them so tight like lovers…we think they keeping us safe but they dont really.

    Superstition is the granddaughter of Symbols, fearing/worshiping etc

  • mw
    “And I know there are questions of scale, but how much better are those photographing Obama in these days of mass murder by drone strike? Leni liked hobnobbing with the powerful and she traded large chunks of her morality for access. It’s an old, old story.”

    Good points Michael.

    I am sure that Stacy’s intention here was certainly not to “glorify” the Nazis, and the horror associated with those time, but to stimulate thought and discussion. She certainly has achieved that.

  • I am sure that Stacy’s intention here was certainly not to “glorify” the Nazis, and the horror associated with those time, but to stimulate thought and discussion. She certainly has achieved that.
    —————————————————
    perfectly said..it took my 30 comments to say what Gordon did with 1 sentence…!!??
    thank u!

  • “My work aims to understand people beyond the constraints of good vs evil.”
    ___________________________________________________________________________

    An altogether admirable sentiment in the abstract, but in reality is usually used to excuse the evil that men do.

  • in reality is usually used to excuse the evil that men do.
    ———————————————-
    oh Akaky, im so glad the photog here is a WOMAN/female ,…
    imagine if that essay was shot by a guy!!!!!!!! just imagine!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • the evil that men do.
    —————-
    so you mean humans? coz i think that are “evil” things also women can do! laughing…
    Akaky get clear!
    dear!
    or get a beer!
    dont eat deer!
    dont obey to fear!
    clear?

    just joking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    love u Akakius!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • holla back..i was just rapping… the song called “Ode to Akakius”

  • “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interr’d with their bones.” Mark Antony, Act III, scene 2, Julius Caesar. ;-)

  • No Jamie there are no more buttons being pushed than on Ballen’s work and that of others. The photographers statement is pushing the deep and meaningful line yet the photos come across as a small town local theater production of pretending.

  • Photographically, this is amazing. Wow! I want to see more. The introductory statement – well..

  • Jamie Maxtone-Graham

    Imants, yes. Local theater production. I like it. This is all messy and unclear – grand intentions, pretension, naivete and some technique to boot. I like that too. I like the risk of it all and the failure and the success and I think the reactions here – not withstanding Panos’ cheer leading – mostly seem somewhat reactionary. I think Stacy’s intention is wholesome and devious and I like the thin branch she walked out on. I wish more photographers pushed the polite boundaries we’ve become so accustomed to in this way. Thanks.

    It would be great to have Stacy herself chime in here……..

  • Trouble is Jamie with no artists statement nothing to capture interest ……..it depends on the statement more than the images. That I don’t mind at all but most photographers want their images to do the talking. What happens if only the images are presented?

  • Catering on other photographers and sites such as these one will receive a sympathetic ear elsewhere it will not be as forthcoming

  • Jamie Maxtone-Graham

    Agreed – it would be an interesting experiment to view this work without statement or explanation and let the images be received at face value. Perhaps it’s even better work without the guidance. I see most of the problems people have with the work relates to the wording more than the photography itself.

  • Things like ……..I have inserted myself into the Nazi reenactor photographs to subvert the viewer’s instinct to dismiss these people as different from themselves. I doubt if may would have researched what the photographer looked like before viewing the images

  • If it had been presented without the text, I think I would have seen it as actors acting.

    John Updike’s first rule for reviewing books is “Try to understand what the author wished to do, and do not blame him for not achieving what he did not attempt.”

    To do that, one has to consider the statement which defines, or at least attempts to define what the photographer attempted to do.

    That’s a difficult stricture to live by. In this case, several big ideas are laid out in the statement and those are mostly what we have been commenting on. I guess the biggest idea, as identified by the title is the concept of “otherness” and one of the main goals is to “subvert the viewer’s instinct to dismiss these people as different from themselves.” Therein lies the biggest problem. Most of us believe (accurately I think) that those who dress up and play Nazis are fundamentally different. To get any sense of whether they are or are not that different though, we would need to see the Nazi play time photos juxtaposed with those of their day-to-day lives. Perhaps that would be an interesting project, but it’s not the project we were presented with. In this one, they seem very, very other. Not least because of the monumental moral horrors committed by those with whom they identify.

    There was a recent example in the news of a far right Republican politician who it turned out was a Nazi re-enactor. That’s the type of story you’d expect. If most of those people are not like that, if they are totally clueless about all the moral and political ramifications of what they do, then it might be interesting to get some insight into what makes them tick. But that would be an entirely different project. This one has something to do with Leni Riefenstahl and deconstructing photographs to demonstrate something or otherness. It’s a bit unclear.

  • I’m 100% with MW on this. And if you want to see the first fictional version of what happened back then, take a look at Radok’s 1949 Daleka Cesta (Distant Journey) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXRwGuH0C-g . The woman who gets her face lifted by a whip in the camp is my mom. She’s also the one who in the end runs through the streets shouting “freedom” and when nobody cares, she bangs the destroyed piano to wake them all up. Sona Danielova.

  • Congratulations on the Burn publish!

    For my 2 cents…. Panos, Yes! many comments here I find here seem to take on excessive criticism and scorn rather than analysis? I would agree the statement could be refined, some of the language gets a bit tricky.

    First off -it is safe to assume the woman has done her research and is fully cognizant of the implications of her participation and image making. On occasion, I think viewers will jump to an ‘excuse’ to get around that the artist has presented something disconcerting or requires different thinking. Even if the photographer did not research and analyze (which in this case I think she did) our judgement of it has to be as if they were fully intended as is. No excuses for anyone:)

    I was engrossed in her blog for some time and I think her style is invasive (in a great in your face way) in general. These images following suit on a deeper level. Expressed in the subject matter and less in the style of picture as some of the other work is done. Her intentions seem to me to be investigative and frankly very gutsy.
    Re-enactments of all wars happen, all have a certain level of kitsch. Someone always has to be the bad guy too or there is no play. It is supposedly for remembrance not glorification but I’d imagine there’s always a risk of that idea going awry. There’s no way to see what these actors here feel about what they are doing.
    I do not think there was any meaning on her part to make light of the atrocities of the Nazis but to examine why these things continue to happen today. The project seems very personal. She, re-living this life of a Nazi. For anyone of course but especially so as a jewish woman. That’s a tough position to put yourself in.

  • She, re-living this life of a Nazi. For anyone of course but especially so as a jewish woman. That’s a tough position to put yourself in……….the way you put it sounds like someone going to the cemetery and digging up the bad guys to justify an existence

  • Anyone remember that song:
    “Ops I did it again” by Britney Spears?

    or better:
    http://www.nationalmemo.com/article/american-soldier-massacres-16-civilians-afghanistan

    Symbols don’t kill people or civilians etc
    Guns don’t kill people..
    People kill people , people use guns and operate symbols or use symbols and operate guns!

  • Taking things ( symbols ) seriously…
    That’s what kills people, and I’m scared every time people can’t lighten up and are over religious or over jealous on their defenses…

    Did u hear what happened in Adghanistan after some uneducated marine burned the Quran:
    “The Quran burnings sparked weeks of violent protests and attacks that left some 30 Afghans dead, despite an apology from President Barack Obama. Six U.S. service members were also killed by their fellow Afghan soldiers, although the tensions had just started to calm down….

    The violence over the Quran burnings had already spurred calls in the U.S. for a faster exit strategy from the 10-year-old Afghan war. Obama even said recently that “now is the time for us to transition.” But he also said he had no plan to change the current timetable that has Afghans taking control of security countrywide by the end of 2014…etc etc”

  • Bibles, Qurans, nazi Symbols, flags, patriotism and Fear is what creates wars!
    Not theater, actors , photogs or artists..
    People plz relax.. Don’t worry : it’s not the “return of the nazis” and also
    sorry to disappoint some but but but:”
    Jesus also cancelled his SECOND COMING special appearance due to weather conditions..
    Lol!
    Have a nice “lighter” week y’all and go to theater watch a performance ( maybe a comedy ? If stomach not that strong?)
    One love, peace on the audience and war on stage, please!!!
    :)

  • And speaking of Hollywood, symbols and eccentric behaviors:
    Symbols continue:
    “Lee suffered a 1998 lawsuit when he exposed a swastika tattoo on his arm to public scrutiny (the tattoo was in fact a swastika facing backwards). In 1996, Lee had pled no contest to criminal charges of battery against a Jewish photographer after Lee attacked the man outside the famous Viper Room, in L.A. When the photographer sued Lee, the “swastika” tattoo (which has since been removed) was said to be visible and Lee’s lawyer argued it would inflame the jury and create unfair prejudice against Lee.[10] Shortly after claiming that the introduction of the tattoo into the court record would produce prejudice, Lee denied its existence.[11] Lee’s attorney reported the swastika was a “stupid tattoo obtained several years ago”.[12]”

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tommy_Lee

    (is this hysteria at its best or what?)

  • Not sure where I fall on this. I do know, having photographed young airsoft (plastic pellet guns) re-enactors here in WA state, how easy it can be to be swept up into the playacting. And when one gets swept up in the “fun” it becomes easy to set aside one’s moral and ethical judgements.

    Of course when playing battle games one needs both sides. Where I find it starts to get weird is the cakes and community clubs and Hitler Youth, etc. I guess it was a jolly old time being a Nazi SS….

    As far as exploring her Jewish heritage…. why not also play a victim of atrocity (they do playact atrocities don’t they?) and see how the two compare (Jew and Leni). Would be a lot more fascinating from a sociological standpoint then playing a movie star visiting the troops (which is up for question if she ever did).

    I like many of the photos and some are very chilling – not sure if they go “beyond good and evil” and instead just straight to weird and wtf. Not sure if that was the intent she was after….

    Anyone note the American MP in the background on #3…….

  • Also

    In early September 1976, the Bromley Contingent followed the Pistols to France, where Siouxsie was beaten up for wearing a black armband with a swastika on it. She claimed her intent was to shock the bourgeoisie, not to make a political statement.[17] She would later write the songs “Metal Postcard (Mittageisen)” (in memory of the anti-Nazi artist John Heartfield) and the single “Israel”.[18]

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siouxsie_Sioux

  • Panos, it seems to me that your examples are supporting the fact that symbols are important for all too many people. Sure, you and I can recognize their supreme irrelevancy it the great cosmic scheme of things, but normal people take them very seriously. And not just as victims, but as perpetrators. Normally when someone gets a swastika tat and beats up a Jew, that symbol has a very conscious meaning which the perp understands and wants to communicate, not just to the victim and anyone else he comes across. And typically, those who burn korans or bibles or flags know exactly what they’re doing. Even if one recognizes that the symbol is irrelevant, it’s the thought that counts.

    And unfortunately, the concept of heritage is usually the foundation supporting the symbol. I’ve seen people in other parts of the world get into fist fights over heritage crap that happened 500 years ago. Giving a shit about jewish heritage is a particular blight on human history, the nazis being example 1a, but the list goes much deeper into the alphabet. I count myself lucky as being a person with no heritage to speak of. My family tree only goes back a few generations and those people seemed to be intent on escaping whatever heritage they may have had. The farthest back we can go is to people jailed for making moonshine during prohibition so all it takes for me to explore my heritage is a short trip to the liquor store.

    Anyway, that’s probably why I missed the significance of the exploring one’s heritage part of this essay. I now realize that it is a big deal for someone who considers themselves a jew to pose like that with nazi reenactors. It’s a courageous stance. I’d be curious what a more jewish audience would think. That would probably make for some far more interesting commentary.

    But, and I keep coming back to this no matter how I look at it – from the Leni perspective, from the otherness perspective, from the symbol perspective or from the heritage perspective -I still don’t think the text works. Not on it’s own. Not with the photos. So my hopefully constructive criticism is to give a lot more thought to what this is really all about and to find a way to communicate it simply.

  • I now realize that it is a big deal for someone who considers themselves a jew to pose like that with nazi reenactors. It’s a courageous stance……………not courageous just another way of perpetuating the Jewish cause. Keeping it all alive.

  • not courageous just another way of perpetuating…

    I’m guessing you don’t spend a lot of time around the orthodox?

  • Brooklyn in da house!!!!!!!!

  • This link is a good read by Robert Hariman. Understanding this essay by Stacy intellectually is a lot easier than to emotionally understand and accept its validity based on symbols created and designed by man to minimalize thinking.
    How do you minimalize emotional realities?

    http://www.nocaptionneeded.com/2011/10/can-we-see-through-symbols/

  • http://instagr.am/p/IHOEaDBrYO/

    Dedicated to all
    “troops” / armies/ police of any and all countries …
    “Viva” pride :)

  • I’m afraid that few can admit that we can all become possible “nazis” if our country/government forces us to..( think Vietnam, think Muhamned Ali’s refusal to join and the price he paid etc..
    MW, yes I agree.. maybe not for you or me that much but “dark symbols” definitely torment lots of communities forever..
    Try to graffiti a Hexagram just for fun anywhere in west Memphis and you’ll be “officially” a satanist..
    Laughing… Yeah can’t hide it.. I live the reactions on folks faces after your tap on their subconscious for a second.. They can let anyone scar their souls with a pen
    and some ink.. Power of Symbols= strong..
    Think how many low life crooks out there but some tarot cards and act as an Oracle..
    Classic
    The weaker the mind.. The stronger the symbol effect

  • Don’t believe every symbolism
    U see.. U might fell into a trap ( see: religion)

    http://instagr.am/p/IHQaw7BrY2/

  • Traffic is the main thing that Scares the crapitos out of me

    http://instagr.am/p/IHRm9uhrZE/

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