Nunca ví otra mariposa / I never Saw another Butterfly , 2015
After conducting my research on the Tezerin labour camp, and having listened to the testimonies of the survivors, I created the photographic and documentary project titled I never saw another butterfly. This work shows the spaces where the tragic, genocidal events of the Holocaust took place during the years 1940-1945 in the Theresienstadt concentration camp in Czechoslovakia, now the Czech Republic.
By creating a documentary atmosphere through photographs and a book with drawings and real images, I take the viewer back to the moment when these events took place, and I bring them back to life in the way the witnesses themselves recounted, and especially how they remembered them: the multitude of silent screams that haunt empty spaces, latent and full of memories that should be forgotten. I allow the viewer to face the horror, the fear, the steps in the corridors and the moments of uncertainty and agony.
This project attempts to take us back to the past with the help of real evidence, in an overwhelming space that makes us reflect on how images and memories influence our perception of the past, even if we have not directly experienced it ourselves.
The title I never saw another butterfly, pays homage to the poem written by Pavel Friedmann (1921- 1944), who was deported to the Theresienstadt children's ghetto in 1942 and executed in Auschwitz in 1944.
The last, the very last,
So richly, brightly, dazzlingly yellow.
Perhaps if the sun's tears would sing
against a white stone…
Such, such a yellow
Is carried lightly ‘way up high.
It went away I'm sure because it wished
to kiss the world goodbye.
For seven weeks I've lived in here,
Penned up inside this ghetto.
But I have found my people here.
The dandelions call to me,
And the white chestnut candles in the court.
Only I never saw another butterfly.
That butterfly was the last one.
Butterflies don't live in here, In the ghetto.
-Pavel Friedmann - 4.6.1942