The first of my photos about my father’s story. This is an experiment and may not be the finished photo, but it’s a start at trying to show what happened. I was lucky to get hold of some of Dad’s diaries, written when he was sixteen and with a death sentence on the whole family. I translated these words myself with the help of Google, Pons.si and my Slovenian lessons. It’s a good thing we’ve started to learn the past tense, I can finally make more sense of the words.
My main difficulty in trying to do work about Dad is that I can’t imagine I will ever be able to convey how awful the experiences he had were. It doesn’t help that Dad won’t tell me everything and he absolutely refuses to talk about his brother who died.
I decided to place Dad and his words in the farmhouse where he was born and lived before he became a refugee. His diary was written in this house and some of the descriptions are about what happened there. The house has been empty for many years and is now in need of extensive repair. A house in Jungian dream therapy is a representation of the person dreaming about it. It is fitting for the photos about my Dad that it is not whole anymore. It is largely unchanged since the days my Dad lived there, as his brother in law, who was also a surviving Home Guard, refused to change with the times. He said if it was good enough for the last generation, its good enough for him. This means the photos of the house are fairly true to how it would have been 70 years ago, although there are some things like plastic bags and other things that show it is taken now. I can remember visiting and using the outside toilet, tin bath and aga-type stove, they still used the bread oven too. I used to love it there.
The words on the photo are
Then one of the two in the house said “Go ahead and shoot the devil” He held a gun to my head for a long time.
Tedaj je eden tistih dveh rekel v hiši:« Kar ustreli ga hudiča«. Dolgo časa mi je grozil s pištolo.