On January 13, the Museum hosted a preview screening of Write Me, a short film by Pearl Gluck. Write Me follows an older woman who joins other survivors in reclaiming the histories tattooed on their bodies. The film focuses on tattoos – an aesthetic choice for some, but a permanent reminder of harrowing past events for survivors of trafficking and the Holocaust. Video of this panel discussion can be watched below.
Adapted from the poem After Auschwitz by Deborah Kahan Kolb and premiering at the New York Jewish Film Festival, this preview screening of Write Me was followed by a discussion with director Pearl Gluck, poet/producer Deborah Kahan Kolb, composer Lisa Gutkin, Auschwitz survivor Shirley Gottesman, trafficking survivor and activist Barbara Freeman and tattoo artist Virginia Elwood.
This event was the first in a series of four held at the Museum and sponsored by Battery Park City Authority. The next event in this series, a poetry workshop, is February 6, followed by a storytelling workshop on February 19, and the final event on March 26, a panel discussion with women scholars focused on the role of branding of women’s bodies in the context of human trafficking and power.
By spurring conversation around this difficult topic in January — National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month — this series hopes to effect positive change by engaging diverse communities in conversations on art, social justice, history, and current events.