Fantastic Wednesday: April 9th: Zsuzsi Flohr

APRIL 9th, 6pm

A presentation by Zsuzsi Flohr

Sisters in me

I took a photo series and a video of my sister in 2007. At the time, she got christened, shaved her head, and wore a striped cotton robe that she ties on her waist using a chain. She did not eat properly, and completely lost touch with her university context.
I will underpin this work with psychological and sociological research into the phenomenon, and will also include a pictorial analysis within the study. What is the criterion for linking an emotional disturbance within the 3G to the trauma of the Holocaust?
Methodology: borrowing and comparing Israeli and Hungarian psychological and sociological research regarding 3G.
“A research study conducted five years ago at the Ruppin Academic Center argued that eating disorders among third-generation female students can be linked to eating problems suffered by their second-generation mothers, and also to the extent to which their grandparents exposed them to Holocaust realities.” (E. Dan, 2012)
My sister’s is a unique case, she cannot represent a whole age group, a whole generation.
The choice of the title Sisters in Me is motivated by the sensation that I could be in her place, if I had been born first. I know this is not true per se, but there is something about the idea that keeps haunting me. I compare my feelings when imagining the role switch to the “survivor syndrome”, usually understood in the context of 1G Holocaust survivors. Is it my right to live stronger, is my life more justified than others’ lives? Do I have the right to be happy? To live a fulfilled life?
I borrowed the perspective of Kellermann’s paper, which focuses on the study of the long-term psychological effects of the Holocaust on the survivors and their families (Kellermann 2009).
I have transformed this conceptual toolkit to be relevant for the 3G, e.g.: numbing of responsiveness, Holocaust-related associations, “shattered assumptions”, suicidal ideation, depression, chronic state of mourning, survivor guilt in 3G, excessive worries, anxieties, catastrophic expectancy, fear of renewed persecution, paranoia, isolation from the community, lack of trust, loneliness, survival strategies, learned helplessness, abandonment and isolation and other Identity problems

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Zsuzsi Flohr is a visual artist living and working in Budapest and Vienna. Her artistic practice includes videos and photos and text based works, mostly debate the question of everyday reality, ontology, personality and identity. Zsuzsi Flohr’s videos and photographs are text-based narrative works that center around the issues of the ‘third generation after the Holocaust’ in terms of consciousness and collective identity, with a focus on her native country, Hungary.



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