Denver, Colorado USA
Competition, 1st Place
BABI YAR SEPTEMBER 11 MEMORIAL
Denver, Colorado USA
Babi Yar Park Foundation
City of Denver
City of Aurora
both in collaboration with
MEMORY-WORKS AT BABI YAR MEMORIAL PARK We believe that, as a place of exception, this park, the Babi Yar Memorial Park should function both as a vehicle for mourning, healing and engagement.
As a Memorial, it should become a frame for evocative thinking and engaging in continuing acts of re-actualization of the past. It should invite emotional and intellectual reflection as well as sense of necessity for action: opening a door for joining projects and actions toward the world free of war, terror, and violence. As a site, the project should foster the evocative power of art to occur in public space and landscape, as framework for memory. It should become a “witness” of the past and of the “voice of memory”, embedded in everyday life, the voice which calls for pro-active transformative engagement toward better future.
WORKING MEMORIAL We understand that part of the significance of this project will lie in the way it may establish ethical dialogues with the site and the community, and elicit participatory engagement So, we would like to think about this project as a ‘Working Memorial” that, in its concepts, design and (evolving) forms, may invite collective engagement and participation, responsiveness and memory-work. It will become a working memorial, and a place of exception for present and future generations engaging them in a dialogue with events, with the past and the future. As a path towards healing it should become a public place of exception that can act as a reminder of the community’s commitment, in this day and age and for future generations, to remember the victims and their lives.
This memorial should not only be a project for a silent and still symbolic site of memory. When needed it shall be active and activated through programs and interaction. We would propose a path out of the trauma of events through the potential for the transformative work of awareness and engagement. The premise is that a memorial that truly speaks to traumatic memories, not only of the past but of today, should come to exist through a participatory process of engagement with and by the persons and communities who share a vital interest in it.
As the Babi Yar Memorial Park should speak to and address a plurality of publics and generations, its’ becoming a site-specific vessel for “testimonies”, for emotions and thinking, for democratic and pedagogic discourses, for transformative working-through, healing and awareness, as paths towards the possibility of a better world becomes a central issue Indeed, to develop its “speech”, and to elicit its questioning potential and ethical functioning will be central to its effectiveness MONUMENTAL SPEECH To do so, a certain “Monumental Speech” should be developed; one that may integrate past (traumatic) events into present-day realities and experiences . It will be a kind of site-specific speech act that may actualize this memorial park into cultural action, demanding responsibility and eliciting “response-ability” vis a vis the past and the future, in a specific site that will remind and remember through fostering and encouraging acts of memory: Memory-Works. (Wodiczko+Bonder)