Litvak Screen Print 18x24" (Edition of 50), 2018.

litvak_poster1CRPD.jpg
litvak_poster1CRPD.jpg

Litvak Screen Print 18x24" (Edition of 50), 2018.

40.00

(On natural paper.) Spurred by a family heritage trip to Lithuania earlier this year, "Litvak" (a non-pejorative term for Jews from Lithuania and the surrounding region) is the show poster from the ANGRY CLOUD + DESCND art show—"Return of the Litvak" at DORF, an art space in South Austin open from August 24 to September 15 2018. Upon arriving in Lithuania (and coming from text), I was struck by the rich, beautiful trees and forest areas. However, upon learning more about the local history, especially around the second world war, the forest took on a more tragic meaning. In 1941, when the Soviet Army pulled out of Lithuania ahead of the advancing Germans, there were approximately 250,000 Jews, residents and some refugees from Poland, in the country. By 1944, 206,000 of them had been murdered along with thousands of Soviet POWs, Poles, political dissidents and Romani. Many of the victims were shot in the woods and largely not by Germans, but by Lithuanian collaborators who had been their neighbors with whom they lived in relative peace for hundreds of years. Uncovering this history made me ponder the nature of such actions, when something that had previously been considered abhorrent suddenly becomes in the minds of perpetrators and collaborators as acceptable and justified. Upon returning home to the news cycle of the day, i began to draw parallels with the acceptance of the unacceptable in the here and now, especially in the political climate of the US. How did we get here? Were these latent feeling and views that were suddenly given a chance to come out of the shadows? Was it some sort of mass, drastic shift in attitudes spurred on by the right combination of stimuli? What were the things that one could do to help counteract this stumble from progress, ideas of morality and civil rights?

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