Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Part 3 of Interview with Janet R. Kirchheimer

[Note, Added August 17, 2016: The poetry performance film noted below as BE●HOLD has been renamed. It is now called After: A Poetry Film. Also, a trailer has been released. See the FaceBook page below.]

You will find me today at the TweetSpeak Poetry blog, where the third, and concluding, segment of my interview with poet and filmmaker Janet R. Kirchheimer is posted.

In Part 1, Janet spoke with me about her experiences as the daughter of Holocaust survivors from Germany, her decision to become a poet and filmmaker, and her thoughts about poetry as the only "language" in which to write about the Holocaust. In Part 2, we talked about Janet's recent collaboration with photographer Aliza Augustine on the multimedia exhibition, "How to Spot One of Us", on view through May 18 at Kean University's Human Rights Institute Gallery in New Jersey. Today, in Part 3, we conclude with a discussion about the conception of Janet's Holocaust-related project BE•HOLD, currently in production, and her objectives for the performance film. 

A New York City resident, Janet is a Teaching Fellow at CLAL and the author of the poetry collection How to Spot One of Us (CLAL - National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, 2007). 

Janet generously provided the family photographs, stills from BE•HOLD, and poems that accompany our interview and this introduction.

Learning in a New Language

My father is teaching me German.
He still speaks fluently, even though he
escaped from Nazi Germany almost
seventy years ago when he was seventeen.

We study nouns and verbs.
We study when to use the formal pronoun, Sie, you,
and when to use the more familiar, Du.
One must be offered permission to use the familiar.

We study dialects.
The word Ich, I.
The Berliners pronounce it Ick.
Those from Frankfurt am Main, Isch.
Those from Schwaben, Ich or I.

He tells me when he was a kid he and
his friends used to say in a Berliner dialect,
"Berlin jeweesen Oranje jejessen und sie war so suss jeweesen."
I was in Berlin and ate an orange, and it was very sweet.
"And then we added, 'dass mir die bruh die gosh runterglaufe is',"
with the juices running down my mouth.
He explains: "It is in our Schwabisch dialect.
I should say, it was our dialect."


Part 1, "Holocaust Poems: Interview with Poet and Filmmaker Janet R. Kirchheimer", April 29, 2015

Part 2, "Holocaust Poems: Interview with Poet and Filmmaker Janet R. Kirchheimer" , May 6, 2015

Part 3, "Holocaust Poems: Interview with Poet and Filmmaker Janet R. Kirchheimer", May 13, 2015

After: A Poetry Film (formerly, BE•HOLD) on FaceBook

Aliza Augustine Photography: Website and FaceBook

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