The project Berlin-Birkenau (from which this footage originates) consisted in replanting several hundred trees from the premises of the former Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau to the German capital. The trees appeared in public places: roundabouts, parks, avenues, yards, and were meant to stay there.
The first part of the film documents the area of the camp and the process of obtaining seedlings from a grove where human ashes had been scattered several decades before. The second part portrays the Berlin stage of the project: planting the trees and the care given by involved individuals to the seedlings.
Surowiec’s work can be understood in terms of an attempt to build a living monument, which needs looking after and undergoes transformation, akin to human memory. The project involved dozens of public institutions, district councils, schools and dozens of individuals. Berlin-Birkenau was developed in collaboration with 7th Berlin Biennale.
Language: Polish (english subtitles)
© Łukasz Surowiec
Ownership form: deposit