Remnants | Director’s Note: Patrick Eakin Young
I started creating REMNANTS almost two years ago with a workshop at the Print Room investigating ghosts. I wanted to make a piece about memory and history, about the ways in which the past forces itself into the present, and the effect this haunting has on our lives.
I was born stepping out of the 20th and into the 21st Century and I have lived as much of my life on this side of the millennium as the other. Though I am at home in this new century, I feel deeply burdened by the one I have left behind. Growing up in Canada in the 1990s, I was privileged to be so far removed from the violence and traumas of the 20th Century, and yet I felt their deep vibrations beneath the surface of society. Though I had not experienced them, I felt that they had affected me nonetheless.
When I found Courtney’s memoir, The Stone Fields, it immediately resonated with me. Through the lens of one family’s story, in one corner of Europe, I felt I could see the messy cycle of history, and how we come to inherit the trauma of the past. But the true appeal of the text was Courtney herself. As a North American, I understood her. Her idiom, her accent, and a part of her experience, were my own. What’s more, I sensed in her story a similar searching, a desire to uncover the source of these uninvited ghosts.
Telling stories was fundamental to Courtney’s family, and it became fundamental to this piece. Through hours of interviews, I entered into Courtney’s world, and encountered the characters from her history that she had inherited in a similar way from her father. Listening to the recordings I made with her, I felt drawn to the ellipses, the pauses and revisions in the text, the subtle ways in which things were unsaid. That is the space of music and dance; the place where memory, trauma, love and longing reside.
Patrick Eakin Young