Bürgerbegegnung 13. Februar 2017 | Paule Saviano: »From Above«

Paule Saviano

Der Fotograf Paule Saviano lebt in New York. Der studierte Medienkünstler und Politikwissenschaftler arbeitet für rennomierte Magazine weltweit. Im Fokus seiner künstlerischen Tätigkeit steht die Portraitfotografie. In einer Vielzahl von Projekten portraitierte er renommierte Künstler ‒ etwa Marilyn Manson, Radiohead oder AC/DC ‒ genauso wie Menschen aus anderen Lebensbereichen. Seine Arbeiten wurden in Personalausstellungen in Tokio, New York, Shanghai, London, Helsinki und Italien gezeigt.

From Above

Eine seiner wichtigsten Arbeiten ist »From Above«, ein Portraitprojekt mit Überlebenden der Kriege des zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts. Eine Auswahl von Protraits dieser Serie wird am Rande unserer Bürgerbegegnung zum 13. Februar 2017 im Kleinen Haus (1. Etage) gezeigt. Sie umfasst Portraits von Menschen aus Gernika, Hiroshima, Tokio, Rotterdam, Wielun und Dresden.

Paule Saviano: From Above

At a time when it seems people have not learned that war is not a rational way to resolve disagreements, I am proud to present From Above and inform my generation that war only causes suffering.

My experiences with atomic bomb survivors and WWII firebombing survivors from cities in Europe and Japan have been an education.  Every time I meet a war survivor, I realize how fortunate I have been to have not experienced war. I now realize how fragile life is.  Each person I’ve photographed has been welcoming and inspiring.  They have demonstrated incredible courage speaking about experiences that changed their lives forever.  I’ve been very lucky to spend time with these people.

These conversations have been the foundations of new friendships that transcend generational and ethnic differences.  It has put a voice and a face to the words in history books.  Most people view war with statistics and dates.  They forget war affects real people.  The voices and faces of ordinary people are neglected in books.  I have been able to find these voices.

Everyday I think about the people I’ve photographed.  They have encouraged me to continue my education.  My journey has so far taken me to Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Tokyo (Japan), Wielun (Poland), Coventry (UK), Rotterdam (Netherlands) and Usti nad Labem (Czech Republic) to record the faces of survivors, and I will continue until the final voice goes silent.  It demonstrates that suffering from war is universal.  It affects people of all cultures and nationalities.

For my generation this is the last opportunity to learn directly from WWII survivors that war is not beneficial to any human.  During the last decade each survivor has grown more fragile but their spirit has not lost the courage to make sure the catastrophic consequences of war are not passed over by the waves of time or society’s weakness for ignoring what is not desirable.  Their words and actions transcended the boundaries of ethnicity, culture and generational differences.

I hope we will not forget those who lost their lives because of war or the survivors who had their lives changed forever.  The best tribute you can give to them is to never forget the lessons of Dresden and the other cities which were destroyed in war and not to tolerate the excuse of war being a justifiable way to settle differences. It is important we learn from the past.  The consequences of making the same mistakes today are greater for every one of us living under the same sky.