The State We're In, 2 June 2012. A Belgian artist from a family of Nazi collaborators turns his wartime memories into paintings. A Sudanese journalist believes that telling stories about past conflict is a lifeline. And a Somalian archaeologist unearths truths about her country’s past, and her own.
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Belgian artist Koenraad Tinel has been haunted by wartime memories for decades. When the German army invaded his hometown of Ghent, his piano teacher - a Jewish woman - got deported to Auschwitz. Then his father and brothers all took up the Nazi cause. After D-Day, his family fled to the front, endured fire bombings, and were eventually caught by the Allies.
Koenraad’s illustrated his memories in a recently published book, Scheisseimer, or Shit Bucket. He recounts how his family of Nazi sympathizers lived on the streets of Bamberg towards the end of the war, how they were repatriated to Belgium, his silence about his father’s Nazism and why he had to deal with his memories in brushstrokes. View illustrations.
When Sudanese journalist Abdulrahman Adam Abdulrahman was in Darfur, victims told him that just having him hear their stories made them feel protected. Then Abulrahman himself got arrested and thrown into a prison cell, right next to the gallows where he was awaiting execution. But when he heard his own story reported on the radio, he understood exactly what they meant.
Abdulrahman Adam Abdulrahman explains to host Jonathan Groubert how one prison guard, who used to beat him, eventually treated him humanely after hearing his stories about what was happening in Darfur.
Sada Mire escaped Somalia’s violence when she was a teenager, and relocated to Europe, where she became an archaeologist.