Today is my video log day. On our first day at Humboldt, and our first day as a group, I was determined to be excited about the “vlog” project. I scanned the pages of the schedule for my name. August 7th, Lauren Nuxoll, Sachsenhausen concentration camp.
What I did know then was my weariness about photographing such locations or my weariness, rather, about photographing locations at all. My trouble was that of taking photographs as part of an assignment, or with a particular motive- even if that motive was simply to photograph. It was not that I had never been to this concentration camp before, but that I had never been to a concentration camp before. I’m still not sure if I have ever been to a concentration camp, or what that even would mean. The hazy, glazed parade of distant inhumanity- because I was not walking though it, it was walking through me, or past me really, although at times I did notice my feet underneath me and my effort to move them- it could be called being at a concentration camp, maybe.
What I did not know then was that lifting the camera and pushing the shutter button, or hitting record would offer me some kind of window, a porthole in the side of my submarine. More and more I have been thinking of what a camera does, and the ability to, and experience of, appreciating a camera on a particular day for the very same reasons you detested it the day prior and would again on the following. That being said, I recognize it now.
The question of feeling it or not feeling it.
How to feel something at a concentration camp.
Things I managed to absorb
Learning about the banning of Mein Kampf from a tour guide
Watching the security cameras
Watching the healthy green leaves jump readily off the trees and understanding