Świeże wiśnie (Fresh Cherries)

Anna Baumgart &

Documentary footage, reconstructed and authentic interviews, as well as fictional narrative contribute to Anna Baumgart's video on the issue of the tabooization of the victims of WWII.

Baumgart observes that women in general – and especially women who were forced into sex work or who were sexually abused by soldiers on both sides – have been generally denied the right to participate in the production of war narratives. The artist has solicited the aid of Joanna Ostrowska, a Polish university student researching the history of prostitution in the German concentration camps in Poland. Based on Ostrowska's findings, Baumgart reconstructs two interviews with Frau W, a German woman who was coerced into providing sexual services for prisoners in the Buchenwald brothel, and with Barbara, a Polish woman raped by Russian soldiers.

Baumgart also creates a fictional account of a sexually abused woman going through a course of Bert Hellinger’s psychoanalytic systemic therapy, whose main working method encourages the victims to speak about their traumatic past. Baumgart's video performs a similar therapeutic role, as the artist creates a space for the previously stifled female voices to become a part of the narrative of war. (Olena Chervonik)

About the video

Title Świeże wiśnie (Fresh Cherries)
Year 2010
Videonale VIDEONALE.13
Length 00:18:00
Format 16:9
Country Poland,
Language Polish with English subtitles
Courtesy the artist
Specifications color, sound, single-channel video

About the artist

Anna Baumgart
  • 1966 in Breslau, POL.
    Studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk, POL