January, the 27th.
Facebook turns black and white while the Instagram feed mixes memories of a school trip to Mauthausen with “August drops”, what a useless jumble. Sometimes it seems like our endless self-centered ego unconsciously leads us to think that the memory we are talking about relates to our memory of that tour, instead to the victims who had stayed there – an awful b&b, however.
A verse from Hotel California – Eagles, 1977 – comes to my mind “You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave”: no matter what you do, some things always stay with you, they will die with you – and sometimes they even last.
This continuous need to be protagonists, to be loved by a camera, this constant anxious waiting for the most opportune timing to justify the photographs we want to share, make us addicted and incapable of that “carpe diem” that has been devitalized in your captions.
I have never been in a concentration camp, because of my fear and also because it feels to me like “black tourism”, but out fear above all. In high school you study the history, the WWII, you watch films in class, you read the stories of those who managed to check out at the reception, but their luggage had been lost – but you can’t understand, you can just empathize.
3 weeks ago I’ve crushed my car, but, just for a second, I flew – a little bit like Thelma & Louise, but my Ridley Scott was thinking about a sequel. Days later, seeing it in its small niche wasn’t easy, she was unrecognizable: stripped of its bodywork, with some pieces left on road, emaciated, due to the wheels explosion and the axle shaft break, called by a number, “Yours is the 12b”, deprived of its own essence, unable to move for the injuries.
On the 7h of December some had drawn, moving the condensation with her finger, a hearth on the windshield, I remember I came home and all the glass was spanned, expect for that little corner of joy.
And it was still there, the last survivor, the only thing left to remind you of the essence of the machine, it was the memory of a moment. Memories are so strength, sometimes it’s easier to find them, thank to the help of photographs, scars, smells and so on, but sometimes it’s right to make an effort and look for them independently, without any help.
I will never be allowed to say what’s the meaning of Remembrance Day and what is not but I, for today, trace mine here: “Remind to not forget”, like a pill of meta-memory.
By Antonio Floriani