A Mirrored Image

Directed by Jakob Ganslmeier
Words and narration by Onias Landveld
Camera by Jakob Ganslmeier
Edited by Ana Zibelnik
Sound by Darius Timmer


Which different interpretations of the Holocaust exist in today’s European population? Who and what shapes the image and the legacy of a former concentration camp? Spoken word artist Onias Landveld and filmmaker Jakob Ganslmeier address some of these issues in their collaborative video A Mirrored Image.

Ganslmeier grew up in Dachau, Germany, close to the former concentration camp which is now a memorial centre, while Landveld grew up in Suriname (later in the Netherlands) and had never visited a concentration camp memorial before. ‘My imagination was trained by Hollywood’, Landveld says in the piece, referring to the numerous representations and mediations of the Holocaust he consumed in his youth. In this work, which was created at the Bergen-Belsen Memorial in Germany, where little of the former camp remains to be seen, Ganslmeier asked Landveld to put his imagination of WWII camps into words. The crimes of colonialism directed his imagination of the atrocities committed by the Nazis when roaming the empty spaces of Bergen-Belsen and the still-active military training grounds surrounding it: ‘My imagination is black’.

The resulting work brings together their radically different perspectives while opening up new questions: What is the relationship between the Holocaust and post-colonial discourse? Can the two eventually be brought into dialogue?